We’re a little behind in Legal Eagle Wedding Watch (hereinafter “LEWW”). We’ll be rectifying that shortly.
But before we do, a methodological digression. It concerns how we score couples on the “family” component of the competition. We respond to some reader questions we’ve received:
1. “Isn’t rating people based on the wealth and pedigree of their families horribly obnoxious and elitist?”
Yes. And that is the raison d’etre of LEWW.
2. “Why don’t you give couples higher scores if they came from impoverished backgrounds? Someone born to poor immigrant parents, who somehow managed to make it to a top law school and top law firm, is much more impressive than some rich legacy kid with the same achievements.”
A fair question. But we’re rating couples, not invididuals. An individual who overcame tough circumstances to achieve success in the legal profession is an impressive individual; but a Mayflower descendant marrying the child of a billionaire is an impressive couple.
For centuries, marriages have been used to bring together agglomerations of wealth and power. See, e.g., Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI. And this remains true today, even if not to the same degree. This is why the Times, despite being much more meritocratic in its couple selection than decades past, still has a hard-on for Daughters of the American Revolution, and Sons with First Names That Sound Like Last Ones.
In short, despite the changes over the years — more racial and ethnic diversity, the inclusion of gay couples — the NYT weddings and celebrations page still has a “Social Register” feel to it. And LEWW, in keeping with that spirit, awards extra points for “Social Register”-worthy families.
3. “You’re pretty stingy in scoring families. What does a perfect ’10′ look like?”
A timely question. Earlier this month, on November 19, we saw a couple with an astronomically high score in the family department. We won’t be rating them in LEWW, since neither spouse is a practicing lawyer (although the husband has a law degree). But here’s what a 9.9 — or maybe a 9.8, to leave some room for improvement — might look like.
She is a daughter of Carroll M. Carpenter and Edmund N. Carpenter II of Wilmington, Del. Her father is a partner in and a former president of Richards, Layton & Finger, a law firm there. The bride is a descendant of Eleuthère Irénée du Pont de Nemours, the founder of the DuPont Company….
He is a son of Elizabeth Rogers Brokaw and Mr. Brokaw III of Southampton, N.Y. His father retired as the chairman of Invail Capital, an investment firm in New York. The bridegroom is a descendant of William Bradford, a governor of Plymouth Colony, and of Dr. Josiah Bartlett, a New Hampshire signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Yes, we have tagged this under “Nauseating Things.”