We fell in love with Ananya‘s new collection as soon as we saw it, so we just had to ask founder Vaishali Shah about the inspiration behind Mandala Love.
What is the story behind the Mandala Love collection?
“For our Mandala Love collection, we wanted a pattern or symbol with a universal appeal. Mandalas are familiar to both the Western and Eastern cultures. Since we had not seen a mandala design used in wedding stationery, and as mandalas represent the search for oneness, harmony, peace and union, we believed they were exceptionally well suited for wedding stationery. We have given a modern, contemporary interpretation to the traditional mandala designs.”
Where did the design inspiration come from for this collection?
“At Ananya, we have always been inspired by all things artistic, especially as they relate to the rich Asian heritage. Taking inspiration for our designs from symbols, patterns and motifs used in tapestries, tiles, handicrafts and architecture, we created a design that represents both the traditional and the contemporary.
While the Mandala Love collection is a wonderful choice for a spring wedding, a time of new beginnings and a renewal of life, the meaning of mandalas also make them an ideal choice for weddings throughout the year.”
What sort of bride and groom would this collection appeal to?
“The Mandala Love collection has been designed to appeal to a wide range of couples. Whether it’s an Asian or multicultural couple who love the idea of symbolism and meaning behind their stationery, or the artisanal touch, or they love patterns with bold, bright colours, the collection is adapted for those with a modern taste as well as those couples with a more traditional taste. For the English couple, there’s a modern, fiesta flair and bold colours to represent the joyous occasion.
This collection is perfect for the bride and groom who value the importance of their wedding stationery, who want to be noticed and create an impact, starting with the first glimpse of their day with the save the date card.”
How important is wedding stationery when planning a wedding?
“Extremely important! Couples should remember that their wedding stationery is a way for them to set the tone for their wedding, starting with the save the date card. It is a personal statement of their identity and personality, and is of vital importance. The save the date card is the first glimpse their guests will have of the kind of wedding to expect, so it needs to be impactful.
“It is also important to have consistency throughout the suite of stationery to create a sense of cohesion and harmony.
“The stationery will become a keepsake to be looked back on, and is often shared with the younger generation in years to come, so a lot of thought needs to go into choosing the right stationery.”
What are the most common difficulties couples run into when organising their wedding stationery?
“It is always a good idea to order about 10% extra stationery, in case more guests need to be invited at the last minute, or there are mistakes made in writing out the invitations. It is often difficult and costly to get more invitations at the last minute, so couples sometimes run into difficulty if no extra invitations have been ordered at the outset. Couples sometimes count one invitation per person, and end up with too many invitations. They should order only one invitation per couple/family.
“As there is such a tremendous amount of choice in wedding stationery, it is easy to get overwhelmed. The couple should go to a reputable designer who will talk them through the designs suited to their personality and style, and help to determine the number of items required in the suite of stationery.
“As the wedding date approaches, there are often changes in the number of guests attending or not attending due to various reasons, so the seating plan may keep changing. At Ananya, we try to leave the seating plan as late as possible to accommodate last minute changes.
“Working out the number of items required in the stationery suite can also cause complications. Will the couple need an RSVP card with dietary requirements? Do they need to include a map? There are many items such as the order of service, advice cards for the bride and groom, seating plan, coasters, etc. that can add that extra, individual touch. A good stationery designer will advise on all these points, plus the wording of the invites and proof read them for any mistakes. They will manage the whole process, relieving the couple of stress and overwhelm, so they can enjoy their big day.”
What makes the Mandala Love collection so unique and special?
“We have not seen anything like it in wedding invitations. The designs are versatile and can suit both Western, Eastern and multicultural couples. They are intricate, have a universal appeal, with hot pops of colour. Within the collection, the colours can be adapted to suit the time of year, e.g. for an autumn wedding, the colours could be more rustic; for a summer wedding, the colours could be bold and bright; this makes the stationery not only personal to the couple, but also to the season.
“Our collection includes a design in rich blue that involves hand printing using a silk screen, which is a process of great technical precision. Ananya’s skilled craftsmen print each emblem four times, layering the colours as they go. The mandalas have to be perfectly aligned to prevent any overlap or gaps and keep a clean, crisp edge. The silk screen printing process gives the design optimum vibrancy.”
How can this collection be made bespoke for a couple wanting to add their own personal touch to this collection for their wedding?
“We have many ways to add that bespoke, personal touch. The wording can be written in calligraphy, which gives it a regal and very personal touch; a monogram of the couple or something such as a family crest could be incorporated which would be a completely bespoke and unique feature. Other options include lined envelopes to match and harmonise with the stationery and crystal embellishments to add that wow factor.”
What sort of stationery is Ananya best known for designing and supplying?
“Our multi award-winning luxury stationery business is known for its beautifully crafted, bespoke, high-end stationery for weddings, family celebrations, milestone birthdays, children’s stationery, corporate events, and greeting cards.
“The wedding stationery designs are elegant, sophisticated and contemporary. The unique style and personality of the couple are lovingly woven into a theme for their special day.
“Ananya has strong experience and expertise in fusing cultures, bringing a modern, Western twist to traditional Asian wedding invitations, for example, while also providing on-trend, fashion-forward designs to suit all cultures and backgrounds.
“In addition to our bespoke service, we provide an extensive range of customisable pre-designed wedding invitations. The invitations are then personalised with the couple’s details with no additional design fee, ready to be sent out.”
What is your number one golden rule for couples when they embark on choosing their wedding stationery designer?
“The most important thing to remember is to choose a style and theme that is meaningful to you and that represents you and your personality as a couple; and not just because it is the latest trend or because it is what someone else likes. It is not something to compromise on. Otherwise you will not radiate the joy that you should on such an occasion. When you look back on the occasion, there should be no regrets.”
In your opinion, what makes a 5 star wedding?
“A 5 star wedding is one where everything comes together seamlessly. There is consistency throughout, from the stationery to the décor, to the venue to the food, etc. It is visually appealing, cohesive and harmonious, and where everything goes according to plan.
“Most importantly, a 5 star wedding is one where the couple is thrilled with their wedding day, and where they look back and think ‘wow’!”
Such a gorgeous collection, thank you for sharing with us, Vaishali!
If you’d like more information, please contact Vaishali Shah at Ananya
Tel: +44 (0)20 7242 1877
Mandala Love Q&A with Ananya’s Vaishali Shah