Try Out This Addictive Website That Analyzes New York Times Wedding Announcements

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Sept. 5 2013 10:24 AM

Chart the Popularity of Different Keywords in New York Times Wedding Announcements

Newlyweds cross the Bow Bridge in Central Park on January 8, 2013.

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

For anyone who enjoys waking up early on Sunday, brewing a nice cup of coffee, and plopping down for a leisurely hate-read of the New York Times Style section, the Vows columns are one of the most hate-readable. To wit: "'I always knew I wasn’t going to waste my time with someone who wasn't amazing,' she said. 'What's the point?' " Indeed, we schlubs are stuck dating from the refuse pile, but the anointed ones who make it into the Vows section every week seem to have been touched by a bit of magic—or at least a healthy endowment from their hedge fund managing hubby.

Happily, the creators of Rap Genius compiled more than 60,000 NYT wedding announcements from 1981 through 2013 to create Wedding Crunchers, a searchable, chartable database of keywords used in the announcements. Try it out for yourself (it's highly addictive), and let us know what other fun or infuriating combinations you found in the comments.

Here are some charts some of my Slate colleagues and I came up with, along with some from Rap Genius:


Watch the dot-com bubble burst and social media rise:


Newlyweds in their 20s vs. 30s:


Ivy League:




Rabbi vs. minister vs. priest:




Like trying to predict Facebook in 1981, it's difficult to say what wedding announcement keywords will hold social cachet in the future, but I hope some new lingo will enter the NYT's elite lexicon: "The two brides, who operate a gas station together in Omaha, twerked down the aisle."

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.


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