Vegetarian couple got married in the metaverse
Metaverse weddings (Meta-Wedds) are bursting.
- Sheel Mohnot, a venture capitalist, and Amruta Godbole, a product lawyer, got engaged in August 2022.
- Soon after, the couple won a contest to have a wedding in the metaverse sponsored by Taco Bell.
- Take a look at their metaverse wedding and live reception afterwards at the “world’s most beautiful Taco Bell.”
Sheel Mohnot, a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who co-founded the firm Better Tomorrow Ventures, was looking for love.
During the pandemic, a mutual friend introduced him to Amruta Godbole, a lawyer at Instagram. Their first phone call in May 2020 was almost six hours long.
Soon after, they had a socially distanced date in Mohnot’s backyard. Cue a whirlwind romance in which they biked through Burning Man’s Black Rock City and spent an evening in a six-person Slovenian village — by August 2022, they were engaged.
Just weeks later, the couple saw an unexpected opportunity. Taco Bell was calling on prospective couples to apply to the brand’s “first-ever, virtual legal and metaverse wedding package.”
Mohnot said “it was perfect timing.”
Applicants were asked to submit a registration form and video detailing their unique love story. The prize would be a Web 3.0 wedding for “two die-hard enthusiasts to take their Taco Bell love to the next level,” the contest announcement promised.
Mohnot was eager to enter the contest because he had long had an affinity for Taco Bell. He said growing up in the US as a vegetarian in the late ’80s and ’90s “it was the only place that you could go for fast food,” so going out to eat became “kind of synonymous with Taco Bell.”
The couple also had a date early in their relationship at the oceanfront Taco Bell in Pacifica, California. “So it had meaning for us in that way, too,” Godbole said.
They submitted a video homage to Taco Bell before the contest’s deadline in early September 2022, and by October, they found out they had been selected out of more than 300 submissions.
In the video, Godbole mentioned that Taco Bell was one of the first things she and Mohnot had bonded over as vegetarians who loved Mexican food.
Mohnot put the final touch on the video when he cracked open a ring-shaped case — to reveal an actual wedding band — and earnestly asked, “Taco Bell — will you marry us?”
In the months leading up to the wedding, Godbole said they had planning sessions with Taco Bell’s team every few weeks. During those meetings they discussed everything from “the menu” (which was fully vegetarian, of course)…
to the construction of the wedding venue…
to customized metaverse outfits for their wedding guests, like a printed coat…
…or a flame-inspired dress.
They even shortlisted a few names for their emcee. The spot ultimately went to the actor Kal Penn, who starred in the Harold & Kumar series.
Mohnot said he rarely saw Indian-Americans on television when he was growing up, but Penn was one of the first actors in the community to make it to the big screen. “So it’s very special for me to have him,” Mohnot said.
Someone close to the couple, who was not on the metaverse broadcast, actually officiated the ceremony.
Wedding day was slated for February 24. The couple initially planned to be in the company of a few friends dressed in Snuggies. At the last minute though, Godbole put on a dress and Mohnot donned a sherwani, a traditional Indian long-sleeved coat.
The wedding drew viewers from across the world. Below, are the couple’s friends from San Francisco gathered together for a watch party.
Mohnot’s grandmother even tuned in from India. Approximately 1000 guests attended the wedding as avatars in Decentraland.
In traditional Indian weddings, the groom often arrives in a celebratory procession known as the baraat, accompanied by family members and live music. Mohnot chose to ride in on a purple elephant in his metaverse baraat.
Godbole then floated in wearing a custom designed pink lehenga— a traditional Indian outfit comprised of a cropped top, full-length skirt, and long scarf.
Once the couple took their places at the altar they exchanged vows. Their promises to one another ranged from silly to practical to romantic.
Mohnot promised Godbole that he would always help her look for her AirPods and keep her phone charged. He also vowed to “never let let our love become stale and to always keep everything spicy and exciting.”
Godbole, who was acknowledged as the better writer of the two, promised Mohnot that their married life would be “fun and romantic and more than a little weird, just like today.”
…officially husband and wife!
After the ceremony, guests proceeded to the reception hall which was decked out with a cheese fountain and towering Cinnabon Delights cake. Guests heard speeches from the couple’s friends and soon everyone’s avatar was twirling on the dance floor.
The day after, the couple gathered with friends and family at the Taco Bell in Pacifica for a live reception. Later this year, the couple will have a destination wedding near Mexico City.
The couple will also have receptions in Godbole’s hometown of Cleveland and Mohnot’s hometown of Pittsburgh.
Mohnot mentioned that the couple already had an event in India ahead of their metaverse wedding.
Amid so many celebrations Godbole said the Taco Bell metaverse wedding stands out not only as their legal wedding, but as an event that drew together loved ones from across the world. “We were definitely not planning to be married by now,” Godbole joked, “that was unexpected.”
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