Wedding cards are an important feature of Indian weddings. Lot of planning goes into the design and layout of a wedding card. All the invitations for the wedding ceremony are sent through these carefully chosen wedding cards. Upon finalisation of the date, time and venue of the wedding ceremony and other functions the same is communicated to all the friends and family members through the wedding cards. Gone are the days when invitations to wedding were a simple affair, these days lot of time and money is invested on the selection of a wedding card for invitation purposes.
In its essence a Wedding Card or invite is a programme card, which specifies the date, time and venue of all the auspicious wedding events. Traditionally this is accepted as a cordial way of inviting friends and relatives. It is considered imperative that wedding card be well-designed and printed so that it extends a warm invitation and lures people to attend the wedding. Given well in advance for the wedding, invitation cards help guests to make proper arrangement for participation in wedding ceremonies.
Traditional and most widely used pattern in Indian Wedding Cards are the religious motives of Lord Ganesha, Om, Swastik, Palki or doli, Kalash with coconut etc. Of these, image of Lord Ganesh is highly popular and still an important part of the wedding card. Terracotta Ganesha painted silver and adorned with a floral border is a much sought after pattern in present times. In South India, wedding invites bearing deities of Tirupathi richly designed on maroon background with dangling tassels are very much in vogue. The Muslim wedding cards usually have embossed writings from the Koran or depict a holy mosque embellished with ornamental borders. While the Christian wedding invites are usually simple. They usually bear the traditional symbols of love and commitment like a bride and a groom holding hands, or wedding bells, flowers and bouquets, wedding rings etc.
Form and pattern of Wedding Cards have changed considerably in present times. People are being experimental and trying out patterns other than common illustrations of a young couple holding hands, the simple images of Gods, or the picture of entwined hearts. Thanks to the marvels of graphics and computer aided designs people are trying out innovative patterns in their wedding cards. Customized Wedding cards in metros are being adorned with the pictures of film stars, political figures and even photos of the to-be wedded couple in front of famous architectural buildings. The latest trend which is attracting the Kochiites is the card with a selected motif printed at the center of a cream or off-white background bordered with a set mundu border. The design is scanned from the traditional Kerala saree and printed which imparts a traditional Kerala touch to the card. Among other wedding invite styles are pearl finished card having picture of barat and Ganeshji engraved on it in golden color. Cards embellished with jewels and semi-precious stones are also popular in the higher-end range.
Initially, wedding cards were made on smooth and simple paper but today they are made either of handmade paper; criss cross paper or foreign art paper. The cost of a wedding card varies with the type of paper used. A card made of handmade paper would cost more than one made of ordinary paper.
There are no set standard sizes for invitation cards. They could range from simple size of 10x15 cms to opulent XXL sizes of 25x30 cms. Some go in for cards with one, two or three or even more pages depending on the number of Wedding functions. The simplest form is the single card. It is at times adorned at the edge.
Cost of Wedding Cards vary tremendously in present times. Wedding invitations could range from Rs 6 to Rs 260 per card or even much more for cards embellished with jewels and stones. It all depends on the taste, style and the budget of the wedding party.