In what surely must have been an effort to put all other men's marriage proposals to shame, Atlanta-based photographer and filmmaker Walt Thompson invested 22 hours shooting and "God knows how long" editing this stop-motion LEGO marriage proposal for his girlfriend of four years, Nealey Dozier.
Thompson managed to keep the production a secret during the exhausting two-and-a-half day shoot.
"He had been locking himself in his 'man-cave' for the past few days, no girlfriends allowed," Dozier told The Huffington Post. "He claimed to be working on an anniversary poem, which didn't raise any flags because he writes me one every year."
On Tuesday, Jan. 3, after taking a total of 2,600 painstakingly posed photographs, Thompson played the video for Dozier in the living room of the Atlanta home the two share.
"He directed me to the DVD player and told me to press play," Dozier said. "He then came to stand behind me, and within seconds I could feel the loud thumping of his heart and his quivering hands as they grabbed for mine. It was only then that I realized this was no anniversary poem."
As Dozier watched, Thompson waited for the exact moment the words "Will you marry me?" appeared on the screen.
"When the words came on the 46" television it was playing on, I hit my knee and pulled out the box, which contained the LEGO bride and groom," Thompson, a friend of this reporter, told HuffPost. "Obviously, the groom was holding the ring."
Dozier said she couldn't contain her excitement. She wanted to know how he had made the video and when they should contact their parents, among other things.
"We shared an awkward, fumbling kiss before I launched into 20 questions," she said. "It was after 10 minutes that I realized I hadn't even said yes. Poor guy had to wait it out in torture for the answer!"
Though the level of detail in the video might escape some casual viewers, Thompson pulled out all the stops to make the experience as memorable and personal as possible.
"I actually found clothes that we were dressed in when we met," Thompson said referring to the lego pieces he was able to find that look remarkably like the couple.
Other themes from their time together populate the scenes, as well. Starting with the moment they first meet, the video follows the couple as they discover themselves and build their lives together.
At one point, Dozier, a freelance food writer and founder of the blog "Dixie Caviar," is seen preparing and experimenting with different foods, while Thompson photographs his beloved at work.
Ultimately, the video culminates in a wedding ceremony where an ear-to-ear smiling LEGO Thompson presents his bride-to-be with a giant diamond ring as she makes her way toward the altar.
And the guests in attendance? Only some of the couple's closest friends: a boxer and zookeeper, a "guy dressed in a Godzilla costume," Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones and a female prison inmate that Thompson calls their "guest of honor, complete with shiv made from bedspring."
And of course, Star Wars' Han Solo in carbonite is on hand to officiate the nuptials.
While they've yet to choose an official date, the couple is currently planning to tie the knot as early as March or April of 2013.
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