Ananya (Sanskrit for 'without equal') reinvents traditional Eastern designs and patterns – creating a selection of personalised stationery and cards with a sophisticated, contemporary look for an international audience. |
Ananya Cards excels in bespoke creations for Asian and interfaith weddings allow a couple to express their individuality and theme their day entirely, from save-the-date cards and invitations through to order of service and thank you cards. In this exclusive interview head designer behind the Ananya Brand, Vaishali Shah shares plenty of inspiration with engaged couples who are starting to plan their wedding stationery. Read on…..
What’s your distinctive design style?
Our distinctive style is inspired by traditional Asian cultures. Ananya’s designs bring together aspects of those cultures and interprets them with a contemporary and modern twist, favoured by the more cosmopolitan and discerning client. Exuding luxury, elegance and exoticism, our eco-friendly cards are printed on high quality cardstock and printed in the UK.
Where do you find your inspiration?
We believe inspiration is everywhere if you are open to it. I often travel to the East and draw on its rich cultures and traditions - tapestries, fabrics, motifs, manuscripts, pottery, tiles, architecture…there is so much to be inspired by! I also follow the trends in fashion and look at what is hot in the relevant magazines, so that we can incorporate elements into our Ananya stationery. At the moment Paisley is making a comeback in the fashion world and is the print ‘du jour’, so we have been designing more Paisley stationery. What kind of techniques do you use to successfully blend Eastern and Western designs together?
The techniques used are varied and also depend on what the couple want. For bespoke wedding invitations, we often use screen printing which gives a very rich, vibrant and striking effect when using metallic colours such as gold or silver. We also look at age old methods such as block printing and will adapt our designs to give them the block print look. Embellishing the cards with crystals in silver, gold or bold colours adds that extra touch of glamour and sparkle. Choosing strong, contrasting or bold colours like purple and turquoise which are not traditional wedding colours are very effective in adding dramatic appeal. A modern interpretation of traditional images and symbols such as the abstract and stylised image of Ganesh is used where appropriate. What are some of the most popular choices from some of your customers?
Bright and vibrant invitations in striking colour combinations with a touch of gold and silver are always popular. Motifs such as the lotus, paisley and peacock are perennial favourites, while vintage and damask designs continue to gain favour. For those that want the added wow factor, embellishments are a must have.
What kind of engaged couples do you think Ananya cards are suited towards?
Ananya’s wedding stationery appeals to an international audience. It is suitable for couples who want something different, who want to make a real statement and express their unique identity on their wedding day. Whether it is our bespoke service or our pre-designed boutique collection, all our cards offer luxurious quality and impactful designs.
Our cards are also for couples who are having a multicultural wedding and who love the exoticism and allure of the East and want a modern interpretation of traditional designs and images. For our bespoke service, we can incorporate aspects, themes and symbols of the different cultures that are meaningful to the couple into the whole suite of stationery such as save the date cards, menu, etc. For couples who want a destination wedding, we are able to incorporate elements of the destination into the design of the invitation, thus bringing an added dimension to the card. Some couples love their stationery to have lots of glitz and glamour - our beautiful cards with hand embellished crystals can deliver that wow factor. They add that special exotic sparkle and shimmer and are increasingly seen as a work of art which can become a keepsake – a souvenir to look back on with pride and show future generations. Talk us through some of your latest designs
Some of our boutique collection designs such as ‘Captivating Colours’ offer a variety of colours with floral patterns and are fun and full of exuberance. They can be suitable for a summer wedding as well as an evening reception. We also have a large range of other designs couples can chose from, which can then be customised to suit their colour preferences.
Our latest bespoke designs were for two clients having multicultural weddings - namely Anjali and Benjamin, and Stacey and Dharmesh. Anjali and Benjamin’s wedding invitation has bright background colours of fuchsia pink and gold. A lovely floral pattern in the same gold, printed on the fuchsia pink makes a striking contrast. A row of pink lotus flowers embellished with a pink crystal runs across the card. The lotus, considered a sacred flower, was drawn by the groom’s mother and gives the card a very personal significance. The names of the couple were printed in turquoise blue against the gold background, again making for a very impactful contrast. The overall look of the card is very bright, festive and exotic and makes a real statement about the couple.
Stacey and Dharmesh’s suite of stationery has an outdoors flavour as they will be getting married at London’s Barbican Conservatory. The cards have a floral design in keeping with the outdoors setting. The rich red sacred colour of love and good fortune was used both as a principal colour. As it is a multicultural wedding, an abstract Ganesh rather than a traditional Ganesh image was used on the invitation. To make the occasion really memorable and personal, their initials were used as a monogram on each item of the stationery suite. The overall effect created is fresh and regal.
What is it about Ananya cards that makes a lasting impression on brides to be? The Ananya brand is synonymous with luxurious quality. We use the finest materials, hand embellishments and specialist techniques. Our fusion of Asian and British styles appropriate for Asian and multicultural weddings allows us to use bold and vibrant colours, making them look opulent and sophisticated at the same time. We use authentic and innovative designs researched and inspired by themes and patterns from diverse cultures to give our client an exotic experience in the cultural richness, explosion of colour and design. Although the designs are inspired by traditional Asian designs, they are interpreted with a new, modern twist and appeal to the more cosmopolitan client. Tell us about the design process. How do you work with the bride and groom to create the right design for them? For couples who want our boutique service, we have a large range of beautiful designs to choose from. Once the design has been chosen, we can then customise it to suit their colour preferences.
The beauty of bespoke stationery is that it gives you total freedom to make it as individual as you are. It can express your style and personality and can incorporate any special element that is meaningful to you. Our bespoke designs have you as the focus from concept to completion. Whether it is a swatch of fabric you love or a motif that has a particular meaning for you, we can create a theme around it and carry that theme into every element of your stationery. Starting with a detailed consultation either in person, by email or telephone, we discuss your wedding, ideas and individual requirements and show you our gorgeous designs to help you gain inspiration. If you have a design or an idea in mind then we discuss how we can make this work. But if you don't, there's no need to worry because, with our imagination and experience, we can advise and guide you towards a design that perfectly reflects you as a couple and your special day. Without the restrictions of an off-the-shelf service you are free to explore different colours, shapes, sizes, materials and printing methods. We love a creative challenge and will ensure your stationery is exactly as you want it. With a wealth of experience creating stationery for some very different weddings we are here to offer advice on etiquette, wording, and timing as well as the design of your stationery, so that the whole process is stress free and enjoyable. The process consists of 5 stages: Stage 1 is to establish the criteria of the project. This stage involves understanding your design requirements and determining timelines and fees involved. Stage 2 is the exploration of the design possibilities. At this step, we will explore the design possibilities for your wedding stationery, and present the first round. Stage 3 is refining the design. Once you confirm which design direction you would like to go with from stage 2, we will continue to edit the invitation and stationery with the design and text edits. Stage 4 is the production of the invitation stationery. As stage 3 is completed, our designs become tangible! Print co-ordination with printers begins after sending you a production estimate and getting it approved by you. Proofs can be made for your approval before the final quantity is printed. Finally, stage 5 is delivery of the deliverables. The entire package is delivered to you, and you are ready to enjoy your wedding invitations and stationery! What are some of your favourite designs you’ve created over the years?
Although I love all the invitations we design, one of the most memorable and rewarding invitations was for Kalyn and Todd. It was particularly satisfying for several reasons. Kalyn lived in New York, so we were never able to meet in person, however, thanks to modern technology we were able to communicate every aspect of the design process easily. Kalyn wanted an exotic look and feel to the stationery and we were able to come up with a design she absolutely loved, taking inspiration from a Moroccan tile. She also wanted a complete suite of stationery including invitations, thank you cards, place cards, menus, table numbers and order of service. This really got our creative juices going and imagination soaring, harmonising the theme through all the different aspects of the stationery. Since Kalyn’s wedding was also a destination wedding, we were able to incorporate elements from the destination into the stationery. The final result was a triumph – we were able to bring her vision to fruition!
Another favourite was Meghna and Jignesh’s suite of wedding stationery. The fact that it was a full suite gave us the ability to carry the theme throughout the suite while adding various touches for added interest. The sumptuous colours of amber gold and turquoise blue on the invitation folder with the sacred lotus and paisley pattern on the turquoise background created an effect that was breath taking! The invitation itself was on a rich fuchsia background with the paisley design in a light tone, fading into the background, and the sacred lotus took on the turquoise of the invitation folder. The seating plan, the menu, place card, money envelope and wedding booklet all had the same elements, but were all incorporated using different combinations of colours, size and placement of the patterns. This gave the overall suite a sense of harmony and cohesion. The couple’s monogram appeared on each piece of stationery. The fact that all the stationery was printed on beautiful iridescent cardstock gave it an added richness. The guests were bowled over!
Aside from wedding invitations tell us about some of your other popular products for brides and grooms.
The point of having various products to offer brides and grooms is so they can make a personal statement about their identity and personality and to be able to stand out. Ananya helps couples achieve this by creating their personal stationery which can incorporate a monogram. Monograms have become an increasingly popular way of personalising and giving that extra touch of individuality and class to wedding stationery. They can also be adapted for use in a variety of ways to suit the couple’s needs. The monograms can be printed on invitations as well as envelope stickers. Other wedding stationery we offer include save the date cards, a welcome pack, place cards, order of service, menu, thank you cards, seating plan, table numbers, stickers/envelope seals, an information sheet to include maps, accommodation information as well as inserts of other functions such as Sangeet, Mehendi, and Pooja, just to name a few.
If you’re looking for unique and distinctive Asian Wedding Cards for your Asian Wedding please visit UK’s Premier Online Asian Wedding Directory, Your Dream Shaadi. The home of Asian Brides.
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