RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ When David Fones married Suzanne Green, the father of the groom instantly offered his congratulations, even though he wasn't there.

When the young couple were wed Saturday in Richmond's Maymont Park, Jim Fones was just happy to see it all _ from his hospital bed miles away.

The 51-year-old has been hospitalized for seven months awaiting a heart transplant, and the day before the nuptials he was in intensive care after surgery.

The hospital and Bell Atlantic, the phone company where Fones works, teamed up to get Fones to the wedding _ virtually speaking, at least _ by using interactive audio-video technology usually reserved for high-priced corporate conferencing.

The plan was in the works for about seven weeks. Jim wasn't let in on it until Friday, so he wouldn't be disappointed in case a last-minute glitch prevented the transmission.

From a specially equipped hospital room decorated with wedding bell streamers, cake and punch, Fones watched the ceremony intently, occasionally wiping his eyes.

``I just think it's neat the technology is there to do it,'' said David Fones. ``We were thinking of how to bring him to the wedding, but instead we were able to bring it to him.''