With relatives spread out from Oklahoma to Spain, Brad Nickel and Olga San Martin knew that not everyone would be able to attend their Valentine's Day wedding in Florida.
So, being Web designers, they decided to do what seemed to be the logical thing: broadcast the wedding over the Internet.
Now the couple, scheduled to be married at 5 p.m. PT tomorrow, are expecting not only their relatives and friends in New Jersey, Oklahoma, Central America, and Spain to watch their nuptials via RealVideo, but also an international throng of well-wishing strangers wanting to bear witness via their home page.
Nickel admitted he had sent out a few invitations to the online version of his wedding to prospective clients to show off the couple's abilities as Web designers. But he swears he never expected to get publicity outside of Florida.
After Yahoo linked to the wedding page, the number of hits started skyrocketing, Nickel added. So did the number of well-wishers.
"We've had about 300 visitors in the last 24 hours," he said today at around noon PT. "We've gotten a ton of email--people giving advice about how to maintain the relationship, religious advice--the classics...'Don't got to bed angry' and 'Take God into your soul.'"
He said he loves the publicity but did get a little concerned that the server would get too crowded for the original video guests. Nickel was comforted by the fact that 1,000 people will be able to get the live stream and told his guests, many of whom are having small parties, to log on early.
"It's kind of strange the way the whole thing's evolved," he said. "It's pretty interesting. I never imagined the response would be quite as big as it would be."
Nickel swore, however, that the Webcasting of his personal life will end with the wedding. Some people might broadcast more intimate moments, but he and his fiancée are not into that.
If there are children, will their births be put on the Web, as someone else has done? "I can't even imagine doing that," he laughed.