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Broadcasting Your Destination Wedding by Webcam

Expenses can prevent many guests from going to your destination wedding, but you can help them attend "remotely" by using a Webcam. A Webcam enables the bridal couple to share their day with faraway friends and family. These "virtual" guests witness the event in real time — as it happens — as long as those folks have a computer and Web access.

The Webcam (a digital camera that streams live video over the Internet) is one of the biggest boons to hit destination weddings, reducing any residual guilt a couple may have over getting married far away. From a facility that has a Webcam, your friends and family (and perhaps an ex who just happens to stumble across it) can watch your ceremony on the Internet.

Places that host many destination weddings every year — ranging from the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel on the Las Vegas Strip to Princess Cruises's Golden Princess at sea to Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort in the Caribbean — have Webcams built into their chapels that couples can employ to transmit pictures of their weddings in real time anywhere in the world.

When you decide where you'll marry, ask the wedding coordinator whether a Webcam is available. If the answer is yes, sometimes there will be a fee; other times it is part of a wedding package. Typically, a wedding Webcast is hosted on the facility's Web site for at least a month. You may be able to arrange for the facility to e-mail the broadcast to you as a RealPlayer or QuickTime file or burn it onto a CD or DVD so that you have a permanent copy.

To help guide people how to watch your wedding on a Webcam, you need to e-mail them a link to the Web page that hosts the images and tell them what time to click on the link to watch your wedding live. Be sure to take time differences into account!

If your destination wedding location doesn't have a Webcam, you can take advantage of the technology by contracting with an outside company to provide this service. Ask a local planner for a recommendation. Prices start at about $400 for the Webcast, plus 30 days of access to view your wedding on a company's site.

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