The Groomzilla Files #2

by Brandon James Anderson

Early on into the planning stages of our wedding, my fiancé and I learned that if are going to have our wedding in Alpena, we’re going to have to accept the fact that Northern Michigan does not like reading or responding to email.

The preferred method of communication, it turns out, for all business dealings in the land fondly referred to as “Up North” is text messaging. Whenever Alli or I asked for recommendations on vendors during our trips up to Alpena this summer, we were almost always given someone’s first name and their cell phone number.

Such was the case with a DJ whose digits I got back in July. Now, months later, I’m not even sure if I actually booked the guy since he stopped responding to my texts and presumably doesn’t check his NetZero email account from 1998.

Given that it’s likely we don’t actually have entertainment secured yet – and hiring The Hot Rod to officiate the ceremony very well may not happen – there are some other entertainment options worth pursuing.


Despite his minimum $75,000 price tag, the good news is that David Gray likely wouldn’t have to be told to dress up if he was booked for a wedding reception.

For instance, I looked into the feasibility of booking renowned British singer/songwriter David Gray to serenade the audience during the cocktail hour between the nuptials and the reception. But, naturally, DG will cost a minimum of $75,000 – a fair asking price for someone with the money to be featured on MTV’s Super Sweet 16, but a little too pricey for us.

A cheaper option could be hiring a David Gray impersonator. The problem with this, however, is the lack of David Gray lookalikes in Northern Michigan who are also able to play guitar and sing “Babylon,” “Sail Away,” or “Be Mine” with any real gumption.

And, really, it may be for the best that there aren’t any big surprises during the cocktail hour since it would only raise the audience’s expectations for the rest of the night. Though, I will say keeping the guests on their toes in anticipation is something to which I’ve given a lot of thought, which is why I’d like the evening to be a progression of special moments including two to three wardrobe changes from yours truly. After all, if a bride can wear multiple dresses on her big day, why can’t a groom utilize several outfits?

The idea of multiple groom costume changes, however, has been pretty much frowned upon by those in my inner-circle, including my usually reserved grandmother who told me, rather bluntly, I am no Elton John. Plus, I don’t want to make my wedding day completely about me. (By the way, even though we’re one year out to the day, I’ve already established #brandonsbigday as the official hashtag.)

Thus, another idea I devised was that of an “In Memoriam” slideshow that could serve as a kind of halfway point through the evening’s entertainment. It would feature very tasteful music (Coldplay’s “The Scientist” or something by Enya, perhaps) and be dedicated to those who couldn’t make it, such as exes and any bros whose RSVPs were revoked over still owing me fantasy football league dues.

And before you say that’s ridiculous, ask yourself this: How many wedding receptions have you attended with drinks served out of mason jars or cheesy dollar dances? A dozen? A million? Have you ever attended a wedding with an “In Memoriam” presentation and a groom who goes through more costume changes than Anne Hathaway at the 2011 Academy Awards? Exactly.


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