Gawker Weddings Expert Phyllis Nefler's on vacation, and I'm forcing her to file today, because it's late and Angela Merkel has yet to get facepunched. NYT's Weddings & Celebrations, we're taking you on this week together, gallery style.

It Begins With a Whimper.

I got the following dispatch from Ms. Nefler earlier this morning.


From: Phyllis Nefler [redacted]
Date: December 13, 2009 [Redacted]:33 AM EST
To: Foster Kamer
Subject: Altarcations Vacations.

I think I'm going to pass on doing a full fledged Altarcations today. i got up early and everything, but the couples put me to sleep and i think i'd just rather deal with my raging hangover by laying by the pool instead. Just to show you that i actually tried to do this and failed, here are some thoughts for you to post. Also would be happy to do like, an IM exchange with you or something. Just call me if I'm not online.

Um, except: no. Nobody no-call no-shows these weekends, especially when I've been running around in the rain screaming for the ISP gods to restore my connection. So we did this over IM, and I had to deal with my first weddings analysis. We will never do this again, I promise.

The Altarcations Locker Room. No Robert Woletzs Allowed.

For the record, this is how it normally goes. Onward.

Too Many Rappers, Not Enough Rap. Too Many Dresses, Not Enough Brides.

Phyllis: This is the stupidest article I have ever read, and I say that as a person who spent the entirety of the JetBlue flight down here watching a Say Yes To The Dress marathon on the little TV.

FEK: Explain to me the concept of buying multiple wedding dresses. Big "what the fuck" there, yeah?

Phyllis: It's one thing to wear a crazy gown for the ceremony/photos and then change into a kicky little cocktail dress for the reception. I have plenty of friends who have done that. But who is buying like, multiple Monique Lhulliers? It makes me feel sad because I feel like they're compensating for something else, like they don't want to get married, or they want to get married waaaay too much, and it's manifesting itself in these weird compulsions. The people who are doing this are clearly the same people featured on My Super Sweet 16 who rotate three different outfits at one party but spend the whole time crying backstage because their limo pulled up to the clurrrrb ten minutes behind schedule. If you can't settle on one dress, how can you settle on one MAN? Warning sign, Foster. Just please don't date any of THOSE girls.

FEK: Why? Because their inability to commit to a dress automatically makes them promiscuous girls?

Phyllis: Not promiscuous per se, but like, do they really know what they WANT? I think I've mentioned this in Altarcations before but on Say Yes To The Dress they always counsel an indecisive bride: "If you like this dress, stop looking. When you found your man, you stopped looking, right?" Some women just maybe never stop looking : (

Bang on a Drum.

Phyllis: This announcement includes the sentence "It's a bronze gong with no membrane, so technically it's not a drum." I'll show YOU a bronze gong with no membrane but you'll have to buy me dinner first. Or something?

FEK: They're going to play music together. But, like, tribal music? DO NOT WANT. They're gonna be the first couple to have kids telling them to stop banging on shit.

Phyllis: Their kids will rebel by playing ... tennis.

Necessity's Mother (In-Law)

Phyllis: I didn't realize people still listed their occupations as "inventor" anymore. I kind of dig it.

FEK: "The bridegroom's father is the president of Martack Corporation, a heating and air-conditioning contractor in New Hyde Park, N.Y. The bridegroom's mother works there as an accountant." Come on. You know that's a front.

Phyllis: It's like those stores in Nolita that only sell newsboy caps - I don't trust them.

FEK: If I told a girl's parents I was an "inventor," they'd look at me like I had just lit up a bowl of East New York's finest crack rock in their living room. I'm better off telling them I'm a blogger.

Phyllis: This is 2009, there is nothing left to invent unless your name is Steve Jobs.

FEK: Wonder if he gives his In-Laws Apple prototypes just to get them off his ass.

Phyllis: He invented LoJack - do you think he has a beef with whatever dudes invented The Claw?

FEK: Do you mean The Club?

Phyllis: YES...Shut up, who even has cars in New York anyway?

FEK: : /

The Holocaust Giggles of Love

Phyllis: I need to start keeping track of Rosalie R. Radomsky's kickers, because this one is a perfect example of the genre: "After she said yes, they ate s'mores." Sorry, should have put a *SPOILER ALERT*. Also, on their first date they went to a reading of Holocaust victim names. They are so Jewish that they needed TWO rabbis to participate at their wedding.

FEK: These two. I'm a little verklempt, here. Questions: 1. Was Rosalie "The R. is for Random" Radomsky stoned?

Phyllis: Dude, let's hope so. I would pay ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY to get high with the Rose. You know she can obviously blow a mean smoke ring. "After she said yes, they ripped the bong."

FEK: Yeah, I was kind of waiting for that shoe to drop, too. Jewish kids love getting high, especially around the high holidays, dumb unintended pun aside. Also: can we just go over the whole Yom HaShoah date again? First of all, using Holocaust victims to seal the deal: nice. Second: marshmallows are not at all Kosher. Upper West Side Yids are such Culture Jews. I love 'em: wear it when it looks good.

Phyllis: I liked how as they walked home from their romantic genocide retrospective the first thing they discussed was raising a family. She's going to make a great Jewish mother someday. I felt guilty just READING it.

FEK: I'm impressed. I love them. Kinda wanna be them.

Victory by TKO? Matt Taibbi's Dental Work.

Phyllis: This couple wins hands down.

FEK: Nope. I want points. Essplain.

Phyllis: The couples for scoring suck this week. These are all the most budget couples ever! Okay, this one:

Lindsey Cobbett, Timothy Madden.

I mean, who cares about the Federal Power Commission or being a descendant of some "English polemicist" — what is that, like Matt Taibbi with bad teeth? — what gets me is this line: "She is a daughter of Elizabeth N. Lowery and William E. Cobbett (Jesus!), both of Wallingford, Conn. She is a stepdaughter of Watson Lowery Jr. All three are on the faculty at Choate Rosemary Hall, the preparatory school in Wallingford." AWKWARD FACULTY MEETINGS MUCH? Also, I just realized I went to Yale with the bride's sister. Sigh.

FEK: So,
+10 For a Yale familymember friend of yours and then
+5 for being a descendant of some "English polemicst." That's how it works, yeah?

Phyllis: I don't think the bride went to Yale. Just the sister. Ali Cobbett.

FEK: You ever get high with her?

Phyllis: No, she was a senior when I was an underclassman and my friend was on the soccer team with her. She was the captain.

FEK: Fine, only +7, which means
Total: 12.

Phyllis: Sure.

FEK: Next!

Unfortunately, as you can tell, there was no next, though we tried our hardest to get to these guys. Congratulations to all the happy couples and all that shit. We're never doing this again. Ever.