Ratheesh & Sathya’s Zero Waste Budget Wedding!
They say the perfect romance is a bit movie-like, made of celluloid-inspired dreams. For our groom, who works as the head of new ventures at Chennai’s leading cinema chain SPI, how could it be any other way! He met his wife Sathya, a postwoman, through an arranged match. His obvious refusal to accept any dowry highly impressed his in-laws, who come from Sevvapet, a village in Chennai, where this is unfortunately still the norm.
This incident made Ratheesh realize the significant role money played in the world of weddings, and he vowed to have his budget wedding in a manner that was smart, waste-free and conscious.
The couple stuck to a budget of ₹35000 for the engagement and ₹5,00,000 for their budget wedding. How they made it possible, one would ask? Here’s how!
How did Sathya and Ratheesh organize an engagement in ₹35,000?
The rules of the event were simple. Anything that was not available within 50 meters of the engagement premises, would be deleted from the engagement. What Ratheesh and Sathya aimed to get out of their engagement was sustainability, cost-effectiveness and basic ease of commerce.
Wedding Invitations – All guests were invited via digital invites. There was no paper used in printing the invites.
Venue – They got engaged in a temple that cost them about ₹1,500.
Food – Food wasn’t compromised on and the guests were treated to a good hearty meal.
Guests – There were a total of 70 people invited, all of whom had to RSVP to ensure minimal food wastage.
So they used their engagement as a pilot to the actual wedding planning, to see how they could be waste-free and yet make the function enjoyable for all the guests. As a part of this exercise, they asked some of their engagement guests what they considered a “waste” in terms of wedding spends. There was an outpour of answers like the elimination of paper invites, a way to get rid of wedding waste (food, decor, flowers, etc..), elimination of boxed wedding gifts, etc. And that’s how they got all their smart budget wedding planning ideas. 6 months of planning and the couple were ready, with a celebration budget of close to ₹5 Lacs only. How did they achieve it? Here goes.
How they planned their budget wedding in just Rs 5,00,000?
Venue – They found an AC hall in a temple that cost them about ₹35,000.
Invites – The couple printed only 100 wedding invitations. The rest were sent e-invites, which is anyway becoming the norm for millennial couples.
Wedding gifts – The couple chose to do a cash registry with Wedding Wishlist, so guests could contribute money towards their honeymoon.
Clothes – Spending on wedding outfits would have drastically increased their budgets. So they decided to borrow wedding clothes from friends & family.
Wedding return gifts – They were 2 sets of gifts. For the close relatives, Ratheesh and Sathya collaborated with Kumaran Silks to gift about 40 to 45 sarees/veshtis. The rest of the guests have gifted an organic vegetable subscription.
Food waste – Leftover food is one of the biggest forms of waste in the wedding industry.
Ratheesh organized 2 cows who fed on the excess food and banana leaves guests used to eat their food. The cow dung generated was then sent to the organization that organized the organic vegetable for the return gifts. If this isn’t called a budget wedding, what is?
The basic principle of the wedding was to be as environmentally conscious as possible. The budget wedding was a major success. The couple has now collected enough funds to have an amazing trip to Japan,
The couple behind the wedding was as interesting as the wedding itself.
Ratheesh’s aunt introduced the duo to each other. Although Sathya was a little hesitant about a marriage in general, she decided to give this alliance a shot because she connected very well with the aunt. The couple decided to do a phone call and see if they wanted to take it forward.
What Ratheesh loved about her was her frank and to-the-face attitude. Although they had drastically different lifestyles and exposures in life, they had similar thoughts about marriage, relationships, work and connected on a similar wavelength. One phone call and a sweet date at Sathyam is all they needed to decide to tie the knot forever. And the rest is history.
Smart and waste-free budget weddings are far from being the norm just yet, but with more and more couples adopting it, it’s slowly gaining popularity. Whether or not you can have a 100% waste free wedding, there is definitely one thing you can easily tackle, and those are the wedding gifts. Stay away from generating waste from your wedding gifts and create a wedding gift registry now!