Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi and Janaganandhini Ramaswamy from Tamil Nadu, where weddings are currently limited to 100 people, have invited 2,000 people to their virtual reception next month. And as self-proclaimed “Potterheads” or Harry Potter fans, the pair opted for a Hogwarts themed party that guests can attend via phone, tablet or laptop their.
Padmavathi, who goes by the name Dinesh SP, said by phone from the southern state’s capital Chennai: “Because of the pandemic, a realistic kind of reception was not possible with large numbers of people in attendance. “So we decided: let’s do it in the metaverse.”
With Covid-19 restrictions limiting the size of the wedding, Padmavathi and Janaganandhini decided to hold their virtual wedding reception. Credit: SP Dinesh politely
The legal wedding ceremony will still take place in the presence of friends and relatives at Ramaswamy village in the Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, about 170 kilometers from Chennai. But then the couple will sign in to join their reception, which will cost 150,000 Indian rupees ($2,016) for design, development and organization. The hour-long event will see the newlyweds virtually talk to their guests, who will be able to explore the castle and customize the look and outfit of their avatars.
The couple’s avatar is based on a Hogwarts-inspired background. Groom Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi (left) said the couple’s digital characters will wear more traditional outfits at the event. Credit: Courtesy of TardiVerse
Aside from being able to invite guests who weren’t able to attend, the couple said the digital celebration has another unique advantage: they can involve Ramaswamy’s late father in the proceedings.
“My father-in-law passed away last April,” Padmavathi said. “So I’m making a 3D avatar that looks like (him), and he’s going to bless me and my fiancée. It’s something we can only do in the metaverse.”
A profile photo of the late father of the bride, who passed away last year, will be in attendance. Credit: Courtesy of TardiVerse
After convincing his fiancée, an IT worker, of the idea, Padmavathi also got his parents approval for the unique event, he said.
“Since my childhood, I have worked with robotics… and last year I worked in blockchain and mining Ethereum,” he said, adding: “So my family knows that I am love technology.”