Big fat Indian weddings are all set to be freed of gatecrashers —with a little help from technology.
Recently, for the wedding of the daughter of a well known Delhi-industrialist who does not wish to be named, each invite was, in fact, a mobile phone. The phone, sent along with the customary box of sweets, was fed with information about the ceremonies and also had a unique code, which had to be scanned at the venue to allow entry.
“Guests just had to carry the phones to the function. Paper invites can be duplicated by gatecrashers but how do you duplicate a phone?” says celeb card designer Ravish Kapoor. Entrepreneur Timsy Anand who received the invite says, “I got the ‘phone-invite’ and thought it was innovative and out-of-the-box. It’s also useful as one can use the phone later.”
Those who can’t afford to give away a phone to all their guests have the option of swipe card invites, a credit-card sized invite with a magnetic strip that is scanned at the venue. “Swipe cards are fairly prevalent at city parties, especially those with Bollywood stars, as they attract a lot of unwanted elements,” says décor stylist Swati Pandya Sood.
At actor Imran Khan’s wedding, the invite accompanied a small security card with a unique number that had to be matched with a computerised list at the entrance. “Our clients also ask for more sophisticated features such as coded printing techniques, and holograms, which are difficult to replicate,” says celeb card designer Uttara Shah who designed Khan’s invite.
“For tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi’s wedding to actor Lara Dutta later this month, the invite has a security card,” says Anand. “At a lot of plush weddings, there are different zones — spa, a bar, a wine cellar and sit down dinner areas for different cuisines — these access cards allow guests entry into specific areas. They also prevent staff of one area to sneak into the other,” says Sood.
Though these cards add about Rs 2,000 to the price of the invite, they are preferred by many. “It cuts down on the cost of bouncers. You need just 1-2 security personnel at the entrance, the rest of the venue is hassle-free,” says Anway Bhoite of wedding planners, Dreamz Kraft.
Summing up the crash
At Delhi weddings, an average 35 to 50 plates go unaccounted because of gatecrashers
If a Bollywood star attends a wedding, the number of gatecrashers can go up to 100
Gatecrashing hit international news when Michaele and Tareq Salahi crashed the state dinner hosted by US President Obama for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House in 2009