February 21, 2005

New York, New York

New York Magazine weighs in on the decision by the Times to accept paid wedding announcements.

Most interesting to me is this part:

A representative for the Times said the start date would depend on the demand, but that "we are anticipating a lot of response in the spring." Couples will be able to submit to both sections simultaneously, ensuring themselves a slot even if they are rejected from the editorial pages. (The Times rep says the content for the "Weddings" pages will be reviewed independently.) There will almost certainly be couples who'll assume they have been rejected, spring for an ad, and wind up appearing in both sections, letting the whole world see their desperation.

What couple will have the unique distinction of being the first to have both a paid and selected wedding announcement in the Times? Stay tuned...

Posted by Doug at 11:58 AM | Comments (1)

February 20, 2005

Obligatory Gates Posting*

Like everyone else within spitting distance of New York, we went to Central Park today to enjoy The Gates. We took a lot of pictures and even got a swatch of saffron-colored fabric from a friendly Gates worker.

For those of you who won't be able to make it to the city before the installation is taken down next week, you might enjoy The Duplo Gates, for sale on eBay.

duplogates.jpg

*Please note that before the installation ends, all bloggers must, by law, post something about The Gates.

Posted by Doug at 05:34 PM | Comments (0)

February 18, 2005

Only 80 and One Half Years to Go

From the BBC:

A couple who died more than 100 years ago have been officially named the oldest married couple in the world by the Guinness Book of Records. It has confirmed that Thomas and Elizabeth Morgan, from Cwmbran in south Wales, had a combined age of 209, and were married for 81 years.

The discovery was made by an amateur historian carrying out research in an overgrown graveyard.

Mr. Morgan was 106 when he died and his wife was 105.

Amazingly, this couple even outlived the notion of milestone anniversary gifts as the traditional list stops with diamonds for a sixtieth wedding anniversary. The Morgans must have celebrated their seventieth with platinum and their eightieth with something incredibly rare. Kryptonite perhaps.

To break the record, L and I will have to live to be 112 and 111 years old, respectively.

Posted by Doug at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 17, 2005

The New York Times? Never Heard of It

Does anyone know what happened to Dana Matthow, who blabbed to the New York Times about his plans to propose to his girlfriend?

Many New Yorkers still prefer the traditional approach. Some time this evening in a restaurant on the Upper East Side, Lia Macko will receive a yellow diamond ring and some sparklers on top of her dessert. (Her fiancé, Dana Matthow, is counting on you, dear reader, to keep the secret.) Mr. Matthow, publisher of City Guide Magazine, contemplated crazy ideas involving dancing clowns and trained seals, but in the end, opted for the couple's usual restaurant, a pianist playing their favorite song and a photographer hiding in the wings.

The interesting thing to note about this potential union is the potential for name-based humor. If the couple hyphenates, they will become the Matthow-Mackos or the Macko-Matthows, which I'm sure will be exploited for laughs to no end at their rehearsal dinner and sounds like the name of a Star Wars bounty hunter.

If they are very progressive and combine their names to create a new name, will they settle on Mattcko or Mackthow?

If they go the more traditional route and have Lia take Dana's last name, Lia should prepare the following statement for her business associates and the occasional telemarketer: "No, it's Matthow, not Macko. I got married. Thanks. Right. Macko is my maiden name. That's okay, it happens all the time."

I'd love the update on this couple. Did anyone blow the groom-to-be's secret?

Posted by Doug at 05:41 PM | Comments (2)

Huckabee Hearts Marriage?

Thanks to Francis for pointing out this post arguing against covenant marriages." I knew I felt a little icky about this movement, which is currently making headlines in Arkansas, but couldn't exactly explain why.

Money quote:

"Covenant Marriage" implicitly suggests that people won't stay married unless they subject themselves to onerous governmental restrictions on their personal freedoms; basically, it's the state telling you that it expects you to get a divorce at some point, unless it makes it too annoying for you to get a divorce to make it worth your while.

Call me a cynic, but I also suspect that Governor Huckabee's motivation in pushing covenant marriages stems as much from the idea of preventing divorce as it does from protecting so-called traditional marriages from homosexuals. Facing a growing threat from so-called "activist judges," it probably occurred to the governor that high divorce rates weren't exactly bolstering the claim that legalizing gay marriage would somehow threaten heterosexual marriages. Arkansas has the second highest divorce rate in the country - the top prize goes to Nevada - and probably wants to board up its glass house before it starts thowing stones.

Scalzi argues that if there's anything good in the Arkansas covenant marriage movement, it's that it forces those who take the pledge to engage in pre-marital counseling which might prevent bad marriages in the first place. There's no question that more successful marriages are in the best interests of everyone - except divorce lawyers, of course - but I'm skeptical of getting the government more involved in this process, as those who favor covenant marriages would like to see happen. Once the government starts requiring pre-marital counseling, we'll only be one step closer to a law allowing the government to dictate the content of that counseling.

After all, the U.S. Senate narrowly confirmed J. Leon Holmes, a judicial nominee who once wrote, “The husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church/and as the Church subordinates herself to Christ, in that manner the wife is to subordinate herself to Christ.” Judge Holmes now serves on a U.S. District Court in - guess where? - Arkansas.

Posted by Doug at 01:34 PM | Comments (3)

February 10, 2005

Best. Post. Ever.

If you haven't been reading the site recently or have never seen it before, you really ought to check out the latest entry on Veiled Conceit. It's probably the funniest thing ever written about a New York Times wedding announcement ever.

Posted by Doug at 07:00 PM | Comments (0)

February 09, 2005

Wedding Stats

A reader - thanks, HPC - points me to MotherJones.com and a piece titled "For Richer or Poorer." It's a list of facts about money and weddings.

Some of the interesting tidbits:

The average guest spends $500 to attend a wedding—not including plane tickets.

The average American wedding costs $22,360 and has 168 guests, who give 100 gifts that cost an average of $85 each, meaning the net loss to the couple is $13,860.

61% of couples omit the word “obey” from their vows, but 83% of brides take their husband’s name.

My favorite observation in the piece is about J. Lo's wedding inflation. Each time she gets married the size of her rock goes up by about two carats. To the guy waiting at the front of the line waiting for Marc Anthony to step aside, be prepared to shell out for 10-carats of bling.

Posted by Doug at 07:51 PM | Comments (0)

February 07, 2005

Not So Super Day

As my father pointed out and as you might have noticed from this week's very thin "Weddings/Celebrations" section in the Sunday New York Times, Super Bowl weeked ranks 52nd on the list of preferred wedding dates. It might also have something to do with people hoping to avoid the types of mid-winter snow storms that might strand half their guests, but I guess people have more consideration for a giant football game than they do for a huge family weekend.

Posted by Doug at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

February 04, 2005

Sharing a Border with Vermont Probably Had Something to Do With This

New York state moves one step closer to allowing gay marriage, unless of course today's decision is successfully appealed within the next 30 days.

State Supreme Court Clears Way for Same-Sex Marriage. Via NY1 and Gothamist.

L and I will immediately begin couples counseling, lest our marriage be threatened by this activist judge's decision.

If state Republicans start whining about the sanctity of marriage, I'll gladly refer them to some of their fearless leaders: Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg, both of whom have been divorced.

Posted by Doug at 03:41 PM | Comments (3)

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 03:13 PM | Comments (0)

February 03, 2005

Sold! To the Guy with the Comb-Over Hair

trumpcake.jpg

Learning a lesson from Donald Trump, celebrities who are planning to get married soon might want to have their guests sign non-disclosure agreement lest items from their weddings wind up for sale on eBay.

On the auction site you can find all sorts of trinkets from The Donald's third wedding: everything from a napkin embossed with the Trump family crest to a menu handed to guests at their tables.

You can also bid on a small "Wedding Guest Cake" which comes with the warning "EAT AT YOUR OWN RISK." Do you know what happens to butter-based frosting after two weeks in the poorly ventilated Mar-a-Lago basement?

I'm assuming these items were picked up by some of the waitstaff, bartenders and other service people who worked the wedding, but there could be another culprit. Does anyone know if Star Jones was invited?

The oddest item of the lot has to be "A PIECE OF LAND FROM TRUMP WEDDING 1/22/05," which features the following description:

BE THE FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK TO OWN A PIECE OF LAND WHERE DONALD TRUMP "HIRED" MELANIA KNAUSS ON JAN.22 2005, THIS IS AN AUTHENTIC ONE OF A KIND PIECE OF THE PROPERTY WHERE DONALD STOOD AND TOOK HIS VOWS. MAKE YOUR BIDS COUNT OR YOU WILL BE THE NEXT ONE TO HEAR "YOUR FIRED"!!!!

I'm fairly certain that if you win the auction, you'll be the only person on your block to own this, dare I say, souvenir.

Beneath the description, in smaller type:

***YOUR PIECE OF LAND WILL CONSIST OF GRASS CLIPPINGS AND LEAVES FROM BETHESDA BY THE SEA CHURCH WERE THE DONALD TOOK HIS VOWS***

Amazingly enough there is a bid of one dollar for this bag o' grass. The auction ends soon, so hurry! Don't let this treasure get away from you! And after you're done, check out my auctions which include a bridge in Brooklyn and a bag of moon dust from the Apollo mission which was so not actually taken from my building's incinerator.

Posted by Doug at 01:29 PM | Comments (1)

Speaking of Shameless

Is a single person coming to your wedding? Don't let her be the twenty-first century equivalent of the town leper.

From an ad on (where else?) TheKnot:

knotad.gif

In addition to the various criteria found on just about every other Internet dating site (age, religion, smoking preference, etc.) comes this whopper:

He makes so much money he can afford a:
- fake zircon engagement ring
- real zircon engagement ring
- small, but stylish, diamond engagement ring
- medium diamond with two emerald baguettes
- large emerald with four diamond baguettes
- diamond as big as a Ritz Cracker with matching tiara and Mercedes 600

Was the above question chosen because marketing studies revealed that "occupation" required too much thought on the part of the typical GB.com user? Such an ambiguous term like "lawyer" could mean everything from "high-paid corporate executive" to "public defender," right? I would imagine that the types of meddlers who visit GB.com to cure their friends from chronic singledom place less emphasis on depth of character than thickness of wallet. Why not come right out and ask for a man's W2 or credit history?

Wait a minute! Stop the presses! I think I've just come up with a million-dollar idea! A website which combines credit checks with personal ads! Equifax meets Match.com! Equimatch.com! Venture capitalists and web designers, please leave your CV in the comments section below.

Posted by Doug at 12:23 AM | Comments (2)

February 02, 2005

Shameless Plug

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, why not surprise your sweetheart with a "Taken" t-shirt? It's the perfect gift for those suffering from ring envy.

Posted by Doug at 01:19 PM | Comments (0)

News Flash: Spending Less Money Saves You Money!

From the Akron Beacon Journal's Department of Obivious News:

Saving on Bridal Dress Can Help Cut Wedding Costs.

Posted by Doug at 10:55 AM | Comments (1)

February 01, 2005

After the Love Has Gone

Problems in your marriage? You could try therapy, or you could try a reality show! Guess which one comes with a fashion makeover?

HAS YOUR HUSBAND CHANGED SINCE YOU MARRIED? -- Appear on Lifetime!

Sometimes it takes years, sometimes just a matter of hours, but sooner or later - after he has washed the confetti out of his hair - most married men give up being the charming, caring and romantic individuals they were while courting, and become grumpy, lazy and thoughtless. But they don't have to stay that way - with a little training we can get them back into tiptop romantic shape. We'll get your husband to show you just how much he still cares!

A little training, huh? If this show involves choke collars, tasers and Snausages, it might be too hot for Lifetime. And if your new husband becomes lazy and thoughtless within hours of your wedding, please apply for Lifetime's other reality show, Worst Honeymoon Ever.

Via Gawker.

Posted by Doug at 04:48 PM | Comments (3)