The story behind a Kerala couple’s gold-free, eco-friendly wedding

The couple has released a four-episode YouTube series chronicling their intimate wedding.
The story behind a Kerala couple’s gold-free, eco-friendly wedding
The story behind a Kerala couple’s gold-free, eco-friendly wedding
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Looking back, Rincy and John feel great about their minimal, eco-friendly and gold-free wedding that took place on October 18, 2019, at Kuttanelloor Sub-registrar office, followed by a small reception with just 50 guests. Now, the Thrissur-based couple has brought out a four-episode YouTube series titled ‘Under the Tree’ chronicling their wedding moments. They believe that the videos, structured as a conversation between the couple and the audience, will inspire future generations to embrace minimalism.

“At first, we were apprehensive about the guests’ response. Luckily, it turned out well. We are happy to receive positive feedback from people outside after the release of the series in November,” says John, who is a YouTube content creator and filmmaker. Rincy works at a private company in Kochi.

The beginning

The duo met at a story sharing event in Kochi. “She was working in Coimbatore then. We had discussed extravagant weddings even at our first meeting. When we decided to get married, we discussed this idea of a low-key wedding with our families which they agreed. That was the beginning,” John recalls.

John says it was his event management days that inspired him to go for a low-cost wedding. “I was part of the industry till 2013 and had seen the other side of luxurious weddings. It dawned upon me that it is not money but mind that matters. Nothing can substitute the couple’s compatibility,” says John.

A culture of minimalism

Western wedding culture has influenced them to some extent. “Their weddings do not have a huge crowd. We thought we would invite only those who left a mark in our lives. That counted 50 guests,” he says.

“More than that, we felt that guests are often ignored in weddings. They don’t get the respect or attention they deserve. The bride and groom won’t be able to reach all those who attend their wedding. We didn’t want that to happen on our day. Also, usually, the bride and groom would look different on their big day. We didn’t want to fake our individuality either.”

Rincy and John serving their guests.

They found a nalukettu (traditional homestead) with a tree in the yard in Thrissur and held the reception there. Guests gathered under the tree interacting with the couple and watching John’s latest short film, Kallan. “It was also the premiere of my short film. After watching the film, we discussed its making. It was a great experience.”

Not only did they meet and greet visitors, but they also served sadya. “We opted for a vegetarian lunch as we didn’t want to hurt animals,” says the couple, who later planted a jackfruit sapling. “That plant will stand there as a symbol of our union and grow as we do,” John says.

A registered marriage has always been in their minds. “We don’t think any religious approval is required for a man and woman to live together.”

An eco-friendly event

They made sure that plastic was avoided at the wedding. Steel glasses were used to give welcome drink. “It was not an overnight idea. We have been controlling plastic use in our homes for a while,” John explains.

The couple planting a saplling.

They say gold was avoided as they believe it to be a ‘villain’ in most marriages. “Gold is a burden to the girl’s family. Mostly, parents’ entire earnings go to a girl’s wedding. That is not right. Marriage is the day when parents of the bride and groom should stay happy. Hence, we skipped gold,” says John.

They instead chose silver, which is cheaper, although finding a person to etch their name on the ring was a difficult task. “Jewellers have silver rings, but customise option is not available,” says John.

He hopes the series will inspire more people to follow the same. “This is quite a personal journey. Making this memory has been a beautiful experience for us. We wanted to share it to the world so that they can think about the concept and, if possible, execute it. In the four episodes, we tell them how we feel about the concept. If our deeds don’t benefit society, then what is the point of doing it at all?”

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