Couple gets married online

June 22, 1997


Staff Writer

It wasn't a regular wedding. There wasn't a preacher and no rice was thrown.

All that was present was a computer, a lamp and the matron of honor.

Marsha Householder, 50, and Paul Kinzer, 53, both of Fairplay, were "married" in cyberspace Saturday on America Online with Householder's daughter Monica Wright, of Falling Waters, W.Va., in attendance.

It was a good rehearsal for the couple's church wedding two hours later.

This was a second marriage for both Householder and Kinzer, who had been dating on and off for eight years and decided in January to get married. Householder, an apartment property manager in Martinsburg, W.Va., learned many things for the wedding on the America Online site called The Knot.


"I was messing around on the computer and found The Knot," Householder said. "They give you suggestions for gifts for the attendants and they have a chat room that has an adviser - I was asking for suggestions because we're having a country (and) western wedding. Anytime I had a question, somebody was there to answer."

Householder signed onto America Online at10:45 a.m. At 11 a.m., Michael Wolfson, co-founder of The Knot: Weddings For the Real World, contacted them online when it was time for them to exchange their vows. They had the wedding in a chat room under keyword "Wedding Day." Keyword is how areas and items are found on America Online.

The site welcomed the couple, asked why they were getting married, vows were exchanged, the site wished them good luck and that was the end.

Householder and Kinzer, an engine machine cell technician at Mack Trucks Inc., met at the Venice Inn. Householder said she and a few friends went there to go dancing, and he walked in. They had discussed who would dance with him, but then he asked Householder to dance.

"He picked me," Householder said, remembering that moment. "It was one of those things when you say, `Mommy, he followed me home, can I keep him?'"

The Knot had a contest asking for stories about how engaged couples met, she said. When Wolfson called her and said he hadn't heard such a great story, he said they should get married online on their real wedding day.

Householder, born and raised in Martinsburg, said she wanted to do the online wedding, because just like the country and western idea, it's different.

"It's different, exciting and unusual," Householder said. "One hundred thirty people are coming, most of them are country dancers."

For the honeymoon, Householder and Kinzer are going to a timeshare in Branson, Mo., with another couple during the first week in August.

"It'll be a lot of fun for a week, there's a lot of country music and singing shows," Householder said. "It doesn't matter that we will be with another couple, we've been together for eight years."

After the cyber wedding, Householder and Kinzer were married at the Downsville Christian Church, and then had the reception at the United Auto Workers Hall in Hagerstown.

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