Our series ‘Young and Inspiring’ showcases fresh, exciting new talent powerhouses from the design, fashion and event domains who specialize in creating dream weddings for couples with stars in their eyes. Meet Wedding Invite Designer Dipansh Bhasin, Founder of Ozel Design, a creative design house creating beautiful custom invitation cards for high-profile clients and patrons throughout the country.
Tell us a bit about your journey? What inspired you to get into the wedding invitations business?
I come from a family that has been in the paper business for 25 years. So I thought, why not venture into something related to it? I realized that there was a gap in the wedding invitation market. It was either the high-end Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000 per invite kind of places or the Chawri Bazaar wholesale market that people would have to choose from. There are regular middle-class families in New Delhi and India that desire good quality products but don’t want to pay a bomb for it. That has been my target group for the past five years since I began this company. Just because it’s nice, doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. One can put creative ideas to good use and create something classy.
What kind of wedding invitations do young couples look for?
Couples these days choose invitations with a multipurpose utility, instead of the usual mithai box and invitation card, a lot of couples want to personalize their wedding invitations and stationery as well as their wedding gifts and favors. One of our clients wanted to send out a special message to each guest with every invitation card, so we had a calligrapher pen down those personal notes. Another couple was having a destination wedding, so we made them a hangover kit to go with the wedding card. It’s a beautiful way to create excitement and anticipation of what was to come. You know that you’re going to party hard and you’ll probably have a hangover, so the couple had already provided the remedy quite thoughtfully. Also, it made for a wonderful keepsake.
What are the trends in wedding invitations and wedding gifting this season?
We create something different every season, but wedding invitations or gifting options are always in reference to a wedding theme and personalized as per a client’s tastes. An invitation card represents a couple and elements from their wedding or love story. Some couples want all the colors of their wedding to be featured in the invitation. That’s absolutely unnecessary. Last year we experimented with utility boxes and they were a big hit. This year we’re making travel utility boxes that denote an adventurous spirit and are great for destination weddings. For example, we created a travel utility box with a map, a handmade compass and some sand for a beach wedding this year.
What is the range of wedding gifts you cater to? Do you make care packages as well?
We create everything from save-the-date cards, wedding stationary, placards at the airport and wedding, pocket itineraries for guests and ‘Thank You’ letters to little gifts and games that can be played during the wedding period. We’ve customized Jenga and Snakes & Ladders recently. So when guests are relaxing in their rooms during the wedding, they can enjoy some group activities instead of just watching television. We don’t do any off-the-shelf sales. We do show couples what we’ve done before, but we always customize gifts and create mock-ups for them. We understand the color palette they want as well as their personalities and aim to create something unique to their wedding.
What is the most unusual request that you have ever had?
A well-known and respected entrepreneurial family from Punjab, the Libra family, had asked us to create an invitation card that reflected their family transportation business. So we created miniature wooden trucks to scale, with wheels that could roll, in which we placed the invitation cards. Another unusual one that I recall from a destination wedding in Mauritius was called ‘Be Still’. It was a small wooden box with white sand and a wooden pen-shaped dangler. It was meant to illustrate how we run around all the time without so much as having a 15-minute window where we do nothing. We sent out a note with it on how to use it to relax the mind. We sourced kinetic sand for this piece so it would not leave any residue when you played with it.
Do you have a favorite among the wedding invites that you’ve created… Anything you hold close to your heart and why?
A very close family friend was getting married and wanted an unusual invite that wasn’t made of cardboard and paper. He emphasized that it should have utility value. We brainstormed to come up with a veneer invite. Each and every detail was engraved on the veneer and personalized for each guest. He loved it and that’s how our veneer series happened. This was a game changer, a first in India, and will always remain special to us. Had he not demanded that we create something unconventional, we would never have considered wood veneer as a material to use in an invitation. It has now become our USP.
What’s your advice to couples who want to send out e-vites? Any other tips for them?
A milestone event requires a physical invite. Once you set a wedding date, you usually have about six months on hand to meet relatives and invite them. Don’t underestimate the charm of inviting your loved ones. The joy that this gesture brings is worth much more than all the time you will save by hitting ‘send’ on a digital invite. I would also like to advise couples to stop trying to make everything perfect. Don’t try to incorporate all your trousseau colors in the invite and décor, or get worked up about making things picture-perfect for your social media profile. It’s not worth it. People tend to get stuck in making the ‘best’ choices, and in the process lose out on the beauty of that momentous occasion. You’ve found the right partner and are setting out on a journey together for life. That is the most important. Revel in that. You’ve already done your best. Everything else is secondary, and possibly as perfect as it will ever be.