Changes in Society Reflected in Wedding Announcements

by Honolulu Mother

In this article, Todd Schneider took a look at the changes in American society through the lens of the New York Times wedding announcements:

How love and marriage are changing, according to 63,000 New York Times wedding announcements

You can search for the trends he didn’t mention at his site, Wedding Crunchers.

What’s the weirdest or most notable change you’ve seen in wedding announcements, ceremonies, receptions, or another part of the wedding-industrial complex? Are you going to any summer weddings?

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217 thoughts on “Changes in Society Reflected in Wedding Announcements

  1. We haven’t been to a wedding in a couple of years, and went to one just recently. A couple days before we went I saw an Onion article mocking wedding craft cocktails. I did not know that was a thing, but sure enough when we got there they had specially named craft cocktails. It made me chuckle.

  2. I doubt that people explicitly choose jobs by asking themselves, “What would look best in my future NYT wedding announcement?”

    Oh, I bet it’s happened more than once.

  3. I’m fascinated by the fact that people include that they met online in their announcement.

    We haven’t been to a wedding in years. My cousin is getting married in September in the Dominican Republic at an adults only resort so we won’t be going. Her own sister isn’t going now either because she’s pregnant and worried about Zika.

  4. “Technology plays a more prominent role: Many couples now meet online, and tech companies account for an increasing percentage of employers.”

    duh

  5. Most met through school or mutual friend

    how did you meet your SO?

    mutual friend here

  6. I met DH at college and we married somewhat young (25). Both of my sisters met their husbands through mutual friends in their late 20s/early 30s. My BIL/SIL met working at a pet store one summer. I don’t have any good friends or family that met their spouse online.

  7. I’m fascinated by the fact that people include that they met online in their announcement.

    I think people want to support the businesses that helped them connect.

  8. There seems to be more inclusion of ethnic weddings.The ethnic weddings in the home country and here are so much more zazzed up. The outfits for the bride and bridal party are so extravagant and so is the fresh flower decor. This wasn’t so when I was growing up. In fact I recall such a huge deal was made when a bride wore noticeable make up.
    And one trend is saris for bridesmaids when the bride is wearing a dress. Never saw that. If the bride wore a dress, so did the bridesmaid. It seems to me that the couple wants to say “ethnic wedding” in some way.

  9. My husband and I met at a ski club – he skied the slopes and I skied the mahogany run – it’s worked for 41 years!

  10. Louise – my sister was a bridesmaid in a wedding like that a few years ago – the bridesmaids wore saris with the bride wearing a regular wedding dress. I remember my sister complaining about how expensive the sari was.

  11. Haven’t been to a wedding in ages. Would love to go. Its funny, there is that period where all you are doing is going to weddings – it gets to be a hassle. Now I would love to have a night out to celebrate something like that. I am also totally over the bar and bat mitzvah scene. Never need to go to another one of those.

  12. We went to our first wedding in a long time about a month ago. Pretty traditional all-in-all. The only food innovation was a mashed potato bar (3 different types + myriad toppings) as part of the dinner buffet. We was actually surprised that we had such a good time considering we knew about 6 people (all neighbors/former neighbors) + the bride’s family.

  13. we went to one wedding this spring. like others said, for a while there we were always going to weddings but now it is rare.

    beautiful ceremony, DS would not behave.

    we didn’t stay long, it was a barn wedding/reception and it was freezing. I felt bad for the wedding party in their strapless gowns

    this was also the first same-sex wedding I’ve attended. I got confused at one point because I thought “we’re sitting on the wrong side, this isn’t the bride’s side” LOL

  14. DW is a bridesmaid in her cousin’s wedding this Fall, and they’re hosting a shower at my Mom’s house. The thing that surprised DW recently was that the bride’s mother, who is “definitely not getting involved in planning the shower,” was implying that the shower would have a theme. The other, younger bridesmaids seemed to think this was a capital idea, and they had a lot of Pinterest-worthy suggestions, but since they live out of the area (and one has since become engaged herself, so less interested), DW suggested that instead of getting stuck with all the extra work of some of their ideas, the theme was going to be “traditional American bridal shower.” And that was the end of that.

    I’ve never once been to a bar or bat mitzvah. Anything I know about them, I learned here.

  15. Some of the wedding announcements read like Totebaggy Bollywood dramas…
    Parents of the bride, a graduate of Harvard medical school initially had misgivings about their future son in law, a graduate of Yale law school. The two families come from different sects of the Catholic Church….

  16. I’ve never once been to a bar or bat mitzvah.

    Speaking of that – is anyone else watching this season of Veep and Silicon Valley?

  17. Interesting article.

    Louise, what would qualify as ethnic when you are talking about your home country?

  18. “I’ve never once been to a bar or bat mitzvah. Anything I know about them, I learned here.”

    same here

  19. finally caught up on last season’s OITNB and will start on the new episodes tonight, I was curious what my Jewish friends thought of the kosher meal plot, Jewish testing and conversion

  20. Dell – I use the term freely. If I wanted to be correct I would use “desi” for South Asians in the U.S. But I don’t want my kids to be known as ABCD’s – which is American Born Confused Desi’s. They are not.

  21. This is one of my favorites:

    Elizabeth Lea du Pont Carpenter was married last evening to Clifford Vail Brokaw IV at Big Bend in Chadds Ford, Pa., the home of George Weymouth, the bride’s cousin and godfather. The Rev. Ashley du Pont Gates Jansen, an interfaith minister and a half sister of the bride, officiated.

    Mrs. Brokaw, 34, was until April 2005 the deputy publisher of The Paris Review. She is a founder of the New York Public Library Young Lions, an organization of supporters in their 20s and 30s. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and received an M.B.A. from Harvard.

    She is a daughter of Carroll M. Carpenter and Edmund N. Carpenter II of Wilmington, Del. Her father is a partner in and a former president of Richards, Layton & Finger, a law firm there.

    The bride is a descendant of Eleuth? Ir?e du Pont de Nemours, the founder of the DuPont Company.

    Mr. Brokaw, 38, is a managing director of Goldman Sachs in New York, specializing in mergers and acquisitions and financing for financial institutions. He graduated from the University of Virginia, where he also received a law degree.

    He is a son of Elizabeth Rogers Brokaw and Mr. Brokaw III of Southampton, N.Y. His father retired as the chairman of Invail Capital, an investment firm in New York.

    The bridegroom is a descendant of William Bradford, a governor of Plymouth Colony, and of Dr. Josiah Bartlett, a New Hampshire signer of the Declaration of Independence.

  22. I get that. I am asking about you using the term in relation to weddings in your home country.

  23. We will be going to weddings of our friends kids now. Those are pretty far away in time.

  24. We haven’t been to a wedding in long time. We could have gone to my sister’s wedding, but it was no kids – not even her own, which I thought was weird. She lives 2,000 miles away so there would have been airfare, hotel, rental car and she wanted me to be a bridesmaid . . . more expense. And, she’s been married a couple of times before, and I went to all of those. They were all expensive elaborate affairs, as was this one. So we skipped it and sent a nice gift.

    I’ve known DH since I was 12 y/o but I was 29 on our first date. He was my friend’s brother, and a couple of years older than us. I didn’t see much of him until he came back to the NY area several years after college. We reconnected through our ski club, Old Mom!

  25. Dell – tough to term home country weddings because there are definite distinctions along religious lines, then certain sects within each religion have their own marriage traditions and so on. It would be a mouthful to describe…

  26. I was thinking what Moxie said — we graduated from all of the “friend” weddings years ago so went from 100 mph to 0 practically instantaneously. This spring we had our first “next generation” wedding (my assistant’s son), which felt weird. But they are Milo’s version of the “true” MC (a police officer and a teacher), so I wouldn’t expect them to pay much attention to (or care much about) the trends reported in the NYT. No craft cocktails, but a decent beer selection and some yummy passed apps, followed by a more formal plated meal, overlooking the Bay and with a seaside theme, so it never felt too formal or stuffy. It felt like a lovely wedding to me, which pretty much must mean it would fail the NYT test. :-)

  27. Oh, yeah: I met DH when his sister worked for my firm and I was assigned to mentor her. The jobs are long gone (for both of us), but I’m glad he’s still here. :-)

  28. My kids have been to a good number of bar/bat mitzvahs. At one point, DH and I were going to a couple of them a year, too. I always had fun at them. Some of them were very elaborate, almost like a wedding.

  29. I’ve always thought that a NYT wedding announcement was a marker that I could use to classify people (but not in a negative way). :) I assume a relatively high percentage of totebaggers have had their nuptials announced in the NYT.

    After a dry spell, we’ve been to some weddings recently. Trends I’ve seen:
    More break with traditions. No bridesmaids, dog for a ring bearer, vows include a lot of personal “where we met” stuff, etc.
    Photography is more creative, with some spectacular shots. Also, more boudoir shots. Couples are not shy to pose in bed. TMI for my taste.
    Better and more creative food choices.
    Technology. RSVP and gift giving via apps, for example. Sometimes these don’t work smoothly and I’ve had to resort to phone calls and sending a check in the mail.

    The last wedding I went to was outdoors in a lovely setting, but TOO cold! Don’t people know about outdoor heaters?

  30. We are entering the stage of bar/bat mitzvahs. Got our first ‘save the date’ card to one scheduled on New Year’s Eve.

  31. I recently read that ABCD was offensive to some people. It’s hard to keep up with these terms.

    We attended one wedding of an Indian-American colleague that was a multi-day, elaborate affair. We only attended one of the parties, and boy did I feel underdressed. The best part was the group circle dancing. But then I usually think the best part of any wedding is the dancing.

  32. My sister got married about a year and a half ago so I guess I have been to a wedding somewhat recently. It was beautiful – NYE on Cape Cod – but cold! I still haven’t forgiven her for making us take so many outside pictures.

  33. Louise, oh, I get it. But they won’t be “ethnic” I guess. And American wedding will be “ethnic” there. Was just curious.

  34. Apart from DS, we haven’t been to a wedding for a while. But his cousins are reaching the marriage age so I expect we will be getting more invites. One trend I have noticed is that the invite lists are getting smaller, with more destination weddings or other expensive choices that preclude lots of guests.
    Never been to a bar mitzvah either. But I have been to Jewish weddings with the canopy and glass breaking.

  35. “I assume a relatively high percentage of totebaggers have had their nuptials announced in the NYT.”

    I suppose that even one out of about 30 would still be relatively high, but I didn’t think it would be very many. Maybe I have the wrong idea about this place.

  36. Wow, COC. I have never met a person whose wedding was announced in the New York Times, and certainly no one who I consider a friend has had their wedding announced to the New York Times. I don’t think that is a mark of totebagism but of being upper class ( in the social if not economic sense.)

  37. Maybe PTM. “The bridegroom’s grandfather was once the founder and president of a large agricultural equipment concern; his father is the renowned curator of a prominent antique desk…”

  38. The last of the younger crowd in DH’s family got married 5 years ago, so that was the last wedding we have been to. It was pretty much the same as all weddings in DH’s family: wedding-mill catering hall, lots of dancing, very kid-oriented, so-so food, lots of booze, and fun. The biggest excitement was when DD, 4 at the time, dislocated her shoulder while enthusiastically dancing with one of the adult cousins. That wasn;t as much fun, though, as the wedding before that one, which was about 10 years ago, in which one of the BILs, an older guy with a bit of a paunch, did backflip after backflip on the dance floor. Boy did he have a backache the next day!

    I usually avoid destination weddings and no kid weddings. Destination weddings always seem to be in places I don’t really want to spend a ton of money going to, and no kid weddings are never fun.

  39. Our wedding was announced in the little local newpaper in CT. We didn’t even do the Hartford paper. Definitely no NYTimes here. I don’t think I have ever known anyone who announced in the Times.

  40. From a quick search of the NYT weddings site, I only know three people who had their wedding announcement in the NYT. A formerly close guy friend from college (we don’t keep up anymore other than on FB) married a rather prominent woman and they had their wedding featured in a magazine too (can’t remember which one). He had a brief marriage before this one and the last sentence of their announcement says “The bridegroom’s previous marriage ended in divorce.” Is that something that has to be in there? It seems so odd.

  41. Our engagement was announced in my hometown paper; nothing for DH’s hometown. Definitely not NYT. Also do not know anyone who announced in the Times, but I also don’t read that section or generally pay attention to that stuff.

    Met DH through a mutual friend but know several couples who met through online dating sites.

  42. Wow, COC. I have never met a person whose wedding was announced in the New York Times, and certainly no one who I consider a friend has had their wedding announced to the New York Times.

    We have friends that were announced in the NYTimes. Their announcement was almost as impressive as the DuPont nuptials mentioned above. It was even more impressive to us as their family background had never come up so the first any of us knew about it was when we read the announcement. I thought that was especially classy.

  43. Our wedding was in DH’s hometown, very far from mine, so from my family’s perspective, it was a destination wedding. I’ve been to no kid weddings, but at the time no one really had any kids so it was probably only an issue within the bride or groom’s families.

    My mom still hasn’t forgiven my cousin for inviting my siblings but not me to his first wedding. He invited only those over 18. Far fewer members of the family were invited to the second and third weddings. Not sure if he’s now on his fourth marriage.

  44. “never been to a destination wedding or “no kid” wedding”

    See, I always think “no-kid wedding” is the default choice, with an obvious exception for flower girls and ring bearers. I went to one wedding as a kid, and my Mom made a big deal about how nice [and unusual] it was for them to invite us. And that was a former babysitter.

    I didn’t see another wedding until I was 15 and my cousin got married, and I was pissed that I ended up at a kids’ table (other cousins) so I made sure to drink sufficient alcohol.

  45. When we got married, we had to send out invitations to friends and relatives in the home country. I suggested announcements but my mother said that it would cause offense, so actual invites went out to people who we knew would not be attending. A few relatives did make it here, but those were immediate family.
    DH’s sibling got married around the same time as us and they omitted the insert for the reception for folks back home. Having seen ours they knew that the second invitation was missing a key piece.

  46. I just looked and yup, my college roommate’s was in the NYT. Mine, however, was not. I can’t remember whether it was in the local paper. Probably not; they haven’t had a real wedding announcement section for a long time and it wouldn’t have been as high on my care list as the beer and wine selection.

  47. My family runs to yes-kid weddings. The kids make for some of the best memories!

  48. I’m surprised you all don’t know couples who’ve had their weddings announced in the NYT. I may be unusual, so I probably have a skewed view on this. It’s not as if I hang out with high society, but I’m thinking of DH’s work colleagues and casual acquaintances. Ivy League degrees with families that are not terrifically wealthy, but maybe CEOs of mid-sized companies. I think area finance types are heavily represented among the NYT announcement crowd.

  49. “It’s not as if I hang out with high society, but I’m thinking of DH’s work colleagues and casual acquaintances. Ivy League degrees with families that are not terrifically wealthy, but maybe CEOs of mid-sized companies.”

    That’s high society.

  50. Dumb question: I assume if you want your announcement in the NYTimes, you just submit the forms and pay the money, right? It isn’t like they are selecting people. So I imagine the people who would choose to do this are people from families for which that would be important.

  51. CoC, it is likely that some of the financial people at DH’s company had announcments in the NYTimes, but I don’t know those people. His immediate colleagues, who I also mainly don’t know, seem to all be from Russia, Serbia, Greece, or India, and mainly got married in those countries. There are a lot of Eastern Europeans in the NY tech world – my old software company was dominated by Russians who lived on Staten Island. Not really NYTimes wedding annoucement folks.

  52. What can I say? I live in a bubble.

    I think a submission could be creatively written to attract the attention of the NYT. Some of them are more interesting stories than truly prominent people. I think practicing with college application essays could help in crafting an appealing wedding announcement. They’re similar in some ways.

  53. I’m really surprised they don’t charge for the NYT announcements

    I’m not, as it’s likely one of the highest trafficked parts of the paper.

  54. “The bridegroom is a descendant of William Bradford, a governor of Plymouth Colony, and of Dr. Josiah Bartlett, a New Hampshire signer of the Declaration of Independence.”

    I wonder how many people think of Josiah Bartlett as Martin Sheen’s character rather than someone of prominence in US history.

  55. “I think practicing with college application essays could help in crafting an appealing wedding announcement. They’re similar in some ways.”

    Which raises the question, to me, at least, of why anyone would want to, since it’s clearly become more of a contest than an announcement.

  56. “See, I always think “no-kid wedding” is the default choice, with an obvious exception for flower girls and ring bearers.”

    I don’t remember going to many weddings as a kid, but the vast majority of the wedding I’ve been to have not excluded kids.

    Around here, it’s not uncommon for people with kids to leave the kids home for the ceremony, but bring them to the reception. For that matter, it’s not uncommon for adults to skip the ceremony and just go to the reception. Sort of like going to HS graduation and just waiting in the parking lot or wherever the grads receive their lei.

    My niece had a no-kids wedding, several years ago. DD thought that wasn’t nice, and vowed not to invite that cousin to her wedding.

  57. It is fun to read the NYTimes announcements. However, I think even though couples in other parts of the country would qualify they don’t bother sending information in, thinking they wouldn’t be picked because of a lack of a Northeast connection.

  58. Which raises the question, to me, at least, of why anyone would want to, since it’s clearly become more of a contest than an announcement.

    Why would someone want to win the contest?

  59. “I don’t think that is a mark of totebagism but of being upper class ( in the social if not economic sense.)”

    Yeah, that. I found out after-the-fact that my mom submitted our announcement to the NYT, but we did not make the cut. I am highly confident in my mom’s ability to write an interesting/appealing announcement, so I must assume it was the attenuated NYC connection and our significant lack of UC history.

    “Our wedding was in DH’s hometown, very far from mine, so from my family’s perspective, it was a destination wedding.” Ditto for us, but in reverse. We did no kids; like Milo, most of the weddings I had been to were adults-only, and we had very few friends who had kids at that point — plus the space we chose wasn’t very kid-friendly (Peabody Library). But I did arrange babysitting for out-of-towners who needed to bring their kids along.

  60. “Why would someone want to win the contest?”

    Yes. Why are 30-something’s interested in competing over whose parents and grandparents held more prestigious jobs? Doesn’t it seem just a little pathetic to you?

  61. I love that announcement, Rhett-clearly only their fathers are of importance, as the mothers are not mentioned at all. IS it me, or do these announcements make them seem like the most dull folks in the world-in which case I am glad that I don’t know any of them!

  62. Its not necessarily the couple that wants to win the contest, but rather their families. Think the Gilmores or Huntzbergers from Gilmore Girls. Notice all the “the II” or “the III” references. And if you are harkening back to colonial times in your family ties, its definitely the family pushing for this.

  63. Doesn’t it seem just a little pathetic to you?

    Not at all. Coming as I do from a long line of peasants, I find it fascinating that Clifford Vail Brokaw IV’s family has managed to stay on top for 400 years.

  64. “I find it fascinating that Clifford Vail Brokaw IV’s family has managed to stay on top for 400 years.”

    Yeah, they’ve kept up their connections and are doing well. Why are they interested in making sure everyone is aware of that? It just reeks of insecurity. Most kids figure out by the age of 11 or 12 that if you come across as “trying,” (to be cool, or hip, or whatever) then you’re not really that which you’re striving for.

    If the NYT came to you, that’s one thing. Now that everyone knows you have to compete–to “try”–it comes across as insecure.

  65. Why are they interested in making sure everyone is aware of that?

    That’s how you stay on top?

  66. @Milo: status.

    In my mom’s case, all of her friends read the NYT — these are her people, the articles are about things she cares about, from a perspective she usually agrees with, etc. So to have her kid announced in the paper — coming, as Rhett noted, from a long line of peasants — would have been a major achievement, a marker that she had made it. Alas, I eschewed the name-brand NE college and law firm options that might have merited mention, so she is doomed to disappointment. :-)

    She was similarly focused on getting my stepdad’s obit into the Washington Post (he taught at your alma mater, then was a senior-level-but-not-political-appointee at a government agency in DC). They did a very nice writeup on him, and I was surprised at just how important that was to her. External validation that he and his work mattered.

  67. “That’s how you stay on top?”

    I’m not one to say, but it doesn’t seem like that would be the case. Money keeps you on top.

    LfB – I see what you’re saying, but I can’t relate.

  68. ” if you come across as “trying,” (to be cool, or hip, or whatever) then you’re not really that which you’re striving for.”

    Small kid time, that word was part of our vernacular, with that meaning.

  69. I’m not one to say, but it doesn’t seem like that would be the case. Money keeps you on top.

    Right, which is why Clifford is a MD at Goldman and not working at a non-profit. I can only assume he was brought up to believe that being on top and staying on top is important. You’ll notice he married a Princeton Harvard DuPont not a stripper with three kids from three different guys. It sure looks like there is a plan as there has been for 400 years.

  70. “Why are they interested in making sure everyone is aware of that?

    Because that is what is done and what one does. For that part of society, I don’t see it as striving or trying to be anything; its them being what they are. If their wedding were not included in the Times, that would be a bad mark.

  71. And honestly, has any couple ever looked more like they belong in a New York Times wedding announcement?

    That couple is a testament to the power of grooming as a major component of physical appearance.

    So is it mainly the NYT that still does wedding announcements along this line, as actual new items, or do other papers still do this? Our local paper did once upon a time, but it’s been decades since they’ve done anything beyond what are basically free classified ads for births and marriages. Essentially, they no longer subscribe to the premise that people will be interested in the life events of socially prominent members of the community. They still do the news-article obits in addition to the classified-ad-style obit section.

    My guess is that other than the NYT and maybe the WaPo, where it’s a mark of status, it survives mostly in small-city or town or county papers, where readers may well know the people at least slightly and be interested in the news.

  72. When I was a kid, it was still standard for the wedding announcements in the Boston Globe to include only a photo of the bride . It was very unusual to see a photo that included the groom.

    Another change I have noticed is that although the majority of women these days still change their names to their husbands’, I think it has become unusual for women to use the husband’s first name as well. When I was young, married couples were almost invariably listed as “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.” Now it is almost invariably “John and Amy Smith” (at least for younger couples).

    In my culture of origin, children were always invited to weddings. Weddings above all were seen as a time for the entire extended clan to get together, and people would have been really insulted if children were not included.

    Sadly, DH and I attend way more funerals than weddings these days.

  73. Even back in the old country:

    William Bradford was born to Alice and William Bradford in Austerfield, Yorkshire, being baptized on March 19, 1589/90.[4] In a time when most of their countrymen were farmers of modest means,[5] the Bradford family owned a large farm and were considered wealthy and influential.

    Du Pont was born 24 June 1771, in Paris, the son of Pierre Samuel du Pont de Nemours and Nicole-Charlotte Marie-Louise le Dée de Rencourt. His father was a political economist who had been elevated to the nobility in 1784 by “letters patent” granted by King Louis XVI, allowing him to carry the honorable de Nemours suffix. Growing up on his father’s estate, “Bois des Fossés”, near Égreville, young du Pont was enthusiastic about his studies in most subjects, and showed particular interest in explosives.

  74. One couple I know quite well had their wedding announced in the NYT. They both had MC/UMC backgrounds and both earned advanced degrees from Ivy League schools. I suspect her mother was the one who cared enough to submit it. Nothing spectacular about their story so I don’t know how they were published. But actually I’ve seen others like this. But TBH I don’t really read the announcements on a regular basis, and this particular couple was married in the 1980s.

  75. “Matthew R. Brag, the brother of the bride, who was given the authority to solemnize the marriage by a bill passed by the Rhode Island Legislature for the occasion”

    My tax dollars at work folks… no need to work on our budget, or infrastructure, environmental issues… let’s give someone the authority to solemnize a marriage and choose our official state appetizer.

  76. I know one couple that had a spread in the NYT. It was more than announcement, it was a true article which interviewed them. I think they applied for the announcement and got picked up for more.

    I like reading the announcements – like Rhett, it’s fun to see how the other half lives. And how much of it is blatant lies..

    No weddings this summer… Last wedding I attended was my cousin’s. It took her a year and a half to send me a generic thank you card. I put a lot of work into her wedding gift, and it wasn’t even acknowledged. Oh well. I think we are at the “0 mph” weddings Moxie and LfB mentioned. Now our friends are having kids and/or getting divorced. Makes me wonder what DH and I did “wrong” to still be together after 17 years (10 married). Of our friends, we have the longest marriage.

  77. more divorces than weddings with my friends too, guess there will start being invites to 2nd weddings

  78. “I think a submission could be creatively written to attract the attention of the NYT.”

    My sister helped her college roommate write her announcement. They were thrilled that it made the first column as an announcement/short story. My sister also taught me that if you want your photo published with your announcement, your eyes have to line up. Go look at the photos and you’ll see that every couples’ eyes line up!

  79. Ok, who does a bar mitzvah on New Years? Aren’t most people out of town, especially the Jews? Second, who wants to waste that good holiday on a party for a 13 year old?

    This is typed in a small whisper font, I was in the NYTimes Wedding Announcements. No picture though.

  80. Rhett – YUP! You’d think they’d go with stuffie or quahog, but no… calamari.

    See, RI is predictable! We need to shake it up! You know… maybe do work for a change.

    This is up there with spending millions of dollars to produce a tourism video which shows stock video of Iceland rather than the state and ends with the great slogan of “Rhode Island: Cooler and Warmer”. And a local company one-upping the governor by producing their own commercial which showcases the state better than the governor’s tourism council.

  81. Rhode, was thinking of you. Def Leppard coming this summer. Not sure if I will be here tho!

  82. WCE’s Dad and WCE’s Step-Mom-to-be have scheduled their nuptials for fall, with the precise date to be determined by deer season and elk season in Oregon and deer season in Missouri, the home states of the groom’s son-in-law and the bride’s son. The groom is licensed as a food-grade exterminator in 13 states and is retired. The bride enjoys music and was part of a large family singing group that traveled around eastern Iowa and western Illinois in the ’70’s. The bride and groom have known each other for about 40 years and don’t remember how they met. They are embarking on a decidedly unegalitarian marriage in which the groom will do the guy stuff, the bride will do the girl stuff, and in between, they will visit their combined 19 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.

  83. The boy I turned down for senior prom had his wedding written up in the NYT. I guess he got over me and did all right for himself. It was the bride who had the pedigree. The headline was along the lines of Miss ______ Marries Student.

  84. “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith.”

    It is legal or custom? You cannot be Mrs. Amy Smith, you are Mrs. John Smith.
    And if you marry but keep your last name of Jones, you are still really Ms. Jones, not Mrs. Jones.

  85. I found one!! A college classmate. Interestingly, Her father is a professor XX at NotIvy League College. Her mother runs a day care business in their home. . and His father, who is retired, owned and operated X restaurant in X .

    I can’t imagine that the parents were pushing this one.

  86. @Grocery Bags – I’ve never heard that. All of the teachers at our school are Ms. (which of course my feminist heart approves of). At the last school, I tried to call the teacher “Ms.” in the office – “My daughter is in Ms. Jones class” and was repeated corrected, “Oh, you mean Mrs. Jones?”.

  87. Grocery bags – you’d love DH and I:

    Dr. and Mr. Rhode.

    I have his last name, but the senior title. He doesn’t care, and his family refuses to acknowledge the degree (I’m Mrs. John Rhode to them). My family acknowledges the title only because it’s funny to write “Dr. and Mr. John Rhode”. We can tell who’s sending us stuff by how it’s addressed.

    I go by Jane Rhode personally and professionally. I’ll probably be Mrs. Rhode when Baby Rhode goes to school. I’m not big into tossing my PhD around in social settings. I whip it out when I need to make a point though.

    I did receive an email once with the salutation: “Ms./Mrs./Dr. Rhode” I didn’t know if I should be mad or laugh my a$$ off.

  88. DW’s grandmother, God rest her soul, used to address cards and letters to DW as “Mrs. Milo Smith.”

  89. I think that the NYT announcements favor people who are marrying a bit later in life – rare to be a CEO of a midsized company, Assistant Professor of Medicine or Partner of Fancy Firm at 24. I’m sure that’s why my marriage wasn’t featured….

  90. Rant of the day – DH’s company has reviewed their wildly unpopular vacation policy enacted last year and decided that it’s a Very Good Cost-Saving Idea.

    He gets 10 days of vacation per year, and is required to use 5 of them for the week between Christmas and New Years. That means a total of 5 days for the entire rest of the year. Every single year. We are on vacation next week and will be using 6 of them – I’m not sure how that is going to work out for him.

    I’m so angry. It is really difficult for me to get sustained time off around the holidays, so that week off will likely involve him at home with the kids and the Au Pair, with everyone getting on each others’ nerves. I’ve asked him to draw attention to fact that it will cost his company a lot of money to find and train his replacement. This is a huge company (>100k employees) so there is not much room for negotiation.

  91. My mother would be thrilled if her grandkids would be in the NYTimes announcements.
    Both my sibling and myself didn’t have the big weddings she had dreamed of planning.
    In my family, sadly a cousin who was quietly legally married had so many issues planning a big religious ceremony and reception that her the guy walked away from it all and she had to get a divorce even though she felt that they had not been “really” married.

  92. Rhode, I’ll confess. I’ve instructed DS to use Mr. and Mrs., not Dr. We are going camping this weekend with 4 other families. Of the 10 adults, 5 have PhDs.

  93. “Makes me wonder what DH and I did “wrong” to still be together after 17 years (10 married). Of our friends, we have the longest marriage.” — @Rhode, ITA. One of DH’s best friends got divorced right about the time we moved to their town, and it really shook me — they had been my picture of the perfect happy marriage, which makes it easy to think “well if *they* couldn’t manage. . . .” Luckily, that was a decade ago, and we’re still here. :-)

    Re: “Mrs. and Mrs. John Smith”: IIRC, this is where etiquette and custom are running headlong into each other. I believe Miss Manners will tell you that the proper way to address the couple is is “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” (formally) or “John and Amy Smith” (informally). Same rules when addressing the wife alone: she is either “Mrs. John Smith” (formal) or “Amy Smith” (informal). Because “Mrs.” basically means “wife of,” so you can’t be “Mrs. Amy Smith” — you are either Amy Smith [your own official first and last names], or you are Mrs. [his name]; “Mrs. Amy Smith” implies that you’re married to Amy, not John.

    But no one wants to be addressed as “Mrs. John Smith” any more; the reasons I have heard are that it feels “old-fashioned,” or that she wants her identity — I guess they want the tradition of the shared family name and the “Mr. and Mrs.,” but not the traditional address that goes along with that. So they hybridize it all to “Mr. and Mrs. John and Amy Smith.”

  94. DW’s grandmother, God rest her soul, used to address cards and letters to DW as “Mrs. Milo Smith.”

    Perhaps she was of a generation where the Miss / Mrs. distinction was considered important enough that addressing her as “Mary Smith” instead of “Mrs. Milo Smith” would seem slightly insulting.

    I remember there being a bit of a classical-music controversy over how to refer to composer Amy Beach aka Mrs. H. H. A. Beach. She was enjoying something of a vogue and music announcers / articles referred to her as Amy Beach, as does the Wikipedia article, putting the focus on her rather than her husband. But on the other hand, she herself went by Mrs. H. H. A. Beach during her lifetime and by the standards of her lifetime, “Amy Beach” would have implied that she was unmarried and would not have been her preference.

  95. We are going to two weddings this summer. One is a traditional country club thing in the Midwest. I am going to check another state off my list as I reach 43. It’s the child of two DH college friends. This is the first time we reached this milestone because it’s a friend’s child. The math works because the college friends married and had kids right away. The daughter is doing the same thing because she’s just a couple of years out of college.

    The other wedding is one I posted about before because I was complaining about the craziness of the wedding. Black tie at a 5 star NYC hotel. One of DH cousins is rich, and she is marrying into a very wealthy family. The 1 percent of the 1 percent kind of money. I wish I could post the rules from mother of the groom about the rehearsal dinner because you would never believe it. She’s straight out of a bad stereotype about upper east side women.

    I’m struggling with a gift because many items on the registries cost over $1000. Does any 25 year old “need” a $1200 Hermes serving platter???

    I am watching Veep and SV. I think SV is dumb, but it does make me laugh.

    I really like Veep and I am going to miss it when it ends next week.

    I don’t mind the Jewish story on OITNB. I think it’s funny and interesting. My friend’s husband was sent to a certain federal prison because he is Jewish. It is a minimum security prison for men in upstate NY. They have a very high percentage of Jewish inmates as compared to other prisons. I think it is due to the proximity to NYC. He said there are a lot of orthodox and ultra orthodox there too for all sorts of fraud.

    He is a reformed Jew, so he wasn’t into the daily prayer etc. There are cliques and he became friendly with the Italian guys, but he didn’t want to give up his place in the kosher dining area.

  96. Ada,

    He needs to find a new job.

    This is a huge company (>100k employees) so there is not much room for negotiation.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to find that many people are taking more time and just not noting it on their time card and their manager just looks the other way. And, as that’s likely the case? All the more reason to find a new job.

  97. ANY announcement in the nyt has to appear within a week of the actual wedding. and previous divorces are ALWAYS reported. even second, third and fourth ones if they happened.

  98. I’ve worked with a couple of people who had NYT wedding announcements and my friend’s daughter was recently in there. At one time, the NYT ran engagement announcements. Years ago, I was casually dating a guy when his engagement announcement appeared in the NYT. That was an interesting conversation.

  99. “I wish I could post the rules from mother of the groom about the rehearsal dinner because you would never believe it.”
    Lauren, can you just tell us one or two? And how were these rules delivered?

    LfB – you explained well what I was thinking about Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Thanks.

  100. Because “Mrs.” basically means “wife of,” so you can’t be “Mrs. Amy Smith”

    Unless you’re Helen Jones and you married Amy Smith.

  101. My one close college friend who married a Jewish woman from Moxie’s neighborhood, I Googled them for archived wedding announcements thinking that her parents may have pushed for that. It’s just in a local paper, like ours was.

    But I noted that the bride’s parents, who are still married, were listed as John and Jane Goldberg, but my friend’s parents, who divorced while we were in college, are Karen Smith and David Smith. So I guess that’s the code.

  102. @Rhett — Exactly! I was thinking that the acceptance of gay marriage may force a return to those older traditions, because “Mrs. Amy Smith” now implies a whole different thing that it did when I got married. :-)

  103. But it would be Amy and John Smith, or Jane and John Goldberg – you never separate the man from *his* last name. So never John and Amy Smith.

    (I could recite these rules in my sleep, they are so ingrained in my upbringing.)

  104. I’m so old that my default is to address a couple as Mr. & Mrs. John Smith. I’m sure I’ve offended some.

    Ada, your husband’s vacation policy is heinous! I’m surprised any company could get away with that policy.

  105. Grocery – I would totally do that! It’s insane to have to remember which of the pair is the Dr. Mrs. or Mr. When DS has friends, I’m sure I’ll be Mrs. Rhode or “mama” Rhode or something like that (my mom was “mom Smith” to all my friends).

    Lauren – please post it… I want to hear the rules! My aunt was invited to a very swanky shower (daughter of a friend was the bride). My aunt dressed in business wear and was still under-dressed for an afternoon event. My aunt couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

    I must be the only person in my generation who doesn’t mind “Mrs. John Rhode”. Yes, I’m John’s wife. I’m also Baby’s mother. And Dr. Jane Rhode. I work very hard to keep those identities balanced, even on the days I feel like Sybil.

  106. @ Moxie – agree re: NYE. On the other hand, it should be a good group of families so it could be a good time that I have to put zero effort into.

  107. Just popping in to say first house closed today (phew!). Moving again tomorrow and then closing on Friday for the new house.

  108. So, the way I learned it from my mom, who knew such things, if you are married, you’re Mrs. John Smith, but if you’re divorced, you become Mrs. Amy Smith. In my life it’s all screwed up because I didn’t take DH’s name and his first wife didn’t drop his damn name.

  109. Ada, your husband’s vacation policy is heinous! I’m surprised any company could get away with that policy.

    Not enough people quit. A mass exodus is the only thing that will get them to change.

  110. “I wish I could post the rules from mother of the groom about the rehearsal dinner because you would never believe it.”

    Oh, please please please do.

    The “ultra-orthodox Jews in federal prison for fraud” would make a great TV show.

  111. The “ultra-orthodox Jews in federal prison for fraud”

    Orange is the new black would still work as a title.

  112. Looks like my grandfather made it into the NY Times obits, but not his marriage. That’s not surprising. He wasn’t famous til his second marriage and it would have been unseemly in my family to make a big deal out of your second marriage.

  113. And the obit has his photo but makes absolutely no mention of either of his wives or any of his five children.

  114. Ada, our tech company has a similar Christmas/New Year’s shutdown (longer, and some years also a 4th of July one). You can take the time as unpaid leave and I don’t think any company can force an exempt employee to use vacation time instead of unpaid leave.

    Mr WCE has more accrued vacation now, but those unpaid leaves are part of why he has sufficient time off for our family vacations.

    I agree that finding another job and telling them WHY you left might help the remaining people who are stuck with that policy.

  115. Congrats, L!

    I didn’t change my name when I got married. However, during the 10 years that my mother was alive after my wedding, she would always address correspondence to me as “North [DH’s last name]” rather than “North [My last name]”. My mother-in-law also calls me by DH’s last name. I don’t think for a second that either one of them does this to annoy me — I think that in their universe, it is simply impossible for a woman to have a different last name than her husband. It just does not compute.

  116. I will try to post a small part about the toast later today.

    I consider it a big hit when I google someone and their NYT wedding announcement pops up. There is usually a lot of useful information in there. I find this to be fun when I google someone I meet now in my neighborhood or through a colleague. It provides a glimpse into their former lives from 10 or even 20 years ago.

  117. One of DH cousins is rich, and she is marrying into a very wealthy family. The 1 percent of the 1 percent kind of money.

    Nice work if you can get it.

  118. @Ada – a good friend of mine turned down a job offer from a company with that vacation policy. They wouldn’t budge on it in salary negotiations, so she said forget it. I would do the same. One of the things that keeps me at my job is the generous time off policy.

    I’m with Milo. I didn’t think that there would be a large contingent of Totebag regulars with NYT announcements. It seems more like a 1% thing (or 0.1%), and Totebaggers are proudly 2 or 5%. :) Plus – east coast.

    I absolutely hate being addressed as Mrs. John Ivy. But I don’t get offended and older relatives get a pass anyway.

    I admit that I wrote a few things to SIL with my brother’s last name before I found out that she didn’t change her name. She didn’t really tell any of us that she was keeping her name at the time. It’s been years though.

    DH & I both have a lot of younger siblings and cousins, so there are still family weddings here & there even though all of our friends pretty much stopped having weddings 5-10 years ago. Growing up, I went to a lot of family weddings – they were always kid friendly, and I had fun hanging out with extended family cousins.

  119. I wish i’d come here earlier! Seeing as how I’ve gone to a lot of weddings. Including one recently with only 30 people-I really appreciated them having a wedding they could afford.

    Lauren-please post the rules!

    I’ve been mentally planning my wedding lately (still single but everyone asks me all the time) and i’m becoming more of a feminist as I get older and I’ve been thinking a lot about how i’d want to be introduced and i think i’d want it to just be ‘now introducing for the first time as husband and wife, A and B’ just leave out the last name altogether

  120. I do not mind being referred to as Mrs. John Lark. However, if I had it to do over again, I would not change my name – no ding on my wonderful husband and his family, but now it just seems like such an archaic tradition. It seems to me to make much more sense for women to retain their last names and pass those last names down to their daughters, and for men to retain their last names and pass them down to their sons.

  121. Since so many of the old wedding traditions have been abandoned, there’s more opportunity for hard feelings when certain choices are made. There’s a thread going on at CollegeConfidential asking “what should the groom’s family pay for”, but it’s clear that there’s no longer a hard and fast rule that the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner. So who pays for what and who gets to make decisions are all in a state of flux, and families may be surprised at how it all shakes out. The decision about no kids seems to be a bit touchy for many. And then when exceptions are made such as children who are siblings of the bride/groom/wedding party are invited but then other children are not, more hard feelings.

  122. My FIL is why we got in the NYTimes. I’m not fancy, I just married kind of fancy. As for the name stuff, Don’t care what you call me, just don’t call me late for dinner. I like having two different names. I like that it separates two distinct periods of my life. Sometimes it does seem like MoxieMaidenName was a whole different person. No identity issues with me.

    Cost of college – yeah those rules were nice in that in general people knew what to expect going in.

  123. I didn’t change my name upon marriage and those who inquired were told, no change. At work no changes as well. Not having the same last name as my kids was never an issue.

  124. I have often thought that when a couple gets engaged, they should decide on a new last name for their new family. This process would be great preparation for marriage — it would be an exercise in negotiation, compromise, and dealing with pissed-off parents and in-laws (who would probably be opposed to whatever name you came up with).

  125. “However, if I had it to do over again, I would not change my name – no ding on my wonderful husband and his family, but now it just seems like such an archaic tradition.”

    It totally is, which is why I kept my name, and now I wish that I hadn’t. Too many people and institutions, even when we lived in the DC area where two-surname families are common, simply assume that Scarlett is Mrs. Butler instead of Ms. O’Hara. Especially after we had kids. I have been answering to both names for decades, and every time I make hotel or restaurant reservations, or deal with service people, I have to remember which name I used.

    My sister recently divorced and just changed her name back to O’Hara, so when we travel together it will be very easy to keep track of the reservations.

  126. My sisters in law had all manner of horror stories after changing their names. One even had the IRS after her for a while because SIL maiden name paid taxes until August and then quit and SIL married name didn’t pay taxes before August. So, being a good feminist, I didn’t change my name at first. After DD was born, and the hospital screwed up her regocrds because her legal name was Baby married name, the hospital had her listed as Baby maiden name.

    I have a sibling who still introduces me by my maiden name. He likes my husband, but he spent a few decades with me using one name and just hasn’t changed the habit of what he calls me. Corporate lawyer he may be, but I still use the same name for him I did when he was four.\

    Now I go by Cordelia Maiden Name Married Name. I have found that most people can figure out one name per person per lifetime. Those who knew me before I changed my name use my original name, those who met me afterward use my married name.

  127. Every so often I consider changing my name to DH’s, but then I get superstitious and figure that would mean we’d divorce within six months.

  128. “Now I go by Cordelia Maiden Name Married Name”
    Sort of like Hillary Rodham Clinton, who didn’t use Clinton until Bill was running for president.

  129. I kept my maiden name, and I’ve never had significant problems. Sometimes teachers would look at me a little askance and fumble with my name but no big deal. Also, with regards to kids stuff (school, sports, activities) I’ll always answer to Mrs. Husband/Kid name.

    Back about 20 years ago I knew kids with hyphenated last names. But they’ve since dropped the mom’s name and just go by dad’s. It became too confusing.

  130. My one regret is not using my maiden name as my kids’ middle name. It would sound nicely multicultural, and give them some advantages in that regard. My oldest kid in particular is in a field where he could have used it to his advantage. How tacky, right?

  131. My kids all have my surname as a bonus middle name — they’re all Firstname Middlename MomSurname DadSurname.

  132. I’m sorry I came late today. My absences here lately are attributable to moving or the avoidance thereof.

    I generally don’t like weddings. I tend to be too cynical for all the love stuff. (My wife, on the other hand loved them, and made me go.)

    I have had a few rules in place and they have served me pretty well. I will not attend a wedding unless I was attended to at least one of the celebrants’ first weddings. I will not attend a second wedding within 20 years of any prior wedding I attended, unless there is a death or incarceration of the most recent ex of the spouse being married. I will attend only two weddings in the lifetime of the same person. I will attend a same sex wedding even if it violates one of the first three rules; thereafter the same rules apply. Junior has to be invited and I do not attend destination weddings.

    I find that these few rules save me from most weddings. Surprisingly, I have to attend a wedding in September.

  133. Families in the home country had affinity to certain saint’s names. So, one way a woman could pass on her family names was by giving her kids *her* family patron saint names. It created less ripples than fidgeting with the last name and for me it created a continuing bond between my family and my kids.

  134. I took my husband’s name and don’t regret it, but I do sometimes wish I had named my son my maiden name. At the time my husband had a family name he wanted to use as well and so we just said let’s just go with a random name we both like. My dad was one of nine kids but my cousins are almost entirely female, so the family name is gone. I do have one male cousin with the family name but he had two girls.

  135. This is one example:

    They have asked me to cordially invite each of you to toast them. I know you are all clever and creative, so the content is up to you. A and B will be Team MC for the toasts. We want the rehearsal dinner party to flow smoothly, so the line-up of speakers will be assigned a time during the meal to speak, and the presentations should please be about 2-3 minutes(isn). The schedule is tight, and you must stick to your allotted time. Despite how beautiful the room will look and how delicious the food will taste, we truly believe how the room “feels” will be the ingredient that will make the evening unique and memorable. Your toasts and what each of you will share will be a huge special part of the evening. So, don’t “wing it”. We expect you to be prepared. We witty, smart and entertaining. If you want to do your toast with a friend(s), or family member, please let me know in advance. We do not want any surprise speakers.

  136. It’s fascinating how everything is so managed for perfect effect, and how scared they are of ceding control.

  137. “We expect you to be prepared.”

    Such a useful line for so many occasions.

  138. That actual wedding reception may be more heavily scripted than the movie wedding reception scene my parents were extras in. True, the movie assigned who stood where in the conga line, but they were still willing to wing it and swap people around at the last minute!

  139. I have to admit, reading it I wondered if they have a lot of lawyers in the family or people who do frequent public speaking — get enough such tipsy and you’ll get so many off-the-cuff unscheduled speakers that the reception may never move on from the toasts!

  140. I met the future MIL at the shower. They are used to everything be under their control in their world. I am not sure if they are lawyers, but luckily my uncle is a lawyer so she has a lot of legal advice when it comes to prenups, real estate etc.

  141. My personal pet peeve with names, having done staffing/payroll for a hospital, is if you decided that your legal name would be both names or hyphenated ( Jane/John Doe-Smith or Jane/John Doe Smith), you do not get to “drop” the first part of the hyphenation when you’re tired of writing it out (no one ever seemed to drop the second name). Granted now most work places have some type of automated sign in system but it was a huge PITA to make sure you had the “right” Jane or John when scrolling through several hundred staff members that were listed alphabetically by last name.

    COC – your oldest could go and change his/her name if they wanted to go through the process now or wait until s/he took a spouse. My sister-in-law changed her middle name to her maiden name and then took my brother’s name as her last.

  142. “I have a sibling who still introduces me by my maiden name. He likes my husband, but he spent a few decades with me using one name and just hasn’t changed the habit of what he calls me. Corporate lawyer he may be, but I still use the same name for him I did when he was four.”

    Cordelia, are you one of my sisters?

  143. Cordelia, are you one of my sisters?

    Hey, buster, who you calling fat?

  144. Nearly everyone I met from the day I left for college until I became a SAHM was in the NYT announcements. If you have the school and employer pedigree but no illustrious relatives, you can dramatically improve the odds that you make the paper by having your wedding in January or February rather than May or June. (And yes, there are people who schedule their weddings on that theory, but I never heard of anyone taking a job for that reason.)

    I didn’t submit ours, though. If I invited you to the wedding, that meant I cared if you knew I got married. Otherwise, who cares?

    I did not take DH’s name and it causes an unreasonable amount of confusion. I happily answer to Mrs. DH, especially from the kids’ friends, but it drives me nuts when people write checks to Sky Notmylastname.

  145. I took my husband’s last name, and my sister kept our maiden name. Sometimes I wish I had kept it, because it’s Irish and it fits me and its familiar. But my fair sister married into an olive-skinned clan, so spent years being mistaken for the nanny because her kids are dark haired and dark eyed. My mom always addresses mail to her husband’s last name. I use hers if it is just to her, and if it’s to the family I create one long concatenated name and use that.

  146. Laughing so hard at the wedding toast requirements. Reminds me of those people who ask guests not to post wedding pictures to Facebook because they only want the perfect professional photos to be shared. God forbid someone see an un-retouched photo of them on their wedding day.

  147. I am very sorry I missed this discussion, because my DD recently got engaged, so I will be hosting a wedding next year!

    Re: NYT weddings, some of them are so much fun to read! The only people I know who have been in the wedding section are children of my parents’ acquaintances, so no friends. My uncle, a priest in NYC did get his obituary in the NYT several years ago, but that is probably as close as anyone in my family will get!

  148. Thanks! It is both exciting and slightly overwhelming, besides the fact that she seems so young! She really isn’t (she’ll be 26), but these days that seems so young.

  149. Congrats ssk ! I had known DH since I was 22 but actually tied the knot at 27. It took us a few years of being in the work force to feel secure enough to move on to the next step.

    Congrats also to home buyers Ada and L.

  150. ssk – Best wishes to your daughter for a long and happy marriage!

    26 seems young, but she probably has a good head on her shoulders like her mom. I was married at 24 and moved out of state immediately thereafter. It was a bumpy few years, but 10 years later, I wouldn’t change a thing.

    Anon – those rules are FANTASTIC! I have never met such control freaks. I want to be a fly on they wall when the uncle (because it’s always an uncle) has a little too much whiskey or beer (or both) and starts waxing poetic. You’ll need to fan the MIL!

  151. Now that I’m old, I find that my favorite weddings are the cheap, casual ones at churches with reception in the church basement. After joining a church I’ve been to several of those. Sometimes they’re held just right after the service and the entire church membership is invited by default. The kids run around or play in the church nursery. Then there’s cake and punch or a potluck in the basement, which is decorated with crepe paper and ribbons. It feel like the community event I think weddings and marriages should be. Of course I just went to the courthouse. And my kid had a fairly elaborate wedding and reception. But if I were doing my own wedding again, I’d just aim for a basic church wedding and reception.

  152. Anon – we are going to require a full report after that wedding. A FULL REPORT!

    As for the name thing. It is funny that so many women are keeping their maiden names but seem to give the kids the Dad’s name by default. I mean it is as much YOUR child as it is HIS – frankly the woman did most of the work. I wonder if that’s the next thing.

  153. I friend of mine from Germany I worked with years ago – her husband took her name when they married

  154. Quick question. Working on a stand up bit about marriage and a little stuck. Anyone care to share things their spouse does that makes them crazy? Things like leaving the seat up, dishes in the sink….. the more outrageous the better.

  155. Congrats to SSK, Ada and L
    Love all of the good new around here this week.

    I didn’t change my name because I was already mid thirties, and I didn’t want to lose my identity in my field. I do not like when I receive a wedding invitation addressed to Mrs. with a name of a person that doesn’t exist. I will admit that it IS convenient to have a different last name once in a while at school because people don’t know who my daughter is until they see me with her.

    I have the same problem at hotels and restaurants as Scarlett. I have to give both names if I made the reservation far in advance because I forget which last name we used. DD was listed in her dance recital program under both names this year because the school was so confused. I think our pool club does the same thing.

  156. “In my life it’s all screwed up because I didn’t take DH’s name and his first wife didn’t drop his damn name.” — @Rocky: My mom happened to have the same first name as my stepdad’s mother (call it Ann). She kept her last name. Which made for a great response to all telephone solicitors asking to speak with Ann Hislastname: “I’m sorry, she’s living in Erie.”

    I kept my last name and had the same thing with older relatives addressing me as “Mrs. DH.” That kind of stuff drove my mom crazy — she was legally prohibited from keeping her name when she married my dad, so reclaiming her name on the divorce and being recognized as that person was a huge deal to her. But since I had the privilege of having that battle largely won for me, I was able to acknowledge it as a generational thing and shrug it off. We decided to give the kids DH’s last name, but DD has my name as her middle name (DH has a shortened version of my mom’s last name that is also a regular boy’s name). We had the added bonus of the Jewish names — we got to honor my side of the family via the kids’ English names, and his side of the family via their Jewish names.

    @Lauren: I am not sure I could make it through that sort of wedding without some kind of subversive activity. Good luck.

    “But my fair sister married into an olive-skinned clan, so spent years being mistaken for the nanny because her kids are dark haired and dark eyed.” — Well, at least she flipped the usual stereotype on its head. :-)

    And congrats to those moving, getting married, etc. — nice to have a run of happy news here! Anyone have a new baby to announce to cap things off?

  157. ssk – that’s wonderful news! I can’t recall if she lives near you or not – I think not? Will the wedding be in your city? I hope the planning ends up being a fun exercise for the two of you (and your DH).

    L – congrats on closing!

    We haven’t been to many weddings lately. I expect we have a rash of them coming up, as the kids of DH’s cousins (who are 10+ years older than we are) are at that age now.

  158. On our trip to Canada the only really odd encounter within the group was when one of the Asheville men asked me almost belligerently why I hadn’t changed my name to DH’s (I guess he assumed we were just traveling in sin prior to that). I gave him the same short explanation I gave DH when he asked me, somewhat diffidently, if I would change from that of my first husband on our marriage. I said it was my name at work and that traveling as I did in difficult parts of the world it was prudent to continue to have a passport as Mémé Harper Washington rather than Mémé Bella Goldstein. However, the true explanation is that it is my family name, the name of all my children and grandchildren, and the one under which I conducted my entire professional existence, and the name I have used by now for 2/3 of my life.

    i am familiar with a couple of guys who took on either a hyphenated name, an entirely new name, or in one case adopted the wife’s family name because her entire male line had perished in the Holocaust. And of course there are folks from other cultures who do it all very differently. (Iceland comes to mind, where there are no true surnames, just patronymics). And I knew families where the male children had the husband’s last name and the female the wife’s. Try that one out at parent teacher night.

  159. @Moxie: Not outrageous, but it’s the tupperware. The freaking tupperware. We have one tupperware cabinet with three shelves. My one nice matched set goes on the top shelf (it has a lid holder for the lids). The next shelf holds rectangular ones, and the bottom shelf holds round ones. They stack inside each other and the lids go underneath, so they all fit, and so the residual water from the dishwasher doesn’t get trapped inside a closed lid and mildew (we had to toss some other tupperwares because of that). Yes, this is totally anal, but it is literally the only thing in the kitchen I am anal about, because otherwise our stuff doesn’t fit (it’s a very small cabinet) and I can never find what I need when I need it.

    DH, Mr. Engineer, cannot figure this out. He pops the lid on and tosses the round ones on top of the square ones, and vice-versa. He doesn’t bother to stack the matching ones, so we run out of room, and then he just shoves the next one in. Etc. Now, mind you, this is the man who is *completely* anal about loading the dishwasher — he will get angry if you don’t put things in the “right” way. And this is Mr. “I value efficiency above all else” (did I mention the “engineer” bit?). But he can’t figure out that a round tupperware stacks inside the other round tupperware, instead of the square one, or that it’s ridiculously inefficient for me to have to re-do everything every week. I have asked, I have reminded him closed lids = mildew = toss, I have pointed out the efficiency of putting the square things in with the square, I have sat on the floor in front of him practically every week and put things back where they belong. Nothing. He will. not. do. it. Bat-shit crazy-making.

  160. I married young (22) and took DH’s last name, with my maiden name as my middle name

  161. Laura, that is perfect – awesome. The theory is that for those arguments for which there will never ever be any resolution, we stop fighting and just give each other a little “Eff you” through small things just like what you mentioned. Would love more from others.

  162. she was legally prohibited from keeping her name when she married my dad

    Wait, what? This must have been state-specific. My mother was surprised when I kept my name, but I explained that I am a Lucy Stoner, and since Lucy Stone lived in the 19th century, Mom was able to grasp the explanation. My mother’s ability to deal with the world ended in about 1940 and anything that happened after that was illusory to her.

    When people (sometimes belligerantly) ask why I didn’t change my name, I look at them blankly and say “I already had a name”.

  163. Moxie: he never takes the kleenex out of his pockets before he puts the clothes in the hamper. So little bits of kleenex wind up all over everything in the washer. And he puts his dishes in the sink because his mom told him too, despite the fact that I would like him to put them in the dishwasher.

  164. DH never shuts the kitchen cabinets, leaves every one open, drives me crazy

  165. One of my friends has one daughter with her last name and the other daughter with her husband’s last name. I lost touch with her for a while, when we reconnected she mentioned a bitter divorce from her husband, so not sure whether the name thing was the result of the divorce. She went back to her maiden name.

  166. Moxie – my DH will open every single piece of credit card junk mail and leave it all over the kitchen counter. It drives me crazy. He won’t even leave it in a pile…just paper scattered everywhere. We are not in the market for changing credit cards, and are not the type of people to be enticed by “zero percent interest for 6 months.” He doesn’t even have an answer for why he does it, other than to say that he is curious what different cards charge in interest. He does work in finance so maybe there is some logic in his brain. Meanwhile I try to always get the mail and immediately shred the junk mail without opening.

  167. Moxie – Thanks for asking. No dr. visit. It’s been getting better quickly. What was a sandwich-sized Ziplock full of fluid is now more like the snack-size, and it doesn’t hurt nearly as often.

    For your other question, this doesn’t drive me “crazy,” but why does DW outsource so many mundane questions to me, especially when I’m not even there. She’ll text me “I’m running low on gas. Do you think I need to stop now or can it wait until after?” Well how the *&(& should I know?

    Or like the other night “Google says X minutes if I take 495, and Y minutes (very similar) for the back way. Which should I take?”

  168. drives me crazy when DH tells me to “calm down” or that I’m talking too loud

  169. @Rocky — yes. A Bible Belt state law in 1965.

    Oh, Milo, that would drive me completely nuts. You are a patient man.

  170. the house we put the offer on didn’t work out…we found out the garage floods every time there is a lot of rain

  171. Risley – It will be here, but she and her fiancé live in another state, so there will be many visits down here and phone calls. We did go ahead and hire a wedding planner because the place that we are having the reception is not a typical church hall/country club space where these type of events are the norm, so there are a lot of things to be worked out that I wouldn’t be sure of.

    DH “annoying” habit: if he goes to the grocery store he just leaves all of the stuff on the kitchen counter (he does put the cold stuff in the fridge). For some reason he is unable to put supplies away in the cupboard.

  172. “DH never shuts the kitchen cabinets, leaves every one open, drives me crazy”

    This too! Also drawers. I can’t wait for the day we redo our kitchen and get drawers that close with the slightest touch.

  173. Milo – those examples are very funny. Perhaps not if you’re on the receiving end often, though!

    Sort of related, DS has been asking DSD the silliest questions about the rules of being vegan. Like, “Can you eat peanuts? Well wait, what about almonds?” So we have all taken to texting her at various times during the day to ask even dumber questions. “So, can vegans park in outdoor lots, or do you have to find a covered ramp? Wait, but what about crossing the sidewalk while the light is red?” I’m sure she loves it and isn’t the least annoyed with any of us.

  174. @Wine — crap, so sorry about the house! Could you do some regrading outside? Also, no email yet — laurafrombaltimore (at) gmail

  175. WCE marriage stuff for Moxie:
    1) We are going to buy a guy refrigerator, which is 12 feet wide and 1 foot deep, so nothing will be in the back where Mr WCE can’t find it.
    2) The proper temperature- he likes having the sliding door in our bedroom open to the 50-something Pacific Northwest night air in the summer, because it is “so hot”. Given that it’s easier to wear more than less, I wear heavy flannel pajamas.
    3) Hobby stuff- We ended up settling on an allowance after a discussion early in our marriage in which he wanted to buy an EEPROM eraser and I felt we had no need for an EEPROM eraser.

  176. Moxie – DH has taken to leaving the bathroom cabinet open. Every morning and evening. I don’t know why. He blames DS. This cabinet is ~5.5 feet above the ground. How a toddler who’s 30 inches tall can manage to open the cabinet is beyond me. So every morning and evening, I close the cabinet.

  177. ssk – good idea on the planner. I bet that’ll feel like money well spent at every stage of the planning.

    DH does 99% of the grocery shopping and when he’s at the store, I can count on at least 3 calls from him about a substitution he needs to make. To me, they all seem like no brainer questions, but I suppose he thinks it might really matter in terms of a recipe. I want to tell him he hereby has authority to unilaterally make substitutions, so I can hereby read my book quietly and not have the blasted phone interrupt me every chapter or so.

    But I notice I’m getting messier and messier about clothes in our room – I leave them lying everywhere – so I really need to keep my trap shut about his questions until I clean up my act. He would never ask me to get better at picking up my things and I’m sure it drives him quietly insane.

  178. I think I’ve mentioned this one before, but it drives DH crazy that I use tons of paper towels and leave them lying around. He says it’s like a paper towel bird is flying around the house leaving droppings everywhere. I sort of try not to do that but every so often I have to go through the house and pick them up because I’m apparently incapable of tossing them as I go.

  179. You guys are killing me! Milo – I would lose my mind with those questions. My husband also leaves cabinets and drawers open – like how do you not automatically close them. THink maybe we could do a conversation on annoying spousal things. Thanks so much. You have spurred my creativity!

  180. Late to this part of the conversation, but my children do not all have the same last name. First girl with husband’s, second girl with mine. It would’ve been straightforward if we stopped there. When I was pregnant with a third, and we knew it was a boy, I said “Honey, how much you care about this?” He said, “not so much” so the third child has my last name too. Kids are fairly young, but we’ve never had an issue traveling (even when my mom and I traveled internationally with the two girls – so we all have the same last name except my eldest), at school, or at the doctor’s office. I imagine some people must think we are blended family by marriage, with a parent and child with one name and a parent and two children with another name. However, I figure if they don’t know us well enough to ask, it doesn’t really matter.

    Interestingly, I know three families where the parents are married and the child has the mother’s last name as the only last name. All of them went to the same engineering college as DH. Of course, that’s the circle I travel in, but I find it an interesting coincidence.

  181. “DH never shuts the kitchen cabinets, leaves every one open, drives me crazy”

    I do this. Closets too. Drives DH nuts

    Stuff about DH that drives me crazy:
    – leaves dirty socks on the floor (and the kids are worse)
    – is incapable of throwing out junk mail
    – leaves empty glasses/ bottles wherever he last drank from them
    -seems incapable of drying any dish and putting it away and cleaning pots/pans immediately after done using them

  182. Oh, and the temperature settings. I am freezing, he acknowledges I am freezing by commenting on my cold skin and then argues with me about raising the temperature a measly 2 degrees. Why do I have to wear a sweater in my own damn house in the summer?!?@

    (That one really gets me.)

    Really, DH I do love you (if you’re reading this)!

  183. “I use tons of paper towels and leave them lying around”

    DH does this. So he tends to empty the paper towel dispenser but never refills it. I don’t complain anymore. I justI take a few paper towels from the dispenser, hide them in a drawer to be available whenever I need one. I use about one paper towel for every 30 that he does.

    One problem I have encountered with a different name from my children is occasionally traveling and recently renewing my kid’s passport. The passport clerk almost refused our paperwork because we he would not accept the documents we had showing that I was the parent.

  184. DH and kids do this: They will open a new container of mayo, mustard, etc. even though we already have one open. When grocery shopping, they will buy perishable (and non-perishable) items in multiple quantities even though we have that item already in the fridge. I end up throwing out too much food.

  185. @Risley: Might I suggest the Wegman’s app, or something similar? I use it all the time for my shopping list — even when I shop at Giant. The key is that you have the ability to write a “product note” with each entry. When I know DH is doing the shopping, I just write those kinds of things in the notes (e.g., “this is just a placeholder, I don’t care about the brand”). The list automatically loads and updates on his phone, which is awesome when I forgot to tell him something before he left — tho I have gotten annoyed texts saying, “please STOP adding things to the list, I’m trying to finish.” :-)

  186. ” Milo – I would lose my mind with those questions.”

    Well, the thing is, in addition to all the other good qualities, she’s someone who always tries to be supportive of anything I want to do. Whether it’s a new hobby or interest or recreational pursuit, or considering different investments, or job change, or staying with a job. So, this isn’t a big deal. I think when it happens, it’s a symptom of being worn out and just saying “I don’t want to make a single decision for the rest of the day.”

  187. “It is funny that so many women are keeping their maiden names but seem to give the kids the Dad’s name by default.”

    I guess that’s common among totebaggy families, where the parents are actually married.

    I’ve seen a lot of long-term couples that aren’t married, and the kids have the mom’s last names.

  188. From Ivy’s link about the insufferable announcement:

    “You know she only goes by “Jane” because of Jane Austen and/or Jane Eyre.”

    Am I the only one whose first thought was that she goes by “Jane” because of Tarzan?

  189. Ah, Milo, you’re a good husband — smart to hear the “why” of what she’s saying instead of fixing the “what.”

    I think that’s also why/how you stay married. Everyone has crazy-making habits (my personal preference to stay in my robe until noon on Saturdays had DH doing the Yosimite Sam for the first few years of marriage). You just remind yourself that the other great things they bring outweigh, say, their inability to apply kindergarten-level engineering concepts to the tupperware cabinet.

  190. It is funny that so many women are keeping their maiden names but seem to give the kids the Dad’s name by default. I mean it is as much YOUR child as it is HIS – frankly the woman did most of the work.

    In our case, I figured that after giving birth I was going to feel connected to each baby no matter what the name was, so it would be nice for my husband to share the surname. And like LfB, as part of the generation that came after that fight had been fought and resolved, I could look at name decisions as more a question of practicality and preference rather than taking a stand.

    Moxie — my husband and I have an ongoing thing about where he puts his laptop and its little table. He likes to leave it on top of a coffee table where I have a bunch of current magazines fanned out, which makes me crazy because the reason I keep those magazines there and go to the effort of making sure it’s always the current one is so we can see and read them and who can see them underneath a giant laptop table? So I move it onto his chair or the table beside it, which then makes him crazy because he doesn’t think either of those is a suitable laptop receptacle.

  191. Ivy — just read your hipster wedding announcement link, and is the bride quite sure the groom is straight?

  192. I was wondering if they would meet Scarlett’s definition of “professional Catholics.” They’re practicing Catholics, getting doctorates in Theology, and they’re obviously not going to seminary or joining the clergy.

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