In WoW, there are experiences that are so unique that they will be etched into your memory. For us, definitely the first character creation video counts as one. Nothing will match how our jaws dropped as we watched the sweeping views of the graphic environment Blizzard had created. We were in total awe. The first flight on a windrider was unbelievable too. Riding from Orgrimmar to Thunder Bluff, I think, passing over dinosaurs and other creatures, mouth open; if I had control over the windrider, there would have been a huge gapers delay in traffic from Org to TB. The first instance definitely qualifies; feeling lost in RFC, wondering how many more slimy monsters there were left to battle, and if we would make it through, dying constantly despite the efforts of my big fuzzy higher-level tauren friend. For more experienced players, I’m sure there are all kinds of special experiences, and for many, the ultimate memorable moment will be the first time they slay the Lich King.
Recently, I was given the opportunity to participate in a roleplay event that will be added to my personal collection of special moments.
I was saying hello to a friend of mine, one who I’ve known since very early in my time on Moon Guard. As backstory, I’d followed him around in Warsong Gulch, healing him while he carried the flag, one of my very first days on the realm. After we were in the BG a few times, I chatted a little bit with him, and then afterward, added him to my friends list. Over the months, I’ve heard updates on his RP, guild, ventures in PvP, and a little bit about his girlfriend’s broken arm during the summer.
We hadn’t chatted a ton recently, just hellos and goodbyes, when I inquired if he might be interested in a Sunwell Plateau run, and he said that he couldn’t, because he would be getting married ICly at that time.
Married! How incredibly exciting! I, of course, asked if I could observe the wedding (not being an actual RPer myself), and he said he’d check with the bride. Sure enough, “Joyous Occasion” soon showed up on my calendar.
There is an entire blog post that could be written about the process of PREPARING for an RP wedding, of course. The outfit selection, the consideration of whether it would be good to have a companion for the event, the worry over whether I would know what to do, and when. In the end, after hours of poring over the auction house for possible options (well, my daughters did most of the poring, they are seasoned AH shoppers), my date (a dear guildie/friend), daughters and I decided that my Lovely Blue Dress would do just fine, and that bare feet would probably be the way to go, since there were no pretty shoes in the AH (and I did even inquire in trade about whether there were any beautiful dress shoes for female characters). My date needed a few enhancements to his outfit, and so I bought him a black shirt and some black dress shoes, and we were set outfit-wise.
I can honestly say, that as the event approached, I had butterflies in my stomach. We were to be summoned to the Isle of Quel’Danas in raid party. Would I know anyone there? What would it be like? What would the ceremony be like? My friend had indicated that they’d spent nearly a month in the planning, so I presumed it would be very special.
From start to finish, the event unfolded in a way that was both true to lore, but also so realistic feeling, creating a sort of golden bubble of warmth and happiness around all who attended. This might sound a bit over the top, but it is the only way that I can describe it. It had that REAL feeling that you experience when you go to a wedding where you care deeply about the bride and groom, and are genuinely happy to see them united in a way that they have created for themselves. True joy.
The RP began with the guests arranging themselves around the lawn near the archway where the couple would conduct their ceremony. As my companion and I strolled near the lake, the personalities began to emerge, while pre-ceremony small talk commenced. The couple with a small child, bantering back and forth, occupying him, shifting him from one parent to the other, doting yet practical; the war-weary orc, with his worg-pup, whom he instructed about the goings-on; the gallant best friend, suave, handsome, self-assured, still single, but likely to be following in his friend’s footsteps soon; the younger Blood Knight, looking up to his hero, gushing with praise-filled exclamations; the priestess and her friend, with a unique, almost sister-like relationship, commenting in off-handed ways to each other; a more realistic collection of guests could not have been scripted.
Just before the couple arrived for the ceremony, we were all requested to approach the archway, and informed that the raid would be eliminated to avoid unnecessary chat. We drew close, gathering around the arch, and waited for the ceremony to begin.
The young couple arrived, along with the priestess, and began a touching, well thought-out ceremony that, by the end, had me reaching for the sleeve of my companion’s shirt in-game, and the tissues, in real life. The priestess introduced the bride and the groom, explaining that while they were an unlikely match (a Blood Knight and a Ranger), they were here today to express their love and be joined in a life together.
The ceremony included all the nuances of a real wedding. Glances, touches, not a single opportunity for emotional expression was missed, in my opinion. Even the ceremonial elements had clearly been given a fair amount of thought. The bride and groom had their hands bound together with a blue cloth for a portion of the ceremony, to symbolize their union. They gave each other gifts which were family heirlooms, symbolizing the joining and continuation of their families, and respect for their elders. The vows, which were incredibly touching, invoked the feeling of connection that was developed over decades of joy AND hardships between the couple, and their inability to imagine a life without one another. Before the wedding, I did not know how creative my friend might be in RP, and was happy to see that he is very creative, open and free with his emotions. I had met his bride, perhaps once in a brief conversation at a mailbox in Shattrath one night, and so I didn’t know her at all. During the wedding event, she was charming, sweet and gracious, all characteristics becoming to a bride. After the wedding, my conversations with her have convinced me that she is all of those things regularly, not just on wedding day.
As the ceremony came to a close, and the couple kissed each other tenderly, the guests began to cheer and celebrate, and fireworks, drinks and a Delicious Chocolate Cake were presented for the group to enjoy.
As I left, so that I could do a few things before needing to log out, I uttered my first and only statement during the event, wishing the couple well and thanking them for letting me participate in such a beautiful expression of love and joy.
It is almost impossible to capture the feeling of this event in words. It is a warmth, an aura that can surround a situation. It made this experience so very special, to both myself AND to my daughters, who were watching along with me and having me read the entire ceremony to them, some portions repeatedly. My 5yo son was floating in and out of the picture, occasionally shouting out “have they gotten to the kissy-kissy part yet???” As we shut down the computer, we all agreed that it was an amazing experience, one of the best things we’d ever seen in the game.
It was several weeks before I understood the full sweetness of the event. I’d been fairly busy with real life, just squeezing in dailies here and there, and starting to get into the holiday achievement season, when I ran into my friend and his bride, on separate occasions. I mentioned to both of them that I was drafting up a blog post, and wondered if it would be okay with them if I did so. Both of them were encouraging, looking forward to reading it.
I remembered at one point my friend had mentioned that he played WoW with his girlfriend, and so I asked him if the wedding had been with her. Yes, in fact, it was her. He then explained to me that they had met, IC, ON THE GAME, and after some OOC conversations, they had decided to get to know each other in real life. Things had progressed, and now they are dating; he’d just flown to visit her several weeks ago. He was disappointed he couldn’t be with her for Valentine’s Day, but they’d been together and it had been great.
Priceless, another beautiful aspect to the story of the RP wedding….it makes me want to go get the tissues again, and snuggle on the sofa with the girls, watching The Princess Bride.
Thank you again, my friends, may you live in wedded bliss for the duration of your elven lives, AND, I look forward to the baby shower, hopefully soon!