champagne glasses small.jpgYes, we’ve been gone. Where we’ve been — poetry workshop, rehab, hiking the Appalachian Trail? — doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re back, and our team of interns has diligently kept track of the nuptial triumphs and travesties that have occurred in our absence. We’ve identified the very best of the best couples from this spring, and hereby present the top five pairings for your edification and enrichment:

1. Monica Youn and Whitney Armstrong
2. Jennifer Ku and Peter Rubin
3. Vikeena Bonett and Matthew Wolfe
4. Brian Distelberg and Ryan McAuliffe
5. Naomi Seiler and Eric Columbus

Feast your eyes on these prestigious couples’ pictures and bios, after the jump.

1. Monica Youn and Whitney Armstrong
(Buy them a cutting board.)

The Case:
- This brainiac bride graduated cum laude from Princeton and was a Rhodes Scholar (swoon!). As Rhodies tend to do, she later picked up a JD from Yale Law School. She’s now a lawyer at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU (and served on a panel at the ACS conference this weekend about the Citizens United case, in which the Center filed an amicus brief). She has also published two books of poetry.
– The groom was cum laude at Yale and has a master’s in landscape architecture from Harvard. He is a landscape designer for a firm that focuses on projects for the Archdiocese of New York

The Case Against:
– You can get a degree in landscape architecture from Harvard?

2. Jennifer Ku and Peter Rubin
(Buy them a smokeless broiler.)

The Case:
- The pixie-like bride has an undergraduate degree and a law degree from UCLA. She’s an associate at O’Donnell, Schwartz & Anderson, a labor law firm in DC.
– Associate-marries-partner having been done to death, Jennifer’s gone one better and found herself a real, live (albeit bordering on elderly) judge. Peter (may we call you Peter, Peter?) is a Justice on the Massachusetts Appeals Court in Boston. He was magna at Yale and has a JD, also magna, from Harvard. He clerked in the early ’90s for Justice David Souter, and he founded the American Constitution Society, the liberal alternative to the Federalist Society. (Click here for ATL’s coverage of the ACS’s recent convention.)

The Case Against:
– Judging from our inbox, many of you were skeeved by this announcement, largely because of the newlyweds’ disparities in status and age (he’s 47; she’s 29). We hear you, but we’re more troubled by the possibility that he picked her up at an ACS convention.

3. Vikeena Bonett and Matthew Wolfe
(Buy them a vegetable bowl.)

The Case:
- These two attorneys are both graduates of NYU Law. The bride, who went to Amherst, is an associate in Sidley’s NYC office (but her bio on the firm’s website is gone — here’s the cached version). The groom, who was magna at Miami University in Ohio, is at Dechert.

The Case Against:
– We’re not loving the sideways pose. They look like two random people on the JumboTron at a baseball game.

4. Brian Distelberg and Ryan McAuliffe
(Buy them a cooling rack.)

The Case:
- Prestige-o-rama! This same-sex couple connected as undergraduates in 2002 at a Harvard College Democrats meeting, and each soon became the other’s first boyfriend. In 2008, Brian (the skinny one) proposed to Ryan (the beefy one) with a cookie from the West Hartford mall. Yum!
– Brian, who graduated summa, is studying for a doctorate in US history at Yale. Ryan graduated honors-less, so naturally he’s pursuing a law degree. He’s a 2L at NYU.

The Case Against:
– The embedded video shows the couple kissing, but only out-of-focus and from afar. Over a decade after Ellen Degeneres kissed a girl in prime time, is homosexual smooching too controversial for the NYT?

5. Naomi Seiler and Eric Columbus
(Buy them a cake knife.)

The Case:
- This bride is a cutie and brainy to boot; she graduated magna from Harvard and has a JD from Yale. She’s currently wonking it up as counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
– The groom has undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard, both magna. He works at the US Department of Justice as a senior counsel to the deputy attorney general.
– Eric counts matchmaking as a hobby:

He and a few of his law school buddies began playing cupid in 2003, recruiting and matching hundreds of Washingtonians through scores of e-mail messages. In 2004, their matchmaking pool had peaked at roughly 700 people, and they were responsible for steering several friends down the aisle.

Dude, forget law and find a way to monetize that, pronto.

The Case Against:
– The groom’s online name is “cucumberoils.” Kinky.

The Verdict:
– Let’s summarize. Team Youn-Armstrong has a Rhodes, seem offbeat but oddly joyless: No. Team Bonett-Wolfe gets diversity points but is ultimately outmatched. Team Distelberg-McAuliffe is adorable but lacks a strong legal angle. We’ve got a little crush on Team Seiler-Columbus, and we’re tempted to give them the win. But we can’t ignore Team Ku-Rubin‘s SCOTUS clerkship, ACS founding, and, um, judgeship. Plus, it’s fun to read all the comments accusing us of rampant liberal bias. So congratulations, Justice and Mrs. Rubin!