Couple who met online has virtual wedding while marrying in real life

Florida couple holds virtual wedding in the METAVERSE while simultaneously getting married in real life – complete with avatars that mimicked their exact moves for their online guests

  • Traci, 52, and Dave Gagnon, 60, first met back in October 2015 during a virtual event for the real estate company they both work at
  • They began dating in March 2019, got engaged three months later, and married on September 4, 2021 – but they did something special for their ceremony
  • Traci and Dave had a real wedding in New Hampshire – but the people who couldn’t make it didn’t miss out and were able to watch virtually 
  • While they got married, someone made sure their online avatars mimicked their actions, and a livestream of the wedding was placed on a screen behind them 
  • Fortune Magazine defined the metaverse as a ‘merging of virtual, augmented, and physical reality’
  • It is used in games like Fortnite, but it’s much more than that. Many companies are using it as a place to interact with employees, as well as hold virtual meetings

A Florida-based couple decided to hold a virtual wedding ceremony in the metaverse while simultaneously getting married in real life.

They had their avatars mimic their exact moves as they exchanged vows, so that guests who couldn’t physically be at the wedding could still watch the beautiful moment.

Traci, 52, and Dave Gagnon, 60, who are from Palm Coast, first met back in October 2015 during a virtual event for the real estate company they both work at – eXp Realty.

They met in real life a week later at the company’s global convention, and they instantly hit it off.


A Florida-based couple decided to hold a virtual wedding ceremony in the metaverse while simultaneously getting married in real life

They had their avatars mimic their exact moves as they exchanged their vows, so that guests who couldn’t physically be at the wedding could still watch the beautiful moment

Traci, 52, and Dave Gagnon, 60, who are from Palm Coast, first met back in October 2015 during a virtual event for the real estate company they both work at – eXp Realty

They began dating in March 2019, got engaged three months later, and married on September 4, 2021 – but their wedding was not your average wedding

What is the metaverse? 

  • Fortune Magazine defined the metaverse as a ‘merging of virtual, augmented, and physical reality’
  • The metaverse is used in games like Fortnite and Animal Crossing, but it’s much more than that 
  • Many companies are using the metaverse more and more as a place to train and interact remote employees, as well as hold virtual meetings and events 
  • The plus side of the metaverse is that anyone from around the world can participate. Some people also use it to hold virtual hangouts with friends who live thousands of miles away, and there have even been virtual concerts held in the metaverse
  • According to Wired , ‘It also translates to a digital economy, where users can create, buy, and sell goods’
  • It can be accessed through systems like a PC computer or game consoles, but people also participate in the metaverse through the use of virtual reality headsets 

They were friends for four years before they began dating in March 2019. They got engaged three months later, and married on September 4, 2021 – but their wedding was not your average wedding.  

They decided to hold a virtual wedding to pay homage to the way they originally met.

The plus sides to having an online wedding is that they had the freedom to choose any location they wanted, so Traci and Dave decided that they were going to exchange their vows in the sky. A company called Virbela designed the virtual space for them.  

Traci and Dave had a normal wedding in Manchester, New Hampshire, with 100 guests.

But the people who couldn’t make it due to travel restrictions or other problems didn’t have to miss out – since they were able to watch the couple say their I Do’s through the virtual wedding held at the same time.

While they walked down the aisle, someone they hired made sure their online avatars mimicked their actions. And a livestream of the real wedding was placed on a screen behind them.

Traci revealed to Insider in a recent interview that she even customized her avatar so that it wore a replica of her real wedding dress. 

And when the ceremony ended and it became time to celebrate, the party also continued online. 

For the virtual party, guests of the livestream could customize their own avatars and dress them up in outfits that fit their liking, as well as control them.

‘The avatars can dance, the avatars can run, the avatars can do all kinds of really, really cool things,’ Traci explained. 

Virbela estimated that it cost over $30,000 to facilitate the livestream. Virbela is designed to ‘bring people together to work, learn, meet, and train in an immersive virtual world.’ 

‘Remote work is supposed to be liberating, not exhausting. Video chat and other tools leave us out of touch and craving social interaction,’ their website reads. ‘Virbela is the first virtual world platform built specifically to solve the challenges of remote collaboration.

‘Meet, host events, hold classes, and service your entire remote workforce all in an immersive and engaging 3D world.’

Traci said their friends and family were ‘really excited’ about the idea. She added: ‘I think it shows that the world has changed and what could be possible next. It is a very exciting thing.’  

She also explained that virtual weddings are important for couples who cannot be together – like military officers who are out of the country – and especially necessary during the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, according to the American Marriage Ministries’ website, marriages that occur only in the metaverse are not legally recognized. 

And when the ceremony ended, the party continued online. For the virtual party, guests of the livestream could customize their own avatars and dress them up in outfits that fit their liking

Virbela, which is designed to ‘bring people together to work, learn, meet, and train in an immersive virtual world,’ estimated that it cost over $30,000 to facilitate the livestream

Traci said their friends and family were ‘really excited’ about the idea. She added: ‘I think it shows that the world has changed and what could be possible next. It is a very exciting thing’ 

She explained that virtual weddings are important for couples who cannot be together, and especially necessary during the coronavirus pandemic

Fortune Magazine defined the metaverse as a ‘merging of virtual, augmented, and physical reality.’ 

The metaverse is used in games like Fortnite and Animal Crossing, but it’s much more than that.

Many companies are using the metaverse more and more as a place to train and interact remote employees, as well as hold virtual meetings and events.

The plus side of the metaverse is that anyone from around the world can participate. Some people also use it to hold virtual hangouts with friends who live thousands of miles away, and there have even been virtual concerts held in the metaverse.

According to Wired, ‘It also translates to a digital economy, where users can create, buy, and sell goods.’

It can be accessed through systems like a PC computer or game consoles, but people also participate in the metaverse through the use of virtual reality headsets. 

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