With saplings in hand and faces veiled by colorful sarees, Suman and Sarita Takariya's relatives sang traditional songs as the sisters planted small shrubs at their combined pre-wedding celebration in a remote Indian village.

Suman, 21, and Sarita, 19, who wed their husbands in a joint ceremony, are part of a growing trend in the western desert state of Rajasthan in which families gift and plant native trees as a new addition to their local customs and rituals.

"They are a part of our family now," Sarita said as she cleaned her muddy hands after planting an oleander shrub.