I have been wanting to create one of these Indian invitations for SO long and became ecstatic when one of my best friends from college was getting married!
So the story goes like this… my best friend from college, Kedar called me up to let me know he was now engaged along with the details of how he did it. Of course, I was happy for him and wanted to know when was the big date. I was thinking he would be getting married at the end of the year or possibly in 2010. No, not Kedar, he was going to get married in April 2009! And it was the end of February 2009 when he told me this! He didn’t have an exact date, a venue, times, or any vendors, etc. At least he had his new brideI’ll say what my mother always said to me when I was engaged, “it’s not the wedding that matters, but the marriage” which I ultimately agree with, but isn’t it nice to start off with a bang?
He mentioned they would be having a small ceremony with only family. With the short notice, he didn’t think many friends would be able to make it, but wondered if friends would be upset since it wasn’t a larger wedding. Of course, being one of those friends and not family who was possibly going to miss this ceremony, said yes! Maybe a week later he calls me back saying now that they had a date and now it would be a small ceremony with a handful of their closest friends(your truly included). I asked him if he was going to need invitations and being the sarcastically funny man that he thinks he is, said “na…. email and phone calls would do.” I was like, really? Not even as a memento? His response was with the amount of time they had and the small guest list, all guests already knew the date and location and it kind of seemed pointless to him to send one out. I know! I couldn’t believe it either! Men! What do they know! Well, would you believe he called back again a few days later telling me his fiance, Swati stated she wanted an invitation.
At first he told her to go online and look for indiancardsonline or something like that. (Gasp! What!) A little shot to the ego, but I offered him my help if he needed it in spite of the fact that his initial thought was some other vendor and not his friend. So he asked me if I had the time to help. Time? What is that? Not really, but I’m not going to tell him that and I’m a sucker for best friends plus I told him I had always wanted to create an Indian wedding invitation which is really true so I was super excited about working on this. Well, as I attempted to collect pertinent information for the wedding invitation like venue, time, special wording, Swati’s middle name, etc. I quickly discovered he had answers to NOTHING! NADA! ZILCH! And they had about 7 weeks to go! I asked him about a response card and he questioned the purpose of one. He followed that with a comment “by the time we get them back, we’ll have called everyone anyway.” Then he ignorantly followed up with “this is just for Swati to put in a wedding album. It’s not going to have the typical function that most wedding invitations do. Since most people would probably be receiving these about 2 weeks or less before the actual wedding, it really seems useless including one.”
Like I do most times, I just ignored him and kept pestering him about choosing a venue and choosing colors. I really couldn’t proceed without those two things, but I was determined to turn these around in about a week which is super quick for me. Good thing he had a short list! I wanted his guests to have the excitement that most guests have about receiving a unique wedding invitation with the traditional function of informing the guest of when, where, what time, how to get there, where can I stay and respond about attendance.
The typical time frame of sending out wedding invitations is 6-8 weeks prior to the event. I was determined to at least send them out by week 5 which is really good since by week 7, they still didn’t have a venue! My plan was to ignore Kedar and pleasantly surprise both of them by having their invitations ready way ahead of what they were expecting. Lo and behold, his thinking of having the invitations out as a formality only, was his thinking alone. Swati wanted them out as soon as possible. I couldn’t help but laugh when he told me this. Men and women think so differently. Good thing I wasn’t paying Kedar any attention anyway. Kedar calls asking me in this really sweet voice what is the soonest I could get him out of the doghouse a.k.a completing the invitations. Can you guess how fast he was providing information to me now? Well, I had to spoil my surprise and tell him I would have them ready 4-5 days after the paper arrives. Men!
Going into this, I was really excited since I had wanted to create one for such a long time and here was my opportunity, but then fear set in. Kedar is a close friend of mine and I have known him for almost 20 years and he may be the best friend any person can have, but he is also the most honest. I knew if he didn’t like it, he would definitely let me know without holding anything back and he would say he was telling me this in the name of love. And Swati? I had not even met her yet (Kedar’s fault, by the way) and I surely didn’t want to disappoint her and have that be her first impression of me! I had not been this nervous since my meeting with my first client. I created a few different looks while keeping the icons and colors requested in the invite. Thankfully they were pleased. Whew!
I don’t know how, but I convinced him to get custom stamps for the response postcard and the outer envelope and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how they came out! I really think they complete any invitation. As a last minute favor, I told Kedar I could also address them if he provided the addresses in time. Well, I love the extra details and hope their guests enjoy the invitations as much as I did creating them!
I’ve got to thank Kedar and Swati for this opportunity to be a part of their wedding. I had a blast creating them and had a blast getting to talk to my old college friend a bit more than usual! I look forward to his wedding and though I love giving Kedar a hard time, I wish them both nothing but happiness! Now I’ve got to convince him to let me do his programs
Kedar - Ok – so this is the Kedar from the blog. In my defense, I was working on short notice and hmmmm…. Yeah, I’m a guy, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. For full disclosure – I am close friends with Patricia. We have known each other over 15 years.
Now that we’re done with that – So I have always known Patricia as a loving, honest, thoughtful, dependable, creative, reliable friend. She puts everything she has into those she loves. From working with her on our wedding invitation, it is now clear to me that she puts all that same love, care, creativity, thought into her business. She has an amazing drive to complete everything down to the last detail – mind you, this was annoying to me since I knew none of the answers to her questions, but it did force us to make some decisions. Not only did Patricia create our invitations, she completed so many other small, significant details: the envelopes, the direction cards, table cards, name cards, programs….you name it, she helped us finish it.
And I can’t even begin to describe the results. The most common phrases I heard about our invitation were “Most beautiful card I’ve ever seen,” “Where did you find such beautiful graphics,” “the most elegant Indian wedding card.” There were many more comments – and we only sent out 60 or so!
I learned a lot about my good friend in the 6 or so weeks she helped us on our journey to create the “perfect” wedding. The thing that stuck out the most to me is Patricia’s ability to listen. She is amazingly patient and listened to everything we were looking for in the invitation. Patricia had never made an invitation for an Indian (hindu) wedding. But she came with the perspective and attitude to learn about the culture and customs to create the right invitation for us. She found the artwork that we were looking for (ganesh ji, ohms, and so many other indian’ish icons). She made sure we had options and helped guide us through the process. That’s actually a good description of what Patricia does – she guides you through the process, helps you create what’s right for you and then executes flawlessly. Anyways – our wedding card amazed our entire wedding list – Indian and non-Indian guests complemented us on our “stylish” cards, paper, content (heck, one guest asked where we found the font!).
I do want to point out how much care Patricia puts into the final product. Most elements of the cards are hand made – which means there are a lot of chances for mistakes. We didn’t find one. I would call her anal (which she is), but with something as special as a wedding, that type of care on the details of the wedding are what makes the day stand out. So I haven’t described the reaction my wife and I had when we first saw the finished product. Well – I got a strong hug and we both couldn’t believe how beautiful the cards looked. The colors were perfect – and they couldn’t have matched our design any more perfectly. The custom stamps Patricia made me get (yes she forced me to get custom stamps) were outstanding – so, yeah, I guess I owe you one for that. The cards had everything our guests needed (details, directions, reply cards, etc). Well everything looked so good, that we asked her to help with the program and table cards / name cards. Again, this was Patricia’s first Indian wedding. But she went and helped us create a program describing the elements of the hindu wedding ceremony – between my wife and Patricia, they created an amazingly beautiful program (including ceremony details, cocktail hour details, dinner menu….it was awesome).
Ok – so you get it. Great invitation, great program, great everything. I owe Patricia for this. The wedding truly turned out perfect. The sun was bright, our ceremony went perfect, cocktail hour and dinner were amazingly fun. People brought and kept their invitations…they took their programs home and commented on how we must have been planning for ages for the wedding (only Patricia and my wife knew they had done it in 6 weeks…and now thanks to this blog, everybody knows!)
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