A wedding in the Metaverse

Traci and Dave Gagnon met in the clouds. So it made sense that their wedding was held there.

A wedding in the Metaverse

Traci and Dave Gagnon met in the clouds. So it made sense that their wedding was held there. Over Labor Day weekend, the couple (or more precisely, digital avatars) hosted an event hosted by Virbela, a company that creates virtual environments for work, learning and events. 

Ms. Gagnon's avatar  walked down the aisle with her best friend's avatar. Gagnon's avatar watched her friend's avatar leisurely climb onto the stage and toast her. And the 7-year-old twin avatars (the oily ring  and the handsome guy) danced at the reception. 

Anyone can guess how the immersive virtual world known as the metaverse, which we barely understand among us, will transform traditional weddings. However, the possibility that the incident is not limited to reality is well worth considering. With the  Covid19 pandemic, technology is already being used in ceremonies more than ever. Zoom weddings have been held and some private events now include live coverage for guests who may not be able to attend. The couple, whose wedding was canceled last year due to a pandemic, got married (illegal) in the  popular video game 'Animal Crossing'. 

However, it is important to note that all weddings that only take place on the metaverse, such as ceremonies in video games, are currently illegal. (Even virtual weddings via videoconference, which were allowed in many states  during the height of the pandemic blackout, have  been banned in New York  and elsewhere.) But experts say Metaverse will take these virtual weddings even further. , giving couples almost limitless possibilities. "There are no limits," said Sandy Hammer,  founder of Allseated, a 
 digital wedding planning tool. The company is investing in Metaverse to create virtual versions of  spaces for real-world events like New York's Plaza Hotel. “If you really want to do something different,  the metaverse lets you unleash your creativity.” 
 It appears that guests have listed this number in  thousands. A gift registry containing NFTs or intangible tokens. Maybe a wedding in space. 
 "They're going to put their friends on  space rockets," Hammer said, adding that he imagines the way the wedding party will travel virtually. "The bride can take guests to the metaverse." I want a morning session  in Italy and an evening session  in Paris." 
 Miami-based wedding planner and designer Nathalie Cadet James approaches the metaverse with a rookie-gambling mindset and tries to predict how her role will change. "My role I think it's more like a producer or a director," said Ms. Cadet James. “I was able to create a set that I improved on. If you go to space, flowers can sprout from the ground. I'll add some whims and fantasies here. Because we can." Of course, this will require the skills of a software engineer that isn't currently on a  typical wedding budget. 

The Gagnons had a hybrid wedding of some sort. The two got married in person last September. . 4. At the Atkinson Resort & Country Club in New Hampshire where they live,  a virtual ceremony in Virbela at the ordination ceremony at the Church of Universal Life led by friend and colleague David Oliri. 

We have prepared a live wedding for those unable to attend in person. Guests of the virtual event attended via a computer where they had to download software and then create an avatar. 

In 2015, before the two met in person, their avatars met at a corporate event in Las Vegas. And when they announced their engagement in 2019, colleagues offered to convert Virbela's cloud campus into a wedding venue for free. (Ms Gagnon estimates it would have cost around $30,000 if paid. Virbela's representatives  declined to disclose the price of the event.) 

Gagnons sent photos of herself and the wedding decorations to the event team and Virbela's software. . . Engineers incorporating personalized details such as Bird of Paradise flower and venue images  into the virtual event. 

"They could take my wedding dress and customize it and also throw some floral halos over my head," Gagnon said. Virbela's Director of Sales and Partnerships, Patrick Perry,  said the cost of hosting an event on the metaverse "depends on what you want it to be," said Patrick Perry. "Do you have engineers building  MGM ballrooms? 

But, as Mr. Perry said, as the metaverse builds, "there will be more plug-and-play resources." You can choose from the elements Virbela is designed as an event management platform that allows organizations to host events and create a sense of community in the metaverse. However, users have asked the company to hold proms, bar mitzvahs, weddings and other celebrations. Recently, Mr. Perry said Virbela has started researching the bridal market and is in the planning stages with several couples.

Hammer said Allseated has not yet worked with a couple interested in  a Metaverse exclusive wedding. In addition to the legitimacy of such ceremonies, she said, hybrid events like Gagnons are "much more demanding and realistic because couples need both personal and virtual experiences." 

With two videographers, Ms. Gagnon hired one to record private events and the other to broadcast the ceremony to the cloud simultaneously. The point of the metaverse element was the connection it provided. 

Her ailing maid, albeit fictitious, was still able to take her down the hallway. And Gagnon's friend, who couldn't come because his wife already had health problems, gave a toast. Ms. According to Gagnon, the experience of moving as an avatar (my idealized version of myself) in a virtual world creates a more immersive and emotionally satisfying experience than Zoom. There is "another level of communication" with the metaverse, she said.

There were other benefits to Father Metaverse as well. “I always have a size 4, even in May,” said Mr. Gagnon's laughter. "And I've never had bad hair."