A look at the Pastafarian Wedding in New Zealand
Briton Toby Ricketts and Kiwi Marianna Fenn became the first couple in the world to have a Pastafarian wedding. For those not familiar with Pastafarianism, it is a social movement and pretty much an alternate religion that has a growing following around the world. The religion has a deity and a place of worship. The deity is a Flying Spaghetti Monster and there is a Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. In 2015, New Zealand granted the approval for the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster to officiate and conduct weddings. All such weddings are now legally valid.
Pastafarianism originated as a satirical take on existing religions, most notably American religious fundamentalism. It is a lighthearted and harmless take on everything associated with dogma. In fact, the religion has a dogma of its own and that is to reject every dogma. The church advocates that if all the religions around the world can have so many gods with or without form, then a god made of spaghetti and meatballs can be a possibility. Even the name of the movement and the subsequent religion, Pastafarianism has been coined from Rastafarianism and Pasta. A federal court in the United States has ruled that it is not exactly a real religion.
What is heartening about the Pastafarian wedding in New Zealand is the uniqueness, the humble celebrations and the hilarious take on customs. The bride and the groom wear dressed as pirates, the wedding venue was a pirate ship and all the guests wore something or the other that has been fashionably and culturally associated with pirates, from eye patches to quaint hats. One could not be mistaken to think they had been teleported to the set of a famous pirate movie.
Both Toby Ricketts and Marianna Fenn were not in favor of getting married in the conventional way. They had actually made no plans to get married, albeit they had been dating for four years. But they learned of the approval from the New Zealand government and decided to do something original, unprecedented and fun. The entire Pastafarian wedding cost only three thousand dollars of local currency, which is an equivalent of less than fifteen hundred pounds. The couple invited some of their closest friends and of course fellow practitioners of Pastafarianism.
The couple exchanged vows in their own style with the groom promising at one stage to add salt while boiling spaghetti. There was a wedding feast too. The couple brought around fifteen kilograms of tomatoes from their own garden. There were vegetarian meatballs, bread and pasta. At a time when couples spend tens of thousands to have their wedding and many get into a debt in the process, marrying a sweetheart in a completely original manner and spending less than a month’s wages is definitely a fascinating alternative.
Pastafarianism is not confined to New Zealand alone. It is a religion recognized by law in the Netherlands. May many more couples tie the knot with the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster officiating the inexpensive ceremonies!