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Couple, stranded by ash, get married by Webcam

A couple on the way back from Australia to their wedding in England, is stranded in Dubai. The wedding ceremony goes ahead, as they stare into a Webcam and offer their vows to the congregation far away.

Technology is increasingly assisting true love along its course from true north through true happiness to relationship gone truly south.

So, as a singular supporter of the digital aspects of love, my heart is pumping with extra vigor at the news of a Webcam that saved a wedding.

You might have heard that folks who happen to be over in Europe are having a little trouble with the first angry thing to come out of Iceland since the great Magnus Ver Magnussen's contorted face while winning the World's Strongest Man Contest for the third time in a row in 1996. Yes, Iceland is the home of the truly inconvenient volcano that seems to have emptied the skies.

So imagine how Sean Murtagh, a 24-year-old from London, and his bride-to-be, 30-year-old Natalie Mead of Brisbane, Australia, must have felt when their journey from Down Under to Up Over was halted by Icelandic ire. According to AOL News, this happy couple was returning from a civil ceremony in Australia--where, for a ceremony to remain civil, one imagines that alcohol was not served--when they were grounded in Dubai.

Fortunately, they were not alone. Many people were forced to endure the luxury of the Millennium Airport Hotel, so suddenly the wedding guest numbers soared, as, one hopes, the costs did not.

The Gulf News TV video I have embedded here offers the magical flavor of the scene as cheers were offered, smiles were projected and the pictures were relayed by the means of a simple shiny laptop to everyone at the ceremony in Ealing, a part of West London where the subway stops but the party often starts. (Warning: the video has a kissing scene.)

The AFP secured a beautifully succinct summation from Caroline Black, who officiated over the joy from London: "It was just like any other wedding except the bride and groom weren't there."

But, Caroline, they were there. Their giggling was there for all to see. The slight tightness of Sean's borrowed wedding suit beautifully expressed his excitement at being able to marry his bride.

If you ever need to make an overnight stop at an airport hotel in Dubai, it would seem that the Millennium might offer more than your average hole by the tarmac. "They have decorated the lobby of the hotel. They made us a three-tier wedding cake, set up a laptop with Skype and a projector," Murtagh told the AFP.

What did the world--and, indeed, love--look like before the Web, Google, Skype and, um, ChatRoulette? Who can even remember? But just look what the work of a thousand engineers did for the Murtaghs' binding union. Now, one can only hope that as well as being six years Murtagh's senior, his wife will also turn out to be 27 percent smarter.