A Sheffield groom was so sad his older sister, who lives in Canada, wouldn’t be at his wedding that he decided to do something about it.
Andy Oliver and Katie Lindsay, of Millhouses, streamed their wedding live via Skype to his sister’s living room – more than 3,000 miles away in Montreal – so her whole family could attend as ‘virtual guests’.
“When our other sister got married, Alison missed the whole thing and I hated the idea of her not being here,” said 36-year-old Andy, who married Katie at Shottle Hall in Derbyshire.
“It worked perfectly on the day. We positioned the laptop on a mantelpiece during the service so that they could see us saying our vows and hear all the readings.”
Alison Gracioppo, her husband Steve and their two sons Anthony and Benjamin took the day off work and school to ‘attend’ the wedding – and even went as far as dressing up for the big day.
The live stream meant they were able to join in the reception, chat to guests and listen to all the speeches.
Alison, 41, said: “I haven’t seen Andy in real life for years and as soon as he said there was a chance we could see the ceremony on Skype I was very excited and grateful. It isn’t easy to miss so many family occasions.
“We were mentioned a couple of times during the ceremony and Andy and Katie came up to see us before they walked down the aisle together and during the drinks reception which was very special.
“During the reception we could hear the speeches and my dad turned us around so we could see the cake. We did get all dressed up too, which the kids loved.”
Sarah Davis, wedding coordinator at Shottle Hall, said: “Despite being in such a rural location we have great internet access and it was wonderful that the Oliver family could spend the day together, despite being so many miles apart. I’m sure we’ll see more of this.”
Alison said attending a wedding via Skype has its benefits when you have children.
“We were careful to mute the microphone on our end so the kids, who are nine and seven, didn’t blurt something out at the wrong time.
“In that sense it was great, they got to see everything, without having to be shushed the whole time.”