Invitations for South Asian weddings
Founder & CEO Panil Dalal
Panil Dalal is a veteran in the South Asian wedding invitation industry. Getting his start in India, Panil was the principal at a company that did design, printing and fulfillment. When he moved to the US he started PD Invites which has grown to be one of the most recognized and reliable sources for wedding invitations in the US.
How many invitations do you do per year?
About 200 per year. We typically do the invitations for both the bride and groom’s sides. We are busy throughout the year but busiest during the 1st quarter for spring and summer weddings; and of course for all of the holiday weekends throughout the year.
What trends are you seeing in this industry?
People really want to be unique and customize every aspect of their wedding – including their invitations. It’s the first public facing portion of the wedding and it’s exciting to send them out and receive RSVPs back. The colors matching their overall theme palette is important, people are adding unique shapes, embossing, and even jewels as well.
How did you start the business in the US?
One couple asked us to handle their invitation instead of working directly with a vendor in India. Afterwards they told people about us and from there we started getting more and more calls.
What are the scope of your services?
Pretty much anything you can do with paper – we can handle. From design, wording text, die cuts, embossing, jeweled invitations to printing and shipping – we do the whole process . We set up PD Invites this way to be a very convenient resource for our clients – especially people who aren’t going to South Asia to go shopping. We take care of everything so our clients can be at ease knowing a professional is taking care of them.
Do you serve a particular geographic region?
We work on a lot of weddings in Southern California, but geography really isn’t a barrier for us. We have clients on the East Coast and even in Australia.
How is PD Invites different from online invitation retailers?
We don’t compete with online retailers. They are WSYIWYG services with no customization. They pre-print invitations and hold them in inventory. When an order arrives they lay the text that you provide on top. They don’t offer additional services such as helping with wording, nor walk you through various options.
We are the exact opposite.
- Everything is customized and made-to-order, down to the paper.
- The quality of our printing is higher.
- And we serve a diverse range of clients from different cultures within South Asia and can help them incorporate their traditions, logos and wordings for their invitations.
- Customer service and quality control – Our clients know us and we accommodate their needs. For example some prefer to proof in-person, others over the phone and some online. We keep clients informed about the status of their invitations and we stay on top of quality throughout the production process.
How do clients create their invitations with PD Invites?
Every client meeting is different. Most seek creative inspiration, which we’re happy to provide. We have a plethora of samples. When clients see samples that’s when the creative juices really start flowing. It becomes kind of a fun arts and crafts session to plug and play with different aspects of each invitation to create something unique just for them. Occasionally a client already has a very clear vision of what they want and we are happy to work with them too.
What’s a typical turn-around time?
For a non-rush invitation, it averages to 4 weeks from the point that the proof is approved. That includes custom ordering paper, production and shipping.
What’s the most popular invitation style?
Definitely some form of a pocket-jacket with individual card inserts for each event. This style is practical, elegant and gives families flexibility throughout the process to decide which inserts to include in each invitation.
Do you ever just do a portion of an invitation?
In general it’s recommended to work with one company for the whole invitation. And I think most clients prefer that too. Rarely we get asked to do one portion of an invitation. This is mostly when people are in a jam – the families realized they need an additional insert or there was an error that their other company couldn’t fix. We try to be flexible and help people out – after all this is for their wedding day!
What’s new at PD Invites?
We recently did an invitation for a quinceñera and started printing unique business cards.