As a Covid-19 forcing families across India to downsize or cancel their weddings, a couple found an unrestricted location for their big day: the metaverse.
Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi e Janaganandhini Ramaswamy, from the city of Tamil Nadu, where wedding ceremonies and parties are limited to 100 people, invited 2,000 to their virtual reception next month.
And as self-proclaimed “Potterheads,” or Harry Potter fans, the two opted for a Hogwarts-themed party, which guests can attend via their phones, tablets or laptops.
“Because of the pandemic, a kind of physical and real reception is not possible with the large number of people we want gifts,” said Padmavathi, who goes by the name Dinesh SP. “So we decided: let’s do this in the metaverse.”
Metaverso is a term used to describe 3D virtual environments in which users can gather and interact. The groom, a 24-year-old blockchain and cryptocurrency enthusiast, worked with start-up platform TardiVerse to create a castle-like digital space inspired by Hogwarts.
The legal wedding ceremony will still take place physically in front of close friends and relatives in the village of Ramaswamy in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, about 270 kilometers from Chennai. But later, the couple will log in to attend their reception, which is priced at 150,000 Indian rupees ($2,016) – which they shelled out to design, develop and host their guests.
The hour-long event will see the newlyweds virtually address their guests, who will be able to explore the castle and customize the appearance and outfit of their avatars.
In addition to being able to invite friends and family who couldn’t attend, the couple said the digital celebration has another unique advantage: it can involve Ramaswamy’s late father in the proceedings.
“My father-in-law passed away last April,” Padmavathi said. “So I’m creating a 3D avatar that looks like him, and he’s going to bless me and my fiancée. This is something we can only do in the metaverse.”
There have been reports of other metaverse wedding events, including an American couple who performed a physical ceremony alongside a digital one on the virtual platform, Virbela. But while Indian law requires witnesses to be present at wedding ceremonies, Padmavathi believes his reception in the metaverse will be the first of its kind to be held in the country.
Having convinced his fiancée, an IT worker, of the idea, Padmavathi also has his parents’ approval for the unconventional event.
“Since childhood I have been working in robotics, and for the last year I have been working on blockchain and Ethereum mining,” he said, adding, “So my family knows I like technology.”
This content was originally created in English.
Reference: CNN Brasil