The Complete Indian Wedding Guide For Everyone Planning An Eco-Friendly South Asian Wedding

By Sultana | 04 Apr 2022 | 14 min read

Green Indian Weddings: Your Guide to a Luxury and Sustainable South Asian Wedding

Eco-friendly weddings and luxury weddings can go hand in hand. From eco-friendly wedding favors to beautiful digital wedding stationery, there are many ways to decrease your global footprint while planning your dream Indian wedding. When it comes to planning a South Asian wedding, many brides and grooms are choosing the green route, opting for an event that is environmentally friendly, even if it means adding an extra layer of planning to a whole other list of things you need to report. There’s no reason why this sacred tradition can’t be performed in an eco-friendly way and life is a celebration, after all. Reward yourself with an eco-friendly wedding which is much easier than you might think. Organizing a grand wedding, while maintaining an eco-friendly environment, might seem like a huge challenge but even the Bollywood celebs are doing it with ease. Last year, around Earth Day, we wrote about how you can plan a luxury eco-friendly Indian wedding. This year, we are bringing you a three-part article about gorgeous real sustainable weddings, 2022 eco-tips and trends, and takeaways from the green weddings of Bollywood celebs.


Eco-Friendly Weddings That Made Us Love Them Just As Much As The Couples

Nothing says everlasting love than recycling and repurposing. A recent trend in weddings, “eco-friendly weddings” are becoming more popular, as brides and grooms try to lessen their environmental impact on the world. Not only is it better for the wedding, but also for the greater good. We're giving you our top eco-friendly weddings that inspired us to go green this season. Some of us might not know where to start, which makes searching for the right ideas harder than it needs to be. They include the perfect mix of red carpet glamor and charming rustic charm, they feature bold decor and gardens full of tropical flowers and romantic little details, but they all have one common denominator: sustainability. Something we all need more of, especially when planning our weddings!


Ridhesh and Mitika

Mitika and Ridhesh met during a volunteering project and soon, their passion for travel, food and animals drew them towards each other. Setting an example of luxury and sustainable wedding, the couple chose The Gir Forest as their venue and planned unique and exciting activities. They had a carnival-themed cocktail party along with stargazing and a rustic wedding with jungle safari. Their entrees as bride and groom were quite memorable as well: Ridhesh and his friends on cycles and Mitika among bubbles. The wedding was followed by a glamorous reception among the starry sky at night and a live band.

The couple followed the 4 R philosophy - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Remove. They held an intimate celebration to reduce their impact on the environment. From there, they reused decor elements across events. For recycle / remove, they focused on using organic materials like bamboo, jute, recycled paper, and locally sourced wood / soil based products instead of single-use products. They managed to create a beautiful macrame mandap and even worked with a local potter to make clay cups to replace glass.


Rhea and Divish

Rhea Chhabria is an environmentalist and an eco-preneur who met Divish Sabhlok in London where they were attending the same party of a college friend. However, their brief relationship came to a halt as they moved back to India and to their respective cities, Delhi and Mumbai, due to long-distance and disconnect. They met again on the occasion of his sister's wedding and decided never to let go of one another. After an incredible proposal in Agra, overlooking the Taj Mahal no less, the couple tied the knot in the stunning city of Udaipur. 

Combining elements of nature with art, the couple had a glamorous wedding, complete with a music-fest themed brunch party, which had modern, restored sculptures decorating the outdoor venue, a poolside cocktail party, a combined maximal Mehndi-Haldi ceremony with vivid lights and flowers, a chuda ceremony followed by a fairytale outdoor wedding where the couple wore unique contrasting outfits and a jaimala made out of leaves and carnations. When it comes to sustainable practices, the couple went out of their way to ensure that they had a carbon-neutral wedding with e-invites, limited use of single-use plastic, rented or upcycled decor pieces, locally grown flowers, natural confetti made out of leaves and recycled paper, and many more.


Shamaun Ahmed and Maya McManus

When Maya McManus and Shamaun Ahmed decided to get married, they ensured that all their guests were on board with their idea of throwing a sustainable wedding. Be it the e-invites to all the attendees, the gifts, and the donation of extra food, the couple's wedding was an ode to sustainability. The decor consisted of locally grown flowers and fabrics that were reusable. The wedding favors also included seed sachets and the venue was decorated with refurbished glass jars and pots. Maya wore her grandmother's sari and the jewelry she wore were all heirloom pieces handed down by the elders in her family.


Anushpala Kamineni and Armaan Ebrahim

Anushpala Kamineni, the Vice President of Apollo Brands, tied the knot to Armaan Ebrahim, a professional racer in a grand affair in September last year. What stood out about their wedding was the social responsibility and sustainability theme of the wedding. Anushpala also went a different path than most other South Indian brides and opted for a golden-bordered pastel pink saree with a layered haar, matching earrings, a nath and a mathapatti. Their ceremony kickstarted with blessings from members of the transgender community, respecting and promoting inclusiveness in society. The couple also donated food to the Prajwal Foundation, a non-profit organization, on the second day of their wedding. Recycled flowers, beeswax candles, personalized handcrafted Bidriware (a perishing art form of Telangana) favors and a tree planting initiative were among the eco-friendly practices seen at the wedding.


Key Sustainable Wedding Trends You Should Expect In 2022

From traditional to unconventional and eco-friendly to extravagant, wedding trends are constantly shifting and changing. With that in mind, wedding planners, caterers and florists alike will be on the lookout for sustainable wedding trends in 2022. This blog post section shares some of the most innovative sustainable wedding trends that we can expect to see for weddings this year.


Ethical Rings

When it comes to eco-friendly products, couples are now interested in ensuring that the products that they use are either eco-conscious or have some positive impact on the environment and society. This shift has also reached the sourcing of diamonds and one of the key elements of a wedding, rings have emerged as another great way of becoming a meaningful purchase of the eco-conscious couple. Made out of recycled metal with a diamond sourced ethically, ethical rings are manufactured under fair working conditions or without any exploitation of the environment. The search for ethical and eco-conscious wedding/engagement rings has increased in the last few years as we see more and more couples opting for green weddings. Be it through donations or being socially and environmentally sound, there are a lot of brands that offer high quality, fair pricing as well as help couples in making a difference in the world when it comes to purchasing jewelry in recent years. When it comes to Indian couples, we found Brilliant Earth, Catbird, Noémie, and Valerie Madison that offer you sustainable rings and other jewelry pieces to bring a sparkle of change.


Sustainable Confetti Alternatives

Paper confetti, sprinkles, fireworks, and rice have been popular options as the newlywed's exit after their wedding. However, eco-conscious couples and growing environmental concerns have encouraged brides and grooms-to-be to rethink their traditions. Instead, to enjoy the picture-perfect moment, you use organic alternatives such as flower petals, which also make for beautiful newlywed pictures. A second option is seed paper or biodegradable confetti which will grow into new saplings and flowers when planted. Finally, there are coconut flakes which can also be used as confetti, especially for winter weddings as they will look like snow-flakes that smell heavenly.


Source: Paperless Post


Eco-friendly Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are a tradition that never goes out of style at Indian weddings. While wedding favors are an important part, you can pick favors like these wedding favors to show some love to Mother Nature, be it cruelty-free beauty products for your bridesmaids, or sustainably sourced tea blends for the chai lovers among your guests. Plants, edible favors, reusable items, and local products are other great ways to gift your guests while also being a responsible citizen of the planet Earth.


‘Green’ Wedding Venues

Wedding venues are probably one of the first items on your wedding planning list. If you are planning an eco-friendly wedding, finding a venue that helps in keeping our planet safe may require a lot more research, it is worth all of the effort. One way you can contribute to reducing your carbon footprint is by choosing a location closer to where the majority of the guests are; the less travel, the fewer carbon emissions will be released. Holding your wedding ceremony and reception at the same venue is also a great way to avoid any additional travel and hence, reduce carbon emissions. Throw a daytime wedding at an outdoor venue to celebrate your union with nature while also reducing your energy consumption or choose a wedding venue that offers biodegradable tableware/decor items.


Tackling Your Wedding Stationery Needs

As couples grow more concerned about the environment, it's simpler than ever to find invitation cards printed on recycled paper or made from alternative materials such as repurposed textiles, leather, and wood. When shopping for stationery, look for brands that give back to the environment. Plantables, for example, offer seed paper as well as paper made from waste cotton scraps, which are biodegradable and eco-conscious. Print invitations, programs, and menus on seed paper for the most environmentally friendly stationery. Seed paper is a biodegradable substance that, when planted in soil, grows into flowers. Botanical PaperWorks provides a whole variety of bespoke plantable paper products, so you're sure to discover the ideal fit for both your wedding and your garden.

On the other hand, when it comes to the latest trend in wedding invitations, digital invitations are more popular than ever these days. The emerging trend can be seen in the form of multiple or single cards, as well as video invites. It is simple and saves time as well as traveling to relatives' and friends' homes. They can be customized in any manner you want, and can reach all of your visitors with a single click. Digital invites are ideal for families who have relatives living out of the state or country. Be it luxury stationery, custom wedding cards, or digital invitations, Customizing Creativity is a design studio based in Mumbai that caters to all your bespoke stationery needs from concept to completion. You can also get your digital invitation cards designed by the bridal couture queen Anita Dongre, who in partnership with Paperless Post, has created an incredible collection of luxury digital invitations, which can be customized according to your vision.

Source: Customizing Creativity


Charity Registry

Charity registries have grown over the last few years. Instead of opting for a typical gift registry or receiving cash gifts, you can ask your guests to donate to a cause close to your and your partner’s heart.  Not only does it save you from getting unnecessary items, but it also marks a memorable moment in your life and wonderfully kick-starts your new chapter. Arbor Day Foundation is one such non-profit through which you can help in funding nature-loving programs such as planting a tree in each of your guests' honor or rain forest-rescue. You can also take a look at other South Asian non-profits that work towards various causes including but not limited to women empowerment, human rights, children's education and health, and mental wellbeing here.


5 Eco-Friendly Celebrity Weddings That Inspired Us

Celebrity weddings are known to be extravagant and over-the-top. A lot of planning goes into these big events, not to mention the money that is spent. However, recently there have been more celebrity weddings that are eco-friendly. In this post we take a look at five eco-friendly celebrity weddings that have inspired us and made a difference. This list shows you how celebrities can have fun without being wasteful, and get married without destroying the environment. In the last year, we’ve seen many Bollywood celebrities opt for a more eco-friendly South Asian wedding. Below, we share sustainable wedding ideas that Bollywood celebrities have inspired.


Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli

Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli have been quite vocal when it comes to their love for animals and the environment. Little wonder that they opted to include an eco-friendly wedding favor in their intimate Tuscany Hindu wedding in December 2017. For their reception party in Mumbai, the newlyweds had sent unique, trendsetting invitation cards, which were attached with a plant sapling to encourage their guests to be eco-conscious, instead of the usual wedding favors of mithai and dry fruits. 


Milind Soman and Ankita Konwar

Milind Soman married Ankita Konwar in April 2018 in a gorgeous Assamese and Maharashtrian ceremony. Taking sustainability to the next level, the couple tied the knot on Earth Day and set an example with incredible green elements as part of their wedding. From their outfits, which were organic, handwoven, and biodegradable, to the theme of their wedding, natural with lots of marigolds, jasmine garlands, and banana leaves, their wedding was an ode to Mother Nature. They even planted a sapling for all of their guests!


Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja

As we see technology taking over society, gone are the days when cards were sent to invite guests, friends and family. Going paperless is the new trend which is effortless, quick as well as customized according to the couple. Following this trend, Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja opted for e-invites, adding an eco-friendly aspect to their grand Bollywood wedding. The mehendi, nuptials, and celebration invitations are all gorgeous and meaningful, with images of foliage, trees, and flowers with a green backdrop.


Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh

Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh's wedding was one of the most buzzed-about weddings in Bollywood with all the details kept secret. The couple tied the knot in November 2018 in Sindhi and Konkani style with three lavish wedding receptions in Bangalore and Mumbai. Although the wedding looked as though no expense was spared, the couple did their bit in caring for the environment by throwing their reception at a plastic-free zone with biodegradable tableware products. The couple decided to go green by choosing products made from sugarcane fiber instead of the usual single-use plastic and styrofoam. They also encouraged everyone to be mindful of nature and our responsibility to make a difference.


Dia Mirza and Vaibhav Rekhi

Dia Mirza is an avid advocate for green living and environmental welfare. Being a United National Goodwill Ambassador, she married Vaibhav Rekhi in a sustainable way, free of plastic as well as natural and biodegradable decor. Using her fame as a way to bring a positive change, the actor and social activist went the sustainable way for her bridal attire, choosing a minimal Benarasi Sari with a simple red dupatta, and her venue (her backyard with her favorite mango tree!) featured a lot of local flowers such as mogra, rajnigandha, and shevanti with a pop of pink roses and wildflowers. With diyas and candles, along with floral arrangements, the wedding looked straight out of a fairy tale!



South Asian weddings have a reputation for being big and ostentatious, but there are ways to throw a gorgeous sustainable wedding and lighten your global footprints. . When it comes to planning an eco-friendly South Asian wedding, it is possible to create an event that is traditional, personal and even more memorable than you’d imagine!

For tips on planning a sustainable Indian wedding, check out last year's article on How to Plan a Sustainable Wedding: An Eco-Friendly Modern Approach to Desi Weddings. For more wedding planning tips, ideas, and wedding vendors, take a look at our blog on The Desi Bride.


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