February 04, 2005

An Expensive Proposition

Does spending $48 per line to have your wedding announcement in the New York Times sound like a deal? Well, The New York Observer does a little math to prove that the cost of the average announcement will prevent the Times from turning into the so-crowded-no-one-goes-there-anymore print-equivalent of a Las Vegas wedding chapel.

In six-point Geneva (the unpaid announcements are in Times standard 8.7-point Imperial), The Times estimates each line will hold 45 to 50 characters. The names at the top, in 13-point Franklin Gothic, check in at 30 to 35 characters per line.

The overall price, in other words, works out to a dollar a letter.

Given that, couples with money to burn could use the listings to make a whole new kind of statement. A paid-format version of this past Sunday’s Vows piece, on Republican operatives Ronit Mitzner and Hayden Horowitz, would come to 4,022 characters—82 lines, including names. The couple had two pictures, which are set at 22 lines apiece. Total: $6,048.

What about a more modest entry? The famously understated 2003 announcement that Howell Raines, newspaper editor, was marrying Krystyna Anna Stachowiak, former consultant, ran at 1,430 characters. Add in a line—better make it two—for the names, and it’s $1,488.

Posted by Doug at February 4, 2005 03:13 PM