Web camera gives far-away family a chance to see newlyweds

Posted: Monday, September 17, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Al Guggisberg and Michelle Vlah made an unusual stop on the way to the reception hall after getting married Saturday at their home on Murphy Dome Road.

The young couple, who married in the absence of dozens of family members, stopped in the parking lot of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

With a cell phone in hand and surrounded by about 30 guests and members of the wedding party, they posed in front of the Web cam that sits on a window shelf in the newspaper's second-floor newsroom. The camera broadcasts live to the newspaper's Web page.

''We just wanted to wave to all of the family members that couldn't make it,'' best man Bob Ott said.

Canceled flights as a result of Tuesday's terrorist attacks kept most of the groom's family and some of the bride's from attending the wedding. But from their computers in Minnesota and Pennsylvania they were able to view the couple and their friends.

Vlah wore her white dress, with a train, and held her pink bouquet. Guggisberg wore a shirt and tie with a rose pinned on his pocket.

Sandy Behnken, the groom's sister, got a look at the newlyweds from her home in Minnesota.

''It was fun to see them,'' she said. ''Otherwise, we would never have had an opportunity to see them on their wedding day.''

Behnken said Guggisberg's parents, grandparents and siblings all watched the parking lot presentation from their respective computers.

''It looks like they had a beautiful day, so we're very happy for that,'' she said.

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