How an in-game ‘Animal Crossing’ wedding came to be

MANILA, Philippines – It's not unusual for a friend to offer a would-be bride their place as a wedding venue. It also isn’t strange for the couple to want to document every moment and post it on social media later for the world to bear witness to their love.

But it is unusual for everything to happen in the bubble of social media and the popular Nintendo game Animal Crossing.

Lyka Lorraine Sumido, who started playing the game a few weeks after its release, exchanged “I do’s” with her real-life fiance in the game and posted photos of the fun weekend event on a Facebook group for Philippine-based players.

No less than her real-life best friend served as her maid of honor with several of their friends standing in as witnesses to the ceremony.

Lyka, whose real-life wedding is scheduled later this year, told Rappler that the idea first came about when another friend posted photos of her Animal Crossing island’s wedding area in a fan group for the podcast Wake Up With Jim and Saab. Her friend then offered to host the wedding.

“Since we have to cut down our guest list for the actual wedding given the new CBCP guidelines, I won't be able to invite her. So I took the opportunity so she could still somehow be part of our wedding,” she told Rappler, referring to a Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) that suggests weddings forgo secondary sponsors (bridesmaids and groomsmen).

Animal Crossing New Horizons is the highly-anticipated follow-up to the beloved social simulation game. In it, you play a human who relocates to a desert island alongside animal villagers. The island typically becomes more modern and landscaped as players progress in the game. It also allows players to visit friends’ and strangers’ islands, with the right permissions. It’s even been used to host museum exhibits.

Lyka certainly isn’t the first player to get “married” inside the game. For sure, more will follow, especially since Animal Crossing’s June event happens to be wedding-themed.

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