Now that we've got the obligatory Princess Bride clip out of the way, let's talk weddings. There invariably comes a point and time in every character's storyline where they become romantically involved with another character. Romance is one of those roleplay subjects that seems to be a popular point with a large percentage of the the roleplaying population. Equally as popular are in-character weddings -- the more lavish, the better.
Planning a roleplay wedding may be an easier task than planning a real one, but the process does have the potential of being a drama-ridden situation. There are certain things you want to keep in mind when you're planning a wedding for your character, to keep the day drama-free. But before you decide your character ought to settle down with their sweetie and take the next step into marital bliss, there are a few other things you should think about, too.
Before you decide that a wedding is a natural place for your character's story to go, you'll want to consider how your character would react to a situation like a marriage. There's a difference between roleplaying a character who has their own story and roleplaying a character who is now married -- particularly in the case of marrying another player's character. Like any relationship, this means that your character's story is now going to be tied to another.
This does offer an opportunity for the family style of roleplay that a lot of people seem to enjoy, but there are also drawbacks to the situation that you need to think about. Your roleplaying time will now need to be spent in some small part with the player who you've chosen to set your character up with. And with any situation where your character is involved with another, if you or that other player suddenly chooses to take a break, there's also a break with the roleplay.
It's not a big deal if it's just a friend of your character, but if it's a significant other, it means you have to sort out what happened and how your character is going to react to it. There's nothing wrong with roleplaying a romance, nor is there anything wrong with roleplaying a married couple -- but you have to keep in mind that you, the player, are now going to have to work with this other player in much closer context, for better or for worse.
If this sounds like something you're up to handling sounds like very little challenge at all, then go for it! Sit down with your roleplay partner and discuss how far you want that relationship to proceed. Will your characters have any children in the future? Will they be stuck together like glue or act as a couple that have two very different lifestyles? How will being married change your characters' attitudes? Will it mark a change in their temperaments, or will they continue on as usual?
By mapping this out, you'll make sure you and your roleplay partner are on roughly the same page. And that is an excellent way to avoid any unwanted or unnecessary drama.
Roleplay weddings can be a really fun group activity -- or they can be a horrible snore-fest that nobody wants to attend. Obviously you'd rather have the former than the latter, so here are some things you'll want to keep in mind when you're planning it all out.
- Consider your guest list. How many people are you going to invite to this thing? More importantly, what level are they going to be? When planning a wedding location, you want to pick a place that everyone can get to. A level 2 player is not going to be able to attend a wedding inside a level-restricted area like a raid zone. Keep the people you're inviting in mind when you're picking a place and when you're planning any activities.
- Pick a perfect locale. Get together with your roleplay partner and pick a spot for the wedding. Make sure it has enough room for all players involved and that the place is mob-free -- the last thing you need is a restless NPC attacking the bride and groom, after all. Also think about how public you would like the location to be. Do you want it in the middle of a bustling city, where others can peek in on the proceedings, or would you rather someplace private and remote?
- Pick an officiant. You'll want someone to actually handle the wedding ceremony itself. Find a friend who wouldn't mind officiating, someone who doesn't mind the task. To make the task easier on them, you can even write out the ceremony yourself and give them a script to follow. That way, they only have to go as far as copying and pasting what you've given them into the appropriate chat channel.
- Pick a photographer. If you really want screenshots to commemorate your wedding, the best way to get them is by assigning another player the task. That way, they can wander around during the ceremony and get several shots from several different angles.
- Pick a good day and time. Make sure you pick a good day and time that works for you, your roleplay partner, your officiant and your photographer. You don't necessarily need to plan a day and time that works for your guests -- but keep in mind that work schedules and other real-life activities may keep people from attending. A midday wedding in the middle of the week is not apt to be packed full of people.
Avoiding unwanted drama
The last thing you want out of a roleplay wedding is any kind of drama. The point of a roleplay event isn't just to give yourself something to do -- it's also to amuse your friends and give them something to do, too! That said, there are things you want to consider and things you want to avoid to make the experience a pleasant one for all involved.
- Set guidelines for the wedding. If you have a perfect vision of how the ceremony should go, make sure your guests know what to do and what not to do. Don't want them talking during the ceremony? Don't want them walking around in the middle of an important moment? Let your guests know what is acceptable and more importantly, what isn't -- before you start the ceremony.
- KISS. Keep it simple. Keep it short, and keep it to the point. While it may seem like a fun idea to have your character recount in precise detail the moment your two characters met and every step the relationship has taken, your guests aren't as likely to enjoy the experience. The average attention span of a roleplayer is pretty short when it's not an event they are actively involved in. Players can only watch other players type mass quantities of text for so long without getting bored.
- Throw in a twist. Maybe your character's family doesn't approve of the wedding. Maybe the character your character is marrying has a hidden secret of some sort. Maybe the site of a wedding is also the site of a vengeful spirit, and the wedding is about to become an interactive murder mystery. Maybe having a wedding-crasher or two in the mix just sounds like a fun idea. It doesn't have to be a cut-and-dry wedding. Mix it up a bit!
- Give your guests something to do. Remember what I was saying about players and attention spans? Players get bored when they have nothing to do. Plan some sort of activity for them to do while the wedding is going on. Hand out fireworks for people to set off. Set up a contest for best-dressed wedding guest, with prizes to be given out after the wedding. Give your guests a reason to attend and a reason to sit for awhile and watch the ceremony happen.
The key to any good roleplay, whether it be an event, a conversation, or your character's lifetime, is fluidity -- going with the flow. It's the ability to adapt to the unexpected and react in a way that is realistic for your character. Roleplay is at its heart an exercise in improvisational acting, in its own unique way. Don't get wrapped up in everything being a perfect experience. Instead, concentrate on what roleplay is all about -- having fun.
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