People love partying and celebrating. And there isn’t a bigger party than a wedding, especially if it is an Indian wedding. Abroad, the guest lists are rather precise, with limited invitees. Indian weddings are slightly different. For starters, the guest list includes just about all your relatives including cousins (goes without saying), second cousins (of course!), third cousins (whom you have met precisely twice in your lifetime) and the rest of the cousins (whom you don’t know, but your parents or grandparents or someone in the family might have heard of).
Let us help you INVITE effectively!
1. THE MAKING OF THE GUEST LIST OUGHT TO BE A COLLABORTIVE EFFORT:
With so many people to invite, it is very easy to miss out folks. Try and get as much help as possible, from your near and dear ones, in making the guest list. One missed invitation equals a million misgivings! The more folks you involve, the lesser the chances of skipping someone’s name. Making it a collaborative effort ensures that the rest of the family feels involved as well.
2. SET DEADLINES:
With your mind rushing off in many directions, it gets increasingly hard to stay focussed. Create a deadline for each task and try to stick to it. A wedding means that you have truckloads of people to identify as guests. Then, you need to get in touch with them, to get their latest postal addresses. In this age of emails, you might not have the postal addresses of a majority of them. Start well in advance and give yourself ample time to get and process the information provided. You should have all addresses handy at least 2 months before the wedding.
3. SAVE THE LIST:
Getting the information may not necessarily be the most difficult task, but staying organised can be quite challenging. Maintain a master file of all addresses trickling in and keep it safe (away from possible spills and curious kids). You might have to hang on to the list for at least a few weeks, so it would be advisable to use a file/ folder rather than using loose scraps of paper to jot down the information.
4. WRITING THE ADDRESSES:
Before you sit down to put the address on each envelope, select the pen that you would like to use. Dark coloured envelopes might require a shiny metallic pen (like silver or golden) so that the writing is clearly visible. The trouble with metallic pens is that the writing smudges easily, depending on the texture of the paper. Do a test run on ONE card and then do the rest if the test is successful. If any smudging occurs, a better option is using a CD/DVD pen (Luxor or any other). It is a permanent marker but one with a much finer tip than regular markers. For lighter coloured cards one can write the address directly on to the envelope, but for the darker ones, it is advisable to get white mailing labels and then write the addresses on to them. If you are a techie, you can even chose to print your address labels through MS Word.
Using courier services is a rather straightforward task (you don’t need to worry about the delivery/ stamps), but a tad bit expensive. However, many prefer to use the postal system for sending out the invites. Posting the cards can take a little more time than anticipated, simply because you need to affix the stamps onto each card. Make sure you have a list of the number of domestic and international cards to be sent. To simplify matters, take one card to the post office, get it weighed and then confirm exactly how much postage you would need for either category. Do mention the different countries that the cards need to reach, as the rates might vary a bit. Then request the officials to give you stamps of the exact denomination. For instance, if a card to be sent within India needs stamps worth Rs.5, ask for stamps of Rs.5 each. If you don’t do that, you might end up gluing 5 Rs.1 stamps onto ONE envelope, instead of just 1 stamp of Rs.5, which is 5 times the work that could have easily been avoided.
Having dispatched all the cards does not mean that you are done with the job. Indian hospitality is a little more demanding than just completing that formality. So don’t forget to follow up with a courtesy call to all the intended recipients. A call indicates warmth and sincerity, and can even make up for a misplaced/ill-timed invitation. Additionally, you could use e-invites as a back up.
After all, it is all about adding that dash of personal touch that makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.