These People Just Got Married In The Taco Bell Metaverse

These People Just Got Married In The Taco Bell Metaverse

These People Just Got Married In The Taco Bell Metaverse

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Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the initial login and my screen kept crashing. It was so glitchy that I had to give up watching the ceremony a few minutes later. In all honesty, it could have been just me. Others got to watch the whole experience, including Mohnot’s grandmother in India.


Still, it left me wondering: why would people choose to have a metaverse wedding? And will these sorts of ceremonies, especially sponsored ones, stick around, or fade away if virtual reality doesn’t live up to the hype?

“It’s crazy and definitely not what we had in mind,” Mohnot says. But the couple say they wanted to do something different from the usual. And beyond the novelty, Mohnot and Godbole’s motivations were simple: they got a free wedding on top of that. Mohnot is a huge Taco Bell fan, so they’ve launched a contest to have the company pay for the technical aspects of a virtual wedding — the avatars, production, etc. They won. In return, he plastered his brand everywhere.

For Taco Bell, this was not just a marketing opportunity, but a consequence of what its fans wanted. The company’s Taco Bell Cantina restaurant chapel in Las Vegas has so far married 800 couples. There were also copycat virtual weddings. “Taco Bell saw fans of the brand interact in the metaverse and decided to meet them literally where they were,” a spokesperson said. That meant dancing hot sauce packets, a Taco Bell themed dance floor, a turban for Mohnot, and the famous bell brand everywhere.

Sheel Mohnot and Amruta Godbole’s Taco Bell Metaverse wedding reception. Courtesy of Taco Bell


If you look beyond splashy branding — a trade-off some couples are willing to make for the company’s help in building and customizing a digital platform — virtual weddings will give you allow you to do things that you can’t do in normal marriages. For example, Mohnot participated in the ceremony as an avatar atop an elephant for his barat, a pre-wedding procession for the groom. It’s a fun touch that would be a lot harder to pull off for an in-person party, especially in San Francisco, where they live.

Making it count was less straightforward. They had to set up a simultaneous live broadcast of themselves on YouTube to meet a legal requirement for their real faces to be seen. Indeed, some jurisdictions, including Utah, where their officiant was based, only recognize distance weddings as legally binding if the participants are visible on video.

Many couples will not be willing to jump through so many hurdles. The pandemic has created an urgent need for virtual weddings, but traditional in-person ceremonies resumed last year. About 2.5 million weddings took place in 2022, compared to 1.3 million in 2020, according to a trade group called Wedding Report.

So why get married in the metaverse? Some are attracted by the lower cost, according to Klaus Bandisch, who runs Just Maui Weddings in Hawaii. He says the company, which also does real-world weddings, is booked months in advance with metaverse ceremonies.


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