Decentraland organises the first wedding in the Metaverse

The Arizona couple’s wedding did not proceed as planned, demonstrating that the Metaverse has a long way to go before it can dependably hold a wedding complete with all the bells and whistles of the real world.

This weekend, a Phoenix couple married their digital identities in the Metaverse’s first marriage. The wedding ceremony, which included witnesses, Supreme Court Justice officiant Clint Bolick, and a virtual audience of 2,000 visitors, took place in Decentraland on Feb. 5.

Ryan and Candice Hurley, the bride and groom, contacted Rose Law Group to formally finalise their marriage. Jordan Rose, the group’s founder and president, claims it was the first wedding ever held on a blockchain-based Metaverse.

“Because the metaverse is still young, we have built the legal paradigm for legally recognised marriage,” she said to Cointelegraph.

The wedding ceremony took place on the Rose Law Group’s Decentraland estate. The legal firm created a “meta-marriage framework” that included a “Virtual Premarital Agreement” that defined the couple’s virtual identities and digital assets as they were recorded on the blockchain.

Meanwhile, a “Meta-Marriage License” on the blockchain recognised, documented, and tokenized the couple’s virtual identities and site of marriage as an NFT. Rose clarified:

“As there is no legal structure for marriage in the Metaverse at the moment, the issue of whether it will be legally binding is rather a matter of contract.”

“Unlike the actual world, the metaverse is not constrained by physical limits that would prevent you from having the wedding of your dreams. Only in the Metaverse is it possible to have the wedding of your wildest, most inventive dreams,” according to the event description on Decentraland. Rose continued:

“We see the future of the metaverse as totally decentralised and nearly entirely based on the blockchain, which means that future marriages in the metaverse will not need a record of their union in the actual world.”

While the pair seemed to imagine a wedding of the future, they encountered some fairly antique technological difficulties. Decentraland struggled to keep up with the influx of visitors, and the NFT presents distributed to participants were rapidly seized just around twenty minutes into the event.

Additionally, Ryan’s avatar was left at the aisle when Candice’s avatar failed to materialise digitally — but only for certain attendees. Depending on which server guests were divided into, the bride wore a gown, a sweatshirt, or was completely absent.

After attempting unsuccessfully to hold the ceremony on Decentraland, one participant directed visitors to Rose Law Group’s Instagram, where the real-world couple was sealing their vows via livestream.

Despite Rose’s assurances about the wedding’s legitimacy, it seems that many legal experts remain sceptical. According to the American Marriage Ministries, individuals must present for a legal wedding ceremony as their real-life selves, not their internet alter egos.

Additionally, the majority of states in the United States prohibit couples from being married remotely through video conference or if they are in different places at the time of the ceremony.

While the wedding is unique in many respects, it is far from the first case of a couple seeking to immortalise their union on the blockchain.

In April 2021, a couple from California who work at cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase created an Ethereum smart contract to distribute tokenized “rings” as NFTs at their wedding.

In 2014, the Disney World Bitcoin Conference conducted the world’s first blockchain wedding, with the following statement recorded on the blockchain: “for better or worse, ’til death do us part, since the blockchain is eternal.”

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