An invitation to remember Print

Wedding cards have moved beyond being traditional messages. They are now looked upon as a prelude to the grandeur in store, writes Anima Balakrishnan

An invitation to remember
THAT'S MY WEDDING CARD: Choosing invites is now an interactive affair Photo: K. ANANTHAN.

Indian weddings have never just been about two people and their life ahead together. Nobody really complains when their wedding is hijacked by hyperactive aunts, nosey relatives and family members, who want to make it an affair no one dare to forget soon.

So, if weddings are all about "showing-off" and it's sacrilege to overlook details, where even the chevanthi on the pandal is supposed to be yellow to a certain degree, can the prelude to the ceremony itself — the wedding invitation — be left behind?

Once a simple, yellow-pink double-coloured paper informing close ones about an impending wedding, cards today are a riot of colours, texture and content. And card makers are out to cash in on this trend.

`Marriages are made in heaven but wedding cards are made here,' goes a shop's catch line.

Wedding cards today come in every conceivable material, be it dry leaves, hand-made paper, or polished copper plates, given a finishing touch with silver or gold coating and embellished with stones, zari and every possible accessory.

"Colours like brown and black, earlier considered taboo for a wedding card, are in vogue today," says Manoharan R of Opal cards.

So, out go the traditional yellow covers. Now, they come dressed in every colour, be it pink, orange or blue, with photos and accessories as embellishments.

Since austerity is mostly a forgotten idiom in the wedding lexicon, how expensive can a wedding card be?

"The price can be anything from Rs. 2.50 to Rs. 500 a card. While the normal range is Rs. 6 to Rs. 25, the real rich ones opt for the above-Rs. 60 range," says Manoharan.

A card, all said and done, is a card. How is it then made worth Rs. 500? Manoharan is not at a loss for words. "It's the accessories which makes it costly. We will do the Ganesha portrait on it in gold, add dry flowers and perfume it," he says.

But manufacturers observe that not every one is crazy about expensive cards. For the middle class person, the emphasis seems to be on a "different" card at an affordable price.

A budget-friendly card, which gives scope for a little experimentation, seems to be the key, but a tinge of tradition is vital.

"On occasions, people go in for real innovative cards but insist that a turmeric tikka be added to it," says Manoharan.

The Hindu MetroPlus
Saturday, May 21, 2005