The Tale of the Wedding Invite

It is a good time for wedding invitations – never before has there been more focus on this (relatively) previously ignored area of weddings. This is the tale of wedding invites in my family.

A Generation Ago

My parents’ wedding cards are preserved in their wedding album. They had two – one from the “boy’s” side and one from the “girls” side. (Awww – Mom and Dad as boy-girl… too cute!)

Both the cards were very similar, and likely reflect the times that those were – simple. So simple, that their design was not even the traditional “cover-and-inside” type, but more like placards. Elegant, yes – both were basic cream coloured, with some fancy lettering, and no unnecessary words – they even had the bus route numbers printed on them, for those with no cars.

Those were cards that got the job done. They were created for one purpose only – to tell the guest where to reach, and when. They were then easily incorporated into albums and preserved.

When asked, my parents said they had no say in the designing of the invites – indeed, there was no designing. Their parents just took care of it, and that’s that. Mom even said that she was shy to take a peek at her card! She brought one into her room, shut the door and then had a good look. Imagine that!

A Generation Ahead

And here we are, with my demands of a ‘different’ invitation card. It’s not that I want to splurge a ton of money on the invites – it’s just that weddings have evolved since the 1980’s. Now, an invite sets the tone of the wedding; it gives you a glimpse of what is to be, it promises colour, spirituality, even sensuality.

And keeping that in mind, I did not wish my invite to be a run-of-the-mill one. It has been designed, and awaits printing –  it’s  a beautiful box in pink, with the bridal couple’s initials entwined on the cover. The actual card is inside the box, along with traditional Indian sweets. The card is a booklet that holds separate invites to each event – each with a different colour and theme. It is gorgeous and words cannot do it justice. I will put up a picture once it is ready.

However, I can take zero credit for this beautiful design. My Dad is always one step ahead of me, and this is all his doing. I guess you know what to expect when you bring up a wedding-obsessed daughter. He may complain about the fact that this is sheer waste, but he will have it done come what may.

My only problem – how will we preserve it? It cannot be incorporated into our album – looks like we’ll have this little box on some shelf somewhere forever.

Maybe the simple card isn’t a bad idea after all…

Times do change, and this is the journey of the wedding invite – from simple to extravagant, from one generation to the other, with love.

Below are a couple of designs I saw, and liked:

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Countdown: 5 months – The evolution of the Guest lists

The reason Indian weddings are considered ‘big’ is that they are just that – BIG. Big  on bling, big on food, big on the alcohol, on the dancing – and big on the guest list.

The Guest list is one of those wedding planning tasks that is not glamorous at all – busting your brain to try and figure out if your Dad’s second cousin should be invited is not all that fun. (The answer to that, by the way – is yes, so the cousin AND his family are invited.)

Ever since the wedding date was finalized, which was in November 2011, there have been innumerable versions of this guest list. It has morphed from a rough jot-down of names on a scrap piece of paper to beautifully designed, colour coordinated excel sheets, that clearly indicate how many guests are to be invited to each event.

I take this evolution to be a confirmation that the wedding is indeed getting closer. I expect this excel sheet to further evolve – my darling Mother is Master of the Excel!

But coming back to the guest lists – it is a trickier task than I had taken it to be. Somehow, the straightforward, clean lines of excel transform into this churning web of relationships and behavior. The entire extended family’s’ inter-personal dynamics come to the fore when planning the list – it might be fun if you are in the mood to gossip, but not all that fun when you are in the mood to FINISH THE LIST ALREADY!

Things that regularly came up in discussion amongst my family while planning the list:

  1. If we invite an entire family, will they ALL come, or leave some people at home?
  2. If we don’t invite so-and-so Aunt to one of the events, will the other invited Aunt call her to gloat?
  3. What will we tell so-and-so Aunt if she asks why she wasn’t invited (yes, I can totally picture her asking that – angrily!)

… and so it goes on.

We are yet to finalize this list – and on and on it morphs.

It’s a crazy experience to say in the least – In the end, I always give up and leave it to Mom to decide. Even a Bridezilla needs rest! So until the next version of the list is printed – this time even more beautiful than before, I will not worry about it. The list WILL be finalized one of these days!

P.S – I think I know what the solution to these problems will end up being: Just invite everyone to everything and hope they don’t ALL show up to the pre-wedding events! (as if!)