Toby Ricketts and Marianna Fenn, members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (CFSM), have become the first Pastafarians to get legally married through their religious institution. The wedding, which took place in the South Island town of Akaroa in New Zealand on 16 April, was conducted aboard a pirate ship. The groom dressed like a pirate while the bride wore a similar wench costume.
The CFSM, which started off as a parody faith in order to satirise American religious fundamentalism, is a religion officially recognised in Poland, New Zealand and the Netherlands and in 2015, the Kiwi government allowed the religious body to conduct legal marriages.
Ricketts, a British voice-over artist, had not planned on getting married before but when the New Zealand government sanctioned its first Pastafarian marriage celebrant Wellington-based Karen Martyn, he decided it was too good an opportunity to miss out on.
"Marriage wasn't on the agenda for us, it wasn't something we needed as we are already deeply committed to one another," The Guardian quoted him as saying. "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."
According to the CFSM, pirates are considered as "divine" beings and "peace-loving explorers and spreaders of good will". So the couple decided to use them as the theme for their wedding. Aside from their own costumes, guests were also requested to wear eye patches, feathers and pirate hats.
In keeping with the traditions of the church, the bride, New Zealander Fenn, also wore a colander of spaghetti, the official headgear of the church.
As part of the ceremony, Fenn and Ricketts were blindfolded before exchanging rings made of spaghetti. And for the wedding feast... spaghetti and vegetarian meatballs, of course!
Martyn, the "ministeroni" who presided over the ceremony, has informed that she already has a number of other ceremonies planned for the near future. "I've had people from Russia, from Germany, from Denmark, from all over contacting me and wanting me to marry them in the church because of our non-discriminatory philosophy," she said.
"We will marry any consenting legal adults who meet the legal requirement."