As noted philosopher Carrie Bradshaw once put it, the New York Times wedding announcements are "the straight woman's sports pages." Altarcations is all about scoring the game. Every week, we will evaluate the latest newlyweds, based on an elaborate rating system, described below.

This Sunday, the extremely intense Vows competition immediately centered on three young couples. Things were looking fairly close—until one fella's mass of Ivy League degrees really blew the other two bridegrooms out of the water. Then, a contender was found to be responsible for the discovery of Maroon 5. Whoops! Sunk! And so one couple came rocketing out ahead, with a quite respectable 21 points.

Christy Sylvester and Joseph Patt: 21 Points


  • Both Yale graduates: +7
  • Groom graduated Magna Cum Laude from Yale: +2
  • Groom has M.A. from Yale and a Law Degree from Harvard: +6
  • Groom graduated magna cum laude from HLS: 2
  • Bride is "keeping her name": -1
  • Both Investment bankers: +5


Boji Wong and Benjamin Berkman
: 9 Points


  • Bride is a high-powered lawyer: +2
  • Bride is an Ivy league graduate: +2
  • Bride is related to someone famous (mother was a member of the original ensemble of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Flower Drum Song" on Broadway): +3
  • Bride's parents from New York City: +1
  • Groom's parents from New York City: +1
  • Groom is in the media: +1
  • The groom is Jewish and the bride is Asian: +2
  • Groom "discovered and signed the Los Angeles-based pop band Maroon 5": -3
  • Mayor David Dinkins officiated: +0

Anne Maffei and John Eaton Jr.: 9 Points

  • Both over 35: -2
  • Bride is an I-banker: +2
  • Bride will continue to use her name professionally: -1
  • Bride has an MBA from Harvard: +4
  • Groom is in the media: +1 [Ed. Note: Barely!]
  • Groom has a Jr. in his name: +2
  • Groom is a descendant of Frederick Eaton, the mayor of Los Angeles from 1898 to 1900: +3

Understanding Intern Alexis's Patented Vows Scoring System
Investment banker: 2
Both Investment bankers: 5
Management Consultant: 1
Both management consultants: 3
Trader: 2
Both traders: 5
High-powered lawyer: 2
Both high-powered lawyers: 5
Teacher at a New York City or Connecticut private school: 2
Parents from New York City or wealthy suburb in Connecticut: 1
New York Times employee: 1
Works in media: 1
Ivy league graduate: 2 *
Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne: 3*
Both Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne: 7*
For each subsequent degree after a B.A.: 1
Graduated Cum Laude: 1
Graduated Magna Cum Laude: 2
Graduated Summa Cum Laude: 3
Woman is at ideal age for getting married (25): 1
Man is at ideal age for getting married (27): 1
For each member of couple over 35: -1
Couple met during or before their freshman year in college: +2
If the groom is Jewish and the bride Asian: +2
The bride/bridegroom's first marriage ended in divorce: -2
Descendant/related to somebody famous: +3
Descendant of a founding father: +4
Parent is a trustee or board member of a company: +2
Bride or Groom is a board member of a company: +2
Bride "is keeping her name", "will continue to use her name professionally": -1
If there is a Jr., II, III or IV in a name: +2

*Apply to graduate school degrees in addition to B.A.s

PREVIOUSLY: Internal Documents: Naming Our 'Vows' Column