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Enter at Your Own Rift: A RIFT wedding primer

Karen Bryan

Right now in RIFT, couples are donning their best attire, polishing up their rings, and practicing their vows as they participate in a Valentine's Day wedding challenge. From yesterday until today at noon, players will attempt to set the Guinness World Record for most in-game weddings in a single day. I decided to participate, so I bought the elegant wedding dress and veil from the marriage coordinator and said to my husband, "Will you marry me in-game?" His answer was, "Why?"

I can't say I'm surprised because we've been married for the better part of 17 years, and he's never really been into the social part of gaming as much as I have. But he's also a good sport, so he agreed to buy a tux and do the ceremony anyway. In this week's Enter at Your Own Rift, we'll walk you through the process of tying the knot in game, from the pre-wedding prep to the lively celebrations afterwards.

What do I need in order to get married?

First off, all you really need is a marriage contract and a willing participant. But since the Marriage Coordinators are located in each faction's capital city, you will need to have completed the starter zone and made it into Telara before you can marry. The marriage contract normally costs one plat, but during the Guinness event, it was basically free.

To actually get married, you really only need to target a player and click on the contract. If he or she consents, you're hitched, and afterward you both get wedding rings, which give a nice ring appearance from the wardrobe slot. Of course, it's not quite as much fun if there's no ceremony or party, and if you have another 10 plat, you can essentially rent your own wedding instance. My husband was more than happy with doing a shotgun quick-click wedding over by the training dummies, but I had already purchased the instance before he could object.

Rift Wedding
Taking the plunge

The instance itself is nicely done. We're Guardians, so our wedding was on top of Hammerknell, with the mists of Moonshade as a nice backdrop. For Defiants, the wedding is held in an instance of Orphiel's Spire. When you first zone in, you might want to speak to the Spousal Assistants before you bring in friends because the two who are getting married need to designate themselves as "Spouse of the Sun" and "Spouse of the Moon," which helps them avoid the possibility of someone else mistakenly flagging himself for the wedding. It's up to you on who is who, and if someone does accidentally flag himself, he'd need to have the Spousal Assistant remove the flag before the ceremony.

From there, you can invite up to 200 guests to the event, although it's first-come first-serve if you overbook. You can also kick out those who end up becoming troublemakers. My husband and I didn't have any guests, but that's OK because when we reached the Dwarf to begin the ceremony, a crowd of NPC guests appeared to witness the event.

Saying "I do"

With a Dwarf as your Officiant, it's little surprise that the ceremony involves two things: drinking and forging. But it's actually nicely done, since the drinking of ale, blessed by Bahralt, is meant to bless the marriage itself. But before that, the couple needs to forge a hammer together, which represents the strength and future of the marriage. After the hammer is forged, the Officiant gives the couple a chance to exchange vows, and it's at that point that the couple is prompted to use the contract, which is sealed with a /kiss. After a final blessing, everyone is invited to the next area for a celebration, complete with fireworks, food, ale, shinies, and of course, cake! And if you don't have any guests, don't worry; those NPCs who witnessed your ceremony follow along to clap, cheer, and dance along with you. If you're an achiever, it's even worth it to attend, since you can get a couple of achievements just for showing up.

I have to say, those NPCs could have partied for the next month, but my husband and I had to wrap it up. When we zoned back to town, though, it was clear from the crowd around the Marriage Coordinator that the wedding event was pretty popular. I was even invited to another wedding not long after, one coordinated by three different guilds, and it was much more fun to see the instance with real guests rather than just NPCs. Plus, I think these guilds could give the party-hard NPCs a run for their money, since they were dancing on the kegs and drinking the ale faster than the NPC bartender could refill the tables.

Rift Wedding
Overall, RIFT has done a nice job with in-game weddings. We've come a long way from the early days of MMO weddings, when the best you could do was take off your armored helmet and hope that it didn't take hours for a GM to come over to officiate and change last names. The best part is that players have their own instance along with the ability to screen out guests. I've been to and even officiated plenty of weddings during which one guy inevitably shows up to run around, get in everyone's face, and disrupt the ceremony with inane chatter. Sometimes it's done with malice, and other times it's done out of ignorant curiosity, but the result is the same, and the instances remove that element from the ceremony.

But if you have a change of heart after Valentine's Day is over, or if you eventually realize that you were just not meant to be as a married couple, fear not. RIFT also sells divorce papers, and it's much cheaper (and faster!) than the real thing. In the meantime, congratulations to everyone who participated in the RIFT wedding event -- here's to hoping your hammer is solid and your ale is blessed!

Whether she's keeping the vigil or defying the gods, Karen Bryan saves Telara on a biweekly basis. Covering all aspects of life in RIFT, from solo play to guild raids, the column is dedicated to backhanding multidimensional tears so hard that they go crying to their mommas. Email Karen for questions, comments, and adulation.

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