What I would do is either give a background image to the HTML, then you can make it as wide as you like and put the side images on that.
Or you could put 2 divs inside the main wrap – ID them "leftSide" "rightSide" or something, make sure your main wrap has a position of at least relative, then absolutely position the left and right side divs off the edge of the main wrapper div.
I am off till monday, but I want to make sure that it is good to go for then. Follow-up question: Will the body copy container stay true to center? or will the side divs screw that up a bit when scaling the browser window?
I guess I have a hard time explaining these things.
Thanks for your timely response Rob. I think I will use your second option, as long as the content container takes precidense over the images on either side.