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Trendsetters in Couture Indian Wedding Invitation Card

November 19, 2011

Play your cards right

The Telegraph reports the trends in wedding Invitations

FRESCOES

is an invitation design studio specializing in creating beautiful

wedding invitation cards

Here’s the excerpt of two articles just 3 months apart…….

 

sneak peek 4 It’s all about fancy designs and elaborate detailing as wedding invitations hit the couture trail. By Shreya Shukla
(From top) Entertainment Design Company’s royal theme invitation box is tagged at Rs 7,000; Puneet Shah uses velvet and silk in his wedding invitations during winters; A Suraksha Gajwani invitation came in the form of a pop-up book inspired by Rajput miniature paintings, accompanied by a box of dry fruits

If you’re scripting the wedding of the season, you definitely must get the trailer right. Yes, we’re talking about the super-stylish card that’s utterly unforgettable and which will have the whole town talking.

Take a look at this offering from Entertainment Design Company (EDC). It’s a large box that looks like a mini-steamer trunk, is a foot high and looks like it’s made of leather. Inside is a potpourri of chocolates, gifts and, of course, the wedding card itself. To add to the regal touch on the inside of the lid, there’s a sepia-toned print of a young boy dressed in royal finery. The cost: Rs 7,000 each.

That’s just one of the elaborate invitation cards being sent out this season. As the Big Fat Indian wedding piles on more kilos, the invitation is becoming a sneak peek to the actual celebration. So, you have everything from pop-up books to chic monogrammed diaries with the crucial days marked clearly.

“The invitation should reflect your personality,” says Kapil Khurana, co-owner of EDC that designed the invitation for the recent wedding of the Bhutanese monarch.

SEAL THE THEME

Mumbai-based wedding card designer Uttara Shah likes her clients to settle on a theme. For Imran Khan and Avantika Malik, the theme was ‘A year to remember’. Once that was settled, Shah designed a diary with the invitee’s name printed on the cover and details of the various functions mentioned under the specific dates. “No two brides would wear the samelehenga and no two weddings would have the same card,” says Shah.

The theme could be almost anything — it might be in terms of colours or even motifs. So a tropical theme wedding card would need to be very colourful — think bright, tropical flowers am-idst green foliage.

Delhi-based Puneet Gupta likes to customise his cards according to seasons. “We follow international trends,” says Gupta, who has studios in Delhi and California. So summer spells satin, while velvet and silk are reserved for winter. His most expensive wedding invitation was a Rs 4,500-ivory-and-gold leatherette box topped with filigree and mirror work, which had slots on three levels for the invitation, chocolates and a gift for the invitee. Gupta has also designed slender, brightly coloured silk-padded invitations that come with diamante- and Swarovski-encrusted brooches embedded on them.

For destination weddings, the invitation is influenced by the location. Take, for instance, Suraksha Gajwani, a Delhi-based graphic designer, who runs YS Design Studio with her husband. She created an invitation inspired by Jewish scrolls for a destination wedding in Turkey. The scroll was encased in a cylindrical brass container, which in turn was embossed with Turkish motifs. To read the invite, one had to unroll the scroll horizontally and it would emerge from within the case.

Then there’s Delhi-based Ravish Kapoor, who ranks Shilpa Shetty and Karisma Kapoor among his clients. An invitation box, he created for a wedding in Turkey, was inspired by Turkish architecture. Done in blue and green, the box’s inner lid had intricate filigree work backed by a mirror.

WHAT’S THE MOTIF?

While invitations with traditional motifs are common, some prefer stepping off the beaten track with contemporary invites. Take Kapoor’s compact wedding invite box. A lovely ivory in colour, you pull open the lid to reveal a chain of letters strung together that reads ‘save the date’. The box also comes with a small calendar marking the D-day.

But invitations that blend tradition and the contemporary are most in demand. Kapoor used the conventional lotus motif in an invitation box that included, apart from the card, an Android cell phone programmed with a special application listing all the details of the wedding. The box itself came in a stunning pink and gold bag shaped like a lotus.

The stamp of tradition, in terms of bright colours, epic figures and motifs like peacock feathers and the lotus, is still big. Ruchika Khurana, owner of Delhi’s House of Design, recently created a box that opened to reveal a doli with an image of a bride and cutouts of two bearers carrying it. The invitations were placed inside the doli.

“Tradition is our forté,” says Gajwani. One of her invitations came as a book inspired by Rajput miniature paintings. Each page opened up as a pop-up scene — one depicted the couple modelled after Radha-Krishna in a garden, while another had a mehendiscene. The actual invitations were in an envelope attached to the last page of the book.

The Radha-Krishna motif also appears on an EDC box, which looks like it’s been hand-painted. However, the invitation for each event during the wedding came in the form of tablets made of board.

A doli-themed invitation by Ruchika Khurana

TRENDSPOTTING

Gupta reckons that colour preferences can be loosely put in three groups — the classic ivory with gold or silver, pastels with a hint of metallic such as copper or antique gold, and the bright-as-bright-can-be brigade of yellow, pink, emerald and citrus shades. And though the traditional red and gold is still going strong, Kapoor says an increasing number of clients are asking for cards in cream and gold. Ruchika, on the other hand, has noticed a preference for turquoise blue this season, along with fuchsia and deep purple.

The materials can range from textured paper to velvet and brass sheets. In fact, brass sheets seem poised to be the look of the season. House of Design has done several invitations in brass sheets. Similarly, a box created by EDC for a Delhi wedding was also covered with a brass sheet on four sides (the top, bottom, front and back), with slots at the sides for invitations and chocolates. Other hot favourites of the season include Swarovskis and gold and silver plating. There are other trends too. Says Kapoor: “Floral patterns are in as well as lacquered wooden boxes, since people want their guests to keep the box as a memento of the wedding”.

What’s more, different cards for each event can also have a ‘colour story’ so that each function has a different colour and theme. An invitation by Gupta had a separate colour and theme for each function — so the ‘winter wonderland’ theme for the wedding had an invitation with snowflakes and a ballet dancer, while the ‘sunburn pool party’ card, for the after-wedding party, had images of two champagne glasses with a beach scene as backdrop.

Personalisation is important too, so instead of just filling in the invitee’s name in the card, it’s printed, making it more personal. “With bigger Indian weddings, cards tend to lose intimacy,” says Shah. For one of her assignments, she got her client to write out the invitation and replicated that in all the cards — ensuring that personal touch.

POCKET PINCH

One of Kapoor’s boxed invitations came with a mobile phone programmed with the wedding details

These exclusive invitations will cost you at least Rs 250, depending on design quantity. But keep in mind that it’s probably going to cost much more. While Gajwani’s prices are on request, Kapoor has a starting range of Rs 495 for a card and Rs 895 for a boxed invitation.

Designing these could take anything from a day to two months. EDC creates a 3D version of the invitation using special software, based on what the client wants. Once the design is approved, a sample is made. Production takes about 14 to 20 working days. The Kapoor team, on the other hand, creates a sample according to the client’s brief, which goes into production once approved.

MORE IN THE KITTY

It isn’t just about the invitations. Kapoor offers signature chocolates and gifts, while EDC is collaborating with a Belgian chocolate company. Gupta too has tied up with a chocolatier and his clients can order unique flavours such as paan and gulkand.

In addition to providing customised stationery for the wedding — from baggage tags to ‘goodnight’ cards — EDC recently launched EDC matrimonial, a matchmaking service. It’s clear there are scores of ways of making a profit from the Great Indian Wedding Bazaar.

Deck of cards

AFTER CATERING TO BIG NAMES LIKE THE BACHCHANS AND THE AMBANIS, THE ‘COUTURIERS OF WEDDING INVITATIONS’ SET FOOT IN THE CITY. A T2 PEEK…
A glimpse of The Entertainment Design Company at Alipore Pictures by Pabitra Das

It’s a sprawling space. A gold-and-white box in which Hrithik Roshan sent out ties occupies a glass shelf. The card that the Bachchans sent out during Abhishek and Aishwarya’s wedding is on another shelf. Abhishek Bachchan’s personalised stationery is a few feet away.

This is not a Bollywood artefact museum but the atelier of The Entertainment Design Company (EDC). Set up a decade ago by Delhi-based brothers Sandy and Kapil Khurana, EDC is the last name in cards — classy or contemporary-cool or couture. From the Mittals to the Bachchans, the Ambanis to the Reddys, you name it and they are on their client list. And now Calcutta can get a grab of these designer dreams. After flagship stores in Delhi and Mumbai, EDC now has a store in the city (their next destination is Dubai). Headed by Poonam Khandelwal (picture below), who has been working with the Khurana brothers for the last five years from home, the store at 8B Alipore Road (near Jindal Towers, you can’t miss the facade, it’s really neat and inviting) has been up and running for almost six months now.

Poonam, a home management graduate from J.D. Birla Institute, has been a graphic designer for about six years. She started out with birthday invites for her daughter that led to birthday invites for her friends’ daughters and then eventually the big fat Indian wedding scene lured her into shaadi cards. Along with running her independent studio, she is now also the one-point contact of EDC in eastern India. “I share the vision of EDC — it’s very satisfying to see a piece of paper being converted into a piece of jewellery,” smiles Poonam.

The process of design is simple — clients walk in, look around and then discuss the design with the Calcutta office. Poonam then briefs the Delhi design team as per the customer’s specifications. The Delhi office sends the design to Calcutta and once the client approves the design, the process of production begins in Delhi. “Everyone has a certain idea about what they want their card to be like, we at EDC translate that idea into reality. In the process, clients become members of the family,” says Poonam. It is this ‘family’ feeling that has prompted EDC to launch a matrimonial service. Interested boys and girls can fill a detailed form indicating their choice of bride/groom. EDC will try and matchmake for you from their database!

Stationery, brochures, personalised and corporate gift packaging are the other areas they specialise in and they are also equipped to take care of accompanying gifts and chocolates through their various tie-ups across the globe.

The rates start around Rs 250-300 per card and go up to, well, the sky’s the limit. Their most expensive invite till date has been billed at Rs 7,000. After all, they do call themselves ‘couturiers of wedding invitations’.

Abhishek and Aishwarya’s wedding might have been all elusive but here is the close-up of the card! An ornate AA logo on the top page and a note inside announcing the couple’s decision to get married in a “quiet and simple” manner, the card carried the signatures of the bride and the groom’s parents.

Aditya and Megha Mittal’s daughter Sanaya’s first birthday invite set the tone for the Candyland-themed party. All cute and pink, it was almost a mini coffee-table book for toddlers.

Imran Khan’s reception card sent out by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao was super simple. With just a smart floral logo and neat lettering, it was as fuss-free as Bollywood can be!

The Jaiswals from Nagpur ordered this invitation box. Tagged a whopping Rs 7,000 per box, the royal theme box went with chocolates and stone-studded miniature horses (gift charges not included).

Shradha Agarwal 

It's one of the most important days of your life. A day like no other. Share your excitement and set the tone for your event with a custom designed couture invitation suite from FRESCOES Invitation Studio. From luxurious handmade silk box invitations to elegant laser-cut or gold-embossed, each custom invitation we create is expertly designed to perfectly reflect your unique vision and style. From your complimentary initial consultation, to the mailing of your luxury invitations, our wedding stationery experts will work with you to ensure that each detail of your couture event stationery is meticulously attended to.

Innovative design and expertly crafted one-of-a-kind wedding event stationery including Invitation Cards.

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