With the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is pretty much staying at home. Some are binge-watching Netflix, catching up on their exercise routines, or learning how to be a gourmet chef. But for bride-to-be Trisha Santos, it is playing the popular Nintendo video game Animal Crossing on Switch that gives her much enjoyment.
Which is why, for their fifth anniversary as a couple, Trisha thought of surprising her fiance Miguel Zapata in a very creative way: a wedding setup over Animal Crossing! To her delight, the video game’s online community turned out to be very supportive of her idea—and one player even volunteered to be the couple’s official photographer!
How did Trisha and the Animal Crossing community put the whole plan together? The bride-to-be shares with My Pope the nitty-gritties of the entire “wedding planning” process! (Read: Couple holds ‘online wedding’ amidst coronavirus scare)
Why did you stage an Animal Crossing wedding?
Miguel and I got engaged 5 months ago, and we were at the first stages of wedding planning when the pandemic hit. Needless to say, everything’s been put on hold, but I realized nothing’s stopping me from planning a virtual one!
It was a surprise for your fiancé, how did he react?
He was at first really confused and amused to see Jesus on my island (Gavin Quitoy, whose avatar looked like Jesus, volunteered to wed us). By the end of it, he was really happy and told me he appreciated how I made our first anniversary as an engaged couple really memorable despite the quarantine. (Read: Want to know how it feels to be Jesus? This new video game will show you how!)
How did you do it? How long did you plan the surprise?
When I first started playing, I joined an Animal Crossing group where players shared tips and talked about the game. I posted my idea there and the community was very generous. In less than an hour, I got flooded with people wanting to help. They sent me everything from in-game money to flowers, tables, chairs, decorative items, dresses, inspirations, and more!
That’s how I also found Carlo Acetre (or rather, he found me!). And he, a professional photographer, volunteered to document my little event! I was so amazed and overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers. From there, I and my friends had a month to landscape, collect items, and decorate my island before our fifth anniversary, which was when I wanted the virtual wedding to happen.
What was the best reaction you got from your family and friends?
When Carlo’s wedding photos upload started getting a lot of shares on Facebook and my dad saw people congratulating me, he didn’t understand what was happening right away. For a short while, he thought I got married for real without telling him. That was really funny!
Now that the virtual wedding is over, when is the real wedding?
We were supposed to get married in 2021 but because of the pandemic, we’re moving it to 2022. (Read: Here’s what you can expect on 2020 weddings, baptisms, Sunday Masses)