All Hands On Deck – A Small, Big Wedding (Part 8)

Since my last post on our small, big wedding over a year ago, my perspective on the way we consume has changed drastically. Through the months that we spent upcycling decór for the wedding, I believed that upcycling and recycling were the best ways to deal with the trash that we generate, or the things that we accumulate in the course of our lives. Once we moved into our new home, my husband and I began to segregate our trash right from the start. We had a system in place, where an organisation would come pick up our mountain of washed plastics, cardboard and paper to be recycled, and we’d then start our quarterly cycle of trash collection and segregation with an empty trash can and a clear conscience all over again.

With the rollout of GST last year, all our trusted sources for recycling waste shut shop abruptly, and we were left with a huge carton of trash that we didn’t know what to do with. We had half a year’s worth of non-biodegradable trash piled up in our home, and nobody wanted to recycle it anymore. Our hearts ached at the thought of it ending up in a landfill. It was in that moment that we realised that we were only able to reuse or upcycle a small part of our trash, and what we really needed to do to bring about a significant change was to REDUCE our usage of non-biodegradable material.

Ever since, we’ve been trying to run a zero-waste household, making a conscious effort to only buy the things that we need, and looking for sources that are selling them packaging-free. Reusing and upcycling continue to be a huge a part of our lifestyle, as all the wonderful people involved with our small, big wedding taught me to give things a new lease of life, and to love old things in new ways.

Today, I decided to treat myself with a viewing of our beautiful wedding photos ( all by John & Iliangna aka J&I Studios), which reminded me of how our zero-waste journey began. I’m sharing some photos of how the beautiful backdrop of my haldi and mehendi came into being, with our friends and family coming together to decorate the space just before the celebrations began. My heart is bursting with affection for each one of these humans.

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Ma’s painting at the entrance to our house.
Masi’s painting, with the camel and the turtle, our wedding mascots.
Safety pin repurposed into a little doll.
Taking a moment to admire our beautiful balcony before my haldi.
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So happy playing under our star-studded canopy.
The colours came together beautifully!
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A handmade bandhanwar for the mehendi entrance.
Ma decorating the mehendi venue. She and one of my aunts went to the flower market early in the morning to personally pick all the flowers and greens.
My brothers and sisters setting up around a stunning rangoli made by my aunt and uncle.
My friends and nieces on flower duty.
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Gudda-Guddi, an upcycled hula hoop, and bells made by a friend.
Some of our guests, waiting for the celebrations to begin.
Paisley rangoli.
We love our greens!
My father and brother overseeing decoration.
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These guys are awesome. All dressed up, and ready to get dirty! 🙂
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Last-minute decór talk.
What’s a party without streamers?
My two-year-old niece got straight to work.
I had no idea what was going on, and was amazed to see everyone at work when I walked in for the mehendi! I’ve never felt more loved.
Handmade latkans by my sister-in-law. My brother managed to secure this hula hoop in place with a brick and a piece of wire. It looked like it was suspended in mid-air!
A small table from my room, and scraps of festive fabric.
Ma narrating the story of Gangaur.

Going forward, I’ll be sharing experiences from our zero waste journey. It hasn’t been easy, since we’ve all gotten so used to the convenience of plastic-packed everything. But seeing the size of our mountain of trash getting smaller and smaller each time, I feel happy at the very core of my being.







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