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The Skinny By Elaine Langlois

Your Virtual Wedding

A June bride? Definitely not! Fall is the perfect time for the perfect wedding—yours! And for your wedding to be the most perfectly perfect affair there ever was, you will want to latch onto the hottest new trend in matrimony: virtual weddings.

A virtual wedding is an excellent choice if you like to be in control. Perhaps, despite weeks of rigorous planning, you have been lying awake nights imagining all the things that could go wrong. Like Aunt Agatha stealing silverware or Uncle Irving going on about what a little fatty you used to be. Maybe you dread having guests ruin your wedding pictures by wearing tacky clothes. And what if you're making the rounds of the tables and can't remember your relatives' names?

At a virtual wedding, you invite only the guests you want. After you've put them through Photoshop and dressed them using My Virtual Model™ at Lands' End, they will be a lovely collection of guests, but stopping just short of being as lovely as you. Your guests can be the perfect complement to your perfect day

A virtual wedding is also perfect if you lack planning skills. Perhaps it is a few weeks before the event, and you're beginning to see you won't have time to make your own veil, compile your favorite photos on CD (with personalized labels) as favors, or make those pansy topiaries for the guest tables. Maybe you haven't lost those 5 or maybe 50 pounds you'd planned to, and the wedding dress you bought months ago is starting to look like it wouldn't fit Twiggy.

With a virtual wedding, you can ditch that dress and wear haute couture without having to go to the expense of actually buying it. In Photoshop, you can wick away that excess poundage and airbrush out unsightly blemishes. Then visit a virtual makeover site for the perfect hair and makeup.

But don't go virtual on showers and wedding gifts. This is your chance to get everything you've always wanted in life, or at least for the past three months. You need seven or more showers to make sure you get all the good stuff, plus back-ups. Goad friends, relatives, and slight acquaintances into hosting these events. Register online everywhere from Macy's to Larry's Lube'n Go.

By registering online, you can steer prospective givers in the right direction, track who purchased what, and snipe at those who simply haven't come up to snuff. How could Aunt What's-Her-Name merely have gotten you two rooster towels from Williams-Sonoma, when you clearly stated your preference for a Dualit Combi Toaster, 2 + 2 Slice, Claret?

Set up a Wedding Website at WeddingChannel.com. Here you can give readers all the enchanting details of your special day:

"The wedding theme will be money and its importance in our lives. The bride will wear a strapless satin gown by Wells Fargo, hand-trimmed with crystals and lace by exploited immigrant workers, and pocketed for the insertion of lavish money gifts by well-wishers. The groom and groomsmen will be dressed in very expensive tuxedoes that practically no one can afford.

"The bridesmaids will wear off-the-shoulder satin dresses, color-coded to represent different Euro denominations. The flowers will be chartreuse Kermit pomps and orchids and grasses in the colors of greenbacks.

"The cake will be four-tiered pistachio with rich buttercream frosting and edible gold leaf. The musical selections will be a celebration of money in different places and times, and the readings will be from Ayn Rand."

At your Wedding Website, people can RSVP online and write envious little messages telling you how wonderful you are. This being an open Web site, though, you may also get messages from people calling themselves Satan or Hot Licks.

The perfect wedding demands the perfect groom. If your fellow is looking more and more like the Dud in the old Mystery Date game, shop dating or celebrity sites and trade him in for a handsome, well-heeled mate.

With a virtual wedding, booking and finance problems need not impede your choice of locales. How about St. Paul's Cathedral for the ceremony, with a reception at Buckingham Palace after? Be careful, however, not to overdo.

Transform your desktop into a complete wedding experience. Pick a lovely background wallpaper. Download a sound file of a champagne cork popping. Play it lots of times, and get yourself a box of sparkling wine and plenty of pirated music. Make screen captures of those moments when you're looking your most ravishing.

Post the pictures on your personal photo Web site, and it's off for a romantic worldwide honeymoon - your virtual guy and you!

© Elaine Langlois 2004

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