Indian couple to marry in metaverse with 'ghost' of bride's father

Indian couple will marry in the ‘metaverse’ with thousands of guests including a ‘ghost’ of the bride’s dead father at Harry Potter-themed wedding

  • Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi is set to marry his fiancée Janaganandhini online
  • They will hold a virtual ceremony with thousands expected to attend
  • Lockdown restrictions in their state mean guests could not attend in person 
  • An Indian couple are set to marry in the virtual reality ‘metaverse’ in a Harry Potter-themed wedding with the ghost of the bride’s dead father in attendance.

    Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi, 24, and his fiancée Janaganandhini Ramaswamy, 23, will hold the online ceremony on February 6 with thousands expected to attend the first wedding of its kind in the country. 

    Lockdown restrictions in their state of Tamil Nadu would mean guests could not attend a ceremony in person.

    Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi, 24, and his fiancée Janaganandhini Ramaswamy, 23, are set to hold a wedding in the metaverse

    Dinesh Sivakumar Padmavathi, 24, and his fiancée Janaganandhini Ramaswamy, 23, are set to hold a wedding in the metaverse

    While the couple will be wearing traditional Indian dress for the ceremony, the reception will have a Hogwarts theme (pictured)

    While the couple will be wearing traditional Indian dress for the ceremony, the reception will have a Hogwarts theme (pictured)

    Padmavathi advertised the wedding to his followers on Twitter and Instagram, with 2,000 having confirmed their attendance and 5,000 saying they ‘might’ attend.

    He told The Times: ‘I know couples have been getting married on Zoom but I wanted to go further and be the first to have my reception inside the metaverse. I also wanted to introduce the metaverse to Indians.’

    Padmavathi, who works as a project associate at the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, has even created a guide to the Metaverse on YouTube to help explain it to his family.

    Among the guests will be Ramaswamy’s father who died last year.

    Padmavathi said: ‘I have created his avatar so that he will be the one welcoming all the guests. That’s going to be a very emotional moment for her.’ 

    Among the guests will be Ramaswamy's father (pictured in the metaverse) who died last year

    Among the guests will be Ramaswamy’s father (pictured in the metaverse) who died last year

    While the couple will be wearing traditional Indian dress for the ceremony, the reception will have a Hogwarts theme.

    If thousands of guests turn up to the virtual wedding, Padmavathi says the internet in his village of Sivalingapuram may struggle to cope.

    He said he and his fiancée may have to ride a scooter to a cell tower to continue via phone.

    Some in India have criticised the novel wedding, saying it goes against the traditions in a country known for its lavish ceremonies.

    Ranjeev Jain, managing director of Rashi Entertainment, said: ‘The idea is totally un-Indian. Is that how you celebrate a wedding? With no real people there or human contact? It may become a fad for a while but not for long.’

    What is the metaverse? 

    The ‘metaverse’ is a set of virtual spaces where you can game, work and communicate with other people who aren’t in the same physical space as you.

    Announced by Facebook last year, the social media company explained: ‘You’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create and more.

    ‘It’s not necessarily about spending more time online — it’s about making the time you do spend online more meaningful.’

    While Facebook is leading the charge with the metaverse, it explained that it isn’t a single product one company can build alone.

    ‘Just like the internet, the metaverse exists whether Facebook is there or not,’ it added.

    ‘And it won’t be built overnight. Many of these products will only be fully realized in the next 10-15 years.’

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