"this was going to be the first legal wedding in the Metaverse"
A US Indian couple got married in Taco Bell’s Metaverse.
Sheel Mohnot and Amruta Godbole, from San Francisco, got married on February 24, 2023, in Decentraland, a 3D browser-based platform allowing shared virtual exploration.
Amruta said: “I think, in my vows, I said that I promised that our life would always be fun and romantic and more than a little weird, just like today.”
The couple never planned on having a Metaverse wedding.
But after Taco Bell announced a competition offering couples the chance to get married in the Metaverse, the couple decided to enter.
Sheel said: “I’m a big Taco Bell fan, and I think people on Twitter had noticed that I’d posted about Taco Bell.
“And so, when they announced the competition, a lot of people tagged me, like, ‘Hey, you got to do this, you got to do this’.
“So we were on a road trip, and I was like, ‘Hey babe, there’s this thing. It’d be fun to apply. You just got to submit a two-minute video’. And she was a really good sport.
“We went to a Taco Bell, and I think we recorded it in two takes.”
The couple ended up winning the contest.
Sheel continued: “They messaged us that we had won, and we were like, ‘Okay, then we have to think about it a little more. Do we really want to do this?’
“We had a call with the Taco Bell team, and they did a really good job of convincing us.
“They were like, ‘Hey, this is going to be your wedding. You’re going to have a lot of input onto things. We’re not going to tell you what to do’. And they really delivered on that.”
Prior to the wedding, the couple were not entirely familiar with Decentraland.
Amruta, a lawyer at Instagram, said:
“We didn’t have a background in that really. We both work in tech, so we have some connection to some of this.
“But we weren’t coming in as huge Decentraland users and we weren’t big on any of those sorts of platforms, but we saw that aspect of it as just an opportunity to have a more unique experience, the idea that this would be something totally new, that even Taco Bell had never been done before, that this was going to be the first legal wedding in the Metaverse, we’re told.
“We didn’t have experience with it, but we were excited to do something totally new and unique and to get that experience as a result of participating in this.”
The Metaverse wedding featured a mandap, Desi outfit, a dance party and speeches made by the avatars of family members.
Following the digital wedding, the newlyweds hosted a reception at Taco Bell’s ocean-front Pacifica Cantina with friends and family.
Guests enjoyed Mexican pizza, Dorito Loco tacos, chalupas, black bean chalupas and a three-tiered Cinnabon Delight cake.
Sheel elaborated: “We really kind of made it our own.
“We played a bunch of games, we had a trivia contest, and it’s like, it’s a really beautiful Taco Bell.”
“It doesn’t feel like you’re in a fast food restaurant.”
While Amruta is not as big of a Taco Bell fan as her husband, the fast-food chain still holds a special place in her heart.
She recalled: “There was one in my hometown.
“I went there frequently… I was studying for my bar exam, and I would treat myself for lunch every day, just go get Taco Bell, and sadly, eat it in my car near the library.
“But that was the highlight of my day. I’m a fan as well.”
Sheel, who grew up vegetarian, says he has been a fan of Taco Bell since he was a child.
He told PEOPLE: “Taco Bell is hugely popular in the Indian community. And I think it’s because it’s very vegetarian-friendly.
“Of all the fast food restaurants, it always has been vegetarian friendly.
“There were like zero items that you could eat at most fast food places, but almost everything on the menu at Taco Bell’s reconfigurable to be vegetarian. So that’s huge.
“And then, it’s spicy. It’s affordable.
“So for me, growing up, going out to eat was almost synonymous with going to Taco Bell.”
In addition to their Metaverse wedding, the couple are planning a second ceremony later in 2023.