Something I was working on furiously in the months leading up to our wedding was a "Happy" video for Mr. Llama. Because Mr. L reads the blog, I obviously couldn't write about, but it was probably one of the biggest projects I undertook for the wedding! And while one guest almost accidentally spilled the beans on the whole thing, I'm pretty sure he was totally blindsided:
The very first "Happy" video I ever saw - and even the first time I heard the song, I think - was when the city of Angers, France created their version, and a friend of mine posted it on Facebook. (I spent three years in Angers as a kid with my family.) I think this was November/December of 2013. I LOVED it. And as the song gained momentum on the radio, it got my wheels turning. What if I had all our guests film themselves dancing to "Happy," and pieced it together to show at the reception? Gift for my new husband, and also some entertainment for the guests?
Now, I know Pharrell's song Happy is just a tad overplayed now (and there are about a zillion videos just like ours out there), but I SWEAR when I thought of the idea, the song wasn't quite there yet. In fact, when I approached one of Mr. Llama's video production friends (also one of his groomsmen) in February 2014 to help me out, he didn't even know what song/video I was talking about. He had to look it up!
So yeah - while this was my idea, I was going to need a LOT of help and cooperation from other people to pull it off. Once I got the thumbs-up from Groomsman S who was going to edit the video for me, I contacted my Disney planner to see how showing a video could be done at our reception venue.
Bad news. It was going to cost a whopping $800 to show the damn thing. Apparently they need to have a whole other person come in and run the AV setup - it couldn't be done by the DJ or planner or anyone else.
So that went off the table. I went back and forth with my planner, trying to come up with some alternative - but there was really no way to show a video in any way at the venue without getting charged $800. I tried to put the idea out of my mind
About six weeks went by, and I was still really stuck on this idea. After hemming and hawing over it, I pulled the trigger and spent the money. It was a lot, but it was so worth it!
I e-mailed all of our guests with precise instructions and a deadline to turn the videos in - about six weeks before the wedding - to give Groomsman S plenty of time to edit it all together. Everyone thought it was a great idea and they were excited - but, well, I think we all know how deadlines and wedding guests can be. I think I had received videos from about 3 people when the deadline came and went. So yeah, I had to hound people for about a month. It wasn't super fun, but I really wanted as many wedding guests (or invited guests unable to attend) in the video as possible! In the end I think there were only about 3 people at the wedding who weren't in the video, and I'm ecstatic that the vast majority of people did cooperate in the end.
So I went through all the videos, and compiled a rough order of how I wanted it to go, with minute and second counts, and gave it all to Groomsman S on a flash drive. I tried to make it as easy and organized as possible for him. Ultimately, I trusted him and gave him absolute creative freedom to adjust my rough plan, and I am so thankful - it turned out even better than I had imagined! It was a lot of work - don't worry, I paid him - and I couldn't have done it without him.
So, here's the video!
Also - the pause at about 3:25 is an inside joke, so no - you didn't miss anything!
And this was my husband reacting to it:
When my husband came up with the idea for HIS video, he also contacted our planner, and she told him the fee - $800. He also balked, and thought to himself, "If I spend $800 on this, soon-to-be-Mrs. Llama will kill me." So he tabled the project. Then, a few weeks later, our planner contacted him again to say they had figured out a way to do it for free, and did he still want to do his video? He of course said yes, and thought he was getting some extra "pixie dust" from Disney. But really...I had just already paid the setup cost.
In the end, it was a lot of money, but we have absolutely no regrets - at least we got twice the use out of it! Both videos were such memorable parts of the day, it just wouldn't have been the same without them!
Missed a recap?
A Shoe-Strassing Tutorial
A Few Things Go Wrong
The Actual Ceremony
The Ceremony that Could Have Been
Bridal Party photos
Time to take some photos alone!
The Guys Get Ready
The Ladies Get Ready