how they asked: Melissa had been planning my 40th Birthday party with 40 of our friends from San Diego to all go out to Las Vegas for a celebratory weekend. I knew months in advance that this was the perfect time to ask Melissa to marry me. I mean, how often do you get 40 of your friends to fly somewhere together…it was perfect!
I thought I wanted to do some kind of flash mob proposal but when I started looking, I was not happy with the quality of the performers that were available. I decided that I would hire a professional choreographer and professional dancers because I wanted the performance to rock. As I was looking for professionals I stumbled across ‘The Heart Bandits’, a proposal planning/coordinating service. Once I started talking to them, the ideas started to grow. I’m kind of a one-upper…I always like doing things over the top to some degree. What started as a flash mob became a full blown 10 minute Vegas performance. I decided that public did not offer the necessary components for a good show. I needed good sound, good lighting and some way to show video. I knew that we’d all be going out to the club at the new SLS hotel on Saturday night so I contacted the hotel and pitched my idea about doing a performance in the middle of the nightclub dance floor on Saturday night. At first they were hesitant but as more and more professionals got involved, the more the clubs management became open to the idea. They needed timelines, contracts, constant reviews/approvals of every second of the performance….it was somewhat painstaking.
From that point we hired an awesome choreographer who was recommended by The Heart Bandits. He was working in New York at the time so I had to arrange for his flight, accommodations and rental studio rehearsal space in order for him to train the 10 Vegas based dancers on the routine. I knew the 2 songs I’d have them perform to from the start of my planning. ‘We Found Love’ by Rihanna and ‘I Got U’ by Duke Dumont…both are special songs to us. After getting the dancers squared away, I wanted to remake the music video to the Duke Dumont song with our own pics/video from our recent trip to Thailand. I hired a local TV studio to re-edit the existing video. That alone took dozens of hours of editing time and weeks to complete. Because the nightclub (name LiFE) has 2 very large video walls, I was able to run the video and customized graphics on their system. That was still not enough though…I really wanted to blow her away. I asked Marvin from The Heart Bandits about what else we could do…live drummers, UNLV marching band, live singers…etc. He suggested a choir to backup the songs…I liked the idea and on his suggestion hired the Las Vegas Mass Choir. Their first credential was good enough for me as they sung live with Stevie Wonder on the Billboard Music Awards…I looked no further.
Once the basic concept was in place, I was able to focus on the setup. I arranged for 2 massive limos to pick up all 40 of us from dinner and take us to the SLS hotel on sat night. When we arrived, Deryk, the clubs VIP host asked me to come inside alone (this was pre-planned) to pick out our VIP table section. This allowed me time go in and do one quick rehearsal before the rest of the group came in. The others had been rehearsing for the previous hour before the club opened. When I came back out with Deryk, he told my group that the club was filming a ‘promo video’ and asked if we would like to be part of it. I needed a way to not only explain the five camera man crew I hired, but also a way to get our whole group at the back of the dance floor and in position for the upcoming performance. Only two of my friends knew what was happening…I thought it be best if it was a surprise to all. Trying to keep a proposal under wraps from your girlfriend is hard enough, but hiding it from 40 of our best friends was a whole new challenge.
So that’s the ‘pre-proposal’. Now check out the video…I hope you like it!