It all began for us when an email from Jay landed innocently in our email inbox one afternoon. Little did we know at the time that this was going to be the start of a journey that would take us across the Atlantic to film a wedding proposal in New York.
It took Jay just 24 days to plan his New York wedding proposal and the masterplan was to whisk Lucy away to NYC under the guise of a weekend shopping trip for her birthday. We were flattered when he chose us to capture this incredible moment in their lives. This was the first time we had been approached to film a marriage proposal but we knew straight away that we wanted to take on the challenge. The only problem was, of course, that we needed to film everything secretly, so as not to ruin the surprise moment for Lucy.
The engagement ring was a custom design and was due to arrive before Jay and Lucy departed London for NYC. However, due to some unexpected issues at the factory, the ring wasn’t ready and so it was arranged that the ring would be couriered directly to the hotel in NYC instead. This wasn’t a great start to the proposal plan but Jay was assured it would be at the hotel waiting for him.
Once in NYC, Jay learnt that the ring had not yet arrived due to the extreme winter weather conditions but that it would arrive later that day… the day of the proposal. At this stage there wasn’t anything he could do but to continue with the plan and hope for the best. He took Lucy for breakfast at the beautiful Plaza hotel followed by a walk through Central Park and some shopping around the city. During the afternoon the hotel called Jay to advise him that the ‘package’ had arrived, just a few hours before he was planning to propose. Crisis averted.
Jay’s plan for the evening consisted of dinner at a restaurant, a horse carriage ride to Bow Bridge in Central Park, a moonlit stroll onto the bridge, and then ‘stumbling’ upon a group of pugs on the bridge (because Lucy is crazy about pugs). The pugs were to wear t-shirts with messages, and the planned sequence of pug t-shirts were:
1. “Lentil says… it’s OK to Fall in Love”
2. “And Then I Found My Pair Bond”
3. “You Said I Love You First, But He’ll Say it Always”
4. “And Then We Became One”
5. Pug in Bride costume
6. Pug in Groom costume
7. Pug t-shirt with a picture of their French bulldog saying “Mummy, will you marry Daddy?”
At that point, Jay was planning to drop on one knee and propose.
Things didn’t quite go to plan though. Almost immediately after returning to the hotel to collect the ring, Jay received word that the cold weather would prevent the horses from working that night. With only a few hours until he was planning to propose, he was suddenly having to find a backup plan to the horse carriage ride into Central Park. Before that was resolved, Jay then learnt that the owners of the pugs wanted to pull out because the weather was too cold for the pugs, which would make it difficult for them to breathe properly. The compromise was then to arrange for taxis to keep them warm outside central park until the last moment, whereupon they would all pile into pedi-cabs to arrive at Bow bridge just shortly before Jay and Lucy, waiting for them to arrive, all in -10 degree celsius temperature, which was clearly going to be a disaster.
After almost begging with the hotel bar manager at the Hudson, they offered Jay the use of their conference centre for the evening’s proposal. We were at our hotel preparing our cameras and getting ready to leave for the proposal shoot when Jay called us to tell us of the last minute change of plan. We had planned everything down to the finest detail to make sure we could cover the proposal on Bow Bridge without being spotted by Lucy, but then at the 11th hour, all of the plans were thrown out of the window. At this stage, everyone involved with this proposal were just having to cross their fingers and hope for the best.
Before going out to dinner, Jay needed to think up an excuse in order to get Lucy down to the conference centre later that evening, so he dropped into conversation that their hotel was hosting a small conference and that perhaps they could try and crash it. The end of dinner was timed neatly to allow for us to setup at the hotel and to help prepare the pugs. As the taxi made it’s way to the Hudson hotel, Jay was nervous, not only about the thought that he was about to propose to his girlfriend but also for not knowing if everyone involved was able to adapt to the last minute change of plan.
And then they exited the elevator into the conference centre and Lucy screamed as she saw the first pug. Ten minutes later, Jay and Lucy were engaged.
Filmed on location in New York City, USA and London, UK
Soundtrack: ‘Dreams and Visions’ by Tony Anderson // ‘Rain Walking’ by One Hundred Years
Music Licensed by The Music Bed
Cinematography and Editing by Thompson Granger Films
Proposal Planner: The Heart Bandits