Love is a game for Singaporean couple married in Animal Crossing

The couple recreate their wedding photoshoot in Animal Crossing’s Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom. Image: SentosaSG
The couple recreate their wedding photoshoot in Animal Crossing’s Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom. Image: SentosaSG

A Singaporean couple forced to postpone their wedding due to the coronavirus outbreak went ahead and took their vows to another level, literally.

Polytechnic sweethearts Varian Ang, 29, and Tan Ruoyi, 26, recently made their marriage “official” by holding a one-of-a-kind wedding on a virtual version of Sentosa island recreated in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the Nintendo socialize-and-farm game that has captivated millions passing time in home captivity.

The couple was chosen as part of a creative marketing campaign Sentosa announced last month that saw one lucky couple chosen for an epic virtual wedding photoshoot and party.

“We thought that by getting married virtually in virtual Sentosa, this will serve as a great reminder to us on what we have gone through and also give us a reason to celebrate this date. Even though crucial events are postponed, we still want to continue living our life and celebrate important milestones regardless of situations,” the couple told Coconuts Singapore today. Ang works as a research assistant while Tan is a trade associate.

The couple took their virtual vows Saturday, the same day their wedding had been scheduled to take place.

“Sentosa holds many fond memories for the couple, from date nights, to birthdays and anniversary celebrations. So, while Varian and Ruoyi had to postpone their actual wedding ceremony, Sentosa Development Corporation created an experience of a lifetime for the couple on the virtual island,” Sentosa said in a statement yesterday.

Their special day was also a marriage of corporate marketing in a made-for-pandemic moment.

The game allows people to create custom content, including entire islands. The newlywed’s celebrations kicked off with photoshoots at locations throughout virtual Sentosa including the Skyline Luge Sentosa, Butterfly Park & Insect Kingdom, and the Ola Beach Club; followed by the solemnization at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa and a dance party.

The couple’s bridesmaids and groomsmen were also present.

In response to how the experience compares to real life, they said: “It’s almost quite the same! We invited 4 of our friends to join us in the game, and they streamed it live to more friends over a Zoom call. We wanted a wedding where we can celebrate with our friends the important milestone that we have reached.” 

The newlyweds pose at the Welcome beach.
The newlyweds pose at the Welcome beach.
The newlyweds at the Skyline Luge Sentosa.
The newlyweds at the Skyline Luge Sentosa.
The newlyweds pose with bridesmaids and groomsmen at the dance party.
The newlyweds pose with bridesmaids and groomsmen at the dance party.

Last month, Sentosa recreated seven of its locations for select players to explore and take photos. It closed yesterday.

Nearly 3,000 couples have had to postpone their wedding plans due to restrictions in place since April to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

A law allowing virtual marriage solemnization via live video was passed last month. As of Sunday, Muslim couples are allowed to get married in person again at the Registry of Muslim Marriages and mosques next month, with a maximum of 10 attendees. 

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with the couple’s comments.

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