At midnight Friday, April 29 in New York City’s Times Square, Alexandria Bolling and Matthew Gibilisco will exchange wedding vows before friends, family members – and perhaps millions of online onlookers.
The ESPN master control operators’ marriage is part of ABC’s Good Morning America Wide World of Weddings event. From 8:30 a.m. ET today until 8:30 a.m. Friday, 100 couples in 66 locations around the world will have their marriages aired on GMA platforms, including the television program and livestreams on Yahoo and ABC News’ web sites.
Two weeks ago, the soon-to-be Gibiliscos answered GMA’s call for applicants who would be willing to participate – thanks to a suggestion from ESPN talent producer and friend Kareem White, who had seen the show’s social media posting.
The couple, engaged since November 2015, had been planning an April 2017 wedding. But they were intrigued by the opportunity to share their joy with millions. They filled out an online form to apply; the casting call did not exclude The Walt Disney Company employees – Disney owns ESPN and ABC – from entering.
“We got the call [from GMA producers] and email the next day, April 13,” said Bolling, a Baltimore native who has worked at ESPN since 2011. “We were originally slated to have our ceremony on April 28 but because our wedding anniversary was supposed to be April 29 of next year, GMA granted our wish to have the ceremony at midnight so that our anniversary would be April 29 of this year instead.”
What intrigued GMA producers, who had to sift through hundreds of applicants, about the ESPN duo?
“When I spoke with Alexandria on the phone, she had wonderful energy and sounded super excited to be part of this live event,” said Doug Vollmayer, GMA associate producer. “That kind of enthusiasm is what we crave. Being an adorable and incredibly attractive couple was also a huge plus.”
Gibilisco – a San Jose, Calif., native who began working at ESPN in December 2010 – and Bolling met through mutual friends and ESPN colleagues.
They began dating in June 2014. They each happen to be master control operators. “I am the middle man between what ESPN produces in house or at site and what our viewers can see and hear at home,” Gibilisco said.
“Both are excellent teammates,” said their boss Jerry Min, director, Production Operations. “They’re always willing to lend a hand or an ear whenever needed. I’m excited they’re getting the chance to do something so fun and so different.”
While Min won’t be joining the wedding party in Times Square, “we are throwing a viewing party in the areas they normally work in so their friends can see the festivities live from New York.”
How are the bride and groom handling the pre-wedding jitters, especially when considering viewers around the world will be watching?
“It doesn’t feel any different than what I would think a normal couple feels the week leading up to their wedding,” Bolling said.
“I’ve tuned out the millions [of viewers] part to be honest,” Gibilisco said. “In that moment, it will be just she and I.”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 28, 2016