CHENNAI: Not a single friend will get an invitation card to this Chennai couple’s wedding on June 5. Why? Because e-invites don’t cause trees to be felled. In an all-out effort to make their wedding green, clean and exceedingly vegan, Monica Pandian and fiancé Praveen Raj have crafted a one-of-a-kind wedding where every element – from their wedding clothes to the food served, is sustainable and won’t crowd a landfill.
The couple, who got engaged on World Vegan Day (November 1) last year, explained just how deep their attention to vegan detail goes. “You know, in Hindu weddings, the nadaswaram and tavil often have animal skins? We weren’t okay with that,” this bride-to-be says. However, with a little searching, the couple managed to find an alternative that played in perfect tune with their eco-conscious courtship. “We found a vocalist and scientist Dr K Varadarangan in Bengaluru who designed a synthetic fibre glass shell mridangam. That will play when we tie the knot,” the 23-year-old smiles.
It’s no coincidence that their big day has been slated for World Environment Day (June 5) either. This explains the bamboo engagement rings they have on, instead of gold! That’s right, no gold at this wedding. “That was the biggest challenge to get our relatives to agree,” recalls Praveen (27). “We kept getting asked over and over again: ‘how can you have a wedding with no gold?” Hoping to encourage guests and friends to adopt a similar eco-friendly and vegan lifestyle, everything will be au natural.
Silk sarees will be swapped for organic cotton, leather shoes are out and cotton-based footwear with recyclable soles from tyres, and instead of gold...this bride will sport jungle-inspired jewels crafted from seeds and grains!
Even the decor, an arrangement of marigolds, in an effort for zero wastage — will be composted after the ceremony. And instead of sentimental stories of how they met, the plan is to screen a short environmental documentary?
And instead of aunties or BFF cousins doing the talking, VIP guests at this kalyanam will include environmental heroes raising messages so ‘green,’ they may give the banana leaf plates a complex.