Indian weddings are elaborate, emanating grandeur in their own way. They are lavish and a lot of attention is paid to details. It’s all about beautiful décor, rich food, and opulent wedding attires with intricate detailing; functions, ceremonies, rituals and what not! It’s a fun riot for a whole 3-4 days so much so that in our happiness of celebration we completely forget about the environment in general. It’s hard to find eco-conscious couples around these days.
However, this green-at-heart couple had a meticulously planned wedding at a compelling destination – Dubai! The bride Priyanka Sharma decided to have a wedding with a difference without compromising on the fun at any level. For her love for nature and animals, she planned a wedding that was vegan and eco-friendly. Here are some of the highlights of the wedding that took place at ‘Waldorf Astoria – The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai’ in Feb 2019, and we are so psyched to have been a part of it. You may pick up pointers on how to have a vegan/eco-friendly wedding if you wish to make a difference as well!
The spread for three days at Waldorf Astoria was vegan. Hell, yes! And yet we were spoilt for choices. The spread was so elaborate and exhaustive – I did not miss chicken at all for my three days spent here. It was surprising to witness so many options after cancelling not just non-veg but all animal related products including dairy and honey. The spread was dairy free and dairy ingredients were replaced with alternatives like soy and almond. Also, almond milk was used for all Hindu rituals. No dairy based sweets were exchanged. The guests were gifted with a pack of dry-fruits from Dubai! It was a culinary treat of a different kind. Chef Sandro Falbo said it was one of the most challenging assignments, but it was executed so well.
To avoid wastage of paper and in an effort to go green, the printing of cards was ruled out. Instead, an application was developed, and it was so much more informative than a paper card. Being a tech kid, I loved how the application connected everyone online, had the itinerary, event details, live updates and most importantly photo sharing! A completely and wholly virtual invitation with features to die for!
The groom did not make an entry on a horse but made an appealing entry in a Hummer. Baraat arriving in style on a HUMMER— It was a sight to watch! The bride or the groom did not sport anything leather or silk or wool. Yet, the couple looked so beautiful and graceful together. The guests were urged to participate in the vegan wedding in totality by saying no to any outfit/accessory made out of animal products.
The entire décor was done by using artificial reusable flowers. Yet the set-up looked so aesthetically and subtly majestic and glorious! It was a sight to behold. Every function had a theme based décor and it was resplendent!
It’s been 2 years since the bride turned vegan. She’s a no make-up person and for her wedding day, she used cruelty-free make-up. Organic henna was used to adorn the hands & feet.
It was a noiseless wedding with no cracker bursting whatsoever! What a relief for the environment. We don’t need crackers to complete our celebrations, right? The bride certainly proved a point! The wedding took place on one of the beaches at ‘The Palm – Jumeirah’, and there was so much tranquillity, serenity, and positivity in the air!
The guests were given such thoughtful and meaningful gifts. Beautifully handcrafted and exclusively designed pots were sourced from Antarang that works relentlessly towards empowering potter families residing in remote areas of Kutch & Bhavnagar in Gujarat. Another beautifully curated hamper (plant, vegan chocolates & green tea) was chosen as one of the gifts for this eco-conscious wedding. The Garba function saw the use of incense sticks made from recycled flowers and temple trash, recycled pencils & zero waste products. Dairy-based sweets were ditched for nuts and dry-fruits!
The entire shagun collected during the wedding from the guests was donated to noble causes. 9.11 lakh was donated to Bharat ke Veer and 1.68 lakh was donated to Mangal Mandir Manav Seva Parivar. What a selfless gesture from the bride and groom and their families.
It was a big fat Indian wedding but a wedding with a difference and one that’ll surely be remembered for years to come. This bride certainly showed us that there are so many options and alternatives that we can look at if we’re willing to give back to mother nature. I am so glad I was a part of it and may this twist to the conventional wedding inspire many. We wish Aman & Priyanka a very happy married life together!
Malini’s Girl Tribe features Dr Priyanka Sharma for meticulously planning and executing this wedding with the help of her loved ones. She’s an eco-vegan plastic surgeon. She is a wanderlust and has travelled to 22 countries! She owns two pets. She’s Punjabi by birth, has been brought up in Gujarat and studied medical in Tamil Nadu. She’s an Indian at heart and her wedding saw colours and amalgamation of different cultures. She speaks Hindi, Punjabi, Tamil, Gujarati, and English. We hope she inspires more brides to have an eco-conscious and socially responsible wedding!