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Trailer to the Main Event, the Invitation Card
There’s a lot that can go into making your wedding invitation card something really special, as this feature will tell you.
Sealed in a two-sided cream and saffron envelope, the invitation in a raw silk hued ivory paper with borders of vibrant rhododendron red, elegant golden lettering … the invitation said it all. Along with the event details, it was a trailer of things to come. We anticipated a colorful, elegant wedding, and looked forward to it. Indeed, a wedding invitation card sets the mood; it is the first peek, the first glimpse of the much awaited celebrations.
Once the decision to tie the nuptial knot has been taken, and the guest lists decided, the first invitations to save-the-date, also called the manuhaar patrika, is sent out. This is to ensure that all the people with whom we desire to celebrate our special event are free to attend on that day. This could be a formal save-the-date request letter, or a stylish informal information rhyme.
Traditionally, invitation cards were a means of providing all the information regarding the wedding—the groom, the bride, their families, and the wedding date and venue. That was it. With changing times, and couples’ involvement in all aspects of their wedding, the invites have evolved into a personalized statement with their own distinct personality. The marriage functions are often set in a theme, and the wedding stationary is the proud torchbearer of the decor, color theme, and all that’s in store. Wedding stationery encompasses a vast range of stationery items that are used throughout your wedding, and they are the small touches that make a big impact. A considerable thought should be given while choosing a wedding invitation card, as they are getting more exclusive and creative.
Color: Couples are moving away from the traditional golds, maroons, and red, and are now opting for unconventional mix of color palates. The colors are chosen in line with the wedding theme. A range of contrasting colors, with a hint of traditional brights as highlighters, are in vogue.
Motif: Since we Nepalis have deep rooted traditions, certain motifs and designs have to be a part of the wedding card, without which the card would be considered incomplete. The panche baja and asta mangal symbols or picture of deity, usually Ganesh, have their own charm. Things have now changed, and couples are choosing more rich and cultural elements traditional to Nepal, such as saipatri flower and kaamdhenu gai under a kalpbrichya, and finding interesting ways to incorporate them into the design. At the same time, incorporating quirky patterns and designs on the wedding invite is in! This could be anything from a plain self print to add a slight texture to the card, or a unique motif designed exclusively for the couple—as simple as a caricature of the couple, or the complex monograms of the couple’s initials.
Paper: The amazing variety of paper available today helps set the right tone for your exclusive program. You have a choice of glossy finish, where the colors stand out, while matte stocks are a good choice for a more subtle appeal, perhaps suggesting exclusivity. Ivory paper, parchments, stocks of varying thickness, and our very own Nepali paper are also in vogue. The paper quality can directly affect the printing, so it is important that the right kind of paper is chosen.
Printing: You could even create rich effects by exploring with different style of printing. Gold foiling or embossing create a lovely finish. Some of the uncommon printing styles which are gaining popularity are embossing, silk lamination, thermography, debossing, letter press, silk screening, and foil printing. Different printing methods and a combination of styles makes a wedding card exclusive.
Font: The fonts of your card reflect the wedding style. A proper calligraphed font projects a royal formal image, while a casual font reflects a more fun-filled informal event. Your exclusive card needs to have matching style of letters, too. One or two fonts will usually be enough for your card design; one font for your headline, and another for your body copy.
Wrapping: This is the first look; a book’s cover by which it will be judged. Gone are those days when the cards were put inside a simple envelope, now the regular envelopes are out of fashion. Dual-colored envelopes in unusual sizes are chic. Sleeves, or a pocket (paper, cloth, suede, fake leather, wooden), are also beautiful options. Interesting boxes which carry a small gift or sweets, along with the invite, are also trendy. I received a Nepali paper bag containing a invitation card along with chocolates. It was tied with a mini black and red hair lengthener dhago at one side, and a small pair of dulha dulhai handcrafted dolls on the other side—a perfect harmony of modernization and cultural roots. This was one awesome wrapping the memory of which still lingers.
Style: Away from the traditional square and rectangular style of cards, pop-out cards, three dimensional cards, and dye-cut cards are gaining popularity. A Nepali paper card which opens like a two paneled door, and fastened with a paper rose, stands out. A simple card with good paper quality, spiced up with Swarovski-studded crystal brooch or feathers, or any such interesting elements, is a style statement in itself. Remember, you are your very own personal style which is exclusive to you.
Capture attention: All said and done, the first goal of any invite is to capture attention. It should be worded carefully, it could be formal or spiritual if the parents are hosting; humorous and casual, if friends are hosting; or a combination, depending upon the event. A bachelor party could have naughty wording and a janti could have humorous marching wording, whereas a swyambar would usually have spiritual sober wording. Your invite should express your feelings, narrate your story, and simply say loud and clear, “We are so happy and want to share our joy with you. Be there!”
Wedding stationery items like program booklets listing the details of all the wedding events, thoughtful welcome cards for your out-of-town guests in room itineraries, RSVP cards, save-the-date cards for your guests’ convenience, etc. are all great touches to incorporate, and are always appreciated.
There is no limit to creativity with wedding cards. You could even match your wedding card colors and motifs to your wedding trousseau. This is a beautiful way to tie in the various elements of your wedding together. A lot of brides these days draw inspiration from the wedding outfit for their motif on the wedding card. It could perhaps even be a lace, zari appliqué, or beaded motif. From simple paper invite to an elaborate box invite, from iconic Radha Krishna to romantic love birds, and from printed to hand painted cards, the options are just endless. You can experiment with size, paper, printing technique, and lots more. Whatever you do, make sure your card is in sync with your wedding theme, as it’s the first impression you will make on your guests.
This is your wedding; do what you love, invite the people you want, dance to the songs that give you most joy, eat the best food that you'll ever have. Be the king and queen of the rest of your life. Enjoy all moments, share the photographs with your children and grand children, and most of all, spend the rest of your days with the person you love. Stay blessed.
Author : Shradha Agrawal
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