Recently, a Pune couple entered the wedlock in a manner never seen before. This unique wedding proudly calls itself the first “blockchain wedding” of India. The couple, Anil Narshimhapuram and Shruti Nair, who hails from Pune, made their wedding vows into NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens) and had a digital priest to administer the sacrament of their marriage. A couple of weeks ago, we heard of a Tamil couple virtually augmenting their wedding through Facebook’s Metaverse platform. Is this the beginning of a new era of virtual weddings?
Pune’s Shruti and Anil were seated in front of their computers, exchanging vows, with their digital priest serving as a witness. The guests were sent Google meet links for them to attend the wedding without having to come down anywhere. The ceremony was 15 minutes long, fairly short for the Indian wedding standards but the vows were engraved like edicts on a rock. They took a picture of their wedding rings, typed in their vows on the image, and made an NFT out of it. Anil said, “Shruti and I made our marriage 'blockchain official' with an Ethereum smart contract that consecrated our commitment to each other in the form of an NFT minted on OpenSea.”
As peculiar as it may sound, this is not the first time such a wedding took place. In April of 2021, two employees of a cryptocurrency firm Coinbase got engaged by giving each other NFTs as rings. NFTs are the new form of digital assets that can be traded on the blockchain which enables the owners to keep a track of the ownership. They can be anything from unique files to photographs. They are stored in digital wallets known as ledgers.
In San Francisco, a Jewish couple named Rebecca Rose and Peter Kacherqisky exchanged Tabaats (rings in Hebrew) using blockchain technology. Digital assets are the new game, the ceremonies seem to keep pace with it.
The Metaverse Wedding Gala
The three-dimensional virtual augmentation of Metaverse served as the venue for the wedding reception of a Tamil Nadu-based couple, Janaganandhini and Dinesh Kshtriyan. Being Potterheads the couple opted for a Harry Potter-themed wedding. All the guests including the bride and groom themselves had to select avatars to enter the simulation. An avatar of the bride’s late father was also present. The couple was aided by a start-up, TardiVerse, in creating the Hogwarts theme on a polygon blockchain.
Twist to the Tradition
In the covid-struck years, I attended many weddings without having to reach the venue. We would get zoom links of YouTube live stream links sent with the invitation cards. On that day, my family would sit on their mobile or other electronic devices and watch the wedding proceedings from the comfort of our homes. I would surely miss the gala feast of Indian weddings, but some have come up with a solution to this problem. They would send the food through delivery apps like Swiggy and Zomato to the doors of their guests.
The rise of this trend can be attributed to the COVID imposed restrictions to limit the number of guests in a wedding ceremony. Will it persist even after the pandemic? I would say yes. After all, all inventions are born out of necessity and later, are integrated into the lifestyle of people.
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