Food Wastage in Indian Weddings

Hi everyone!

Being an Indian, attending Indian weddings is common, for each relative gets married at some point, and organize a grand celebration for the same. The best things there are the celebration of cultures, love between people, and the grand feast. We always used to enjoy the variety of food items at weddings, but seeing people sometimes throw them away, or the food left uneaten, we were curious to know what happens to it, and on learning that it is mostly wasted, our eagerness grew. 

Traditonal wedding India
Traditional North Indian Wedding

To learn better about the topic, it was best to learn from the expert, so we decided to meet Mr. Ramesh Aggarwal, the Secretary of Aggarwal Caterers, who deal with such situations of food wastage in weddings, almost everyday. So here are some asked questions- 

Q1. What is food wastage?

 It is a situation when food is not taken care of .

Q2. How are food wastage and Indian wedding related?

The people tend to demand for more quantity than required and less people reach in the wedding . Also the amount of snacks is more and food gets wasted.

Q3. What do you do of the leftover food ?

 The one fit for consumption is distributed in the poor and the rest is again wasted .

Traditional Indian wedding dish
A platter from traditional South Indian wedding

Q4. On an average how much food is wasted ?

In small occasions the food wastage is up to 40% and in large occasions it may reach upto 60 % .

Q5. What is people’s call on food wastage ?

Everyone tends to take a greater quantity for food . From poor to rich , all. If the function is of 500 people the food made for is for 700 people and people attending is about 300 only .

Q6. Is the idea of limiting the expenditure in Indian weddings right or wrong ?

Limitation is a good idea but it is not getting possible. The government needs to be very firm. The people also have to take some actions on their part. And after all, weddings are great occasions made to be perfect and they should be perfect.

Q7. What can be some alternatives to it ?

A more realistic average amount of food should be made. We must start to think wisely before doing the preparations and taking the estimate of food that is required.

Q8.  How is it linked with Climate change ?

It takes alot of fuel and energy to cook that food and the making of fuel is also leading to the destruction of nature. Till the time the fuel is used for the important uses, it is fine but when food gets wasted the fuel also gets wasted. 

A ceremony where the bride is entering the groom’s house.


A snapshot of traditional South Indian wedding
A snapshot of traditional South Indian wedding


Working on this project gave us many things to learn. Not only did we get to know new things, but also we learnt how to apply the things we already knew in daily life. It gave us a platform to explore the world around us, and to know that how even the simplest of things are affecting our environment in a good or bad way, like how we waste food, without realizing it’s importance. Of course, some of these were definitely surprising, and all of this gave us an amazing learning experience to quench our thirst for knowledge. This definitely enhanced my communication skills as well. We will really be looking forward to more if such projects to further enrich our curiosity.


On doing this project, we learnt that food is a very important resource, which we are privileged to have in sufficient amount. But sometimes we fail to realise it’s worth and tend to waste it. Weddings are specifically a big event where food is wasted in a large scale.  More we learnt about it, the more our eagerness grew, and we are still left with questions like- “How does it affect waste management system, since more and more food is added everyday?”, and “What all can be done make sure food isn’t wasted, while managing variety?”


We were left astonished after learning that how much food in average is wasted ( i.e. 50%). We tend to further spread this knowledge with people, so that they keep it in mind while planning weddings.

Authors:  Aadarshini Singh and Aastha Sarda
Reviewed by: Praveena Venugopalan

Zurich’s partner team contribution: Foodwaste at weddings

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End Food Waste – The Challenge
Best before, not deadly from
Could we nourish the citizens of Zurich with food waste?
The life cycle of bread
Showcase “Food and climate” collaboration Antwerp and Zurich

☷ See the project teams here »
☵ Some words about the contributions »

11 thoughts on “Food Wastage in Indian Weddings

  1. I saw the article and chose it because I am Sri Lankan. What does it mean I’m Sri Lankan and what is the connection between me and this article? As a Tamil I have also taken part in many traditional Tamil weddings. I understand this problem very well, because not only at weddings but at almost every function we throw away food.
    I especially like this article because I kind of have a personal connection to this as I mentioned before. It’s surprising me that on large occasions the food wastage may reach up to 60%. I never thought in my life that the percentage would be so high. Fortunately, not all of the food is thrown away it is also distributed among the poor. I never knew that they distribute food to the poor. “The people tend to demand for more quantity than required and less people reach in the wedding”, I can only agree with this sentence. At Sri Lankan weddings it is the same. The organizers order so much food, for example they invite 300 guests, but order the food for 500 guests. And in addition you have chosen good pictures, for the people who do not know what an Indian wedding looks like this is a good insight.
    You mentioned that on small occasions the food wastage is up to 40%. I also checked this up on another page. In this internet source they have also indicated that according to various researches the food wastage amounts to 40%. But I don’t understand exactly how you get this figured out.
    Internet source:
    Do you perhaps know why people order more food than they actually need? If you know the answer, I’d be glad if you let me know.
    In my opinion, this interview is very informative, even if it is brief. Perhaps you could have done something for an implementation. What I want to say, you could have ordered the food at a wedding and shown people that you don’t have to order too much food. You could have worked with the organizers. But all in one it was a very good article.

  2. Hello Aadarshini and Aastha

    I loved reading about your projekt. It is a very important and interesting topic, which I honestly have never thought about. Food waste is a current and global problem. People waste food everyday. Even I have to admit I do it from time to time. Hearing about it from the side of India and their weddings was enlightening and I will definitely try to stop wasting food as much as possible.
    The only thing I’ve noticed are some minor language errors and spelling mistakes, but I know it’s hard so see them after reading your texts over and over again. I also would have loved to know a little bit more about the procedure of an indian wedding, since I’ve never attended one. Of course I am aware that this is not the main point of this projekt, but I believe it would have enriched your project.

    I hope I was able to give you good and constructive feedback to your project.

    Kind regards from Switzerland,
    Anabel Burkhalter

  3. Hi Dear,
    We all belong to a rich cultural country India, where wedding is considered to be something much more than festivals, and people tend to spend all their saving and asset, which is the main cause for food waste, young people like you who is our future have taken such a topic, this is an eye opening for lots of people. It’s a wonderful initiative to work and make people understand the value of food.
    Keep up the good work..

  4. Super thought to stop food waste.
    Nothing is more better than this.
    Very nice initiative keep it up.
    Jai Govind.

  5. Nice initiative. This should be communicated not only to big fat wedding organizers but also the small one and also to all event management companies. We forget how many people invests their hardship just to grow the vegetables and crops from farmer to chefs.
    They should contact NGOs to distribute all the leftover food between the needy.

    Swati Kumari

  6. This is a very big issue and we are still not paying attention to it. Food wastage is everywhere but the big fat indian wedding contributes a hell lot to this. We believe more in showing off n feeding the one who are already full instead of the ones who actually wants it.
    The above article will help in educating the people I believe. Great effort.

  7. This is a really good article . I agree to your point that food wastage in Indian wedding is alot . Hope this gets viral and opens the eyes of the rich and they get to know that food wastage is an offence to the people who don’t even get it

  8. The wastage of food in social gatherings like weddings in India is at an alarming rate and needs to be looked at immediately. In India only food wastage is around 15-20 % which can feed thousands of hungry people.
    This article is an eye opening to those people who don’t understand the importance of food.


  9. That’s a fabulous project taken up and which is to be addressed under strict measures and guidelines with utmost priority to help save our renewable and non renewable sources of energy in the nature from being overexploited.

  10. The writings on food wastage is very very thoughtful and deliberate and it’s a very serious issue in a countrylike us. Generally we don’t think much about the matter. This writings will surely help building much more awareness among the people regarding the food wastage. It’s very ironic that a huge number of people is starving for not having the capacity of buying food on the contrary some people don’t care to waste food

  11. Hello Aadarshini and Aastha
    You two have chosen a very, very creative topic that most likely nobody would have normally thought of. When I read your comment I realized that I can understand this problem only too well, because in my home country Kosovo where I come from, weddings are also celebrated very big. The Food there is also thrown away or sometimes barely even touched.
    As you already mentioned the wedding day should be perfect and nobody should worry about if there is enough food or not. So you make more food even though it is more than enough.

    The interview with the Secretary of Aggarwal Caterers is short but very informative and those questions were perfectly picked out. The pictures you selected were really nice and served as a little preview for someone who does not know what an Indian wedding looks like. There is nothing to complain about your post.

    Kind regards from Switzerland
    Yllza Hadergjonaj

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