Members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Pastafarians Toby Ricketts from the UK and New Zealander Marianna Fenn, made history at the weekend when they were married aboard a pirate ship in New Zealand.
The couple decided on an official Pastafarian wedding after the CFSM received approval to legally conduct marriages in 2015 by the NZ government.
The Church – which was founded to satirise American religious fundamentalism and creationism in particular – believes a god made of spaghetti and meatballs is just as likely as any other deity. According to its website, its only dogma is:
The rejection of dogma.
Ricketts and Fenn have been together for four years. Although they never considered marrying before, when the first Pastafarian marriage celebrant was sanctioned by the New Zealand government they decided that the chance to hold a humorous and original wedding was too good to pass up.
Ricketts, a voice-over artist, has been working on a documentary about religion called God Doesn’t Pay Tax, and was interested in alternative and emerging religions.
Marriage wasn’t on the agenda for us, it wasn’t something we needed as we are already deeply committed to one another.
But when this opportunity came along we thought it would be a fun tool to examine religion, and traditions and practices which are too often taken as a given, as the only way to get married.
The bride and groom wore head-to-toe pirate regalia, and guests donned eye-patches, pirate hats and feathers for the ceremony. Fenn also wore a colander on her head – the official headdress of the church.
During the ceremony, Ricketts and Fenn exchanged rings made of pasta, and in his vows Ricketts promised to always add salt while boiling spaghetti.
Had they been aware of the fact, they might have exchanged more durable silver Flying Spaghetti Monster rings, available online from a Canadian store called Prince of Diamonds, run by Omar Hamid and his family.
It was an extremely fun wedding. But it was romantic, too. I felt romantic. It just wasn’t solemn and serious and expensive like so many ceremonies today. A big dress and getting into debt has never appealed to me, but this did.
The total cost of the wedding was NZ$3,000 (£1,460), and the couple supplied the wedding feast – 15kg of tomatoes from their garden, vegetarian meatballs, and plenty of pasta and bread.
Said Ricketts, who was raised a Christian but left the church at 17:
We don’t feel any differently now we are married, we have always been very happy together.
What has been a huge pleasure is showing people that love and commitment don’t have to be delivered in a prescribed way, in a certain church, with sometimes cumbersome traditions and expectations.
The couple are the first to be married by CFSM marriage celebrant Karen Martyn who said she has at least a dozen more weddings lined up this year.
Hat tip: 1859, AgentCormac, Peter Sykes, and Steve H