Altarcations: Rachel Leifer & Joshua Norman

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. Each week, we evaluate the latest newlyweds, based on an elaborate rating system, described below.

It was the battle of the famous versus the non-famous people, and this time around, the non-famouses won! Though it was a close one. "Tara Smith, an author, and Thomas Struth, the photographer" (join the debate over the Times's curious "an" vs. "the" decisions here!) had, yes, fame on their side, but the fact that they were both over 35 cost them some crucial points. Rachel Leifer and Joshua Newman, both reporters for undoubtedly Times-feeding Mississippi papers came out on top. They've got a ton of degrees from Columbia, and Rachel is the granddaughter of Sammy Cahn, who gave the world "Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow" and "Love and Marriage."

Rachel Leifer & Joshua Norman: 11 points

  • Both reporters for Mississippi newspapers: +2
  • Rachel has two Masters degrees; one in secondary education from
    Columbia and one in journalism from Columbia: +4
  • Rachel is the granddaugher of Sammy Cahn, a lyricist who won four Academy Awards: +3
  • Masters in journalism from Columbia: +2

    Tara Smith & Thomas Struth: 10 points

  • Both over 35: -2
  • Tara graduated from Dartmouth: +1
  • Tara received an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia: +2
  • Tara wrote West of Then, which we have heard of: +3
  • Thomas Struth is photographer who had a career retrospective at the
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art. And we have heard of him: +3
  • Couple met at Thomas's art opening at Marian Goodman: +3

    Our patented rating system:

    Investment banker: 2
    Both Investment bankers: 5
    Job involving the word "banker" OR "investment": +1
    Both have jobs involving the word "banker" OR "investment": +3
    Management Consultant: 1
    Both management consultants: 3
    Trader: 2
    Both traders: 5
    High-powered lawyer: 2
    Both high-powered lawyers: 5
    Works for Defense Department: +2
    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
    State Department employee: 2
    Bride is an elementary school teacher: 1
    Works in media: 1
    Ivy league graduate: 1 *
    Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne: 2*
    Both Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Oxford, Cambridge, Sorbonne: 5*
    For each subsequent degree after a B.A.: 1
    Ivy league B.A. with graduate degree at low-ranking local
    college/university: -1
    If bride or groom attended/teach at any school with "Country Day" in
    the name: +2
    Coro fellow at NYU Law: +1
    Graduated Cum Laude: +1
    Graduated Magna Cum Laude: +2
    Graduated Summa Cum Laude: +3
    Couple met online: -1
    Couple met at art opening: 2
    Couple met at art opening for husband's/wife's show: +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 married by a Cantor: +1
    Couple met during or before their freshman year in college: +2
    Bride or groom goes by middle name: +1
    Mother a nursery school/kindergarten teacher or reading
    specialist/father is a wealthy professional= +3
    If the groom is Jewish and the bride Asian: +2
    If the groom is Asian and the bride is Jewish: -1
    The bride/bridegroom's first marriage ended in divorce: -2
    Descendant/related to somebody famous: +3
    Descendant of a founding father: +4
    Groom wearing gingham in picture: +1
    Parent is a trustee or board member of a company or organization: +1
    per company/org
    Parent is a member of the Bermuda parliament: +2
    Bride or Groom is a board member of a company or organization: +1 per
    company/org
    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
    If there is a "von" in a last name: +2
    If someone famous comes to the wedding and is mentioned: +2
    If wedding ceremony held at Bethesda by the Sea in Palm Beach, and/or
    reception under a tent at the bride's grandmother's house in P.B: +2
    Bride clearly quits her job after the wedding: +1
    Married by an Episcopal priest: +1
    Groom is 20-30 years older than bride: +2
    Bride and groom both from New Jersey: -2
    Partner in corporate law firm: +3
    Bridge teaches elementary school, groom in finance: +2


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