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  • Tina Nandi

Year in Review: 2014 Weddings

From way up in the north in Patiala to the state of ‘Jhar’ in Ranchi, this year TNP shot in many new places and saw once again, the beauty and chaos that is Indian weddings. No matter if it’s a Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist wedding, the recurring theme of the importance of community in marriage keeps coming through. And I think this may be one of my favourite thing about our weddings. Sure, there are always those aunties who insist that it must be done in THIS way or THAT way and the confusion and disagreement stalls the whole ceremony but on the whole, a wedding wouldn’t be as meaningful without the people you love and who love you weren’t there, cheering you on and throwing blessings in the form of rice, flowers, water, etc at you.

And now that I’ve shared my favourite thing about weddings, here’s my not so favourite thing: Plastic and Waste.

If you have known me a while or we’ve had a chance to talk over a table of food and drinks, then you might have heard one of my ‘environmental rants’. Perhaps it’s thanks to my parents exposing my brother and I to the wonders of the African Savannah while we were growing up or my 5 years of living among the hills of the Nilgiris or simply a strong sense that I have had for a while (which is constantly growing) that our earth is a precious gift that was entrusted to us and the work of preserving it is very very important and very very interconnected to every other human problem in our broken world.

This theme of interconnectedness has been a recurring theme in my life this past year. My many varying interests in Indian weddings, photography, food, midwifery, climate change, faith, democracy, human rights, waste, organic farming, nature, conservation, etc etc, seem to all converge at some point. This is good news because by making changes in our lives in any of the above areas, we can directly make changes in any/or all of the other areas and that makes our individual choices and decisions more than just a drop in the ocean.

So this is my 2015 wish for Indian weddings, that I will see more of the beauty and chaos of our diverse ceremonies and very little to NO plastic and waste in them. What better way to start a life together than not only committing to each other but committing to, together as an unbreakable team, make the world a better, more just, safer and equitable place by infusing our already rich wedding culture with even more meaning. If you’re wondering how this could possibly be achieved by having plastic-free and waste-free weddings, let’s talk! In the meantime, here are some wise words from Alfre Woodard that might help:

“Plastic pollution shouldn’t be thought of as ‘just’ an environmental issue, because like political & economic injustice it’s actually a human rights issue. Throwaway, single use culture is unsustainable, & it impacts the poorest, most vulnerable members of society most severely. But unlike taking action against overt & violent kinds of human rights violations, plastic pollution can be greatly reduced by making simple everyday changes to the way we all live our lives; like carrying a reusable water bottle & refusing to use single-use plastic. The time has come to change the way we live, and to spread the word!”

And to close off, to all of my amazing clients, I could never thank you enough for inviting us to be a part of your big day! It’s been an honour and a pleasure getting to know you.

And of course, a HUGE shout out to the amazingly talented photographers who have shot alongside me this year. Being on the ‘road’ and staying at hotels can get lonely fast and I couldn’t do it without these guys – Sharan Ranjit, Staj Soften, Anand Gopal, Radnyee Pradhan, Niranjan Iyenger and of course last but most definitely not the least, my most frequent companion of this year – Genevieve Vanspall. I thank God that he made our paths cross.

And on to some of my wedding favourites from this year…

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