The Hindu wedding is a grand affair which typically starts with the printing of Hindu wedding cards. In fact, the wedding card or the 'Patrika' is both a means of informing guests of the good news as well as a way of sending out warm solicitation of the guest's presence at the wedding. It must be remembered that according to the Hindu way of life, guests are given utmost respect and no effort is spared to honor and respect the guest. This sentiment is reflected in every step of the wedding - beginning with the wedding cards.
Given the above bit of background, it is easy to see how Hindu wedding cards are different and why. Some of their unique characteristics are:
- Generally, the invite is a double sided, two-page work of art where the words are couched in beautiful designs and patterns. Indian Marriage cards are colorful but Hindu wedding cards are more so.
- Typically, most Hindu wedding cards make use of religious motifs like lamps, folded hands and so on.
- The colors used in the cards are magnificent and luxurious. These colors are significant as they denote plenty, fertility and happiness. That is why tones of red, gold and green are used in Hindu wedding cards.
- Generally, Hindu marriage cards are embellished with fake stones, pearls, golden threads, tassels and the like.
- Since the wedding is steeped in culture and tradition, sometimes, cards may be designed like a leaf or a scroll and so on. Traditional designs are quite commonly seen.
- Typically Hindus are deeply religious and the wedding is an event with religious overtones. Therefore, the wedding card generally carries the picture of a deity. In many cases, this is the picture of Lord Ganesha, the God of good fortune. Some families have a family deity who graces the card. This is to invoke the blessings of the higher powers.
- Since the Hindus place great emphasis on hospitality, the cards are wonderfully worded. While guests are given the necessary information about the time and venue of the wedding, they are also warmly invited to shower their blessings on the couple.
So, why is such care taken to produce marriage cards that look stunning? After all, they become useless once the wedding is over, right? Wrong. A Hindu wedding card is often cherished by members of the family and may be consigned to a table or trunk for safekeeping. Thus, these cards often become lasting reminders of the celebrations and the festivities shared by the members of the family. Hence great care is taken to design the card and the wordings are often a matter of debate before the family finalizes the same.