The folks at Rap Genius have come up with an awesome way to explore The New York Times' Vows section.
They just launched Wedding Crunchers, which lets users measure the frequency of specific phrases in the newspaper's wedding announcements since 1981.
Rap Genius puts the site's mission perfectly: "What do the world’s most self-important people think is important?"
Todd Schneider, who oversaw the project, said the idea was born from "a lifelong fascination with the cultural milieu of the New York Times, combined with statistical interest in various famous marriage problems" [that's a game theory reference, for you non-statistics nerds].
The searchable database includes 60,000 wedding announcements, and took about two weeks to make.
Wedding Crunchers has already created some neat charts showing wedding trends over time. Schneider said that for him, the most interesting trend was that the announcements have become less WASPy and aristocratic since the 1980s.
We've included some of the charts here, with permission from Wedding Crunchers. Read more about the site over at Rap Genius.
This graph shows how frequently the numbers "25" and "35" have shown up in wedding announcements over time. The Times' Vows column underlies the trend that people are getting married later in life.
References to New England boarding schools have become less frequent over time, signaling an increase in diversity — or at least a decrease in WASP-iness.
There are also fewer name suffixes now than in the past.
How the banks have fared over time. Merrill Lynch had a rough go after the financial crisis.
These "deceased" banks have all but faded out of Vows entirely.
Hindus dominated in the last decade.
Typical Jewish surnames still beat Indian, Chinese, and Hispanic surnames, but that gap is closing.
No one cares about that Phi Beta Kappa certificate, either.
What was that professional degree really worth?
And a look at NYC's hottest wedding venues. Better book the Brooklyn Botanical Garden now.