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Metaverse Marriages Aren’t Legit in the Real World, But They’re All the Rage

Want to wear a dragon costume on Mars and only serve toddlers for your wedding? How about handing out non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, as gifts to your 3,000 guests? Anything goes in a metaverse ceremony.

Couples in India and the United States made headlines months ago as their avatars, fictional representations of someone in the virtual world, got married. To be clear, two humans can’t legally marry in the metaverse, but it looks like marriages are there now. a thing.

Since he offered a metaverse wedding package on his website just two months ago, Klaus Bandisch, the owner of Just Maui Weddings in Hawaii, said he’s been inundated with emails. Bandisch, which has been hosting in-person beach weddings since 1998, now has 72 couples on a waiting list, hoping Hawaii will legalize virtual weddings of all kinds.

What’s the attraction? Well, for one thing, it’s a lot cheaper than exchanging vows at a brick-and-mortar venue. Bandisch’s packages cost from $750 to $1500 (the higher range includes creating an avatar if you don’t already have one). Cost-conscious, tech-focused couples will be early adopters of such ceremonies, predicts Bandsich, who also has 16 metaverse vow renewal ceremonies planned for this year.

“It’s going to be a revolution, very popular,” he said.

Ryan and Candice Hurley’s metaverse wedding.

Pink Law Firm

(Of course, if you want to be visible on your consumption in the metaverse, the sky is the limit. Virtual brides can now buy a Dolce & Gabbana tiara for $300,000 or a PUMA digital wedding dress for 1 ether, or about $3,400.)

Another bonus: it’s a destination wedding that anyone can attend, as long as they have internet access.

Two of Bandisch’s clients, Alberto and Marlene Becerra, renew their vows on their 50th wedding anniversary. Worried about traveling during a pandemic, the Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania couple decided to go meta after their preteen and teenage nephews told them all about it.

With the ceremony booked for June 1, Alberto Becerra said he chose avatars for him and his wife, the beach setting and recreation – quite a contrast to their pre-internet wedding in 1972, a small affair at their former home in Queens, New York.

“Kids tell me this is the future, and that’s how it is,” Alberto said. “It’s going to be quite an experience and all I care about is having fun with the kids.”

Ryan and Candice Hurley, of Phoenix, Arizona, were thinking about how to celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary in February when their friend Jordan Rose, founder of the Rose Law Group, told them about metaverse marriages and the new metaverse legal division of his office. Ryan, a 45-year-old attorney who has always had an interest in blockchain and was an early adopter of Bitcoin, said once Rose described how avatars could put a ring on it, he was in for it. .

“It’s definitely different from dinner and flowers,” he told The Daily Beast.

Rose said she saw an opportunity for metaverse legal services about a year ago. His Scottsdale-based company purchased virtual land on Decentraland, a 3D virtual browser platform, and now has a metaverse team that includes lawyers, blockchain developers and coders.

“This virtual world can be anything your imagination wants it to be, so I figured metaverse activities would also need legal services,” like prenuptial agreements, she said. (Rose is also planning a metaverse charity gala for Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona.)

To plan her avatar’s big day, Candice Hurley spoke to a coder instead of a wedding planner. Avid skiers, she and Ryan chose to have the mountains of Telluride, Colorado as their virtual backdrop and decided to give NFTs of their dog Pepper, a dachshund terrier rescue, as party favors to guests.

Once the ceremony was announced to the public, around 2,000 guests showed up, causing numerous technical glitches in an event that lasted around 20 minutes.

“At one point I kept crashing into the wall as I tried to walk down the aisle because there were too many avatars in the space,” said Candice, 42, a nurse . “It was chaotic but so much fun.”

Rose said the prenuptial agreement, which included the avatars’ digital assets like clothing and digital wedding gifts, and their metaverse marriage license, were stored on the Ethereum blockchain. (The couple’s actual Bitcoin assets are not included.)

Rose said avatar marriages could become a complex issue. Technically, two avatars getting married in the virtual world could be legally married to other people in real life.

“When geography breaks down, the metaverse can be a difficult concept to grasp,” Rose said. “But when you’re dealing with a virtual world where there’s no legal precedent, you can create the legal parameters as you create the fantasy world.”

The precursor to metaverse nuptials are weddings that took place on gaming platforms, like Final Fantasy, Sims, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where the graphics are much better.

These types of celebrations are a fun form of escapism, but will they ever replace “normal” weddings?

Joshua Daniel, the Utah County Clerk and Auditor, said society (and therefore government agencies that issue marriage licenses) are unlikely to accept a digital image as an accurate representation of a woman anytime soon. real person.

The photo on the left is of a traditional Hawaiian wedding officiant. The image on the right is his avatar.

Klaus Bandisch

His county’s marriage license and passport office is considered one of the most technologically advanced in the country since modernizing its application process in 2019 and popularizing video-conferencing weddings during the pandemic for couples around the world. entire. The office has issued over 33,600 digital marriage certificates using blockchain technology.

Daniel says he’s personally interested in delving into metaverse marriages, but isn’t holding his breath.

“The point is, the county has no jurisdiction in the metaverse,” he said.