Altarcations: Victoria Potterton + Austin Zalkin

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.

To be honest, we were really rooting for Francine Whitney and Fernando Banhara. The widow of the Whitney heir and her sailing instructor. How deliciously scandalous! How very F. Scott Fitzgerald-y! But, alas, aside from the juicy-factor, they weren't able to rack up the extra points needed to topple Victoria Potterton and Austin Zalkin, both Dartmouth grads with impressive resumes. There were also some other close contenders, who we decided to include, well, just cuz.

Victoria Potterton, Austin Zalkin: 13 points

  • Both went to Dartmouth: +3
  • Victoria graduated magna cum laude: +2
  • Austin graduated cum laude: +1
  • Victoria is graduating from Yale with a combined medical and MBA degree: +4
  • Austin is "ideal" man-age: +1
  • He's an i-banker: +2

    Anne Robinson, Kevin Moriarty: 12 points
  • Anne is keeping her name: -1
  • Both of them are high-powered lawyers: +5
  • Anne received her law degree from Harvard: +3
  • She was the EIC of the journal Law & Gender: +1
  • Kevin graduated from Princeton: +2
  • Kev has a law degree from NYU: +1
  • He was the EIC of the law school's newspaper: +1

    Francine Whitney, Fernando Banhara: 11 points
  • Both over 35: -2
  • Francine has an MA in screenwriting and directing from Columbia: +2
  • Bride keeping her name: -1
  • But the name is Whitney, as she is the widow of Gifford Whitney, great-grandson of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney: +6
  • Couple met when Francine was "settling the estate of her first husband" and encountered Fernando at Consolidated Yachts in City Island, where her late husband "had a financial interest and had kept a number of boats and dirt bikes." They became friends when Fernando began teaching Francine "basic boating skills so she could take her son Harry Payne Whitney III out on Long Island sound": +6

    Christina Harris, Caleb DesRosiers: 9 points

  • Christina is a doctor: +2
  • Christina received a medical degree from Harvard: +3
  • Caleb on the board of two non-profits: +2
  • Has a MA and a law degree: +2

    Kimberly Young, Stefano Rivella: 9 points
  • Stefano is 14 years older than Kimberly: +2
  • Kimberly is keeping her name: -1
  • She is an i-banker: +2
  • She graduated cum laude from GW: +1
  • Has an MA in economics from BU: +1
  • Stefano has a PhD in applied genetics from University of Pavia: +1
  • Couple met after exchanging meaningful glances during a tango dance called the milonga: +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
    Doctor: +2
    Both doctors: +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
    State Department employee: +2
    Bride is an elementary school teacher: +1
    Works in media: +1
    Ivy league graduate: +1 *
    Both ivy league graduates: +3
    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
    Has MFA in creative writing from University of Iowa: +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
    Bride or groom's first name is a made-up preppy name: +3
    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 15-30 years older than bride: +3
    Bride and groom both from New Jersey: -2
    Partner in corporate law firm: +3
    Bridge teaches elementary school, groom in finance: +2
    Bride works for auction house, groom in finance: +2


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