What is it?
The card (www.cometokochi.in) titled 'Come to Kochi' is an elaborate website with entertaining images and witty text (composed largely by Menon) centred on the wedding. The site is adorned with photos of the couple and their respective families, and a rhyme that spells out the saga of how they met and fell in love. This gives the entire card a very personal touch.
The practical side of things has been taken care of with equal enthusiasm. The site has a side menu pertaining to aspects such as the venue, ways to get there, accommodation, and things guests can do after the celebrations. The main site is hyperlinked to websites such as Cleartrip.com, Redbus.in, and Google Maps, thus offering detailed travel aid to the guests, who can pick their desired mode of transport -- air, train, or road.
Though it was the brainchild of the bride and groom-to-be, it was their best friend Amit Basak, who designed the site. Basak is associate creative director (art) at Webchutney Mumbai. It took him two months to write the text, and 100 hours to design the site. Once the copy was finalised, it went through the regular web design process. The design construction is based on fresh style, easy presentation and some movements to provide distraction.
The entire creative comes together in a virtual fish bowl inspired from a line from the song 'Wish you were here', which happens to be the couple's favourite Floyd track. "It's also because they've been doing long distance stints forever," Basak says. The crest (top of the page) directs the overall design of the page and the rest follows when viewers begin to scroll down.
afaqs! quizzes the couple on the chain of thoughts or events that sparked off the idea in the first place. Menon explains, "It started with the thought of making a fun 'family crest' for Meghana and me. We wanted it to reflect our respective personalities. So, that's the first unit you see on the page." Apparently, the Bhat-Menon-Basak trio has been making these kind of wedding cards for their friends and family for a while now.
However, cynics attribute such an effort to a deeper reason. In the world of advertising/creativity, professionals seem to live under a certain kind of pressure (often self-induced) that makes them want to be creative in each and everything that they do. It's somewhat like an underlying expectation to always think out-of-the-box, even when one is not at the workplace. Menon responds, "Yes, there is pressure as we constantly want to make awesome things. And, in this case, I'd say we were more excited than stressed about it because it was that one thing that we could make exactly the way we wanted."
A viral hit
The card has turned out to be a big hit in the online space. Over 5,000 people have seen the invitation already and people are posting interesting reactions on social media. One of the many random tweets about the card went like this: "I don't even know who these people are and I want to attend their wedding!" An e-mail response from yet another complete stranger was about how the couple plans to handle unexpected gate-crashers, given the kind of popularity the event is garnering!
"We really didn't think it would go viral like this," confides Bhat.
For the benefit of the family members and elders involved, there is a regular traditional card, too. Amused and impressed as they were with the idea of this online card, the two families didn't let the couple print it out as the official wedding card.
The wedding is scheduled for February 26. The couple claims that the actual wedding ceremony is nothing like the funky card, and is slated to be a rather simple affair. Interestingly, for the benefit of those who cannot make it to the wedding, the entire ceremony will be streamed (live) on the same website.