An Ethnography of MMORPG Weddings
The following narratives highlight the collaborative story-telling function of virtual weddings:
My friend and I were married in game once. It was a hoot. I am female in RL and play a male char, and he is male in RL and plays a female char, so that role playing was fun. Our guild leader made everyone remove their head gear and disarm their weapons before the ceremony, and then read these very beautiful vows that she had written. They were full of Norrath imagery and very well done, I was impressed. During the ceremony attendants were role playing via emotes **Sarah sniffles and looks for a handkerchief** **Korlon hands Sarah a piece of gnoll fur** That kind of thing. It was great role playing fun. Then everyone gave us gifts and we handed out the booze, and everyone got drunk and danced and made each other levitate and what not. It was very silly and fun. That guild had several weddings, and they were some of the best times I've had in the game. That guild broke up though, I miss them. Its also fun because now when we see each other in game on those chars my friend and I can be like, 'Oh damn, there's my wife. Hi honey.' **rolls his eyes** or some such role playing nonsense. He has another char that he role plays as my Mom, that is even more role play fun. =) [EQ, F, 33]
I married my boyfriend online in 1999 and we were married in reality in 2001. The wedding was held in a special chapel in the game and a 'Seer' preformed the ceremony, with much pomp and circumstance. We received specially engraved wedding rings which are blessed and cannot be lost should our characters die. A guild we often interact with and role play with arrived. Our guild is the 'good guys' guild and theirs the 'bad guys' guild. They roleplayed a small disruption, but nothing to spoil the day, and we had a really great time. Then I was kidnapped away during the feast and my beloved had to follow clues and he and the wedding guests set out in search parties to find me. After a little searching they found more clues which eventually led him to me. He had to fight his way past some of the 'bad guys' guild to rescue me and take me away to our honeymoon. It was great fun and I will always cherish it. [DAOC/UO, F, 40]
My first wedding was very special. I married Zexis Tal 'Daris. A GM friend of mine took us around to various places that we considered for our wedding. On a specific date, our friends and guild members met us by being summoned and a gm friend who was a cleric 'married' us. Afterwards, we had wedding cake and lots of ale etc. We had no unruly nor unexpected guests. It was a very nice experience. My second wedding was several years later after my first virtual husband had left the game. It was very romantic. He asked me to marry him at sunset on the Oasis beach. His name is Tobie Baine. The location was special, in that we were married on the Oasis beach where he had asked me to marry him. Our guildmaster married us and it was delightful. There were no special vows really, but I kept going linkdead =) No unruly guests, but interestingly, my previous online husband showed up unexpectedly and seemed to have a bit of a difficult time with this wedding. It didn't bother me and he behaved himself. Tobie and I have remained friends now since our characters were both in our early teens. They are now both 65, but he no longer raids with the group we used to raid with. He is currently in college and can't keep the raid schedule and do well in school. We have kept touch by email even when one of us has taken a break. We still have a good friendship. I also remain in contact with my first husband by email and by instant messaging. Oh! Interesting story =) With my second husband, Tobie, we were raiding together the day after the wedding and I got charmed and killed him. He said that he joked that it didn't bode well for the marriage when the bride kills the groom the day after the wedding =) [EQ, F, 51]
Some months after we became involved IRL we married our characters in the game. It was a full guild wedding. We actually had special outfits we'd acquired (pity the male high elf cleric got to wear white while the female woodelf druid had to settle for bejeweled brown leathers-- Velious Models). I was at his place in Toronto and we had major problems with keeping two machines connected-- I kept LDing every couple of minutes. We wound up on the phone with the guildleader (who's a computer person) trying to coordinate everything. Wedding was done in increments until I LDd again. We had picked the location for ease of access, safety for guests, and beauty: the shoreline south of the port in ButcherBlock Mts. Would have preferred the dock in Lake Rathe on the RM side but it's too hard to get to. We wrote our vows in advance, and our 'best man' had a speech prepared as well. Most of our friends attended, the ceremony was performed by the guild's ArchBishop Ldara and leader, Prince Zackary. Some people gave up raids with their guilds to attend. Pictures posted on guild website (along w/ several other weddings of guildmembers who are RL couples) at http://sofeq.sofguild.com/scenes/scenes15.htm The rainbow of spell effects coordinated by our friend Katrinz afterwards is one of my favorite memories. [EQ, F, 59]
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