A couple from Tamil Nadu brought tradition and technology together when they hosted their wedding reception in the metaverse. Dinesh SP and Janaganandhini Ramaswamy got married on February 6 in Sivalingapuram, a small tribal village of Tamil Nadu. However, friends and family from across the world were able to attend the wedding reception that followed as it took place in a virtual world.
Metaverse is a virtual 3D environment where users can 'live' and interact with others through digital avatars. It combines multiple elements of technology like augmented reality, blockchain and virtual reality.
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had to cap the number of friends and family at 100 for my marriage and reception. So, I decided to solemnize my marriage in the presence of a small group of people at Sivalingapuram and hold my reception virtually on metaverse. I was also working on blockchain technology for the past one year," Dinesh told The New Indian Express.
Dinesha and Janaganandhini opted for a Hogwarts-themed reception since both are Harry Potter fans. A start-up called TardiVerse worked for a month to create the metaverse where the reception was hosted. Along with avatars of the guests and the bride and groom, an avatar of the bride's late father was also created.
"My father-in-law passed away last April," Dines told CNN before the wedding. "So, I'm creating a 3D avatar that looks similar to (him), and he will bless me and my fiancee. That's something we can only do in the metaverse."
Photos and videos from the metaverse wedding reception were shared online. One of the videos shows a musical concert that was conducted via metaverse from Chennai.
The wedding also included NFTs or non-fungible tokens. Special-edition NFTs were launched by GuardianLink and are available on Beyondlife.club marketplace. The NFT collection includes artwork featuring backgrounds and attires from the Harry Potter and cyberpunk era - in addition to the classic wedding attire featuring the bride, groom, and bride's late father.
Dinesh, who is a project associate with IIT Madras, had earlier explained how the idea of a metaverse marriage came to him.
"I came up with the idea of having a Metaverse wedding reception, and my fiancee also liked the idea," he had told Times of India. "I have been into crypto and blockchain technology, and have been mining ethereum, a form of cryptocurrency, for the last one year. Since blockchain is the basic technology of Metaverse, when my wedding was fixed, I thought of having a reception in Metaverse," he added.