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Virtual Indonesian lovers tie knot over Internet

Posted by inet - 2006-01-14

Two Indonesians in their 50s exchanged wedding vows this week without ever meeting by using the Internet to make up for the oceans that separate them.
Wiriadi Sutrisno works as a physiotherapist in California, and Rita Sri Mutiara Dewi is from the Indonesian city of Bandung.

They met through the Internet. Sutrisno proposed that way and finally they exchanged wedding vows in a ceremony using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) which was supervised by a Muslim religious official, the Jakarta Post reported on Friday.

"We've exchanged photos, chat almost daily and often call each other, but we've never met," Dewi was quoted in as saying.

She was introduced to Sutrisno by a friend.

After he proposed late last year, Dewi wondered how they would exchange vows.

In stepped Indonesian telecommunications giant PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Tbk, which arranged video screens, speaker phones and a Web cam.

The 25-minute ceremony cost 200,000 rupiah ($21.30), said Mahmur Suriadiredja, Telkom's West Java regional director in Bandung, where Dewi exchanged her vows.

"I think they did it to cut costs. Such technology has made long-distance marriages possible," Suriadiredja told Reuters.

The happy couple won't have to wait much longer to see each other in person -- Dewi is scheduled to fly to the United States later this month.

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