They may be Swarovski studded or could match the bride’s trousseau. They could come in multiple folds and yes, they may just cost Rs 1 lakh (about $2,000) each. Welcome to the world of big fat Indian wedding card!
The country’s wedding market is said to be worth Rs 1,500 billion (about $30 billion), and growing at about 10-15 per cent per year. So, little surprise that marriage invites are becoming a glitzy and exclusive affair.
NRIs, especially, are a major constituent of this market. The wedding of Britain-based Indian steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal’s daughter in 2004 was estimated to be a 30-million pound sterling affair.
“It’s been studied that NRIs based in the US, Britain, Canada, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand want their marriages to be complete Indian affairs and this desire propels them to visit India for the selection of cards, jewellery and venues,” says Gourav Rakshit, the business head of shaadi.com. The latest fad is exotic invitation cards.
CEO of Kapco Press, Neeraj Kapoor, who’s been in the business for 26 years, says that “people from around the globe are splurging on wedding cards like never before... This has added to the growth of designers, manufacturers and paper importers. Since cost and variety have gone up, there is no end to innovation,” he says.
“People no longer want simple designs. More designers are entering. Prices have skyrocketed. Everyone, including the NRI, asks for the fanciest and most exclusive design even if it’s not worth the amount spent. Some even say Indian designs are simply outstanding and can’t be found anywhere else,” Kapoor adds.
There are other designs too. From an oversized envelope with Lord Ganesha’s picture drawn on it to an exquisitely worded invitation. The invites sent out are designed to wow guests.
“Innovation is the key and keeping this in mind, ethnic designs have made a comeback. Also, personalised and handmade cards are a big trend nowadays as many people feel these add an emotional touch to the occasion,” says wedding card designer Raj Kapoor from brand Kaypee.
He adds, “There are people who ask for multi-folded cards which can be made to order, while others ask for scrolled out cards with matter printed on it.”
Prices of wedding cards have also gone up. “The price of wedding invitation cards depends on the material used. A simple wedding card starts at Rs 30 per piece and it goes into lakhs for the Swarovski embellished multi-folded cards with box attached to it,” said Shalini Punj, who runs wedding card company, Vivaahsutra.
“Vertical, horizontal and multi-coloured stripes are termed as one of the most sought-after trends this season. Also, embellishing the invitation with small rhinestones, pearl-toned beads or Swarovski crystals makes a low-key invitation style fashionable. The list is endless,” says card designer Piyali Rana.