There are celebrity weddings known for their grandeur and those we remember for the trends they set in place. In a world where austerity is the general order, Dia Mirza’s wedding to beau Vaibhav Rekh set the mood for a simple, sustainable wedding. The decor specialist behind the nuptials, Aashna Saran, talks about how she planned an eco-friendly wedding without plastics or any waste. Plus, earnest tips and details you can incorporate into your own.
Dia Mirza’s wedding, in many ways, set a precedent for the changing times — from a female priest to an intimate at-home pandemic wedding. It also aligned with her work for the United Nations on environmental and sustainable practices. For the wedding, Saran sourced locally grown flowers and reusable twigs and rented simple props from local vendors, all plastic items replaced with jute, banana leaf flower cones, and incorporated other personal touches that made it unique.
As the founder of Aash Studio, she started designing for weddings back in 2016. And for the last five years, she has curated some beautiful bespoke weddings and proposals, including Anissa and Armaan Jain in 2019. We caught up with this young entrepreneur to discuss the evolving industry and how sustainable weddings have become an important part of the conversation.
On the growing trend of sustainable weddings
Changes take place but they take time. A sustainable wedding is one such example. Many young, educated, and well-informed individuals are mindful of their actions and the changes they can bring about. Hence, they are inclined towards celebrations that cause the least damage to the environment.
Five-point guidelines for decor at a sustainable wedding
- For a green wedding, e-cards or virtual invitations are the best choices. The cost to your pocket and the environment is negligible.
- Reduce your carbon footprint by choosing locally sourced flowers instead of exotic ones.
- Rethink and reuse props that are available in-house to ensure continuous reusability and zero wastage.
- Replace plastic with glass/matkas/kulhad to serve drinks.
- Pick brands/websites/shops that promote Fair Trade. Thereby creating employment for farmers, untrained workers and artisans for a positive impact.
Is a small guest list a must in order to host a sustainable wedding?
Sustainability is a thought. A small or large guest list doesn’t really matter. It is difficult but not undoable. Sustainable weddings have opened up many opportunities for event companies to explore in terms of design and its execution. If you’re planning one, hiring a design and management team is definitely beneficial.
Eco-friendly raw materials to use for wedding decor
Today, there is a wide variety of items that can be used, all you need to do is research and look around.
- Using eco-friendly and biodegradable elements from nature is the first step.
- The linen we use for décor (table detailing, ceiling, cushion covers, et cetera.) are made out of cotton that is not only reusable but also biodegradable.
- For table detailing, biodegradable cutlery made of banana leaves or reusable ceramic/terracotta pieces are great options.
- The golden rule is to use what you already have. We, as wedding designers, have many things in-house which are used again for all our events, ensuring continuous reusability and zero wastage. For example, fabrics, cushion fillers and covers, diwan seating, mandap structures, and more are all available in-house.
- We convert the items we use into design elements by collating them in a theme that is used throughout the event.
Green party favours or gifts
With a bit of thought and a little bit of care, one can come up with wedding favours that are not just pretty but also meaningful. The bonus is you do all this while supporting the local communities and helping the environment. Some ideas include potted herbs, succulents, plant-able handmade diaries, locally sourced organic edibles, organic soaps and bath salts, organic tea blends, soy or beeswax candles.
How to manage wedding waste: Food, material, and other resources
As a company, we work with the motive of having the least amount of waste, if at all. Some things we follow:
- Separating biodegradable items into appropriate bins and ensuring concerned NGOs pick them up for further processing.
- Any kind of fabric that is used in the decor is collected and packed to be reused time and again for various purposes such as décor, cleaning, and even packing the inventories.
- Avoid plastics and find cleaner alternatives.
- Donate leftover food to NGOs and organisations that provide meals to the needy
All Images: Courtesy Aash Studio