A wedding is one of the most beautiful and solemn events in the life of any family. We’re used to big and loud parties among friends and relatives to celebrate this important moment but coronavirus brought a new vision to it. In the time of lockdown we have witnessed wedding ceremonies via Zoom and nothing seemed to be able to surprise us. But the "new rules of life" took weddings to a new level – in Metaverses.
How is it possible?
To hold a virtual wedding ceremony, people seek help from professionals. First newlyweds share their vision for the event with developers and then they create a personalized virtual space according to their wishes. Also, for the ceremony a special NFT marriage certificate with the information about the wedding and the marriage contract is usually created.
In some Metaverses, there is a special feature for weddings. For example, the CloseUp brand launched the Closeup City Hall of Love platform in the Decentraland Metaverse, where everyone can register their relationship and receive an NFT marriage certificate.
On this platform you can make a wedding look like a real one: choose the format of the celebration, listen to the congratulations of the guests, arrange a photo shoot and record the event on video. Afterwards couples receive a "symbol of love" – NFT Certificate of Marriage – it’s free, with the exception of the minimum fees for minting the token. This certificate cannot be sold – any attempt to trade it will be blocked with the message: "Love is not for sale." The marriage certificate technology is based on the new ERC-1155 smart contract for partially fungible tokens that are popular in Metaverse games. The smart contract allows partial ownership of the token, so two people can receive the certificate at the same time.
Reasons for the popularity of virtual weddings
Virtual weddings became a thing because of COVID-19 pandemic and all the restrictions it brought. In the US and Asia, online weddings and streaming of wedding ceremonies have become especially popular. Some US states have already legally accepted online marriages, such as Florida, Colorado, Texas, and Washington.
However, not only coronavirus is responsible for the popularity of online marriages. There are a few more reasons – let's take a look at them.
- Variety of locations. In the Metaverse, you can create any space for a wedding ceremony. It can be space, a fantastic country, the world of the future or the Middle Ages.
- Internationality. Metaverses help everyone to meet in one virtual space, so you don’t have to travel anywhere.
- Unlimited number of guests. Metaverses are okay with even a thousand guests – there’s no limit.
- Gamification. The virtual space made for the event isn’t just a decoration of the ceremony, there is a place for interesting games for guests.
- NFT as a gift. Not all guests have the opportunity to personally make a gift to the newlyweds. Even the ordinary money transfer from other countries isn't a comfortable solution here. It takes a long time and high commissions. So NFTs are a good and unusual alternative to traditional gifts.
- Cheapness. For traditional weddings you have to spend a lot of money on cars, venues, drinks and food, etc. For example, the average bill in the United States for a classic wedding is $30,000! In the Metaverse, all expenses are spent on creating a virtual space to suit the tastes of the customer, which comes out much cheaper.
- Quick organization. To celebrate a traditional wedding, all the necessary venues must be booked in advance. A virtual wedding can be organized in just a week.
Examples of weddings in the Metaverse
- At the end of last year, Americans Tracy and Dave Gagnon held the first wedding in the Metaverse. They got help by a team of software engineers and event organizers from Virbela, a company that creates virtual worlds for remote work, training and events.
- Avatar of Tracy's friend walked her down the aisle, Dave's avatar nodded approvingly as his buddy toasted (on the virtual stage, of course). Is it all really possible? Yes! The Virbela team worked hard to create even the smallest details, such as flowers.
- There’s more! Last year Rebecca Rose and Peter Kacherginsky exchanged NFT rings during an ordinary wedding. The NFT is called Tabaat (it’s Hebrew for ring). If you look it up on Etherscan, it’ll show that only two tokens have been minted, and no more can ever be made.
- In February, Dinesh Sawakumar Padmavati and Janaganandhini Ramaswami had a small wedding in their village, but later they threw a virtual reception. Friends and relatives from all over the world have joined them – that’s about a thousand people in total.
- The groom worked with a startup platform called TardiVerse. The goal was to create a castle-like digital space like Hogwarts, the theme of the event was a Harry Potter world. Such a virtual ceremony cost about two thousand dollars.
The popularity of wedding ceremonies in the Metaverse is growing. They are much cheaper, you can invite many guests and it’s something new and fresh. With the technical development of Metaverses, their functionality will expand. So they will be able to offer customers more and more diverse virtual wedding spaces and features.
Sadly, for now, metaverse weddings are not legally binding (for some exceptions we’ve mentioned earlier). Jordan Rose, a founder and president of Rose Law Group once said, “The meta-marriage certificate is a new concept for Web3 and is not a legal document.” But perhaps soon virtual marriages can become serious competitors for ordinary weddings in terms of organization and emotional components.
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