The Great Matter of the Wedding Cards – I

If someone were to ask me what was the greatest frustration I encountered during the whole mad rush to the pheras, I would know in a heartbeat.

It was my ‘cardwallah’.

Where everything else was moving like clockwork, this was the one aspect of wedding planning that drove me up the wall. The last time I was in that card shop, I remember a whole lot of yelling.

This is the story of the wedding cards:

I take pride in the fact that we did not just walk into any wedding card store and pick a design. We worked on it for months. Rather, my Mom and A worked on this mammoth project, with help from me here and there.

A had decided months ago what his card would look like. My Mom and I were still coming up with ideas for ours. Months before the wedding, we had the themes for both cards down.

A was going with a very regal look – his colours were silver and royal blue (a theme he made sure to carry over to the décor at the Sagan ceremony). He had designed a gorgeous, very royal crest with both our names on it, and this was the centerpiece of the cards. I was not allowed to see it before it was printed, but once I saw I absolutely loved it! It reminded me of a very ornate broach.

The theme for “my – side” had been set to ‘haldi-chandan’, and we were using very earthy colours – all matching the different events. So the Mata ki Chowki was to be on a ‘bridal-pink’ card, the Sagan ceremony on a ‘laddu – yellow’ card, the Mehendi on a ‘leaf-green’ card, and the wedding on a ‘sindoor-red’ card. We had placed a Genesha ji in different poses relevant to the events on each card as well.

All these cards, or leafs, would be inside a golden envelope, which would be inside a golden box. The idea was that when the envelope would open, there would be a burst of colours inside.

We painstakingly worded both cards. Revisions and re-revisions! (P.S – wedding cards come with their own spectacle regarding peoples names. Suffice to say that at the end, we had my entire extended family’s names, including all my cousins on the card – however, once we made space for it, I was actually really glad about it!)

When we finally flew to Delhi, I had one thing half-crossed from my list – the cards. I thought we’ll give this edit to the printer, he will print it on heavy white paper, so that the background colours will come as we want them to, and that’s that. What did I know!

Since A had been in Delhi a couple of weeks before me, he had been through the grind that was the cardwallah. Let me clarify here that the reason we went with this particular fellow was that we knew them personally, and they had a good reputation in the Chandni Chowk area. A warned me that he has had to repeatedly check in with them for delivery. However, after a few follow ups, he did receive the cards, though the shagun envelopes were still pending.

So on the first day into our visit, A, being the good-guy he is, took Mom and I to Old Delhi, and we found our way to this particular shop. We met with the owners, had Pepsi and chaat served (I had to fight myself to not have any of that though – I was hours into my visit and couldn’t afford to screw my system up), and then got down to business.

When we showed them the soft copies of the cards we had in mind, there were apparently a thousand problems with it. We hadn’t taken into fact that fonts and colours that look so glorious on laptop screens do not look the same when they are printed, when there is no LED glowing behind them. In short, we were told that some of the cards would look dull.

What should have been a few minor corrections regarding shades and fonts went into a whole other direction – soon we were second guessing everything, we started looking at samples, got confused, and spent hours there. Finally, I remember shaking my head and saying that I want the concept we came in with, and do not want to change the essence of it. So we came back to the original. There were issues with paper colour not matching the shades we wanted – I pitched the idea of printing the whole thing on white paper, so that the background and fonts get printed like how we wanted them. That was do-able, but would take much more time than we had. We were pretty much asking him to deliver the cards in a week, but this approach would not allow that.

Mom and I finally settled down with the paper samples they had, and revised some shades. The golden colour of the boxes and envelopes was revised to a much more pretty bronze/ golden that was textured. The Mata ki Chowki was to be on a red card now, and the wedding would be on a more formal cream / golden card. Overall, all the papers put together gave the effect we wanted – happiness in a box, and we were finally done with that.

I explained dimension of the box I wanted–the front was to be a big cellophane window so that the card inside will be clearly seen. When the card would be picked up, there would be almonds underneath. It was pretty simple in my thinking.

I think this post has gotten too long now, so I will wrap this one here. Summary of it all: naïve little girl goes to a shop to get her wedding cards printed, is posed with a host of problems, manages to sort though them, finalizes the cards and comes out of the shop smiling. Even though time was spent, and confusion was the order of the day, it seems like we finally nailed it.

Apparently, that’s not what happens to naïve little girls. They need to transform into Medusa to finally make things right!

Coming up: My transformation into Medusa, and how I finally got the card I wanted!

Part 2: here

2 thoughts on “The Great Matter of the Wedding Cards – I

  1. Why is it that everytime I read your posts, it feels like i’m reading my pre wedding madness days!! Expect my cardwala was the sweetest guy EVER (and it was us who drove him mad!)
    I wanted a crazy fun colourful non-traditional card keeping in mind that my wedding was to be in Goa and I ended up with a gorgeous Tangore Ganeshji Card frame that people have sweetly kept in their puja rooms!

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