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    Posted September 17, 2011 by
    webspelunker
    Assignment
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    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Stories from Second Life

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    My First Second Life Wedding

     

    True love stories never have endings.

    Richard Bach

     

    As in Real Life (RL), when one gets about in Second Life (SL) as I have been doing, one meets people, forms friendships, and social interactions happen from there. Parties, hunts, performances, book and poetry readings are the usual activities. Sometimes just meeting a new person in a SL coffee shop for a quick chat or story happens.

    Then one of my oldest friends in SL, IFo Hancroft sent me an invitation to his wedding. OK, I knew he was seeing someone but I just didn’t think that they were there yet. But, as Significant Other likes to continually remind me, I’m somewhat slow on the uptake about these things.

    IFo and I first met when I was researching vampires in SL for my first story about them. Later, he introduced me to his vampire family, Nulli Secundus, and we started meeting and IM-ing in SL as we came and went in SL. So, that’s about us.

    IFo and his bride, Celliste (neé Darklover)had met through Nulli Secundus and one thing led to another and then I receive a wedding invitation.

    This then led me to several quandaries. First, what does one wear to a wedding in SL? Next, what type of gifts does one give?

    I began to work to work on my first quandary first (clever wording, huh?). For those of you who know me in SL (and for those who don’t, just IM me, I’m a friendly guy), I tend to be terribly informal. Tank top, jeans, and sneakers are what pass for my usual wardrobe while I make my rounds in SL. To boot, they’re all freebies. (Some of my more fashion conscious SL friends cringe when I show up and some drop friendly hints by sending me note cards with what would definitely be improvements in my appearance.)

    Now, in case anyone ever has this etiquette issue presented to them in SL, know this. There are no etiquette guidelines written down anywhere. Nothing. Anthropologists would probably say the SL community is in a developmental state and these social practices are developing. Great, except I didn’t have a few thousand years for these to develop.

    So, I begin to IM around to my SL friends and get there advice. The conversation generally went something like this:

    “Wow, you’ve been invited to a wedding? How nice! I’ve never heard of that before. What are you going to wear?”

    This wasn’t a good start.

    Eventually, after many conversations with friends, I decide to go with the Goth suit in my defaults folder. (Yes, several SL friends have been avoiding me on the street since.)

    My next quandary is what to give as a gift? Does one apply RL conventions? What does one give at a vampire wedding? SL is starting to become even more socially stressful than RL!

    Conversations with SL went along the same lines as the one concerning what to wear except that the last was this:

    “So, what are you going to give?”

    I was beginning to believe that I was the only person ever invited to a wedding in SL.

    So, I thought about this for a while. Some people said to just give Lindens. Well I don’t have much in the way of Lindens and somehow, money just doesn’t seem appropriate. Then the proverbial light bulb went off.

    I’m a writer after all. I’ll write a story about the wedding and post it! I have to prepare the story and the pictures. My readership would share in IFo’s and Celliste’s big day. What could go wrong?

    Well, actually, nothing (for a change). IFo and Celliste loved the idea. Now, all I had to do was a story that everyone will love. No pressure.

    So, after figuring out what to wear and what to give, all that was left was to make myself presentable. Which I managed to do without either embarrassing myself or bringing down the grid.

    On the day of his wedding, IFo invited me over to his castle, Castle Hancroft, to talk beforehand. (What’s with all these castles? I didn’t even know IFo had one until he TP’d me over. Who knew?)

    We walk around the castle and talk for awhile as two other wedding guests, Turnip Canningham and aCrazyMan Starfall (  https://my.secondlife.com/acrazyman.aries ) join us. We note that this was the first time that any of us had ever seen IFo anything but bare chested. (He must be serious.) Here’s where thing begin to deviate from the program.

    The bride is running late and no one can contact her. IFo is getting nervous. I’m making myself useful taking pictures.

    The ceremony is to take place in Nulli Secundus’s Ritual Room. However, since we are missing the bride, everyone retires to the Club to dance until she arrives. And, dance we do! (Nulli Secundus does know how to throw a party!)

    Ultimately, Celliste arrives and we all retire to the Ritual Room again for the ceremony. World Undercroft, the vampire king, presides over the service. Approximately, two dozen guests have been in and out during the course of the ceremony. Chelle Hawker, the vampire queen is in attendance with key members of the Court. Others are regulars in the family, some noobies, and some just guests like myself.

    World intones the vows and tells them to “walk the night together” and then instructs them to sip from goblets of blood (What did you expect? This is a vampire wedding after all!) With that, IFo and Celliste are now vampire and wife.

    And, with that, Celliste promptly leaves and we all retire back to the Club for more dancing that is still going on when I leave later.

    So I have attended and survived my first wedding in SL without causing any significant social gaffs. Significant Other is impressed. I haven’t done nearly as well in RL sometimes.

    But, I do take away again the feeling of community and togetherness that this group of residents has towards one another. Some may dismiss this wedding as role playing or acting out. However, to be there, among the wedding party and the guests, I had to realize that this was real for all of them. And, who is anyone else to say otherwise?

    I would like to congratulate and thank IFo and Celliste Hancroft for inviting me to their big day and making me like I was part of the family. I would like to all the other wedding guests for all their time and input. As always. I’m grateful to all for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.

    I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on CNN iReports or e-mail me at webspelunker@gmail.com.

      If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
    please click here.

    Photo No. 1: IFo Hancroft

    Photo No. 2: IFo and Celliste Hancroft (with permission of World Undercroft)


    Photo No. 3: Wedding Invitation

    Photo No. 4: Castle Nulli Secundus

    Photo No. 5: IFo and a Wedding Guest

    Photo No. 6: Me in Proper Wedding Attire

    Photo No. 7: Wedding Guests Dancing

    Photo No. 8: The Bride, Celliste Hancroft

    Photo No. 9: Bride and Groom Exchange Vows

    Photo No. 10: Bride and Groom (with permission of World Undercroft)




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