Indian weddings are renowned for being grandiose, and unfortunately, the wastage that often happens after they are over.
Truth to be told, not many couples think about investing as much in a marriage, rather than in a wedding.
Tejasvini Shanmuganathan and Shatish Rao, both 29, are an exception to this. The couple held a small scale, green wedding with next to no wastage last December, and not surprisingly, their sharing on the beautiful ceremony is winning netizens' hearts.
Speaking to Astro Ulagam, Tejasvini, who works as a process control assistant manager at a private firm in Shah Alam, said that she and her husband had been on the same page about having an eco-friendly wedding, since they planned it over a year ago.
"Both of us are against the idea of food wastage and plastic material usage. So we decided to prioritize our personal principles during our wedding," she said.
Among the "green" initiatives taken at the ceremony were having biodegradable plates and cutleries made of Areca leaves (Pakku Mattai) and corn starch, photodegradable plastic bags, serving a 16-course wedding food on banana leaves, and even designing and printing plantable wedding cards.
For the decoration, the couple even had a 'pacha panthal' built as the wedding dais, and as home decoration for the 'Nalungu' ceremony.
The simple ceremony with 100-120 pax ceremony took place on Dec 10, 2021, at a temple in Simpang Renggam, Johor.
According to Tejasvini, both her family, and her husband's, were extremely supportive of their eco-friendly initiative, right from the planning stage, down to the procurement of the items needed on the day of the ceremony.
As for the challenges faced, Tejasvini admitted that there were a few, but none they could not handle.
This includes having to find a vendor from India to print the plantable wedding cards, which then took a long time to deliver, due to the COVID-19 lockdown situation in India.
They also faced issues in finding a wedding caterer who would be willing to prepare a 16-course meal, let alone on banana leaves. But the plan eventually worked, before they ran into yet another hurdle - the lack of manpower.
As the caterer did not have the sufficient manpower to serve the food, the couple had to source for help from friends and family to help out.
Tejasvini said that since December was a month "full of weddings", there were unable to find people to play the traditional 'Mela Thalam and Nadaswaram", so they had to source the "Iyer" from external sources, and play the traditional instruments' music from YouTube, which was then amplified by a speaker.
"Surprisingly, the music composition suited the entire wedding flow," she quipped.
Another unique aspect of the wedding was the bride Tejasvini did her own bridal makeup.
According to her, she did meet a few makeup artists when they first started planning the wedding, but none could commit to the minimal style of makeup that she wanted.
"That's when I decided to do my own makeup. Many people were against my idea initially.
"Yet, I proved to them that it is possible for a bride to do her own makeup, although at first, I wasn't confident of it," she said.
However, a few makeup tutorials from YouTube, and strong support from her family and spouse, worked like a charm.
"The makeup I did may not have been on par with a makeup artist's skills, but it fulfilled the objective of lasting until the end of the wedding, made me look confident and comfortable of my own touch, and most importantly, made me happy."
Congratulations to the lovely couple on this simple, yet environmentally-savvy wedding.
They have indeed thumbed their noses at the notion that a grand wedding that pleases the society more than the couple themselves is needed for a marriage to last, and paved a way for other would be couples to follow.
Here's wishing both of them many more years of "green" years together!
Photos source: Tejasvini Shanmuganathan
Fri Apr 22 2022
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