Between their surprise nuptials, show tune singalongs, Princess Bride readings, and computer-coded wedding programs, Facebook geeks are remaking the rites of marriage just as they remade how people socialize.
And while you might argue that the social network created by the Facebook crew has become a mixed blessing with each privacy tweak, it’s hard to dispute that the company’s big shots are improving the state-of-the-art in weddings.
Weighed down by baroque traditions and ever-increasing price tags, the wedding is a classic candidate for the byword of Silicon Valley: disruption. The ceremonies of Facebook’s young Turks tend toward irreverence rather than pomp, wit rather than sentiment, and the heartfelt over the holy — at least judging from the last few. Those trends will sound familiar to other young wedding-goers – Facebookers just seem to take them much further.
“Easily [the] best wedding ceremony ever,” wrote former New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee, who, naturally, chronicled the nuptials on her Twitter feed, midway through the event.
In case the program wasn’t off-the-wall enough, the wedding’s recessional was Indiana Jones’ theme song, while the ceremony opened with a quote from the Princess Bride, delivered as a surprise by an uncle of Ms. Sisson’s, who was serving as officiant:
Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage — that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam… And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva… So tweasure your wuv.
The ceremony also included a reading from Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the landmark same-sex marriage decision handed down in Massachusetts. “So much better than Corinthians,” Lee tweeted. At the reception, there were grilled cheese sandwiches from a food truck.
Betabeat tracked down the couple’s registry, which requested guests donate to nonprofits: “Your options are abortion, gay marriage, and teen parents. If you’re a Republican, we have a registry on Amazon.com.”
Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was slated to be one of McCollum’s groomsmen, but ended up missing the knot-tying due to the timing of his own unusual wedding, a stealth backyard event disguised as a medical school graduation party for bride Priscilla Chan. In some ways, Zuckerberg hewed close to tradition at the May event. He even traded his famous hoodie-and-jeans outfit for a suit.
The guests noshed on an unconventionally casual selection of Mexican food and sushi from local restaurants. Zuckerberg and Chan also broke from tradition in dispensing with an officiant and by writing their own vows.
In contrast to Zuckerberg’s surprise ceremony, Aaron Sittig’s October wedding to fellow Facebook executive Jessica Bigarel involved some pre-partying: Guests, including best man Zuckerberg, reportedly sang Broadway show tunes together the night before the event. Flamboyant Linda Gerard, a hostess at the Palm Springs hotel, led the singing. The wedding day also had exuberant flourishes, including a marching band and, at the reception, streamers and balloons. (There seems to have been a Glee theme, maybe?)
While the Facebook wedding were very different in their particulars, the Facebook nuptials all share a certain cheeky tone and willingness to break with longstanding traditions: Whether it’s keeping politics out of the ceremony, hewing to the established format (which hardly includes marching bands), or providing lots of advance notice.
Still, as with everything Facebook does — even weddings — there will be competition from younger upstarts. Just imagine the parties when those Dropbox cowboys get hitched.