The most awaited, the most exciting, and the most cherished season in India is the “Wedding Season”. A wedding is considered to be a milestone in one’s life and the Indian culture paves way for many traditions making it a grand celebration. While 'Big-Fat Indian Weddings' are a joyous occasion, they also produce huge amounts of waste. Approximately 10 million weddings are held in India every year, leaving behind truckloads of trash, including plastic cutlery, flowers, and food that is mostly thrown away. With awareness spreading, conscious millennials are choosing smaller-scale, waste-free weddings.

Although a zero waste and low-budget wedding seem like a far-fetched idea, it can actually be implemented. Whatever kind of wedding a couple chooses, whether it is large or small, indoors or outdoors, there is a considerable amount of food, decorations, and lighting involved that can be trimmed which can minimize the amount of waste produced. Zero-waste wedding parties are now gaining more traction as people are more conscious of their actions and their responsibilities toward preserving the environment. In addition to helping the environment, zero-waste weddings are also cheaper than conventional weddings.

In what ways can you make a "Zero Waste wedding" a reality?

Today, however, it is becoming more common for couples to choose eco-friendly weddings. Sustainable weddings can help you reduce your carbon footprint and waste materials of all kinds, and a zero-waste approach is a great starting point. A zero-waste wedding, as the name implies, aims to generate no waste at all, and in order to help you turn that white wedding into a green wedding, we've compiled a list of our favorite zero-waste wedding ideas.

The good news is while planning a wedding can be a daunting task, it is not bound to be wasteful!

  • E-invites or Paper invitations: In Indian weddings, ornate wedding cards with exotic gifts have become quite popular. While they are visually appealing, this is an extremely unsustainable and wasteful practice. It also ends up being financially draining. E-vites have emerged as the long-term future of wedding invitations. They not only give you creative freedom, but they also free your guests from having to save and carry physical cards. Using eco-friendly paper for your invitations is also a great way to reduce the waste produced by traditional paper invitations. There are numerous options available made from natural fibers such as bamboo paper and recycled paper - some even use seeded paper. Seeded paper is more in trend right now as after you receive it, you can plant it and grow it into flowers. The use of seeded paper is also appropriate for the occasion, as it represents a new beginning and a fresh start.
  • Hire a Zero waste management company: A zero-waste wedding, like any other type of event, necessitates a great deal of thought and planning. If you and your partner have decided that only your vows, not the decorations, will last forever, you'll need to come up with some creative and innovative ideas for your special day. Consider hiring a zero-waste wedding planner if your budget allows as they will be able to assist you in locating zero-waste wedding vendors, suppliers, and caterers, as well as provide expert advice on how to keep consumption to a bare minimum. They may also be able to advise you on DIY wedding ideas that will help you save money and reduce waste.
  • Choose your venue wisely: The location you select has a significant impact on the amount of waste produced. Finding a space that encourages you to reduce, reuse, and recycle can make a significant difference at the end of the night. Another important consideration is to choose a venue that is easily accessible to as many of your guests as possible. The fewer people who travel, the lower their travel-related emissions. Even a non-destination wedding generates approximately 43 tonnes of CO2 in transportation alone. Leaving out-of-state or international guests off the in-person invite list will also help to reduce your environmental impact. You can also consider live streaming for your wedding for those who cannot attend in person.
  • Reusable cutlery at the venue: There are many alternatives to plastic cutlery, from reusable steel or glass cutlery to biodegradable materials such as bamboo and palm leaves, you can eliminate the plastic footprint.
  • Making arrangements for waste management: There are several waste management companies in India, where you can send your waste after every event. Many items, such as decorations and glass cutlery, can be separated and recycled. If there are any leftover food wastes or natural decorations (including raw materials), they can be composted.
  • Food donation: As a precaution and staying ahead, food wastage can be controlled if a strict head count is done beforehand. However, you can also donate food by tying up with NGOs. There are many local distributors and volunteers you can get in touch with to donate food. 

When you plan your wedding, why not consider a zero-waste wedding now that you know it is possible? Your new chapter in life should be celebrated with a beautiful, joyful event, and not by leaving trails of waste behind. And today, when it comes to planning a W-day, green is undeniably the new white. With all the alternatives and guidance from an event planning firm, your zero-waste wedding can be a much simpler task than you think.