Why Is NYT's Weddings Page So Obsessed with Employment?

In response to our post about NYT inadvertently exposing their Weddings/Celebrations page's discomfort with acknowledging housewives and the unemployed, a bride and a recent mother-of-the-bride write in with their stories about being factchecked by the Times.

Just as Jonathan Segal's mother's elimination from his wedding announcement coincided with NYT's discovery that she was a housewife, commenter Miss D says her mother got the chop, too—because she had been deceased too long to have verifiable employment.

Hrumph. The Times did this to me, wouldn't print my mother's profession (she died in 1988 and they couldn't verify her exact job title). So my poor dead mother — who had a Phd and career — was completely excluded.

Recent mother of the bride Laura Offen describes being asked how much money she makes.

When my daughter's and son-in-law's wedding announcement was being fact checked by the NYTimes Wedding/Celebrations staff, a staff member actually asked my daughter, "Does your mother actually get paid for her work?" Ok, so leave out my job. Who cares? But dropping a groom's mother because her she left her job to raise her kids sends the wrong message. Trust me, it's a lot harder raising children to responsible adulthood, who can do the same for their own children. That's a daily job done everyday of your life, worth the ink.

Please extend me and my family's best wishes to the groom's mother, Mrs. Segal and her entire family.

See: Alexis Offen and Aaron Beim, married February 14, 2010.

The final Offen-Beim announcement identifies Laura Offen as "a self-employed archival researcher hired by private companies to research historical matters; her expertise is in World War II era documents."

Why is this wedding page so obsessed with parental employment, which is required for announcement submissions? Is this a vestige of the days of dowries, when nuptials doubled as an economic transaction? Is it because we half-expect every NYT wedding announcement to herald some corporate mega-merger between family fortunes? Or are we simply unsure how to identify a person other than by his or her profession? In which case America's new, expanding base of the chronically unemployed is going to throw a wrench in more than just the economy.

In related news, we are an inch away from "my father, the inventor of toaster strudel" in today's Starr Haymes—Jacques-Laurent Kempin wedding announcement:

The bride's maternal grandfather, the late Edwin S. Lowe, was a toy manufacturer who popularized bingo and Yahtzee.

Granted, if my ancestors brought BINGO to the masses, I'd be kinda braggy, too. [Image via Getty]