(Reuters) - Donned in eye-patches and a spaghetti bridal headdress, two New Zealanders have celebrated the first legally recognized 'Pastafarian' marriage on board a pirate ship, in a milestone of recognition for the bizarre global 'religion'.
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whose stated beliefs are in a god made of spaghetti, have amassed followers around the world.
The group initially formed as a sarcastic criticism of Christian creationist teachings at schools in the United States.
"We decided to do a pirate wedding mainly because it shows respect to the Pastafarian faith. Pastafariansm believes that all humans are decendants of pirates," groom Toby Ricketts said alongside bride Marianna Fenn.
Followers who wear colanders on their heads and revere pirates insist that they are not a spoof church and that their beliefs are genuine. The group also celebrates holidays such as 'Talk like a pirate day'.
New Zealand's government earlier this month agreed to an application from member Karen Martyn to become a legal marriage celebrant after the group was deemed to comply with the country's regulations.
"Does ye take this feisty wench to be yah lawfully wedded best mate? Does yea promise to stay at the helm even when seas are rough?" Karen Martyn, and self-declared 'Ministeroni' asked the couple.
Martyn told reporters that many more Pastafarian weddings were being planned.
Reporting by Jarni Blakkarly; Editing by Stephen Coates