Marriages may be made in heaven, but they certainly are celebrated with technology! Geeta Padmanabhan on geeky touch to weddings.

Choose an exotic venue – on board a flight, in a helium balloon, on a remote hillside, under water, in the deep woods or a specially erected pandal in a public maidaan. Send e-invites. Arrange water-tight security. Sell publishing rights of photographs to the highest bidder. In the tech-aided weddings of today, most things you want are just an sms away.

Post millennium weddings are a far cry from the close, four-day family affairs. If daughter Indira, an IT pro, hasn't picked her partner at the workplace, parents log on to matrimonial sites put together precisely on region, religion, language, citizenship, caste and economic status. You could watch him/her in a TV interview proclaiming preferences. At Tina's wedding reception surprised guests are treated to televised bios of the bride and groom. Abhishek from New Jersey meets Anupama of Austin at a tech fair in Silicon Valley, fall in love, decide to marry and inform parents in India and Dubai. E-mails fly, phone calls jam air-waves and friends and relatives from Sidney to Seattle arrive at a T. Nagar hall for the wedding. The event goes live across the globe. Ironically, those present at the mandapam watch the rituals telecast live on mega TV monitors stationed in strategic corners. They have to, with cameramen forming a formidable wall around the wedding area. Can't throw rice and petals on the couple? Fine. A machine will shower it at the right moment.

Traditions are very alive, only they come wrapped in digi-tech. When you can play the same music on a sophisticated system, why would you have live bands/concerts at the reception? It's high-tech hitching and it is available to all. Consider these options.

A bunch of your buddies couldn't make it? So take the wedding to them. Get a pro to shoot a crisp wedding DVD, make copies and dispatch. Have a personal web page? Add wedding video clips to it. Set up connections during the event. Transmit a live feed straight to a satellite for downlink anywhere, so your “I do”/ “Mangalyam...” is heard clearly across the globe. Soon after, call for video-conferencing and introduce your partner to friends.

If that sounds pricey (dedicated, high speed lines like ISDN are), do a webcast on the Internet. You need broadband for this since Internet traffic can get crazy at times. Are you putting together the W-day yourselves? Start a wedding website. Post the e-vite and pictures, write blogs about preparations. A podcast will do well too. Ask for feedback and suggestions. Include an interactive guest book where people can post their blessings. Organise a streaming video of the ceremony and have your friends with you through the affair!

If you want your high-tech at a low price, go for a conference call (worldcom.com). For this “audio wedding”, all you need are telephone lines. Couples reserve telephone lines for their virtual guests and at the wedding an audio feed is broadcast. No, the bride and the groom do not wear microphones. Still, it can be a call-in. Videography is big now, with pros gate-crashing into weddings for business. Videographers lug in the latest technology and can shoot “your” movie complete with special effects.

Don't forget the still pictures. High-tech, digital wedding photography makes it possible for couples to view and choose the best snaps online. Print those into digitised albums made of flexi-sheets. Burn the pics into a CD, feed into the computer and jab the “forward” key. Play it on your wall-mounted, big screen TV and watch it all happen for you.

You are not thinking of posting interesting clippings on YouTube, do you? What the family knew once, the world – virtual and real – will know now. Depends on how public or private you want the wedding to be. Either way, you can be sure digi-tech will make it possible.

Geeky ways of marriage

A couple got married in an Apple store. They had met there while looking for an iPod. They probably said, "iDo”.

One bridal party danced its way down the aisle to Chris Brown’s “Forever”. It went viral on YouTube.

A couple of guys tweeted proposals. They were accepted on Twitter. (“To @emilychang – After fifteen years of blissful happiness I would like to ask for your hand in marriage?” The reply, one minute later: “@maxkiesler – yes, I do.”).

One groom updated his Twitter and Facebook account immediately after exchanging rings, while the red-faced bride waited to be kissed.

Wedding receptions are now routinely televised on YouTube.

Keywords: tech wedding