A. HISTORY OF INVITATIONS
It all started in the Year 1400’s where the invitations were given orally by getting into the roofs of the hosts houses and communicating till the ear spot reached. In the middle ages the process of invitation was done as a town crier who would simply announce the wedding in the square and whoever was in ear shot was essentially invited to the celebrations.
The era beginning with the 1600’s saw a remarkable growth in the announcement of weddings using paper. The invention of the Metal plate engraving in 1642 opened up the world of specific wedding invitations. The texts were reverse engraved onto a metal plate, and stamped on the paper to get the printed impression.
The history of wedding invitations transformed the turn of the 18th century when reading and writing was a sign of education. The 18th century marked the beginning of the social etiquette of sending invitations but this was limited to the elite class only as the access to the formal education to read and write was limited only to them. The invite was often closed with a wax seal of the family crest which is another sign of the status of the invite families. Calligraphy was mainly used for invitation as it was considered a royal gesture.
Where the Style of printing used was the calligraphy the method used in addition was the letterpress printing concept. Letterpress printing is a type of printing done by ink type, or an engraving, and pressing that form into paper which is done by using a letterpress. A layer of tissue paper was always used with the letter pressed invite as the ink would not always dry quickly and may run/smudge. Then the invite and tissue paper layer would be placed inside a pristine envelope and after that they will be placed inside another larger one.
The late 1800’s saw the invention of lithography. This involved using chemicals to make images, producing a very crisp and having faster results. The invitations were typically delivered by hand or on horseback due to the unreliability of the postal service during those days, so a double envelope was used to protect the contents. Lithography also known as the offset printing is said to be an inked impression which is made from a plate to a rubber-stamp like surface, which is then transferred to the paper. This process facilitated mass production and as a result more ‘common’ people got the opportunity to print wedding invitations.
The later part of the 18th century witnessed the growth in the fame of the Telegram wedding invitations which soon became the sensation of the world. It is easy to customise this custom wedding telegram to suit the respect-full needs like – change of colour of the font, change text, add photo to the backside etc. The Telegram was considered an ideal invite to send special and personal messages because of its respected past. It was one of the vintage beauties from the entire wedding scenes.
And now moving to the 1900’s, the wedding invitations changed its complete scenario by the invention of photo thermography. In the photo thermography heat is used to create raised lettering. This process provided everyone with a fantastic way to duplicate the mesmerising effects of metal engraving. This provided a beautiful way for providing the valuable content of the Invitation.
Adding to the early 1950’s the comic style also known as the retro style was introduced for the invites which attracted the audience. It was influenced more from the cinema industry.
During the 19th century the growth was tremendous with new ideas and introducing the photo thermography was also a great help to the invitations. Adding, most wedding invitations began to be printed this way, though some were still hand-crafted. Invitations were mailed two weeks before the wedding, in double envelopes.
The 20th Century marked the era of colourful invitations. The fonts became more fashioned and the colours became brighter. Initially the designs and contents were decided by the family that hosted but now it was the printing press that became a great player in decision making.
Now when we talk about the modern times, a lot of changes have taken place in terms of creativity, varieties and designs. New styles like the laser cuts and pastel designs are some of the most preferred designs of the current trend. More often the Invites are designed in such a colour that it matches the general colour theme of the wedding.
The current scenario has seen a surge in the popularity of customized invites and more recently the electronic/digital invites. The continuous upgrades in the technology is bringing in more upgradation in the wedding invitations. The wedding invitation designs keep changing in pace with the time.
B. Designs & Wedding Culture
Every wedding has its own way of communicating their views on their traditions & beliefs. The universality of marriage within different societies and cultures is attributed to the many basic social and personal functions and when we come to the wedding invitations these can be done or classified more on the ways or the style of the host’s standard. It shall vary from on to another.
There are many ways that couples from different cultural backgrounds can choose to celebrate their union. The two broadly classified cultures in the wedding industry are the INDIAN and the WESTERN weddings.
INDIAN WEDDING CULTURE
The Indian weddings carry many rituals which are further classified into the northern and the southern part of the wedding culture. The northern part of the weddings in India involves loud and vibrant thematic weddings and their invitations. Now on a detailed discussion on the Indian cultured weddings the bride and the groom side has many rituals to be followed before arriving at the big- day. This again starts from the ring ceremony which is the confirmation of the couple’s fixing up for the big day.
Second step is majorly followed in the northern part of weddings, having Haldi ceremony, mehndi ceremonies, and musical nights and lastly arriving at the wedding ceremonies followed with the reception.When there are various functions included in the wedding, the designs of their wedding invitations also plays a greater impact. The colours on the invitation used are louder and royal ones.
The southern style of wedding here includes the rituals and customs, each symbolic of beautiful and noble sentiments. Here their wedding day is said to be straight. The wedding norms are conducted early mornings at 4 am with a particular dress code. Where the northern weddings menus serve with the plates the southern part severs the menu in the banana leaves.
The lord Ganesh is mandatory when you come with the southern style of invitations. The invitations are with minimal content but have the classic style.
WESTERN WEDDING CULTURE
While the Indians play with loud colours, the westerns favour the pastels and the whites, as they sound to be classic and elegant in their own way. A true western wedding is the stuff of fairy tales, steeped in tradition, with a blend of romance and country charm.
Country weddings are all about celebrating the beautiful union of two souls surrounded by loved ones, dancing under the stars, and eating good food.
Here, choosing the designs of the invitation for a western or country wedding depends on several factors, like formality, desired motifs, and colour choice.
For more formal weddings, ivory, cream, or neutral colour invitations with white or cream overlays including western motifs can be beautiful and elegant ways to invite the guests.
For more casual western weddings, bright colours, and denim or burlap looks work well.
Western wedding templates may be identical with normal wedding templates in multiple ways but there are certain differences – the first and foremost being the choice of words.Their style of wedding invitations differs from one to another. Their styles may include the vintage templates, watercolour wedding invitation templates, classic wedding invitation templates and the laser cut wedding invitations which are found to be the western styles of the wedding invitations.