Internet couple are a live wedding 'hit' around the world

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The Independent Online

The Church of England's first live wedding on the Internet was an instant success - with 460 "hits" from around the world.

The Church of England's first live wedding on the Internet was an instant success - with 460 "hits" from around the world.

Richard Musgrave and Kim Newbury tied the knot at St James's Church in Colesbourne, Glos, watched by around 120 guests.

But that was nothing compared to events elsewhere.

For as well as Kim's grandparents and friends watching in Melbourne, Australia, their specially designed wedding web site received 460 hits from other computer well-wishers.

Now Mr Musgrave, 35, a director with a London asset management company, and Kim, 33, who has just finished studying, are settling down to married life away from the cameras at their home in Clapham, south London.

Mrs Musgrave, who wore an Elizabethan-style dress with long train in an ivory brockade, said: "It was very exciting. It was just fantastic that my grandparents in Australia could be part of our special day. They said it was great."

Mr Musgrave added: "Kim is Australian and it is a very long flight to get here but we wanted her grandparents and friends to be part of the ceremony.

"It took months of work and planning. It's something we'll be able to look back at in 10 years' time and tell our children that we had the first ever live internet wedding."

The couple first met in 1991 but really hit it off after another meeting in 1997 when Richard was best man at a mutual friend's wedding. Kim caught the bouquet.

To make the link-up work, the couple had to receive special permission from the Church of England, which informed them it was the first wedding of its kind.

They then paid for BT to lay a special ISDN line, the exchange in Cheltenham was upgraded and extra cables were ran into Colesbourne in time for the ceremony last month.

Images were filmed by two freelance TV cameramen at the front and rear of the church and the live five-hour link-up even took in the wedding reception at a nearby manor house.

Mr Musgrave says the link-up should have cost up to £40,000 but he managed to keep the costs down through friends and contacts.

He said: "Although the cameras were there, they weren't obtrusive. It was a conventional wedding apart from that.

"Originally the link-up was only intended for 10 people in Australia. I was amazed when I heard the site had received 460 hits."