In celebration of our 10 year anniversary, Ananya have proudly launched our Trio of Life Collection of wedding stationery. A brand new addition to our already prolific and multicultural Ananya Global Traveller theme, the Trio of Life Collection is a unique tribute to much-loved members of the animal kingdom; a collection we have been working on for almost a year.
With contemporary designs focusing on the parrot, the elephant and the fish, this lovingly handcrafted collection explores the role of these animals since ancient times, bringing their symbolism and enchantment into the 21st century. Each animal represents one of the three essential elements for all life forms: air, earth and water, and has a special significance in Indian and Buddhist scriptures, making them perfect for wedding invitation designs.
The Parrot: the air element
Our inspiration for this collection comes from India with its rich tapestry of life and with the special significance placed on various animals and birds as symbols of power, beauty, love and prosperity. References to them can be found in ancient scriptures and folk tales as well as being depicted in paintings and sculptures. They are often believed to be symbols associated with various deities. Animals and birds are considered as friends and partners with whom we share the planet.
The first written reference to parrots was found in Indian literature written more than 3,000 years ago. Parrots were considered birds of love in ancient India. In Hindu mythology, the parrot is associated with Kama, the God of love; he is often depicted riding on a parrot. It is thought that the red beak and green feathers connect it with fertility. The red beak symbolises the red earth before the rains, meaning unfulfilled desires, and the green feathers symbolise the green growth after the rains, meaning fulfilled desire and joy.
The Goddess Meenakshi is also depicted as holding a parrot in her hand. Parrots were often used as messengers of love between lovers, even Gods and Goddesses.
Parrots are also considered a sign of fertility. In some parts of India, married women draw paintings that often show parrots, hoping that the newly wed bride and groom would be blessed with many children.
Ananya specifically chose a parrot rather than a peacock because it is more unusual, whereas the peacock is very familiar.
The parrot motif would be ideal for a tropical destination wedding, or a summer wedding.
The Elephant: the earth element
Indians have worshipped elephants for many centuries. Ancient Indian and Buddhist scriptures are full of references to elephants. Sculptures in temples as well as in paintings and textiles feature elephant motifs. In Hinduism, the elephant is considered sacred and a representative of Ganesha the elephant headed God who removes obstacles and brings prosperity. According to Buddhist scriptures, a white elephant is associated with the birth of Buddha; his mother dreamt of a white elephant giving her a lotus flower as a symbol that she was going to give birth to a pure and enlightened being.
Kings and Queens have used elephants in their wedding processions. An elephant is a symbol of majesty, intelligence, power, wisdom, success and prosperity as well as grace. It makes a most suitable animal for a wedding invitation.
Every design in the collection is an original and has been hand drawn. Each illustration has taken traditional motifs and given them a contemporary interpretation to make them more personal and give them universal appeal. There are intricate patterns within the outline of each design with soft, muted colours for the background, in contrast to traditional Indian wedding stationery with its signature bright colours.
The Fish: the water element
According to ancient Indian mythology, the fish symbolises creation, fertility, happiness and good fortune. It is also considered an avatar of the God Vishnu, one of the three most prominent Gods in Hinduism.
Vishnu transformed himself into a fish in order to rescue man from a great deluge and guided him to safety. The fish is also associated with the sacred rivers of India, the Ganga (Ganges) and Yamuna. In Buddhism, the fish is one of the eight sacred symbols of the Buddha.
The fish motif would be an ideal choice for beach weddings.
Ananya has drawn on ancient symbols, often considered sacred, and deeply historically imbued in Indian culture, with each one having specific relevance and suitability for weddings. These motifs have been transformed and adapted for the modern world, retaining their traditional richness and elegance, but with a contemporary and multicultural twist.
Please contact us for more information on this gorgeous collection.
Photos by Fiona Kelly Photography.