When New Zealand approved The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster — whose followers are known as Pastafarians — to officiate marriages, we knew it was just a matter of time until we saw beautiful photos of Pastafarian weddings.
That day has arrived.
Toby Rickets and Marianna Fenn wed Saturday on a boat in New Zealand’s Akaroa Harbor under the auspices of Karyn Martyn, a “ministeroni,” according to NPR.
They exchanged rigatoni rings and their kiss involved them locking lips by slurping the same noodle at opposite ends, "Lady and the Tramp" style, the Associated Press reports.
The couple dressed as pirates, which are almost as central to Pastafarianism as pasta itself. The church teaches that pirates were actually "peaceful explorers" and that global warming is directly caused by the world's shrinking number of pirates.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster began to take shape in 2005. That's when a man named Bobby Henderson wrote a satirical letter to the Kansas Board of Education to protest public schools teaching intelligent design, a form of creationism lite. Henderson wrote that he believed a large pile of floating pasta and meatballs — the Flying Spaghetti Monster — actually created the universe and that his beliefs should also be taught in schools.
“FSM is a real, legitimate religion, as much as any other,” the church's official website states. “The fact that many see this is as a satirical religion doesn’t change the fact that by any standard one can come up with, our religion is as legitimate as any other. And *that* is the point.”
The Rickets-Fenn nuptials were not the first legally binding wedding to take place under a Pastafarian banner, but their New Zealand ceremony is the first such wedding under a federal government that has formally recognized Pastafarianism as a religion. Its legal status in the United States is much murkier.
Last year, a Pastafarian woman won the right to wear a colander on her head in her Massachusetts driver's license photo, based on a religious exception to the state's general rule against hats and headwear in ID photos. However, in the case of a prisoner seeking religious accommodation, a federal judge in Nebraska ruled this month that Pastafarianism is "satire" and does not constitute a real religion.
This story has been updated with explanation of Pastafarianism's legal status in New Zealand versus the United States.