Olivia Cowley & Julian Wassenaar Are Scion-tologists

Each week, Intern Alexis tallies up the status indicators of all the couples who've found it necessary to shove their connubial bliss in our faces via the Times Weddings & Celebrations section, so that we can feel superior to them in some small way that we can trick ourselves into thinking is more valuable than material wealth.

Even though we had a great-great-grandchild of William H. Taft repeat this week, it was still banker-on-banker dream couple Olivia Cowley and Julian Wassenaar who came out on top. This essentially perfect couple both received MBAs from Penn, but it was Olivia's super-swank Newport and tobacco connections that sealed the deal.

Olivia Cowley and Julian Wassenaar: 21

  • They were married by an Episcopal priest: +1
  • Both received M.B.As from UPenn: +4
  • Julian also received a master's in IR: +1
  • Both I-bankers: +5
  • Olivia graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard: +4
  • Her mother "offers etiquette advice through the Web site newportmanners.com": +1
  • Olivia's paternal grandfather was the late Malcolm Cowley, literary critic: +2
  • Her maternal grandparents were founders of the Newport Jazz Festival: +1
  • She is also a descendant of Pierre Lorillard, who founded the P. Lorillard Tobacco Company in 1760: +2


    Julia Taft and Christof Putzel
    : 11 points

  • Julia Taft is keeping her name: -1
  • But... she is the great-granddaughter of the late Robert A. Taft, Republican senator from Ohio, a great-great-granddaughter of President William H. Taft AND a cousin of Altarcations winner Nathan Taft!: +6
  • She received a nursing degree from NYU: +1
  • From 2001-2005, Julia's father was the legal advisor to Secretary of State Colin Powell, and from 1989-1992, the bride's father was the U.S. permanent representative to NATO: +2
  • Her mother was the assistant secretary of state for population, refugees and migration in Washington from 1997-1001: +1
  • Christof's mother wrote a biography of Madeline Albright and was a Moscow correspondent for Time: +1
  • Christof's father was the Moscow bureau chief for the Associated Press: +1


    Colette Reiner and Gibson Verkuil: 11 points

  • Bride and groom received law degrees from Cardozo: +2
  • Both are corporate lawyers: +5
  • Gibson's father was the president of William and Mary from 1985-1992: +1
  • Gibson's mother is on the board of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: +1
  • Gibson's stepmother was the president of the Rockefeller Foundation and the president of UPenn: +2

    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: +2
    Both management consultants: +5
    Trader: +2
    Both traders: +5
    Corporate lawyer: +2
    Both corporate 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
    Fulbright fellow: +2
    Rhodes scholar: +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
    Bride and groom share a last name before getting married: +2
    The bride/bridegroom's first marriage ended in divorce: -2
    Descendant/related to somebody famous: +3
    Descendant of a President: +5
    Descendant of a founding father: +5
    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
    Couple featured in "Vows" column: +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
    Bride/groom works for company founded by parents: +2
    Bride/groom related to a socialite: +2
    Bride/groom's father/mother works for a company bearing his/her last name: +2
    Bride and groom's father/mother share a first name, plus initial: +4

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