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My fiancée submitted our upcoming wedding announcement to the NY Times. I’m an attorney, she’s not. In your opinion, what makes a good wedding announcement? How can we improve our chances of appearing in LEWW [Legal Eagle Wedding Watch]?
NY Times Wedding Announcement Douchebag
Dear NY Times Wedding Announcement Douchebag,
Much like the Sports section, the Weddings section isn’t going to publish minor league games. The NY Times Wedding pages are only for the MVPs of society: condescending-looking jerks that went to good schools, have famous/rich parents, work for the press or make compensation involving profit sharing. Nobody submits their wedding announcement to the NY Times to share their “moving” love story with the world. If you actually make it in, you’re there to brag, hard. The formula is simple: the more odious your credentials, the better your announcement.
Does your mom sit on the board of Sloan-Kettering? Absolute genius. Is your fiancée a descendant of Frederick Law Olmstead, landscape architect of Central Park? Gold! Even better if you met at the London School of Economics for some bogus degree and Judge Jed Rakoff of S.D.N.Y., for whom you clerk, officiated at the wedding. For good measure, throw in a fourth paragraph about how you met during your Junior year abroad in Cologne. If this all sounds like you,
die congratulations: you will have achieved the highest levels of despicableness and, incidentally, the Platonic ideal of wedding announcements.
Assuming neither you nor your fiancée went to a completely embarrassing school like Fairfax U. or Hamilton and that you’re an associate at a respectable firm, you can seal the deal for LEWW by setting up an offensive wedding registry. For avoidance of doubt, melon ballers, gravy boats, CRYSTAL CANDY DISHES and anything from Restoration Hardware is offensive, the reasoning being that you’ve spent the first 25+ years of your life without a goddamn melon baller and there’s no reason you have to have one now just because you’re getting married. The rest of us don’t have melon ballers and we’re doing JUST FINE.
If you need me, I’ll be watching Men in Trees reruns and killing myself.
After the jump, a guest appearance from LEWW.
Dear NY Times Wedding Announcement Douchebag,
Marin is spot-on about the ingredients that go into an excellent NYT wedding announcement. I’ll address the second part of your question, which is how to ensure that your announcement clears the next hurdle and makes ATL’s Legal Eagle Wedding Watch.
I study each week’s announcements carefully, taking notes on each wedding that includes at least one lawyer. Then I take this initial list and rank it roughly in prestige order to pick the top three. Many factors go into the mix here, but the big ones are pretty obvious. Barring something extremely noteworthy in your family backgrounds (your fiancée is Chelsea Clinton, for example), your law school and employer will have the most weight. Harvard/Cravath goes in the “probable” pile. Penn/Sidley is a “maybe.” Suffolk/shingle is almost certainly a “good grief, no.”
Prestigious government employment (DoJ, White House Counsel) is a plus, and good clerkships are classic LEWW bait. You mention that your fiancée isn’t a lawyer; that’s a shame, but it’s not an insurmountable obstacle. I pay special attention to two-lawyer weddings, but his-and-hers Hofstra JDs won’t trump one Columbia/Wachtell.
Another way you can get a leg up is to make sure the NYT publishes your picture. Readers (and commenters) want to see photos of our featured couples, so I try to avoid running picture-less announcements whenever possible. The NYT loves “diverse” photos, so try to marry someone who has either (a) a different racial background from you, or (b) similar genitalia. And if the NYT doesn’t run your photo, make sure you put one on a publicly accessible website that will show up when I Google you.
Finally, here’s how you can virtually ensure you’ll be chosen: Send LEWW a whiny e-mail right before your wedding begging me not to feature your announcement. Be sure to get on your moral high horse about how you have a “right to privacy.” Bonus points if, in response to my polite reply pointing out that, um, you submitted your announcement and photo to the New York Times, you respond that you totally didn’t want to (you’re, like, sooooo chill and laid-back) but your parents/in-laws/fiancée made you do it because appearing in the Times is “really important in their social circle.” Voilà — you’ve just won a LEWW slot!
Congratulations and best wishes,
WTF is a melon baller? WTF is a Hofstra? And why won’t the New York Times start running Divorce Announcements so ATL can celebrate the release of talent back into the wild? I am so confused. — Elie
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