I = Invitation Cards

Wedding invitations of today perfectly blend tradition with modern sensibilities. The invitation cards (as well as the envelopes) usually carry one or more religious symbols such as of: Lord Ganesha or the one who removes all hurdles; the kalash or earthen pot with mango leaves signifying bliss, abundance and joy; the symbol of Aum or Om – the universal symbol of Hinduism represents peace and harmony. Inside the card, designs are often modern and trendy – like the one above.

Before being distributed, each card is adorned with the auspicious red and yellow rice color. The first card is usually offered to Lord Ganesha for his blessings. The image here is taken from the envelope of wedding card – the sketch on the left is of Lord Ganesha, the elephant headed God, the remover of obstacles. Please also note the red and yellow dots on the right.

In India, invitation cards are usually in the local language. However, in big cities, they are bilingual – that is, details are provided in both English and the mother tongue. In fact, we had two separate sets of cards – one in Bengali and one in English. Moreover, the invitation traditionally goes out  in the name of the grandparents or at the very least the parents. More often than not, ancestral details and antecedent details are also included. Formal wording and typo errors are the cause of many a sleepless night for the beleaguered parents. There are no dearth of nitpicking guests who take particular pleasure in calling up to point them out, with unconcealed glee and a touch of (oh heck who am I kidding – dollops of) grating superiority.

Earlier, wedding invitations were delivered personally and even now, the custom is expected to be followed. In West Bengal, posted invitation cards contain a formal apology for breaking tradition and sending a postal invite. For those who reside in the same city, it is expected that parents will personally deliver the wedding invitation. Otherwise it is likely that the concerned individual may consider it a slight and not turn up for the wedding – worse turn up and throw a fit! 😉

However, time (and traffic constraints) have eased these expectations and invitees (at least the younger generation) are considerate enough to to settle for a postal invite. Provided, it is duly followed up by telephonic exhortations to come and bless the happy couple and participate in the festivities and feasting. Many sections of the Indian community (especially those who can afford it) not only come personally to deliver the card but also shower invitees with sweets and other gifts, especially when it is the wedding of their son as a token of their happiness at the upcoming nuptials.

Quote for the day: “I didn’t want to go, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to be invited.”
Jarod Kintz

Would love to know about your invitation customs (and goof ups!)

Have a great week ahead and happy blogging while I catch up on my reading 🙂 For the readers of Moonshine here is  Chapter 52