Is Metaverse the newest destination for weddings?
Unfettered by bounds of reality, Metaverse marriages could give the big fat Indian wedding a new twist
Physical weddings are passe. Welcome to Metaverse! Covid-19 changed the way we live, so much so that even weddings have been given an overhaul. While Zoom weddings took the world by storm in 2021, livestreaming became a norm for many in-person ceremonies. Taking it a notch higher is a Metaverse wedding. Case in point, a Tamil Nadu-based couple Dinesh S P and Janaganandhini Ramaswamy made waves recently by hosting their reception in Metaverse. Another couple, Bhopal-based, Abhijeet Goel and Dr Sansrati Jain also tied the knot on the platform recently.
What are Metaverse weddings?
Metaverse weddings include a virtual venue designed by a virtual space designer. Couples can invite guests, who they could not accommodate in the real setting, to celebrate their nuptials on the cloud. The bride and the groom’s avatars can be customised and even the wedding dress can be made to look like the real people on their special day. The avatars can dance, too.
The cost of a wedding in Metaverse starts from ₹30,000 and can go upto ₹5,00,000. These digital weddings approximately last for an hour and the cost of designing and development also depends on the digital venue, decor, theme, guests participation and outfits of the avatars that can be customised as per preferences.
Planning and execution
Chennai based start-up TardiVerse led by Vignesh Selvaraj, who planned the Tamil Nadu wedding, took 30 days and 12 team members to execute it. Selvaraj says, “We started planning this wedding in January and wrapped up in a month’s time with design and development. The decor and planning depended on the couple’s preferences. This couple liked Harry Potter, so we went ahead with the theme. We sat down to decide the timing of the function, textures and avatars. We did not meet any wedding planners as it would have interrupted with our creativity. For an Indian touch, we had the groom and bride avatars dress up in traditional wear at the Hogwarts castle. The wedding cost approximately ₹5,00,000.”
Utkarsh Shukla, creator of Yug Metaverse who designed the Bhopal wedding adds, “We had people from all age groups join in the celebration virtually. Guests could talk to each other and even dance with each other.” Shukla plans to design templates that will help users customise according to their preferences and get brands for fashion, jewellery etc on board to make it a seamless experience.
33-year-old Abhijeet Goel says, “Due to Covid-norms many guests couldn’t travel to Bhopal for the wedding. So with the Metaverse one way they could attend as well. To fulfil our dream of a destination wedding, we had a beach side setting for the virtual ceremony. There was a dance floor, seating and stage where guests met and engaged. Even some family elders joined in. It was a smooth and new experience for guests.”
What the future beholds
Anam Zubair, associate director of marketing, WeddingWire India, says, “The trend is at a very nascent stage, but millennials and Gen Z, who are investing heavily in NFTs, could be early adopters. We believe it’ll shape how the next generation plans weddings.”
However, some are not so enthusiastic. “Weddings have always been about people coming together. Some things are experienced better in person,” says Amarjyot Singh, wedding curator.