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Metaverse Weddings Give Us a New Way to Honor Deceased Loved Ones

Published Thursday, Jan. 20th, 2022


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Immersive virtual weddings offer more than fanciful design elements - they offer a new way to honor deceased loved ones

 

 

Metaverse weddings provide a unique opportunity to craft the perfect custom ceremony – without worrying about pesky things like travel costs, weather, or whether or not a certain designer dress or suit comes in your size. 

 

In fact, aside from a hefty price-tag, they come with few of the limits placed on real-world, in-person ceremonies. That creative freedom is a big reason metaverse weddings (and their popular video game alternatives) are trending. 

 

Related: Pixel-Perfect Inspiration from 5 Metaverse and Video Game Weddings


But these immersive virtual weddings offer another very special opportunity, one that goes beyond the superficial and fanciful design elements.

 

 

They allow couples to honor special guests that can no longer attend a ceremony in person loved ones who have died. 

 

 

A beautiful example of this is Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi and Janaganandhini Ramaswamy’s massive metaverse wedding, scheduled for later this year. While planning the ceremony, Ramaswamy decided to honor her father who died last year. (via Daily Mail)

 

Ramaswamy worked with the wedding designer to create a custom avatar of her father, with his thick mustache and short-cropped dark hair. In this way, Ramaswamy will feel and see the presence of her father on her wedding day. 

 

 

Image credit Daily Mail, graphic shows the bride's father as he appears in the metaverse

Ramaswamy's father as he appears in the metaverse

Image Credit: Daily Mail

 


Some articles have referred to the father’s avatar as a ‘ghost,’ bringing to mind a very common (and very ancient) custom of an officiant inviting a couple’s ancestors and the spirits of dead loved ones to join in the celebration at the start of a ceremony. 

 

Both fully-immersive metaverse weddings and ‘mixed reality’ augmented reality ceremonies have the potential to include visual representations of deceased loved ones. 

 

Loved ones can be remembered through avatars, like Ramaswamy’s father will be. They might also be remembered through superimposed digital photographs, or through the use of ‘hologram’ style digital additions, similar to the way live guests join hybrid weddings from a distance. 

 

 

Bridesmaid shows up at wedding as a hologram, via AHRT Media

 

 

Avatars have been explored in the past as a way to remember and ‘interact’ with those who have died, such as the “With Me” app in 2017 – that would allow users to take selfies with avatars of deceased loved ones – and the company Eternime's AI chatbots, first launched in 2014, that propose using data collection and artificial intelligence to generate believable text conversations with digital avatars of those who have passed on. 

 

 

As we head into this new future of virtual-reality and mixed-reality ceremonies, the possibilities seem almost endless.

 

New technologies will continue to become more accessible and mainstream, allowing old traditions, like honoring the deceased, to be modified and adapted to suit the changing tastes and wishes of modern couples. 


 


 

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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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