When Sean Parker spent $10 million on an allegedly Lord of the Rings–themed wedding (and then wrote some 9,000 words defending it), he earned the “groomzilla” label and was shamed for his antics.
That was in 2013. But a mere two years later, it seems — at least according to this GQ essay — men are proudly standing up, declaring themselves groomzillas, and demanding to see more table-setting mock-ups, dammit.
To clarify, the proud groomzilla doesn’t go to Parker-esque extremes — yes, he’ll look at “three rustic barns in 48 hours,” but that’s just because it’s what it takes to plan a wedding. And what makes a man a groomzilla is simply caring about his nuptials — really caring, the way a bride would — in a sort of charming way. Writer Zach Baron explains:
I care about table settings, family-style dinner service, centerpieces, the quality and shape of the shuttle bus that will be required to move our drunken friends and family from place to place. I will obsess, like I have obsessed over few things besides certain Future verses, over the guest list and our vows. Until a few months ago, I had no idea any of these things might matter to me. But they do. A lot. I like the decisions, the heightened stakes, the communal nature of it. I like trying to one-up other weddings I’ve been to. I’m competitive. I’m the bride.
Baron asserts that in allowing men to be more “bride-like,” the existence of the groomzilla is a sign of gender-role evolution. The flip means it’s now cool for guys to involve themselves in something as frilly as a wedding, and it’s totally chill for a woman to just show up and eat the lemon-buttercream-and-blackberry-jam cake that someone else so fastidiously selected.
Cute, but it’s not a real toppling of traditional gender roles until the groomzilla gets the same foot-stomping, fire-breathing, manic-bitch reputation as a bridezilla — or until WE network produces a reality show about them.