Couple married as avatars in virtual wedding — with bride’s late father as guest

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This couple is taking virtual weddings to a whole new level.

The newlyweds — Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi, 25, and Janaganandhini Ramaswamy, 24 — wed as avatars entirely in the metaverse. Set in Tamil Nadu, India, the digital wedding allowed more than 3,000 guests to join the celebration from all over the world with their own avatars.

But the Feb. 6 ceremony had another twist: the bride’s late father was the guest of honor.

After his passing last year, the couple wanted to honor him on their special day, even creating a special avatar of him to greet guests.

Padmavathi was inspired by a YouTube clip about the metaverse, thinking it would be perfect for their wedding and a “gift” he could offer for his bride-to-be, he told Jam Press. He thought it would offer “an emotional moment” for both of their families and, when he brought the idea to his fiancée, she agreed.

The couple, who wed on Feb. 6, hosted their guests virtually amidst COVID-19 lockdowns.
The couple, who wed on Feb. 6, hosted their guests virtually amidst COVID-19 lockdowns.
Jam Press/TIM
metaverse wedding
The couple held what is believed to be the first-ever metaverse marriage in India.
Jam Press/TIM

“I have been into crypto and blockchain technology, and since blockchain is the basic technology of the metaverse, when my wedding was fixed, I thought of having a reception in the metaverse,” he explained.

Guests were able to choose a generic avatar, enter their names and navigate the on-screen event with the click of a mouse or the touch of their keyboard — and were even able to shake hands and interact with other guests.

metaverse marriage
The metaverse allowed the bride’s late father (right) to also attend as an avatar.
Jam Press/TIM
The virtual wedding offered a unique venue for the ceremony.
The virtual wedding offered a unique venue for the ceremony.
Jam Press/TIM

Not only did the metaverse marriage allow for the bride’s deceased father to join, but it also let friends and family celebrate together — only separated by pixels — during lockdown restrictions in India.

avatar virtual wedding
In a video of the ceremony, the couple (as avatars) can be seen interacting with guests and standing on stage.
Jam Press Vid/TIM

“It’s indeed a special feeling for us,” said Padmavathi. “It’s unique and we’re delighted to go ahead.”

The wedding is thought to be India’s first marriage in the metaverse, as part of a project conducted at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Not only did the metaverse marriage allow for the bride’s deceased father to join, but it also let friends and family celebrate together — only separated by pixels — during lockdown restrictions in India.
Not only did the metaverse marriage allow for the bride’s deceased father to join, but it also let friends and family celebrate together — only separated by pixels — during lockdown restrictions in India.
Jam Press/TIM

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