How We Met
We met at a wedding when we were seated close to one another. Her and I were the only single ones. I later connected with her on Facebook and we started talking.
how they asked
Vanessa always tells me that I’m not very romantic – and I’m not. So when we planned a trip to New York for 3 weeks, I knew I wanted to do something that would show her how much I cared for her. I hired The Heart Bandits to help with the logistics and Michael Justin Studios to capture everything. I didn’t want Vanessa to know about the film we would create so it was imperative that Michael Justin Studios didn’t show themselves for the duration of the trip. The plan was to show Vanessa this awesome film on the night of our wedding in front of all of our friends and families. The plan was to have 4 different filming days:
DAY 1: ARRIVAL DAY One of the Michael Justin Studios crew was hired to be a fake driver picking us up from the airport. He’d arrive holding a sign pretending it was a shuttle from the hotel, the New York Edition, and wear special video glasses capturing the interaction. The car he’d be driving would be outfitted with a hidden camera. The fake driver would exchange in small chit-chat as another shooter followed our moves from a distance. At the hotel there was another shooter waiting for the arrival.
DAY 2: ACTIVITY DAY The activity day would be broken up and captured by 3 shooters – shooter 1 would get us exiting their hotel and follow in a taxi. When we got to SoHo, shooter 1 would help shooter 2 capture our every move. Shooter 2 would do most of the leg work while Shooter 1 went a few blocks ahead. When we left SoHo, shooter 1 followed and headed to Juliana’s Pizzeria where shooter 3 was waiting. Shooter 3 and shooter 1 followed as we had some food and walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Shooter 1 would then follow us on the subway as we made our way to Grand Central Terminal.
DAY 3: PROPOSAL DAY This was the most important and challenging part of the whole experience. I had rented a small private room at Eleven Madison Park where the we would enjoy the amazing food and fine dining experience. One of the waiters who would be serving us was actually a Harry Winston Rep and would ultimately give Vanessa the ring by hiding it under a cloche. When she lifted the cloche, she’d see a box instead of her food. Because this room was so tiny, Michael Justin Studios couldn’t handle or manipulate the cameras so we had to set them up and then leave them for the duration of the night. But how can we leave 4 cameras in a small room without being seen? The awesome floral team at Martin Jobes Designs was hired to create large floral display pieces that would allow the cameras to be hidden but still capture the proposal. With some planning and a little bit of luck, we were able to get everything captured!
DAY 4: DEPARTURE DAY The final day included a special treat – I wanted to get Vanessa’s reaction to the proposal dinner but because I wanted to keep everything a secret, we had to think of a creative way to get her to talk on video without blowing the cover. It was decided that a fake news crew doing interviews about tourism would be our best chance. Another Michael Justin Studios person pretended to be the news reporter. She stopped us as we were going to get breakfast the day of our departure and asked us questions about tourism. Just as we had hoped, Vanessa was eager to share the news about the proposal that happened a few short nights before. After the 3 weeks, Michael Justin Studios had all the footage to create the film. When they finally sent me the film, I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to show it! But I had to sit on it for over a year.
For over a year I had to pretend that something we had worked so hard on, had planned so meticulously, didn’t exist. I’m still not sure how I did it! But a year later, my patience would pay off. It was our wedding night and surrounded by all our family and friends, I put Vanessa front and center for the big surprise. She sat there in shock and laughed and cried while she watched this film she had no idea even existed, play for her.
Proposal Film: Michael Justin Studios
Rings: Harry Winston
Planning: The Heart Bandits
Hotel: The New York Edition
Restaurant: Eleve Madison Park
Floral: Martin Jobes Designs
Wedding Reception Reaction: Soda Films
Wedding Photographer: Blumenthal Photography