I've had a few of my friends getting married (this being the peak marriage maatu-sandhai season) and most of them have the time to come up with a website. Before I start my rant on the website itself - I have a huge problem with people saying, "Please treat this as a personal invite". Till quite recently (before these weblinks became a part of my daily email checking routine), I thought emails were personal. If somebody emails me on my personal email address, I assume that they are addressing a personal issue. Then why this statement? If they mean personal as in meeting us/you personally, then I think that this is one of the oft-used, least meant cliches in normal communication (the first is in tamizh cinema, where there is a dialog - Unga kaiya kaala nenachu ketkaren!). I have made a promise to myself that the next time I see this line in an email, I'm going to press the delete button for the mail.
Now onto the website - most of what I say are observations - add to them if you have come across any other versions/flavors.
1. As soon as you open the weblink, it takes close to 2 minutes to load. Why? Because there is either the mushy romantic song loading or the traditional nadhaswaram and melam music loading. A quick thing to do is while you wait for the page to load is to reply to the original email wishing them the best or whatever.
2. The section which makes my blood boil - Our Story / How We Met or some other such cheesily named section. What I don't understand is there are only options available - either you met someone at work/college/wherever you used to hang out or you had an 'arranged' marriage - which involves the parents putting in spade work to find a well educated and good looking bride/groom and making them talk. A new masala mix which has been added now is this we had an arranged-love marriage, when all it involves is for those makkal who were closet-romantics (either due to parental pressure/considerations or personal incapability) varuthufy kadalai (if they are not in the same city) or roam about the city like let-loose-donkey and then saying - "Oh! we were very much in laaauv before we got married!!" Thu!! But onto the website kandraavi - so when there are only two options/stories boards (okay, three! ), why should they try to put in the site? We all know the route map a-b-c quite well. While I agree for the junta concerned it is still a story of their lifetimes, do not try to shove it down our throats in your website. I know that I have a choice to not click on that section, which is what I do nowadays. Also, another question that lingers is, when I meet someone (in person) and they tell me that they are getting married, my immediate response would be to congratulate them and in the case I know the person really well, I will go on to ask what their significant other is - professionally. I have never had the urge to ask people - where did you meet? did he lick your shoes or did you stand at the bust stop for him in the hot sun etc etc. These are personal details and I do not know how these makkal are brazenly vekkam-ketta kinds to put all these details in a frickking website. The pseudo category three makkal go one step further. To match the masala the lauv option provides, these guys go to a level of cheesiness which borders on stupidity. A popular line from this category is - "Oh! He travelled 10000 miles to see me". The last time I checked the only way to get to India was by twisting yourself into two and packing yourself into an economy seat in an air plane and make a 10000 mile journey to India. There were no fancy phancy particle transfer process which would make you disappear in the US and make you appear at Ranganathan street in Madras (okay, I saw Star Trek yesterday!). So, why in God's name should such matter-of-fact be romanticized? The levels of the desperation of that guy might have made him travel that distance for any girl, leave alone you. I sincerely hope somebody bans publishing "How we first met", "where we proposed", " What color socks was he wearing when we decided to get married" crap online. As I already said, these are personal stuff and should not shared on a website.
3. Photos/Gallery - I'm a big fan of photos and so do not mind this section. This provides the visitors a chance to see the kannalam kattikara makkal together or the actual kannala pictures - either way, I think this serves some purpose.
4. Guestbook - The section in itself is not a bad idea, but the way it is used by the morons who visit the website makes this a puke section. Visitors put in, literally, Orkut type scraps. The most often used words are "Cute", "Chweet" and "Muaaah" (In decreasing order of popularity and also signifying an increase in the sender's stupidity from L-to-R). Recently Blogeswari , blogged about these dimwits who use funny abbreviations/versions for normal english words - lyk for like, gr8 for great, Chweeeeet (the higher the stupidity, more the repeat of alphabets) for sweet, Muaaaah to signify their overflow of emotions aka a kiss. Ezhavedutha peedaigal! I want to meet the praguruthi who set the rule that using these crazy spellings/words are either: 1. Cool, or 2. Cute. I want to give that person two tight slaps and thirigify their thalai like they do for kozhi(s). And this crib of mine is directed towards the female populace who address their friends of the same sex as DA or YA or Babe. All the three usages are highly puke inducing, despicable usages.
5. Contact Us/Details to Reach the venue etc - these are genuinely sensible and not oftenly misused sections, so let me not disparage them unnecessarily.
Please feel free to add any more details kandravi-er versions that you've seen.