Last month, we witnessed the world’s first wedding in the metaverse. Traci and Dave Gagnon have become the first couple to get married in the metaverse, the tech trend started by Facebook’s parent company Meta towards the end of last year. Upcoming is India’s first metaverse wedding next month.
Earlier this week, a Chennai-based couple announced India’s first metaverse wedding, and BGR.in connected with the groom, Dinesh Kshatriyan, Project Associate at IIT Madras to get more details about the country’s first metaverse wedding party.
Kshatriyan shared interesting details about the entire process behind the metaverse wedding and how he plans to make his father-in-law a part of the virtual wedding, whom the family lost last year.
Why a metaverse wedding?
The pandemic forced us to opt for a virtual wedding. Since metaverse is the future, I wanted to be the first one in India to marry in the metaverse. Also, since there’s a weekend lockdown in Tamil Nadu and my wedding is set for a Sunday, a metaverse wedding will let my friends and relatives bless us without any regret that they couldn’t be there for the function in real life.
Another biggest reason that I wanted to have a wedding in the metaverse is to have my father-in-law bless us in the virtual world. We lost him last year and hence, I along with the team have created a 3D avatar of my father-in-law for the event. The legal wedding is set on the same day, February 6, in our village.
What are the challenges you faced to plan a wedding in the metaverse?
There were many challenges. The biggest of them all is that no one really knows a lot about metaverse. I faced issues in right the right company to help me have my dream wedding. The idea of having a wedding in metaverse came up in December 2021 and my team and I started working on it starting in January.
A Chennai-based web and app development startup helped me achieve this through the process. The company is planning to develop India’s first metaverse company called TardiVerse, which launched in December. They are building a metaverse for India based on the Polygon blockchain, starting with my wedding. Folks are TardiVerse helped me through the entire process – from planning the event, inviting relatives and friends, and much more.
How was the execution process like? How feasible is it for commoners?
I had some basic knowledge about metaverse and what it is. So, I started by searching for a team with web development and 3D graphics knowledge. In the early stage, I approached top international companies who already have a stronghold of the metaverse concept, and they were legally ready to do as well. But then I also wanted an Indian startup to do this for me, so I opted for TardiVerse instead.
As for the feasibility bit, the process was quite easy. I must say, even though metaverse is a new concept, the technology behind it is not very new. Metaverse deals with concepts like 3D animation and blockchain, and I believe Indians are pretty good at them. We have a big Indian company called Polygon (MATIC), which people believe can replace Ethereum. So, in my opinion, the process is quite feasible. For instance, my metaverse wedding has been developed with less than a month in hand.
My wedding is more like a game and doesn’t include VR headsets or goggles, so it was quite an easy process. In the future, people might consider using VR goggles and other virtual reality gadgets and I believe, that could pose some challenges. especially in the pricing bit.
Explain details of your metaverse wedding. How will it happen?
As I said, the legal wedding will happen earlier and then we will have our relatives and friends in metaverse to bless us. To attend the event, one requires a stable internet connection, a device (can be a mobile, tablet, laptop), and a web browser. They will be given a login/or a wallet called MetaMask – cryptocurrency blockchain wallet – which will require the name and password of the person. The platform will generate a key, which will take them to the virtual world, wherein they will be able to select costumes of their choice and create their avatar. In the metaverse event, people will be able to interact, shake hands, bless the bride and groom, and more.
How do you plan to get your father-in-law in the metaverse, who’s no more with you all physically?
We have taken his photograph and created a 3D avatar. The avatar is pre-programmed, and we have added some actions like welcoming and blessing the groom and bride. So, I feel, the metaverse is a great platform for someone who lost a loved one but wishes to have their presence on their special day. Who knows, in the future, there could be a possibility to add the voice to such avatars.
What all will the metaverse wedding include?
Of course, the bride and groom avatars will be there, the avatar of my father-in-law, some harry potter characters, wedding gifts, and more. We are also making some booths to accept UPI and crypto as a marriage gift. And there will be virtual food, which you will not be able to eat.
How much did the metaverse wedding cost you?
Metaverse weddings can save a lot of your hard-earned money. There are various packages that these companies offer, which range from Rs 20,000 – to a few lakhs. It all depends on your requirement, also the avatars, and characters you wish to add to the event. He didn’t specify the exact cost of his wedding.
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