Couples have been celebrating “massive” weddings in the metaverse, their dead relatives being included in the guest list.
Capacity restrictions for large gatherings have been in place since the pandemic began in December 2019. But not on the metaverse. Since weddings in Tamil Nadu (India) are limited to just a hundred people, Dinesh Padmavathi and Janaganandhini Ramaswamy celebrated theirs in the metaverse, the virtual and augmented reality world in which people can play virtual games, attend virtual concerts, go shopping for virtual goods, collect virtual art, hang out with each other’s virtual avatars and attend virtual work meetings.
Three thousand guests attended Padmavathi’s and Ramaswamy’s Harry-Potter-themed ceremony, including the avatar of the already deceased father of the bride, who “blessed” the couple’s union. However, before the meta ceremony, the couple got legally married in a small reception with a few family members and friends: weddings celebrated in the metaverse are not legally binding. At least, not yet.
“We could have celebrated it via Zoom, but the metaverse is much more exciting,” Padmavathi told Lucas de La Cal, El Mundo’s correspondent in India. A 24-year-old engineer working at the Indian Institute of Technology, Padmavathi is also a Harry Potter fan: the wedding hall was designed to look exactly like Hogwarts. A team of 18 people was hired to program, design, and develop the virtual meta environment where the wedding took place. It costed 150,000 Indian rupees (roughly $2000), and lasted an hour. Access codes were sent to guests from all over the world, who could customize their avatars, interact with each other, and send gifts to the couple through different online shopping services.
But Padmavathi and Ramaswamy are not the only meta-married couple. The very same week, Ryan and Candice Hurley were getting married in a similar ceremony, in front of 2,000 “guests,” in Decentraland, a VR marketplace that allows users to create and monetize digital content.
The couple, residing in Phoenix (AZ), hired the services of a law firm that is now trying to develop a legal framework that allows these meta-marriages to sign virtual prenuptial agreements featuring all their digital assets, virtual identities included.