COUPLES TURN BIG DAY INTO GIVING DAY
A joyful trend of donating shagun money and treating the poor to a wedding feast is sweeping through Delhi NCR
The big, fat Indian wedding is a stellar production. There’s Bollywood music, couture dresses, lavish menus, ostentatious display of jewellery... For Delhiites, it’s that pinnacle event, defining their social status. However, there seems to be a change in the air. Wedding planners in the city say that some young couples are giving back to society on their big day.
While some are donating excess food, some are donating their shagun money. “There are many couples who get married in a temple and give the money they save to noble causes. They often distribute gourmet food to [the poor] outside the temple,” says Kiran Sabharwal, 40, wedding planner. “Couples also invite children from orphanages to their weddings. Over the past six months, I’ve planned many such weddings. The number is certainly on the rise. Many couples use their shagun money to help acid attack victims through NGOs.”
Akshat Gupta, 31, a wedding planner, says, “We often tie up with caterers and NGOs to ensure that food is not wasted. We also suggest ideas to couples who like to donate.”
Will this trend grow bigger? “It won’t happen overnight, but I think it’s the way forward. It’s the young generation that practises the concept of a ‘sustainable wedding’, whereas our parents still prefer a big wedding,” says Abhishek Kaushik, 31, floral set designer and wedding planner.
Among Delhi couples who opted for charity are Himanshu Saxena, 32, and Pankhuri Saxena, 29; and Aakash Gupta, 27, and Runika Gupta, 25. The Saxenas donated half their shagun money. The Guptas donated their lehenga and sherwani to an NGO, for it to use the clothes for community weddings. The excess food from their wedding went to orphanages.
We believe if one is in a position to bring some joy into someone else’s life, then one should
AAKASH GUPTA, MARRIED TO RUNIKA
We donated half of the shagun amount to an NGO called Zindagi. Doing our bit for society brought us closer
HIMANSHU SAXENA, MARRIED TO PANKHURI