Metaverse: Is It The Newest Destination For Weddings?Wedding Planning Gayatri Guha
Our lives have become incomplete without technology. Especially after the deadly pandemic hit our lives, it has become an integral part without which we cannot do, can we? And with everything changing and adjusting according to the technology, the wedding industry has also evolved. Due to the pandemic, the whole world went into a lockdown, and weddings were postponed or canceled for that moment. But then humans are known to get solutions for everything and with the help of technology, weddings started taking place - over zoom calls!
Where guests who couldn't attend the wedding because of covid and its restrictions, can still be a part of the celebrations virtually. We celebrated and accepted this new, evolving trend of the wedding, and thought what possibly could be more than this, right? But, yet again, we were proved wrong when a couple decided to get married in the metaverse. For many of us, who are not aware of what is a metaverse wedding, and how this new virtual ceremony has become a part of us, please read on to know more.
What is a Metaverse Wedding?
Metaverse is a virtual space where designers, who are expert in virtual creativity, creates a virtual realm for the people and make it seem like it is happening not in our natural world but the virtual world. It includes a virtual venue where the couples can invite their friends and family.
How to Throw a Wedding in the Metaverse?
The bride and groom’s avatars can be customized and even the wedding dress can be created the best part is - the avatar can dance too. This technology is helping the couples to choose a venue, their wedding cake that is also customized, and their bespoke wedding outfits. In reality, they might be sitting in their bedroom and chilling in their comfy outfits.
The guests attending the metaverse weddings are also created and decked out in finery, bearing witness as vows are exchanged. The couples exchange rings via NFT and even the guests can do the same with the gifts.
Are Metaverse Weddings Legal?
Source: Yug Metaverse
Metaverse weddings are still not legal but couples are trying it out as it is something very new and fascinating. And it's going to grow and keep evolving. According to Bloomberg Intelligence, "the metaverse space could be worth more than $800 billion by 2024." According to research, the cost of the metaverse wedding starts from 30,000 INR and can go up to 5,00,000 INR. The cost of the whole wedding depends on designing the venue, the decor, the theme, the avatars and their outfits, the number of guests attending, etc. You can customize everything the way you want without moving even an inch and have the wedding of your dreams.
First Metaverse Wedding Ever
Now Metaverse weddings sound exciting and unique, but it is not yet legalized. According to the law, both the partners have to be physically present to get married.
Dave and Traci are the first couples hailing from Florida to tie the knot in a virtual space. They both work in eXp Reality, where they help in creating virtual spaces. The Gagnons got married in an intimate traditional ceremony in September 2021 in the presence of close friends and family. A lot of their guests couldn't be a part of the celebrations because of lockdown restrictions. Thus, their CEO suggested them an idea to create their wedding in the Metaverse, so everyone could be a part of the celebrations.
They loved the idea instantly and decided to get married in the virtual space, after getting married in a physical ceremony. The whole Metaverse wedding was organized and executed by the company named Virbela, the sister branch to the firm the couple was working in. The total cost came up to be $30,000 including the designing of a virtual venue, and wedding outfits for the couple and guests.
The coolest part of this whole thing was the guests invited were not only able to customize their outfits but also move around the way they want. They had full control over their avatars. The bride’s best friend was supposedly ill that day, but her avatar walked Traci’s avatar down the aisle one of Dave’s friends could not attend the wedding physically but his avatar took the center stage and raised a glass to their union.
In an interview, when asked about the positives of the Metaverse wedding, the bride Traci said, “I’m always a size 4, even in January, and I never have a bad hair day.”
The Gagnon’s wedding is the first held in a Metaverse, even before Mark Zuckerberg announced it.
First Metaverse Wedding in India
When talking about the first wedding in the virtual realm, India witnessed its first Metaverse wedding in February 2022. The wedding of Abhijeet and Sansrati took place on Yug Metaverse. The whole wedding was ideated, conceptualized, and executed by one of the media agencies, Wavemaker India for ITC ltd. and Matrimony.com. The couple wanted all their family and friends from around the globe to join their wedding and they went for this to make it happen. They hosted the ceremony on a scenic beachside venue where the guests attended the event in their respective digital avatars. The wedding had more than 500 registrations and the users could change their avatars, walk through the event and also enjoy the dance floor. The creator of Yug Metaverse, Utkarsh Shukla in an interview said that they wanted India to lead and be at the forefront of this revolutionary technology and their team is super excited to explore all the possibilities that the future has for technology like Metaverse, blockchain & cryptocurrency.
First Metaverse Reception in India
Before India witnessed the first Metaverse wedding, a couple from Ramaswamy Village in Tamil Nadu, India legally tied the knot in front of their friends and family. But due to the pandemic, they couldn't invite more than 100 people so they decided to host their reception in the metaverse. Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi and Janaganandhini Ramaswamy invited 2000 guests to their reception, which cost about 1,50,000 INR i.e., $2,016 to design, develop and host.
The couple is huge Harry Potter fans, they created a Hogwarts-themed party that the guests attended via their phones, laptops, or Ipads. The event was held for an hour and saw many guests in their virtual avatars blessing the union of these two Potterheads.
The coolest and the most moving part of their metaverse reception party was that they created the avatar of Ramaswamy’s late father who was seeing blessing them in the virtual space. Everyone was able to explore the castle and customize their avatars' appearance and outfits. Ramaswamy is a blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiast who worked with a platform called TardiVerse which helped him and Padmavathi create this virtual space.
Future of Metaverse Weddings
It is believed that Metaverse is the future of weddings and will take over the whole wedding industry. Though there are a few things that are still being discovered, but everyone starting from the planners, decors, florists, and all the other wedding vendors will evolve with Metaverse coming into the picture. There is also a possibility of seeing a software engineer as a part of your Metaverse wedding. The planners will be more like a director working on a film and the decor people will be like Art Directors of the movie set.
For a Metaverse wedding, you may not need several wedding vendors, but a few virtual space designers to give you the dream wedding, virtually. It will not only cost less but will also be hassle-free.
Brands are also starting to present and collab with Metaverse. Famous designer Ellie Saab had already launched the first-ever store in the Metaverse universe and showcased his collection in Metaverse Fashion week too in March 2022. According to the law and the science, Metaverse is still in its early stage but with the way, everything is evolving and who knows we might very soon end up celebrating every milestone in the virtual space.
Photos & Edited By: Neha Garg Ahuja