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What's on the cards!

They sing, they sparkle with stones, they're even packed with chocolates and goodies. Wedding cards are becoming increasingly innovative these days

Photo: S. Thanthoni

GETTING CONTEMPORARY Wedding cards

Sparkling stones. Chocolates. Nadaswaram strains. References to the age of the Internet. Five years ago, these weren't things one associated with wedding cards. But today, with such innovations, the humble wedding invite is a work of art. And in a world that's going increasingly paperless, it's interesting how this piece of paper is cornering as much attention as the bride's trousseau or the choice of the wedding menu.

V.G.P.R. Premdas and Renu Isidore, who decided on a fairytale theme for their wedding, surprised their guests with a wedding card in the shape of a jewel box, adorned with rosettes and filled with chocolates. “We didn't want a run-of-the-mill card. Usually, people don't preserve invites but I didn't want them to throw away ours,” says Renu.

Total revamp

The latest innovations to wedding cards are not merely superficial; they range from variations in colour and texture to a complete revamp of the style, the material and the content.

“Embellishments by way of stones and pearls are very popular. So are eco-friendly handmade paper cards and the perfumed ones. However, there are takers for the traditional varieties, with embossed images of Lord Ganesha and Radha-Krishna, too,” says A. Junaith, manager (administration), Olympic Cards.

While email and online forums have spelt the death of snail mail, their effect on the tradition of wedding cards has been surprisingly positive.

“We now have invites looking like a Facebook page or a G Chat window. Even ZooZoos are making an appearance on cards. Fun wedding cards are in,” says Sharavana Prakash, director, Menaka Cards.

In some cards, form and content are tweaked. Some people believe that the way to the guests' heart is through their stomach. As a result, there are orders for cards in the form of boxes packed with dry fruits and other goodies. These delectable invites cost you anything around Rs. 700 each or more.

For the musically-inclined, there's the option of greeting guests with the mellifluous strains of traditional instruments. Usually,it's classical music, but one can also settle for Lady Gaga or Katy Perry crooning their scandalous numbers. (As long as the in-laws don't take offence!) Whatever the case, the idea is to stand out in a crowd of mass-produced invitations and make a lasting impression.

“Musical cards cost around Rs. 600 and are a hit. The trend is towards unusual cards these days. We received an order from a couple living abroad, who wanted a card in the form of a ‘Message in a bottle'. So we got together with our designers and shipped the cards to them,” says Sharavana Prakash, adding that there has been a steady increase in orders for custom-made cards, including those where the invitation designed like a wrapper actually encloses a bar of chocolate.

Cards are not all about papier-mâché cut in the shape of hearts, or fabric that's stained with mehendi. “Metallic boards are being used quite a bit these days. In silver, copper and golden hues, boards are a durable alternative to paper cards,” says Rajesh Kumar Jain, proprietor, Nimantran Cards. Despite a growing list of options, the traditional materials with which cards are designed still hold sway.

This ensures a continuing demand for recycled paper, mango and peacock designs, and motifs of gods and goddessesThe card is then enclosed in a dazzling envelope, before it makes its final journey to the invitee.

“With so much going into them, cards have become heavier these days. Earlier they weighed around 40 gm, but now weigh as much as 100 gm. And the fancier they get, the higher the cost. The most expensive card we have costs Rs. 800 and is decorated with numerous colourful stones,” informs Rajesh.

But going by the frequency of special orders, neither weight nor cost appears to be a deterrent and a unique wedding invite seems the perfect way to announce to the world a union of souls.

PRIYADARSHINI PAITANDY

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