- Natasha Grano and Michael Graziano are the first-ever couple to get married on the audio-only app.
- The two-hour traditional ceremony included the walk down the aisle and a Corinthians reading.
- Guests were instructed to “Push to Refresh” to update the couple’s profile photos as it went on.
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Natasha Grano and Michael Graziano made history on the Clubhouse app yesterday when they became the first-ever couple to get married on the audio-only platform – a fitting venue considering that’s where the two met last February.
According to a report from Direcon, a third-party provider of Clubhouse analytics, the nuptials captured the ears of nearly 27,000 listeners throughout the two-hour ceremony, which was hosted by celebrity matchmaker Carmelia Ray – 10 times the amount of people initially expected to tune in.
One of those listeners was Digital Marketing’s Gary Henderson, who met the couple through the app and listened in from his home in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before going out to run errands with his wife.
“It was great to hear so many people share their loving words with Natasha and Michael,” Henderson, who’s never actually met the couple in person, told Insider.
“Clubhouse is the perfect way to invite your global friends and family to an intimate experience without it becoming too intrusive,” he added. “We were able to share a private moment together without the awkwardness of a camera, or lighting, or professional microphones, or any weird angles. Without Clubhouse, this amazing wedding would have never been possible.”
Although the executives at Clubhouse didn’t play a role in the couple’s wedding, Stephanie Simon, head of community, creators, and partnerships at Clubhouse, did take a moment to express her best wishes to the couple and issued the following statement to Insider: “We’re constantly inspired by the ways that individuals are using Clubhouse to meet new people, build friendships, and ultimately share milestones of the human experience with each other. This wedding reminds us that the power and intimacy of voice can turn conversations around shared interests into deep and meaningful relationships, and even love.”
As for me, while I was fascinated by the notion of an audio-only wedding – especially from a guest perspective, since I was able to attend Sunday morning’s festivities in my favorite sweatpants from the comfort of my sofa – I did find myself missing those quintessential moments one can only truly experience in real life: the first kiss, the first dance, the cutting of the cake, and yes, even the bouquet toss.
A traditional ceremony – all done via audio
Henderson, along with listeners from around the world like me, were treated to a variety of rituals reminiscent of a conventional wedding, but through audio: the bride’s walk down the aisle, a reading from Corinthians, and heartfelt speeches given by members of the bridal party, which included rapper Ja Rule and John Assaraf, from the documentary “The Secret.”
Daymond John of “Shark Tank” and Netflix cofounder Marc Randolph, who were listed as groomsmen, were not in attendance, and according to Grano, one bridesmaid missed the event because she was stuck on an airplane.
The ceremony was officiated by John Gray, the former associate pastor under Joel Osteen at Lakewood Church. Gray put his own spin on things as he opened the service by proclaiming, “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today in front of this Clubhouse community to join Natasha and Michael in holy matrimony.”
He also concluded the service by offering the following advice to guests: “If any person can show just cause why they should not be joined together – let them speak now or forever hush their Clubhouse mouth.”
Wedding guests were invited to sign a guestbook and directed to a registry, where one could gift the couple a series of items, such as a bottle of champagne ($95), a romantic dinner for two on the beach ($250), or even a Caribbean getaway at a five-star hotel ($5,000). For those whose pockets didn’t run that deep, there were also nominal items, like a single lollipop for Rio, Grano’s four-and-half year-old son from a previous marriage ($1).
Adding some Clubhouse flair
Then there were the aspects of the couple’s union that one could only experience in a Clubhouse wedding – requests to “mute yourself” and follow the couple and bridal party on social media and the presence of mic claps, the virtual version of applause, for example.
Unlike real-life weddings, where speeches have been known to go on too long, members of the virtual bridal party were met with constant reminders to keep their speeches to a maximum of two minutes long – and some even wrapped up their comments with the phrase commonly used on Clubhouse: “Thank you. I am done speaking.”
Throughout the ceremony, guests were regularly instructed to “Push to Refresh” or PTR, resulting in the couple’s profile photos continuously updating to reflect the event timeline and allowing guests to see snapshots of Grano arriving by limo and walking down the aisle, the two exchanging both vows and rings at the altar, and their first kiss as husband and wife.
A magical digital event
In reality, the images were all taken on Saturday inside a Vancouver church. Graziano told Insider the day of the Clubhouse wedding, the two were home on their iPhones wearing sweatpants. “Afterwards, we just relaxed, ordered in Greek food from DoorDash, and watched ‘Titanic’ on Netflix,” he said.
Despite some of the more less-than-romantic technical aspects of the event, listeners could still experience the warm fuzzies – the poignant pauses felt before the “I do’s,” the warmth of the couple’s handwritten vows, the smooching sounds that accompanied the couple’s first kiss, and the excited hoots and hollers that spontaneously erupted from some members of the bridal party in far-off distance places.
In his vows, Graziano told Grano, “I may have had to search the entire world to realize you’d been hiding in my phone’s apps all along, but this time I won’t let go,” adding that their Clubhouse matrimony was “the best day of his digital life.”
In classic wedding form, the couple exited the Clubhouse room to Kool and the Gang’s obligatory wedding anthem “Celebration” while wedding guest and social-media influencer Kiante Young, overcome with emotion, professed to all those listening, “I hope you two have a future baby shower on Clubhouse!”