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Trend You are spoilt for choices when it comes to wedding cards, writes W. SREELALITHA
Photo K. Ananthan
The in-thing There are more takers for premium cards these days
Sunaina is getting married in a couple of months, and the preparations are on in full swing. While the family is focussing on things such as food and wedding hall, she is on the look out for wedding cards. And, discovers that she has a wide range to
choose from. Unbelievably, she can pick out a card from as less as a rupee to one that runs to several hundreds.
Wedding cards are an inevitable part of the ceremony. However, a lot has changed over the years. Says A. Muhammed Ali, manager of the 46-year-old Olympic Cards, that there has been a shift from the traditional yellow-pink pathrikkai. “There has been a 100 per cent change. The conventional pathrikkai is confined mostly to relatives now, and forms just a part of the total wedding cards purchased.”
Agrees S. Shangaralingam, chairman and managing director of Menaka Card, Chennai. “A family goes for at least four cards these days: a traditional, an expensive, a medium-priced and a personal card for the bride and the groom.”
There is also a change in the quantity of cards purchased, says R. Manoharan, CEO of Coimbatore-based Opal, which has been in the wedding card business for nearly 25 years. “Earlier, the cards would be bought by the thousands, but now it has come down to a few hundreds.”
Incidentally, what has also changed is the price that the consumer is willing to pay. Though the number of wedding cards bought is less, the buyers are ready to go for high-priced cards. K. Selvakumar, director of the Sivakasi-based Lovely Cards says: “Earlier cards costing between Rs. 3 and Rs. 5 were considered the medium range. But in the last three years there has been a change, and these days, Rs. 10 is considered medium.” The card market is slowly but steadily moving towards the premium range, he says. “From being just a source of information, the card has now become the medium to flaunt the economic strength of an individual,” says Selvakumar.
Manoharan seconds this. “The taste is definitely changing. The wedding card is a ‘status symbol’, and is now seen as a means to announce the magnitude of the wedding.”
As for the choices, there are plenty. It is the cost as much as the design that helps one decide. For instance, take Menaka Card. They have three categories, the popular, premium and designer cards. The popular range has readymade designs, can be picked off the shelf, and is competitively priced from Re. 1 to Rs. 40. The premium range is between Rs. 10 and Rs. 50, comes with sample designs, and the customer is free to choose the material. The designer cards are the most fascinating: one can design their own cards or choose from the designs created at the outlet!
“Hand-made boards, metallic boards, cards with frames and box-envelopes are the in-thing now. We easily sell cards in the Rs. 20 to Rs. 25 range,” says Selvakumar.
“The regular rectangle and square cards have been replaced by flower- and heart-shaped and triangular cards. Why, we now have even scented wedding cards,” says Ali.
With most manufacturers putting up a variety of cards on their website, has online shopping increased? Yes, says Manoharan. “There are more takers from European and other countries. Even Indians living abroad, make purchases online for designer cards. Many are fascinated by the traditional Indian motifs,” he adds. However, online card purchase among those in India is still nascent, says Shangaralingam.
With plenty of them going for e-mails to send their wedding invitations, will the hard copy soon disappear? “No”, says Manoharan. “No matter how much times change, everyone finds hard copy of the wedding card mandatory.”
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