Meet David Friedlander and Jacqueline Schmidt. They live in Brooklyn, and recently got married. Because they "did not want their wedding 'to be just about us,'" they "pitched their wedding to the media," then forced all guests to participate in a self-indulgent display of competitive do-gooder-ism.

Their wedding, New York Times columnist Ginia Bellafante writes, "was probably the first in the city to be held as a kind of TED conference." The reception had a keynote speaker and PowerPoint presentations. Excerpts from Bellafonte's harrowing tale:

When guests arrived on Saturday night two weeks ago, they were greeted with name tags that asked them to declare a commitment. Lest they not take the request seriously, the hosts had additional cards printed that asked them to "Name something you are really committed to." The cards contained further imperatives: "Name one action you can take in the next 24 hours that is aligned with your commitment."

During the reception, Mr. Friedlander asked his guests to please recycle their cups, "because we're really in a serious situation with climate change."

Beyond any of that, though, the wedding was probably the first in the city to be held as a kind of TED conference. After the ceremony, in which chants were chanted and vows, written by the couple's friends, were exchanged, guests sat down to a series of talks, with PowerPoint presentations, on subjects of interest to the couple—ecological efficiency, neuroscience, holistic healing.

For the record: I'm all for unconventional weddings. How is it possible that the Western world has yet to invent a more interesting ritual than listening to the old-fashioned incantations of a religious stranger, then making out with your significant other on a stage and in front of his mother? So I support most unconventional weddings on principle, you see. But this Friedlander-Schmidt wedding? Well, this is something else. Not a wedding so much as a touchy-feely marketing exercise, or something. [NYTimes, image via]