Inside Dubai's first metaverse wedding: NFT rings, avatar guests and a virtual reception

The couple got married simultaneously in Decentraland and The Springs community

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NFT rings. Blockchain-crafted bridal wear. An after-party at Amnesia Ibiza club in Decentraland. Welcome to the first metaverse wedding orchestrated from the UAE, by Easy Wedding co-founders Florian Ughetto and Liz Nunez.

The duo, who officially got married in Georgia in 2019, planned a follow-up ceremony in the metaverse — in a bid to explore how they might be able to offer this service via their wedding planning company, to other couples intrigued by the concept. Another reason, says Ughetto is, "Our families were upset they could not make it to the wedding in 2019. Now that we had the technology ready for them to come together, we decided to explore it."

Accordingly, in attendance were friends and family from all over the world, including the groom’s parents from France and the bride’s parents from Paraguay.

The May 19 wedding took place simultaneously in three locations — the metaverse, Zoom (for those who could not figure out the inner workings of Decentraland) and The Springs community in Dubai.

“As we walked down the aisle in The Springs, so too did our avatars in the metaverse,” Ughetto tells The National. “We had practised beforehand and trained our guests on how to log in and interact in the metaverse, and we also had a few wedding crashers who joined in last minute. But it was all in good fun.

The ceremony took place simultaneously in the metaverse, over Zoom and in a villa in The Springs community in Dubai. Photo: Easy Wedding

"The dresses were designed by Ketevan and crafted on the polygon blockchain. Rings were exchanged as unique digital items [NFTs], and wedding contracts were issued and signed as smart contracts."

The after-party, meanwhile, only took place virtually — in Amnesia Ibiza’s newly acquired venue in the metaverse, where guests from 10 different countries put their best digital foot forward and danced the night away.

As its name suggests, Easy Wedding was launched to address the issues couples from different nationalities living internationally sometimes face. The company has overseen the nuptials of more than 800 couples, in destinations from the Seychelles and Malta, to Georgia and the US, as well as in Abu Dhabi.

The metaverse is next on the list, with the co-founders’ own virtual wedding setting the precedent, even as they work to iron out technical and legal issues (thus far, a couple has to be married in the "real world", as it were, for the union to be legally recognised).

“Within a few years from now, it will become the norm to merge both [worlds], virtual and real,” says Nunez. “People will be able to connect with loved ones in a mixed reality where distance is no longer a concern. Creating unforgettable memories is possible in the virtual world. Our wedding showed us that.”

For more information, visit easyweddingdubai.com

Updated: May 20, 2022, 12:08 PM
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