Couple Overcomes Groom's Illness With Skype Wedding

A California couple whose wedding plans appeared thwarted when a lung infection landed the groom in the isolation ward of a hospital got married anyway over the weekend, in a ceremony conducted over Skype.

Samuel Kim and Helen Oh, both 27, had friends and family members traveling from as far away as their native Korea and from New York to their planned wedding ceremony in the southern California city of Fullerton on Saturday.

So when Kim began spitting up blood last week, he was initially too nervous to tell his bride for fear of causing her grief, he told Reuters.

When he finally did tell Oh later in the week, the couple improvised a solution by holding the wedding via the Web video conferencing system.

"Guests said it was inspirational, they really admired my fiance for being able to stand at the altar in the manner that she did, alone and not crying the whole time," Kim told Reuters from his bed at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

"She was able to hold her ground and I was able to hold my ground, not crying or anything," he said.

Oh said the Skype wedding was not the perfect way to have a ceremony, but that guests were happy.

"He said he will make up for it, he promised me he's going to be the best husband in the world," Oh said. "He felt really terrible that he wasn't there."

The Saturday afternoon wedding utilized five live cameramen at the couple's high-tech Korean church capturing the ceremony for guests watching on jumbo screens, and for Kim himself watching on a laptop in the hospital's isolation ward.

Kim's hospital is less than 10 miles from the church, and he said he did not feel distant from the ceremony and the 500 guests there.

The professional-style presentation included split-screen images and an audio crew that gave Kim his cue, before his face was to appear on screen.

Kim's hospital room was decorated with flowers that nurses bought with their own money, he said.

Oh said that she does not credit Web technology alone for making the wedding a success. "I couldn't have done it without God," she said.

Up next for the couple: the honeymoon. Kim surprised Oh with plane tickets to Europe, where they will visit Paris and Prague, after he recovers from his lung infection.

Kim said that he expects to leave the hospital this week.