Monday,25 March, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1330, (2 - 8 February 2017)
Monday,25 March, 2019
Issue 1330, (2 - 8 February 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Essential invitations

Beautiful handwritten wedding cards have not yet been replaced by online invitations

Essential invitations

With the spread of social media, some young couples today might choose online invitations through Facebook and other sites when they are thinking of their big day. However, designing a wedding card gives another dimension to the planning process. “A wedding card designer can be as creative as you like, adding a unique style to each wedding invitation,” says Ayman Al-Gaarani, a wedding card designer.

Preparing for the big day is a long and exciting journey, and one which necessitates various tasks for the bride and groom. Choosing a wedding card design to make family and friends look forward to sharing the joy has long been an essential part of the planning process.

In the business of wedding card design for over 30 years, Al-Gaarani believes that choosing a wedding card remains an important ritual for many couples. His art work as a wedding card designer is tailored to keeping the memory of the most significant day in many people’s lives intact for years to come, he says.

Essential invitations

“But I can’t deny that my business and the market in general have been affected by some young couples starting to use online invitations to invite their wedding guests instead of traditional invitations. Young couples now use apps to invite their friends,” Al-Gaarani says.

However, a wedding card is still usually essential to invite family members, meaning that even if 100 friends are invited using social apps, 50 are invited by wedding cards. The price of cards reflects the materials used in them, Al-Gaarani says. “Some can reach LE100,” he adds.

But a wedding card is not only about inviting guests: Many couples regard such cards as works of art that can commemorate the date of their wedding and be a beautiful memory over the years. “The cards, with their beautiful hand-written inscriptions, gracefully record tying the knot of any bride and groom,” Al-Gaarani says.

Amani Ali, who’s been married for two years, says that for her wedding she ordered more than one hundred wedding invitations for family members. “For friends and acquaintances, I used Facebook invitations as a first step and then telephone call confirmations,” she says.

Dina Abul-Azm, who is still planning for her wedding, says she will be using printed invitations. “It’s an important part of the marriage ritual inaddition to phone confirmations. I will use Facebook invitations only for guests whom I cannot easily reach,” she says. Some marriage partners have even said they use Facebook only to invite guests they are not really that keen to invite. Printed invitations are essential for real guests, they said.

The typical colour of wedding cards is white, symbolising purity and beauty, but engagement cards can come in a wide variety of colours, including pink, beige and off-white. According to Al-Gaarani, nowadays the design and manufacture of wedding cards is a large industry seeing new designs almost every day. Various materials are used, starting from various types of papers. The most expensive is called crystal paper, which glitters, and others include satin, pearl and wood designs.

Cards can be decorated with flowers, crystals or pearls. Wood is another material that can be used, with the invitation being written on a card attached to a wooden art piece. “Small bags decorated with pearls is another new design idea, and so is a small padded envelope decorated with crystals,” adds Al-Gaarani. Some designs are custom-made, the bride usually coming up with a design in her mind that the designer helps her with. “She is the person most involved in the design process,” he adds.

Al-Gaarani adds that his customers do not only come from Egypt. “I have customers from Libya, Saudi Arabia and Sudan as well,” he says, adding that one of the most original designs he has made recently was a small bottle of scented oil and a beaded bracelet with a silver pendant inscribed with the name of the bride and groom and put in a box made of silk.

“This was for a big wedding in Saudi Arabia,” he recalls.

So despite today’s use of social apps, an essential part of all our lives, certain special industries like wedding card design still remain essential for many people and one that can only be done by hand.

The writer is a freelance journalist.

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