The wedding card tradition came to India with the British rule and like many other common practices, it was also adopted by Indian royalty, merchants and landlords of the 19th century. So, the first wedding cards in India used to clone the Victorian wedding cards. By the 1950s and up to the 1960s, the wedding invitation cards were quite plain and dull in look. It just had the basic details of who was to be married, when and where with no thoughts on the appearance of the card.
By the 1980s, Indian ethnicities had become a part of the wedding cards through designs and motifs. It was during this time that the utilitarian looks of the wedding card became more about style and design. Though there were very limited designs back in those days, it coincided with government’s effort to promote handicrafts and folk art.
During the 1990s the wedding card culture of contemporary India became bold and innovative. The card included all sorts of information about all the wedding functions including Mehandi, reception, Baraat, Sangeet etc. Different patterns also emerged as people experimented with the kind of card they wanted to distribute among peers. It varied from scrolls to cards in boxes, multiple folded card and many other innovative shapes.
The Indian wedding cards are also taken as the hallmark of marriage rituals and customs since the name of the couple is first time written together in it. It is entangled with eternal affection and bonded. The Indian wedding card invitation is all about lavish styles and aesthetically prepared designer cards in today’s age. They have risen above their utilitarian purpose and are now used to express the style and theme of the wedding functions.
Often, religious figures such as Lord Ganesha and temple motifs are printed on it to signify the beginning of something good and eternal. These motifs are also embedded with rich texture on the card to seek blessings from the God. Generally, Indian wedding cards also have shlokas or mantras written on the card which makes the card both a religious symbol and something holy. But for some, it works as a reminder to schedule the date of the wedding in their calendar.
The wedding card is usually more significant than a piece of paper conveying the information about the wedding since so much effort goes into making it and choosing what is to be on it. Also, in Indian tradition people usually prefer gifting some eatables along with the wedding card. It is either something sweet or dry fruits like nuts and almonds that are presented along with the wedding card.
People usually judge the kind of wedding it is going to be depending on the wedding card. If it is a designer wedding car with shimmery prints, they expect an ostentatious wedding. Today, there are many wedding card designers that operate at different costs and it all depends on the person what they want to present to his guests.