For many people, the first they will hear of an upcoming wedding is when they receive their invitation card. Obviously both the bride and groom's families will be aware of the upcoming wedding ceremony long before the invitation cards are sent out, as they're the ones sending out the invitations. Families who belong to the Muslim, Hindu or Sikh faiths generally have very large wedding ceremonies with well in excess of a hundred guests being invited, and more often then not, the wedding invitations Indian families send out to their guests feature designs and symbols which echo their religion.
Muslim wedding cards often feature the crescent moon and star symbol along with a paisley pattern. Metallic card and diamanté designs are common place and often the Muslim cards also feature the name of the bride and groom in gilded lettering on the front of the invitation. As with other wedding invitations, Muslim wedding cards wish the bride and groom a long and prosperous marriage whilst also informing the recipient of the date, time and location of the forthcoming wedding.
Indian wedding cards for members of the Hindu faith often feature the symbols for Ganesh, Kalisha or Om, all of which play a strong role in their religion. Hindu wedding invitations also favour the paisley pattern, which in the middle east from where it hails it is more commonly known as Mankolam or Boteh Begheh. As with other invitations aimed at the Asian faiths, gilding and metallised paper or card are common as this reflects prosperity on longevity.
Sikh or Punjabi cards are also similar in design to their Hindu and Muslim counter parts. The paisley pattern is often present on embossed, metallised and gilded card. The symbol of Ek Onkar is also a common feature of Sikh or Punjabi wedding invitations, as is the Tika design, which is worn on the forehead of Sikh brides for the duration of the wedding ceremony.
Indian wedding cards are almost always sent in an envelope which carries aspects of the card design itself; so a purple coloured card will come in a matching purple envelope which may also bear a gilded religious symbol. The wedding invitations Indian families send out to their guests almost always feature high quality designs on high quality paper or card. Indian cards are also available for interfaith marriages. These may include symbols from each faith, or may instead feature imagery which does not relate to any of the religions, yet carries a similar feel or design which is common in most Indian wedding invitations.