The Life of Brian

My Zombie Sweetheart

Lionel Bonaveture/AFP/GettyImages A bride and her husband walk in front of the Eiffel tower

Wedded Blitz: Scions Ahoy!

The month in the New York Times wedding announcements

April is a pretty sweet month to get married, when you think about it. For starters, your wedding is likely one of the first of the season, which means your friends haven’t yet gone broke buying blenders and shacking up six to a hotel room and will actually be excited to see one another. (By the end of the summer, all the singles will have hooked up in every possible combination, as in Dawson’s Creek or Gossip Girl, and it will be impossible to figure out how to non-awkwardly seat them. You don’t need those kinds of headaches, you know?)

Plus, you can take your honeymoon in a less crowded season and really feel like you’re on a vacation: Traveling in the summer is great, too, of course, but things are also way more laid back that time of year at the office, so you don’t get to escape quite the same level of drudgery.

Most important, you won’t have to spend your whole summer avoiding lobster rolls at the beach and turning down piña coladas by the pool to lose weight for your early-September wedding. Instead, you’ll be at prime skinnymininess just in time for the start of bikini season and can then slowly embark on the cherished marital tradition of letting yourself go. Make that Fourth of July cheeseburger a double!

Nor will you have to pass up figgy pudding, whatever that is, or the other various holiday-season delights, even despite the earlier wedding date. That’s because long, drawn-out, lose-a-half-pound-a-week, “lifestyle change” diets are for suckers. The new craze, outlined in the New York Times, is far more efficient: 10 days on a FEEDING TUBE.

“In March, Jessica Schnaider, 41, of Surfside, Fla., was preparing to shop for a wedding gown by spending eight days on a feeding tube,” the article says underneath a picture of Schnaider sitting serenely as a designer plastic tube gets snaked up her right nostril. Hot! (This picture is wonderful too.) Even hotter:

It uses a nasogastric tube (a tube that goes through the nose and down the esophagus into the stomach) to provide all nourishment, with no carbohydrates, for 10 days. Dr. Di Pietro said body weight is lost quickly through ketosis, the state in which the body burns fat rather than sugar. Patients at his office are monitored during the 10-day period for things like constipation, bad breath and dizziness.

I love that. No better way to prepare for your special day than vertigo and a scorching case of halitosis.

“People think I’m sick, I’m dying,” the article quotes Ms. Schnaider as saying, before adding that “she refrained from going into her daughters’ school” while wearing her totally tubular (sorry) accessory. “‘The children, they would be scared.'”

The kids are all right.

There were several notable proposal stories this month. One guy popped the question on the Speaker of the House’s balcony in the U.S. Capitol. And this chocolate-loving couple’s proposal included “a dark chocolate ring with a white chocolate diamond.” That’s all fine and good, but the groom’s plan was a risky proposition: The night began with a “fake proposal” in which he got down on one knee, took her hand, and “instead of proposing handed her his glove, and then tied his shoelace.”

PEOPLE, DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Women have been driven into the arms of another for far less. Even knowing that the night had a happy ending, I still can’t shake the alternate reality in which she throws his glove on the ground, makes some awful speech about how if he’s never going to propose to her she might as well tell him all the awful reasons she didn’t want to marry him anyway, breaks up with him on the spot, and storms out of the room. At least he could eat the chocolate ring for consolation, I guess.

Another groom, a cartoonist, orchestrated a very sweet setup involving his comic strip that his grumpy and glasses-less bride nearly botched. (I don’t wear glasses, by the way, but I’m intrigued by the completely incapacitated world of those who do: When my best friend told us how she was woken up on Christmas morning a few years ago at like 6 a.m. with her now-husband bearing a ring, the first thing our other friend asked was, “Wait, were you wearing your glasses?!” Are you people really that blind?)

And then there was the Wu-Woo proposal, which wasn’t exactly picturesque — think a slip on ice, a busted-up mouth, and a sobbing mom — but it worked, and the phrase “teeth or no teeth” even made its way into their vows. This column, by the way, has the world’s greatest photo caption, as well as one of the best corrections I’ve ever read:

The Vows Column last Sunday, about the marriage of Jennifer Wu and Andy Woo, misidentified the Legoland theme park Mr. Woo wanted to visit. It is the one in California, not the one in Florida. (As the article correctly noted elsewhere, his bachelor party was at the Florida park, which opened later.)

And while it wasn’t a proposal, there’s something so great about this announcement, which basically explains that for airline employees, there’s another Life Step somewhere between Starting Dating and Moving in Together and Getting Engaged — Giving Free Flights. “In the past, my best friends were the ones listed for this benefit,” said the would-be groom, who works for JetBlue. “They were all shocked when I asked them to relinquish their buddy passes for a girl.” Sorry, broheims, but you know what they say: mile-high clubs before schlubs.

Here is this month’s Society Scorecard, prepared based on the rubric of our proprietary NUPTIALS algorithm:

A few other observations, which I’ll sprinkle here like so many rose petals …

  • One bride’s father’s former job — “the chairman of Serta International, the mattress maker” — made me think of one of my all-time favorite Sports Illustrated articles, so I thought I’d share. It’s a 1965 profile of the old-money enclave of Fishers Island, New York, that has pretty much nothing to do with sports. (They shoehorn in some stuff about fishing and golf, but come on.) The headline is, gloriously, “Island of the Discreet Shudder,” and it’s a timeless portrait of rich people. (I say timeless because I spent two summers working on the island, Dirty Dancing–steez, and the first time I read the article I didn’t look at the date and just assumed it had been written a few years ago, particularly because the little kiddos to whom I taught sailing all have the same names as their great-grandparents did.) SI really ought to have a society section. Here’s the part the bride’s dad’s job made me think of, specifically the great parenthetical involving the Grant Simmonses:

    “We don’t want any publicity,” the Reverend Dr. Arthur Lee Kinsolving, rector of posh St. James’s in New York and a confirmed Fisherite, says with a discreet shudder. “Publicity ruined Newport and Bar Harbor.”

    Among the summer residents are the Roger Firestones, the Jerrold T. Bryces, the Jansen Noyeses (senior and junior), the Grant Simmonses (“she’s Horlick’s malted milk and he’s beds”), the Cass Canfields and a dozen du Ponts (including Pierre S. III, Reynolds, Willis H., Mrs. George de F. Lord Jr., Mrs. W. F. Harrington and Mrs. Richard E. Riegel). To such folk Fishers offers a respite from the cares of capitalism.

  • My favorite name of the month: mother of the bride “Wendy W. Dubbs.” I think she invented the Internet.
  • Speaking of which, April was a good month for scions of American pioneers and/or great titans of industry. We have a “descendent of Edward Fuller, a passenger on the Mayflower“; a great-granddaughter of “the late Walter C. Teagle Sr., a former chairman of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey” (fun fact: That company ultimately became Exxon); and a great-great-granddaughter of “Walter P. Chrysler, the automobile manufacturer and developer of the New York landmark building that bears his name.” Oh, and this bride has like 50 important-sounding relatives.
  • I loved this “Vows” column about the wedding of Chris Barley and Marc Kushner (of the Kushner Kushners) for many reasons, including the line about Barley’s upbringing: “I was a great little Mennonite.” But the best part was Kushner’s sister’s story of his coming out to his parents, which just struck me as such a genuine and funny real-life moment:

    “When he came home from college totally buff with bleach blond hair and tortoiseshell glasses, they were like: something’s up,” said his sister, Melissa Kushner. “Then he said he was gay, and it was like, well, should we be upset about him being gay or about his bleached hair?”

    (That couple totally earned their two NUPTIALS points for looking like brother and brother, by the way.)

  • Batter up! The chairman of the Cincinnati Reds and the chairman/CEO of the Atlanta Braves were both fathers-of-the-bride this month. One has a daughter who is the pearl-wearing Platonic ideal of a Ralph Lauren model, which is why it makes sense she’s employed there. (You think the company has a type?) The other’s little girl married someone named Harold Maude III. Hope he likes weddings more than funerals.
  • Not to be outdone, the NFL has its own blushing bride: the daughter of the Minnesota Vikings’ owner and chairman. (He must be happy right now!) The best part of that announcement, though? She married a Chris Christie staffer. Imagine that guvna on the dance floor at your wedding.
  • Here’s a job that must be interesting: deputy chief of protocol. “She helps oversee the ceremonial aspects of visits by foreign dignitaries.” Do you think half of her job involves trying to keep Joe Biden distracted? (Also, love how Terry McAuliffe both hosted and officiated the wedding. So D.C.)
  • I regret to inform you that this was not a strong month for Chosen Couple candidates. One potential contender included an Israeli partner in the “Hummus Kitchen chain of restaurants” and has a dad named Mordechai; another announcement features Yeshiva University and the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County. But I’ve seen some Chosen Couples in my day, and these are just not the same. You need at least three different rabbis mentioned in the announcement to truly qualify.
  • As I’ve mentioned before, the little notes I make for each couple, when viewed a few days later, are like a fun game of More Money Than You Mad Libs. Here’s a sampling of some of my favorites, and keep in mind that these are all couples that didn’t even make the cut:

    1. “vanderbilt, united nations, navy, department of energy”
    2. “bain, brown, harvard, played piano and sang mustang sally
    3. “delray beach, episcopal, middlebury, wharton, hedge fund” (Full disclosure, I actually used to work with that bride at Goldman. Hi, Kea!)
    4. “bus, tulane, met hiking machu piccu, both training for marathon”
    5. “gay rights, lesbians, firefighter, antiques, maine, summa cum laude.”

  • New York City Council speaker Christine Quinn famously lobbied to legalize gay marriage in the state. This past month, she celebrated her own same-sex wedding. God, politicians are soooo self-serving.
  • This “Vows” column includes the “balloon boy,” mentions an interview with Brad Pitt, and name-drops Andrea Mitchell and Al Roker. Could it be the TV newsiest wedding announcement of all time? Probably, according to itself: “Given the number of current and former NBC employees in attendance, the event could have been picked up and broadcast on the network. Even the Rev. Margot D. Critchfield, the Episcopal priest who performed the ceremony, has time at NBC on her résumé (the bride’s mother trained Ms. Critchfield as a desk assistant the same year she met John Palmer).”
  • I love that this bride’s dad is “a producer of Rod Stewart’s ‘Great American Songbook, Volume III'” and that her mother “wrote the lyrics for ‘How Do You Talk to an Angel,'” but in terms of parents in music it pales in comparison to this next announcement. I really don’t want to spoil it, but just go here and read all the way to the end. Best. Kicker. Ever.
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Filed Under: Teams, UNC

Katie Baker is a staff writer at Grantland.

Archive @ katiebakes