Phyllis Nefler, Gawker's tireless weddings correspondent, is currently on vacation in East Hampton, New York. But she took some time off from yelling at the help and burning through paperbacks to annotate this week's New York Times weddings announcements. Cheers!

Happy 4th of July from Altarcations summer satellite headquarters in good old East Hampton, New York!

You know, going to the Hamptons is like going to Harvard - you're surrounded by the worst people in the world, and also it sounds awful no matter how you say it. It's nearly impossible to pronounce the words without putting a strange and vaguely British em-pha-sis on the first syl-lab-ble, and any euphemisms you might come up with — "oh, I went to school in Cambridge"; "oh, I'm just heading out east this weekend" — make you sound like a pretentious assclown. At Harvard you don't live in a dorm, you live in a "House." In the Hamptons you don't ride the bus, you ride the "jitney." Also, at both places everyone is super pasty and can't hold their liquor.

Given the holiday we're going to have a slightly abridged segment of Altarcations today; I don't particularly feel that I should devote the entire morning of our nation's birth to those couples who can't get married on a normal 2-day weekend like the rest of us. But anyway, before we begin, please enjoy this touching, heartrending video of Ted and Gracie, the happiest of couples:

Genius. The only way this would be any closer to the real NYT weddings videos would be if it were completely un-embeddable. Like this week's video featuring Annette Stamatelatos and Kirk Ceballos, which I can't paste here but which you should totally click on, if only for the hysterical moment at the 1:22 mark where the bride confidently declares that she got drugged at a nightclub.

The champagne-spiking, and subsequent puking, are also mentioned in the announcement — because every little girl's dream is to have her roofie story writ large in the world's most important publication — along with several other fun facts about this couple. The bride, known professionally as "Annet Artani," was a Britney Spears backup singer who also represented Cyprus in the "Eurovision Song Contest in 2006." As for her husband:

The bridegroom, also 33, is a senior talent agent at Heavy Rotation, an agency in Manhattan. His clients include Cam'ron, Fatman Scoop and Twista. He is also the director of touring for another agency, Central Entertainment Group, where his clients include cast members from the MTV series "Jersey Shore."


This weekend is one in which the intrusive meddling of parents keeps paying off in the end. This is bad. Parents, do not take this to mean that you can play puppeteer. Jenifer Steinhardt and Craig Hollander were set up by their fathers, who knew each other because one was his synagogue's president and the other the vice president. Classic.

And then there's Rachel Bachmann, who was out with her mom Doris for dinner on Mother's Day when a stranger, Paul Estes, "stopped at her table, leaned down and said, 'I just want to tell you that you are beautiful.'" He said this to Rachel, not Doris, but that didn't stop the latter from jumping up and following the man outside to get his number and arrange a rendezvous later that evening.

Ms. Bachmann's mother returned to the table, telling her daughter that she was impressed with Mr. Estes's appearance and manners. She particularly appreciated that Mr. Estes was the kind of son who took his mother out on Mother's Day.

Ms. Bachmann said, "After dinner we went to a show and after that my mom said to me, ‘Well, are you going to call him?' "

Ms. Bachmann couldn't muster the courage, so her mother took the phone and dialed. Her mother asked Mr. Estes to meet them for drinks at another restaurant, and he obliged.

Mr. Estes took his mother along as well.

"I needed a wingman, and Mom was all I had," he said. "She thought Rachel was absolutely fantastic."

Honestly, I'm just surprised that Hilary Stout or Stephanie Rosenbloom didn't find a few other cases of mommy matchmakers and snap up this story for a Sunday Styles cover trendpiece on "wingmoms." Step up your game, Times!

Another trendlet this weekend is the bizarre Blue Steel-style photo. Seriously, Mia Pitasi and Michael Dwyer, why so serious? Please stop looking at me with such lippy contempt.

And you, Biba von Speyr and Adam Remson: is this a joke? Dude looks like the villain in a James Bond flick. I've seen old ladies with drawn-on eyebrows that are less arched than those.

Kristina Hoge and Jake Bronstein's photo is funny too, in a whimsical hipster kind of way, which is fitting for a man who "is the creator of Buckyballs, a toy that consists of tiny magnetic balls that link to form geometric shapes." Ha. Is there anyone that you hate? Do they have kids? If so, you should buy them Buckyballs! They'll be stepping/slipping/choking on those "tiny magnetic balls" in no time. Even the website comes with a comical "WARNING! Keep Away From All Children" and this fun disclaimer:

Do not put in nose or mouth. Swallowed Magnets can stick to intestines causing serious injury or death. Seek immediate medical attention if magnets are swallowed or inhaled.

Ah, the perfect stress reliever! THAT WILL STICK TO YOUR INTESTINES AND KILL YOU.

Anyway, the best announcements, always, are the mundane ones that kind of bumble along, like this one for Elisabeth Weinberg and Matthew Stine. Yada yada, the bride's a caterer, her dad's a doc, her mom writes about the Holocaust, standard. The groom owns a record label, went to Wisconsin, whatever. And then: "He is the son of Jane Stine and R.L. Stine of New York." YES! I think I may have actually pumped my fist. R.L. fucking Stine, or as the Times puts it, "an author of children's books who is best known for the "Goosebumps" series." Damn right he is! I wonder if Christopher Pike has any kids.

Elsewhere this weekend, MATCHING LESBIANS! (one of whom "studied the diving behavior of puffins"); one couple got engaged "in Portmagee, Ireland, where a paternal great-grandfather of Ms. McDonough's was raised and where the family still owns a sheep and peat farm"; one couple is devoted to the education of underprivileged children and thus better than you; one bride is involved with ESPN's (excellent) "30 for 30" documentary series; and um, I could barely finish the second paragraph of the featured column because my stomach was clenching in awkwardness. I get that they have to mention Mitchell Gold's ex, Bob Williams, because of the furniture company named after them and all that. But do we really need the description of their logo as "something two lovers would carve in a tree"? Poor Tim Scofield!

This week's Faceoff:

Wrenn Ellen Levenberg and Aaron Samuel Andalman

* "The couple met at Stanford, from which they both graduated": +5
* The bride received a medical degree at the University of Chicago: +1
* The bride is to start work as an attending physician in a California ER: +1
* The groom was a postdoctoral researcher in neuroscience at MIT: +3
* The groom's "doctoral research on songbirds was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, PLoS Biology, and Science": +2, but I think they maybe fucked up the name there? Science twice?
* Dude loves songbirds and his lady's name is Wrenn: +1
* Three out of four parents-of-the-couple are lawyers: +3


Julia Martha Lipez and Nolan Ladislav Reichl

* The bride's father is "Judge Kermit V. Lipez": +1
* "The bride, 29, and the bridegroom, 31, met at Stanford, where both received law degrees, she with distinction": +7
* The bride graduated magna cum laude from Amherst: +3
* The groom graduated summa cum laude from NYU: +2
* "Judge Marjorie O. Rendell, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, in Philadelphia, is to lead the ceremony; the bride's father, a judge of the Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, in Portland, Me., is to solemnize the couple's marriage certificate": +2
* The bride and groom are both lawyers: +1
* The groom formerly worked for Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell: +1
* The bride's mother "is a member of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection": +1
* The wedding was held at the "Gilsland Farm Audubon Center": +1
* The groom's dad worked for a company based in Pennington, NJ, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS MY HOMETOWN!!!!!: +1 trip to Vito's Pizza, bitches!