Instead, they’ll be looking at a 30-inch monitor.
Mr Hanson, a Houston, Texas web developer and IT consultant, created a minister software program when the couple couldn’t get a friend to serve as the minister at their wedding.
‘You may kiss your bride’: Miguel Hanson, right, kisses his fiancée, Diana Wesley, in front of a computer before their Saturday nuptials
On one half of the screen, they’ll see a virtual minister with an animated, square face with blue eyes and thin, oval glasses.
His voice will be heard over a sound system while the text of what he’s saying will show up on the other half of the screen.
‘I was like, you know I’m going to write my own minister,’ Mr Hanson said.
Ms Wesley, a high school sign language teacher, said she’s aware of the nerd jokes that might come the couple’s way once more people hear about the wedding. But the couple says being married by a computer fits who they are. They met through a website called ‘Sweet on Geeks’ and love science fiction and fantasy.
‘That’s kind of our thing,’ Ms Wesley said. ‘In fact, my maid of honour, she’s making my cake and she’s making it with Nerds (candy) as the topping and not icing. That’s kind of the theme, the geeked out wedding.’
Next best thing: The couple couldn’t get a friend to serve as the minister at their wedding, so they decided to create their own
The ceremony will take place in Mr Hanson’s parents’ backyard in Houston. Ms Wesley, 30, said she wanted a small wedding, and the couple started planning it after Mr Hanson, 33, proposed in May.
The computer will greet the couple’s 30 or so guests in a mechanical, robotic voice, give a little history about how they met and then go through the ceremony. The virtual minister, nicknamed ‘Rev. Bit,’ also will crack a joke or two.
‘If anyone here has anything to say that might change their minds or has any objections, they do not want to hear it and I will not recognise your objections since Miguel has programmed me to only recognizeshis commands,’ said the program during a preview that Hanson played on his home computer.
While Hanson wrote the software program, the couple collaborated on the text the computer will recite during the ceremony.
They said their friends instantly like the idea. But some family members took a little longer to warm up to it.
‘A couple members of the family were like, “Really? A computer?” I think once they see it… It’s novel and so it’s something they haven’t seen,’ Ms Wesley said.
While performing weddings might not be the next logical step in the evolution of computers, Mr Hanson and Ms Wesley are not alone in wanting holy matrimony to be more high tech.
A robot officiated a wedding last year in Japan, but in that ceremony, the robot was remotely controlled by a man sitting a few feet away.
Mr Hanson said while he will use a wireless mouse to move the computer program forward after it pauses to let people speak, it will for the most part run on its own once the ceremony begins.
The computer-officiated wedding won’t be legally binding. Mr Hanson and Ms Wesley still have to get a justice of the peace to sign their paperwork to make the marriage official. They plan to do that shortly after the ceremony.
‘We’re both friends of the computer. So it’s kind of like our best friend is still marrying us,’ Ms Wesley said. ‘The computer is a huge part of our lives, so why not be a huge part of this?’
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Category: U.S. News
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