When I started playing Harvest Moon, it was partially because my sister made it look amazingly fun, and partially because it was a much more inspiring choice for my 17-year-old self than FarmVille.
But I was (and am) a romantic at heart.
Which means there was a part of me that had seen way too many Disney movies and literally just wanted to play because it would let me marry one of the characters.
It was very slow going in the emulator version I had, but two and a half years into my three-year game, I finally had my first video game wedding.
It was beautiful, in all its pixelated glory, and after that, I was hooked.
I played several versions of Harvest Moon after that, just to see how it would change. Some versions added bells, some added dresses, and some even added an interactive part. But none compared to when I found out about the Ceremony of Eternal Bonding in Final Fantasy XIV.
Shane and I decided to hold a ceremony for our characters for our anniversary last week, and it was every bit as magical as I’d expected. And it inspired me to think of why I love video game weddings so much.
You don’t have to plan nearly as much.
I should probably explain that for a few years after I finished school, I worked for a wedding magazine. It was all new to me, but I absolutely loved it!
Every week, I’d need to research a new trend in weddings, and write all about it for the blog. I learned a lot doing that, including just how much actually goes into planning a real-life one.
I think that was my favourite part about Harvest Moon weddings; no fuss, no muss. You don’t even have to pick a date; just play through to the right day, and it will bring you to the right place, in the right clothes, and put you through the ceremony.
Even Final Fantasy, which required a bit of fuss to get the rings and pray at all the right places and plan the venue’s appearance, was infinitely simpler than the real deal!
You don’t have to worry about accidentally offending people.
When you aren’t in charge of seating, or limited in who you can invite by a budget, you don’t have to worry about seating someone at the wrong table or beside the wrong person or not being able to invite them at all.
In the games where you get to pick who can come, you’re only limited by the number of invitations you have—which, when a game gives you 40 invitations and you only have 10 friends, really isn’t an issue.
You can have all kinds of fun with it.
Want a moogle at your ceremony, delivering a suitably sassy service or playing a trumpet like a champ? Or to ride out on a gloriously bedecked chocobo? These sorts of fantastical touches are a little sparse in the real world, but in a video game wedding, you can has.
Final Fantasy is a little heavier on things like these, where Harvest Moon tries to keep it a little closer to a traditional Western-style wedding.
You don’t have to worry about accidents.
Or intentional mishaps.
Or property damage from dozens of enthusiastically shaken bottles of champagne and your absolute need to show your best friend your new flamethrower ability at the afterparty.
It’s not real, but it still hits you in the feels.
Obviously, a video game wedding doesn’t have the same implications as a real-life one. The closest it comes is Harvest Moon, which tries to encourage you to consider your decision carefully by never ever letting you divorce your partner.
Still, there’s something about watching your avatar experience such a blissful day, especially when it’s not an NPC on the other side of that altar, it’s your real-life boyfriend.
I’m not overly attached, I swear.
Those are a few of the reasons why I love when video games have wedding options in them, and obviously it’s not something that everyone does or needs to do. But it just makes my Disney-kid-at-heart soul so happy.