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Get married online with Ikea

The Swedish DIY-furniture manufacturer has launched a service that allows users to hold a virtual wedding online.

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Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

Are you a long way from family and friends? Or do you simply want to get hitched without the hassle of having to deal with the logistics of a big wedding? If you have a webcam (or several), Ikea -- moving out of flat-pack furniture -- has just the wedding resource for you.

Called Wedding Online, it's basically a group Skype -- but instead of showing up as a row of heads, the faces of you, your spouse-to-be, your celebrant and attendees will be placed on bodies in a virtual room furnished with Ikea.

"The best sort of love is easy and effortless. And promising one another eternal devotion at a wedding should be just as simple. That's why we've created a new type of wedding that's neither expensive nor complicated. Invite your friends -- as many as you like and wherever they may be -- and celebrate together via a video link," Ikea said on the Wedding Online page.

While the service is real, it also seems to be a way for Ikea to showcase how its furnishings and decorations can be employed to good effect for a nuptial occasion. The site has four different settings to choose from -- a beach, a circus tent, a dock and a forest -- each with clickable elements that show you what Ikea items have been used and hyperlinks to the Ikea catalog pages for those items.

For those who are looking to throw their own wedding -- rather than rely on Ikea's pre-made options -- the site also has a section of a few tricks and tips, ultimately linking out to the (Swedish language-only) section of the website of curated items for festive occasions.

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Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

To use Wedding Online, you need a Facebook account; you simply log in, set a date, then use the service to invite your Facebook contacts to your online wedding. The wedding is publicly held on the Ikea website, but the URL to the wedding will not be published -- that will only be sent to your invitees. Each session lasts six hours, and will be monitored by Ikea for inappropriate behaviour or any activity that contravenes Swedish law.

Of course, you still have to have a few ducks in a row in order for the wedding to be considered legally binding.

"Just one little technicality -- if your marriage is going to be legally binding, the bridal couple, the marriage officiator, and two witnesses need to be in the same room during the actual ceremony," Ikea wrote. It also noted that anyone can use the service to have a fun little pretend wedding.

"If you have not submitted a Consideration of impediments to marriage form to the Swedish Tax Agency [this will obviously vary from country to country], if you do not use an authorised marriage celebrant, or if you do not have two witnesses present, then the marriage is not legally binding. So if you get married by a friend at Weddings Online, you are not getting married 'for real', but you can still have a fun wedding anyway!"