This Welsh Couple is Getting Married in Virtual Reality

© Michaela Pointon
© Michaela Pointon
Photo of Peter Ward
Tech Editor20 May 2017

The list of things you can do in virtual reality continues to grow. A couple in Wales will be married in VR next week, in a ceremony which will see the bride and groom appear as robot avatars.

On May 25, Elisa Evans and Martin Shervington will put on their VR headsets and get married in the first official ceremony hosted in a virtual world. The couple will be using the social VR platform AltspaceVR to host their big day, and people from all over the world will be able to attend.

How the wedding will look | Courtesy of AltSpaceVR

“When we got engaged in January, I announced the engagement on Facebook,” Shervington said. “Someone was on the thread and said, ‘Why don’t you get married in VR?’ because they’d seen me post about VR. I thought that’s not a bad idea for a bit of fun.”

“I thought this could be an interesting way of learning more, having some fun and being somewhat unconventional. I felt it was an opportunity for myself and Elisa to do something that was different, and we have friends all over the world who will join virtually.”

Not surprisingly, the event has attracted a lot of attention. People have used virtual reality creatively to propose to their partners in the past, but this will be the first time a ceremony and reception have been held in virtual reality. There have also been weddings recorded with 360 degree cameras that can be replayed via an immersive medium. The event will also be viewable without a VR headset, as users can use their browser and mouse to look around.

Shervington and Evans will be able to watch the whole show back as many times as they want, which means they’re looking to make something lasting that will entertain people who are watching at a later date.

“We’re putting on a bit of a show; it’ll be about an hour long,” Shervington said. “The ceremony will be around 20 minutes and the show will be either side. Hopefully making it something people remember and feel connected to our story as opposed to just being that couple who married in VR.”

© Michaela Pointon

There will be a virtual VIP room where only the happy couple and their guests will be able to enter, and then the ceremony will be replicated in multiple other rooms, so the soon-to-be married couple can see their emojis but not their avatars.

He adds that the couple will be using video samples in the show as a way of engaging people, and telling the story of how they met and got together. Part of the goal of the show will be to make people laugh.

“Myself and Elisa write comedy together so we thought this was a good opportunity to have a laugh,” Shervington said.

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