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“With this ring, I thee web”: The Marriage of Spider-Man and Mary Jane at Shea Stadium

Stan Lee officiating Spider-Man and Mary Jane's wedding on the field of Shea Stadium surrounded by people dressed as Hulk, Captain America, Iceman and Firestar

What could be more romantic than a Marvel wedding – one between Spider-Man and Mary Jane, no less!

The nuptials between Spidey and MJ took place in the comics in 1987. (Fun fact: Even after the couple split in the comics, they remained married in the popular Amazing Spider-Man newspaper strip, which ran through 2019.)

But did you know a wedding occurred in real-life, too? It did!

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, we’re taking a look at this incredibly unique event in Marvel history. The live wedding ceremony took place at Shea Stadium in Queens on June 5, 1987 during a game between the New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The guest list: 55,000, according to Marvel Update. Of course, such a big affair was meticulously planned – and came straight from the pages of Marvel Comics. In fact, the stadium wedding served as an epic publicity event for the storyline of the same name in a special issue of The Amazing Spider-Man that hit newsstands a few days later. Talk about a colossal comicbook tie-in! (Complete with a cake!)

At the helm of this comicbook-studded event was Stan Lee as the officiant. Seems appropriate since co-created the characters, right? Hulk, Captain America (who served as Best Man), the Green Goblin, Iceman, and Firestar were among the other Marvel characters in attendance, which makes for a colorful wedding party. Check out some of the TV coverage below!

Stan Lee was truly the cupid of the Marvel Universe, as his former assistant recalls. A true romantic, Stan used the occasion to get creative with his part of the ceremony, starting the vows in a way only Stan could:

“Do you, Spider-Man, being of sound mind and super body, take Mary Jane to be your lawfully wedded bride, forsaking all other superheroines? Do you promise to never leave footprints on the walls or ceilings, or cobwebs in the corners? And do you agree to pinch-hit for the Mets if they ask you?”

(Of course the answer was yes!)

For those fashion-conscious fans out there, it may interest you to know that MJ’s dress was crafted by renowned Black fashion designer Willi Smith. (Sadly, it was one of his last creations before his death in April 1987.) You can see the dress in the below page from the fall 1987 issue of Marvel Update, which also informs us that the bride and groom went on to their reception at The Tunnel, “the Big Apple’s hottest night spot,” before swinging off to their honeymoon in France!

What a memorable and far-flung celebration, and what a lovely way to share the love with so many Marvel fans. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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