Sure, your wedding is meant to be one of the most memorable days of your life. But that does not mean it needs to generate tons of waste or harm the environment. This is precisely the thought that drove the conscious wedding of high-school lovers Divya Khandelwal and Aman Kapur at Alila Fort Bishangarh in Rajasthan.
“Our goal was never to have a large, lavish wedding. But, guest lists come in multiples of 20, as you can’t just invite one person from a group. The number just kept growing,” says Kapur, a hotelier and software engineer whose family co-owns Alila Fort Bishangarh. “After accepting the size, we decided to make it meaningful and conscious.”
The couple’s wedding, which featured on the recently released docu-series on Netflix The Big Day, turned out to be a mega celebration but a mindful one too—one that gave back to the community of Bishangarh and Rajasthan, generated minimal waste and reduced its carbon footprint. Here’s how they did it:
It all started with their wedding invite: All paper used at the wedding was made from sunflower seeds. This paper was sourced from a local agency that prides itself on employing women from Jaipur’s villages. The handmade paper decomposed to grow sunflowers.
They grew their own veggies: The produce for the wedding was grown on the massive farms of Alila Fort Bishangarh itself. The poultry and meat were also sourced from the Bishangarh area, to reduce the ecological footprint. The wedding ceremonies had ingredient-based stations with locally grown produce. They also created a herb garden months before the wedding for the cocktails.
Made use of sustainable decor: Instead of plucking flowers like marigold and roses for the decor, the couple chose flower arrangements grown on farmlands nearby such as mustard flowers, bajra and elephant grass. The furniture was handcrafted by local artisans of Handicraft Haveli (the bride’s father’s antique collectable and furniture store in Jaipur) with recycled teak wood. Most of the furniture was sold or is being used at Alila Fort Bishangarh today.