‘Wedding Crunchers’ site makes data analysis romantic again

Love Fingers
Manuel Orero Galan—Getty Images/Moment RF

The wedding announcement section of the New York Times can at times read like a who’s who among the soon-to-be-betrothed masses of the New York City financial world. Whether its two prep-school sweethearts tying the knot, an investment banker marrying a PR professional, or two floor traders getting ready to go on what will surely be the most competitive honeymoon of all time. If an NYC bigshot is heading to the altar, it will probably appear in the pages of The Grey Lady.

Now, you can figure out just how often certain terms come up in these listings since 1981, thanks to software engineer Todd Schneider’s website “Wedding Crunchers.” Schneider, who used to work at a hedge fund, has some experience with the social lives of New York’s masters of the universe. He said he was always fascinated by the New York Times in general, and that it made sense to track its wedding announcements because the articles are “all so similar in many ways”

So, what are some of the most interesting graphs on his site? AOL (AOL) shows a huge spike early this decade followed by a precipitous fall, as the people listing their employment at the Internet company followed the firm’s own fortunes. The same goes for Yahoo (YHOO), though that peaked in 2010.

In what could be a sign that more members of the younger, marrying set are seeking employment at tech firms over financial institutions, Google (GOOG) overtook Goldman Sachs (GS) in the number of listings in the paper over the last five years.

In a blog post, Schneider shows a few other nifty examples — Columbia is the most cited Ivy, Dartmouth the least. Phi Beta Kappa abruptly stopped being listed at all in 1999 — because the Times, apparently tired of the bragging, stopped letting people list the honor society in their announcement. In news that should shock no one, people stopped listing Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns around the time of the financial crisis.

Listings including the word “journalist” have gone down since 2000, while listings with the word “blogger” have increased. The Yankees have consistently been listed more than the Mets, except for a year here or there where the Amazin’s outflanked the Bronx Bombers.

In terms of online dating, both JDate and Match.com were mentioned a few times over the past decade. Sadly, the Times has yet to list a marriage spawned from Tinder, the hookup app, which would surely be the greatest listing of all time.

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