Marriage Proposals by Mike

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Happy New Year!

Posted on December 31, 2015 at 8:50 PM Comments comments (3)

As 2015 draws to a close in just a few hours EST I wanted to give thanks to all my couples who got engaged this year using me as the soundtrack to their engagements.  It was a great year, meaning I had more engagements than in 2014.  And for that i'm truly thankful.  I'm also thankful for meeting head on some of the technical and ancillary challenges that were posed to me.  I performed in 2 weather extremes, 100 degree heat as well as polar vortex, sub-zero cold temps.  One client had a very challenging engagement both logisitcally and in terms of lighting.  Through some expert repair work I was able to deliver a great product. I embraced technology by having one engagement filmed using a GoPro.  This is an amazing device and really creates vivd accounts of my proposals. I worked with some wonderful photographers who really got into the spirit of the work. Sadly one of my top photographers lost his battle with non-hodgkins lymphoma in May at the tender age of 31.  BJ Enright, your professionalism and exquisite work will never be forgotten.  I miss you buddy.  Carly Jara, Michelle Kawka and Howard Baden were also stalwarts in my rotation who proved reliable, steady and professional. I look forward to working with them in the new year.  

There were new songs to learn which can be challenging but equally as rewarding when the couple appreciates the result.  This year, "Marry Me" - Train, , "Grow Old With You" (from the Wedding Singer), "Thinking Out Loud" -  Ed Sheeran, "Marry You" -  Bruno Mars, "God Only Knows"  - Beach Boys, "I'm Yours" - Jason Mraz, "All of Me" - John Legend, "Baby I Love Your Way" (the cover of the Peter Frampton song covered by Big Mountain, "Harvest Moon" -  Neil Young, "Question" - Old 97's were among the songs requested of me.  The last one took place on the Bow Bridge in Central Park in the dead of winter.  -2 degs.  My guitar had to be rushed to the guitar store for some love immediately following that one as all the wood warped.  The price of love eh!

Some other milestones from 2015 included being a guest on the "Don't Quit Your Daydream" radio show hosted by my friend and former colleague John Nuckel.  I got to speak on-air about the origins of this crazy niche little business. Also, Tessie Barnett from the Gig Salad team wrote a wonderful piece for the Gig Salad Blog about me. And just this week i secured my 50th & 51st reviews on GigSalad.  A milestone which i'm immensely proud of.

Some goals for 2016 include once again securing wedding gigs (wedding ceremonies & cocktail hours) for the clients I serve in their engagements.  It's happened once befoe and I hope to create the magic again.  I would also like to involve my musical partners in my 2 bands in some of these engagements to add color and flavor beyond an acoustic guitar.  Adding harmony, percussion and/or additional instruments like the banjo, mandolin or ukulele truly add authenticity.   My 2 bands are Setting Suns (www.settingsunsroadhouseramble.com) and Los Huevos (www.gigsalad.com/los_huevos).  In previous years I was fortunate enough to have my musical partner Billy Ryan accompany me on some of these proposals using his mandolin. The mandolin is such a beautiful instrument and really adds a special touch to a song.  And in April 2014, I was hired by one gentleman who wanted to book my full band, Setting Suns to perform "Something" by the Beatles in Central Park.  I'd like to have more engagements filmed using the GoPro as it is a dynamite device that really captures how special each engagement is. I would love to have the honor of travelling outside Central Park and New York City. for a proposal.  One engagement this year called for a trip to Lake Minnewaska in New Paltz which is one of my favorite places on earth and where I proposed to my wife.  As I visited London this summer I had a lovely idea to perform for an engagement inside a capsule on the London Eye.  How cool would that be?!?  Even more exciting would be to be booked to do it on Christmas Eve, or New Years Eve when there are fireworks on the Thames.  But back to basics, it'd be great to just to keep growing in the right dicrection.  It's a truly  wonderful experience to be on the periphery of such an intimate and beautiful moment between 2 people in love.  

Thank you to all for a wonderful 2015.  I hope your weddings were magical affairs.  It was a pleasure to serve you and be part of your lives for a brief moment.  

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.

Mike Cranmer

Marriage Proposals By Mike

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Holiday Proposals

Posted on October 31, 2015 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

And just like that we are on the precipice of the holidays 2015.  Man the year flew by didn't it.  In just a few short weeks we've got the Thanksgiving holiday and then springing right into the full holiday hustle.  For so many this is the time of year when they start thinking about engagement rings and asking the all-important question of a lifetime.  Once the ring is purchased thoughts turn to, okay how'm I going to do this?  How am I going to propose to this woman or man that I love.  Where do we spend our lazy weekend afternoons?  Should I do it in Central Park? Riverside Park? Battery Park? Skating in Wollman or Bryant Park rink?  Should I slip the ring into a flute of champagne? Atop 30 Rock? If Central Park, where in Central Park? Bethesda Fountain, The Ramble, The Great Lawn? 

This is a wonderful time of year to be a guitar player who performs for marriage proposals?  I've performed in a very crowded Rockefeller Ctr. as close as one can get to the Tree,  in front of the giant LOVE stature on 55th & Avenue of the Americas, on a quiet stone bridge in Central Park, in front of Caroline's Comedy Club (the site of one couple's first date).  There's no shortage of great scenic spots to ask the one you love to marry you. There's also no shortage of special songs that would serve as the soundtrack to a proposal.  Sure there are the current favorites, "Thinking Out Loud" from Ed Sheeran and "Marry Me" from Train. But there's a ton of old & current classics.  

Whatever your thought is on location and song I would love to work with you in making this momentous occasion that much more special.  I can even maybe go one step further and have a photographer or videographer on hand to capture your proposal in photograph or video to enjoy and share with your family and friends.  I'm very happy to assist in finding the best location, picking out the best song and planning the choreography.  It's good to have a plan in the back of your mind.  The moments prior to actually popping the question can sometimes give way to anxiety or pre-game jitters.  For that reason I bring a mini-bottle of champagne to celebrate with and to calm your nerves after it's all done.  

I'm also happy to be help in planning a fallback location.  Obviously an outdoor proposal carries with it the risk of inclement weather.  I've got some ideas as to where to stage your proposal in the event of rain. 

So give me a call.  (917)226-3173 or zap me an email at [email protected]

Happy holidays in advance. 

Mike

#wedding #engagement #marriageproposal #centralparkproposal # centralparkmarriageproposal #centralparkengagement #centralparkengagement



GoProposal

Posted on October 19, 2015 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

I was at the beach in Old Greenwich with my son for the Columbus Day holiday when we ran into some friends.  My friend's daughter saw my GoPro sitting in the car and cooed at how she desperately wanted to get one.  This made me think that this genius device might be the next greatest thing to hit the market since the smart phone if all the millennials are talking about how they want to get one.  We've had a GoPro Hero 4 since last year when my wife's boss gave us one as a holiday gift.  At first it sat on the shelf gathering dust until a proposal client requested that we film his proposal using the GoPro.  I had to quickly educate myself on how to use this device and with some help from a videographer friend, I was able to get to a decent proficiency with it.  Because of his expertise I tapped him to cover the proceeding and it was a great success.  

I am proud to be able to offer this service for any clients wishing to capture their marriage proposal using a GoPro.  Additionally we can set up a 2nd GoPro at the desginated site where the proposal will take place to capture a different angle.  Here's a brief sample scenario: With some coordination my videographer will be stationed at location to be discussed in advance.  Once my videographer identifies you through a selfie that you would provide he will begin filming.  If you're wondering how he'll keep the image steady, he would use a "gimbal stick" which holds the camera stationary.  Once you pass he'll file in behind you observing a 15-20 yard distance so as not to arouse any suspicion on the part of your significant other.  He and I will be in contact via text keeping me apprised of your journey to me.  I'll activate the 2nd GoPro or arrange to have it manned by a 2nd party.  As you arrive the 2nd GoPro would capture you and the lead videographer would maintain a safe distance.  I'll be into a song that you pick in advance and serves as the impetus to stop and chat for a 2nd.  I'll commence the proposal song that you've selected at which point the lead videographer will come closer to capture the big moment. Tucked under my gig bag will be a mini bottle of champagne to celebrate with and calm your nerves.  Haha! 

After the proposal is finished and she/he has said yes, the videographer will take both GoPros and download the videos, edit them, fusing the clips and making them into a narrative to show your friends.  He will then upload the finished video to YouTube with a private desgination so you can share it with whomever you like. The result is a high def rendering of your special moment.  A video is uploaded in the video section of this website so you can check out the quality.  

To maximize this offering some diligent prep work needs to happen.  A site visit to the spot where you'll propose and at the time you will propose is necessary.  This is to get a reading of the light and such so settings on the camera can be done in advance.  This is hugely important as you want to avoid any graininess.  Of course I can also offer the services of a photographer to shadow the videographer on your journey to me as well as to capture the big moment.  You'll have a multi-media accounting of your special moment for all time and some incredible memories to share.  Email me or call to discuss this further.  [email protected] or (917)226-3173

#wedding #engagement #marriageproposal #gopro #goproposal #centralparkmarriegproposal #centralparkproposal #heasked #sheasked #lgbtmarriageproposal

Marriage Proposals By Mike on the radio

Posted on October 19, 2015 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Internet radio that is.  I was pleased and honored to be a guest on the "Don't Give Up Your Daydream" segment on Storyteller's Campfire radio, hosted by my friend and former colleague @johnnuckel #rectorstserieswriter. http://dontgiveupyourdaydream.webs.com/episodes.  Wonderful experience. John and I knew each other in previous professional lives.  He thought of me when considering guests to have on his show.  We talked music, creativity, role models and influences and myriad other topics as well as my marriage proposal business.  Can't thank John enough for allowing me to showcase this offering.  The show will be broadcast several times this week according to the following schedule:

 

The show will Broadcast as a Original LIVE Show on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 12:00 Noon / 3:00 EST XRQK Los Angeles, Airtime America & XRQK Media Group Stations

 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 4:00 PM PT / 7:00 PM EST www.blogtalkradio.com/storytellers-campfire, iTunes, zeno radio

 

Friday, October 16, 2015 at 4:00 PM PT / 7:00 EST www.spreaker.com/storytellerscampfireradio,tumbler, soundcloud, iHeart Radio

Thanks all for listening and your support

 


Plan B

Posted on June 30, 2014 at 1:25 PM Comments comments (0)

I would imagine that for most people when they are thinking about their marriage proposal in an outdoor setting and how it's going to go they are probably imagining a beautiful sunrise or sunset, flowers in bloom, lush green lawns, the New York City skyline, etc.  Picturing a cloudy or rainy day doesn't often figure in prominently into the scene.  However mother nature has a way of sometimes altering the plans.  So when you've arrived at your ideal location it's good and prudent to think about an alternate location as well.... just in case the gods and the skies are not shining upon you. I had this happen to a couple recently.  The proposal was set to happen around noon and it was pouring rain all morning.  Thankfully the couple was coming to Bethesda Fountain just off the 72nd St. transverse in Central Park.  The safety net in this case was the atrium between the stairs directly below the street.  It provides great cover and the photographer can capture images of Central Park.  This of course is reason #435 why we like Central Park.  Other locations don't offer this kind of plan B.  This doesn't mean it can't work.  Think John Cusack in "Say Anything", standing out in the rain boombox hoisted overhead blasting "In Your Eyes".  The rain ultimately stopped and the proposal proceeded forward as planned.  As you get to within a week of the big event take a gander at the local weather for a little guidance.  Let me know if I can help in any way.  Perhaps the Winter Garden in the World Financial Center will lend some cover. Wishing you lots of love and happy engagements.  Mike  

Memorial Day Weekend

Posted on May 27, 2014 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Memorial Day weekend 2014.  A weekend of extremes....extreme rain on Friday to kickstart the weekend and glorious sunshine to wrap it up.  I had occasion to be in Quogue in the Hamptons hanging with some friends.  I took a walk on the beach off Dune Rd. before heading to the Jitney.  I'd forgotten how amazing the ocean is even in its calmest state which it was on Sunday morning.  I saw some families digging sandcastles and folks walking their dogs.  I'd always known the beaches of the Hampton's to be romantic but in the context of creating a scene worthy of a marriage proposal I was struck by how perfect a place it actually is.  The sand is perfect and the water always so dramatic.  The scene I'm envisioning is as basic as can be yet tremendously impactful.  I and my musical partner could appear to be getting our photos done for the website or whatever.  I would be on guitar and he would be on mandolin, ukulele or banjo, it would depend on the song you're thinkng about.  As you approach we'd be playing your song instrumentally.  As you descend upon us we'd launch into the song and the photographer would immediately turn his attention to you capturing your proposal of marriage.  The photos could be used to adorn the tables at your wedding, the table holding the guest book, etc.  This is just idle musing of course but an idea worthy of consideration.  Give a call if a Hampton's Beach proposal is something you'd like to explore.  Cheers - Mike

Dream Scenario

Posted on May 6, 2014 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)

This past weekend, May 3rd, 2014 marked a milestone for Marriage Proposals by Mike.  Billy Ryan and I headed down to Naples, FL to provide ALL of the musical entertainment for the Graham & Madeline Gravley wedding.  Billy and I presided over their proposal of marriage a little over a year ago right smack dab in the middle of Chinatown.  Graham requested a rendition of Ho Hey by the Lumineers as the soundtrack to his proposal.  This was long before Marriage Proposals by Mike was ever launched.  But it did serve as the template for how I could drive the idea forward.  I owe him royalties I think.  Haha!  Around Christmas 2013 Graham reached out to ask if Billy and I would like to do the honors and be the wedding band.  YES!!!!  Now that the wedding is now in the history books it's time to reflect on this major victory for me, for Billy and for the whole endeavor.  It marks the first and hopefully not the last time a marriage proposal client has asked us the be involved in the wedding as well.  All the preparation, memorization of songs, rehearsals paid off in spades.  We received a heroes welcome and gave them an absolute A-game performance.  In terms of the music no instrumental detail was spared.  We traveled on the plane with my Guild acoustic guitar, Billy's beautiful Gibson Les Paul electric guitar, a Fender mandolin,  a ukulele (in the event "somewhere over the rainbow/wonderful world" was requested), and a banjo.  I secured a sound system from JC Gutierrez, a local sound guy in the Naples area.  His team set up the sound rig and struck it down at the end of the evening.  The wedding took place on the beach behind the stunning Ritz Carlton Hotel.  It looked like what I picture Old Havana buildings would look like.  Unfortunately rain was a factor.  Billy & I brought the banjo and mando down to the beach.  At the couples request we performed "Swept Away" from the Avett Bros while the guests numbering 15 or so were seated.  Madeline chose to have us perform an instrumental rendition of Ho Hey while she walked down the aisle.  There was a gentle sprinkle of showers on us while the ceremony commenced. As the wedding concluded Billy and I launched right into a cocktail hour set that was pulled from the Setting Suns set.  We were then whisked away to the dinner area and at 9:30 began our prescrbed set that I worked on with Graham.  Our set for the whole day was as follows:

  • Swept Away - The Avett Brothers
  • Ho Hey - The Lumineers
  • Running on Empty - Jackson Browne/David Lindley
  • Ballad of John & Yoko - The Beatles
  • Mrs. Robinson - Simon & Garfunkel
  • Hometown Blues - Steve Earle
  • When I Paint My Masterpiece - Bob Dylan/The Band
  • Just My Imagination - Rolling Stones
  • Timeless - Airborne Toxic Event
  • Paradise in Palestine - Cast Iron Filter
  • Crash Into Me - DMB
  • Love Me - Elvis Presley
  • Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins/Elvis Presley
  • Toes - Zac Brown Band
  • One Particular Harbor - Jimmy Buffett
  • Temptress of Washington - Cast Iron Filter
  • Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison 
  • American Girl - Tom Petty
  • The Promised Land - Bruce Springsteen
  • Pancho & Lefty - Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard
  • Call Me the Breeze - JJ Cale
  • Wild Horses (Bluegrass version) - Old & In the Way by way of Mick & Keith
  • Harvest Moon - Neil Young
  • 99 Problems - Hugo (Cleaned up Jay Z version)
  • California Stars - Wilco      
At the end of the day we had an amazing time in Naples and hope we have the opportunity to serve our marriage proposal clients on their happy day.   

Better for the Experience

Posted on April 28, 2014 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday - 4/26/2014 - Central Park:  One of the great things about performing for marriage proposals that I could never have imagined is the treasure trove of side stories that I am amassing with each proposal.  Often times they have nothing to do at all with the couple but the array of characters and situations I encounter leading up to the big moment.  Saturday was certainly no exception.  It had all the elements of a stand alone story.  

Brendan found me on GigSalad.  He was intending on proposing to his longtime girlfriend in Central Park as a precursor to a dinner with her parents at the Boat House.  After careful deliberation he opted for the small hill situated in between the Hans Christian Andersen statue and the Boat House, a sort of non-descipt location but afforded her parents a good vantage point in which to witness the proposal.  He chose the song "Something" by the Beatles, one of my personal favorites of the George Harrison compositions.  When we first began discussions about how he wanted to do this it was originally going to be Billy Ryan, guitarist for Setting Suns among many other outfits and me.  We were going to pretend to be busking in the park and they would happen upon us playing their song.  But as discussions continued I mentioned that I have a band called Setting Suns (www.settingsunsroadhouseramble.com) and we all knew the song.  This resonated with Brendan because he was interested in something resembling a full sound.  So, Setting Suns were engaged to do the honors.  

This was a first for me and for the Suns.  Billy had a done a number of these proposals with me using his mandolin.  But the full band had never been a consideration for my clients.  All the guys were stoked to be asked to join in.  Fast forward to the day of the engagement.  It began as a beautiful sunny day but by the the time we started heading up to the Park it started raining.  My neighbor/bass player and i hauled the generator, PA, mixing board, mic stand, cables etc. from 72nd & 5th to the site across from the Boat House, a short distance by any measure made so much longer with the pirates booty of equipment we had in tow.  We were there over an hour early to see if a plan B was needed. Luckily we had one in place which was to scurry over to the atrium underneath the 72nd st. transverse.  We waited and waited.  Thankfully the skies smiled upon Brendan & Lizzie.  The sun broke through and a rainbow even appeared for a short while.  To be safe we waited until the very last moment to fire up the generator and set the gear up.  Our other concern aside from the weather was the Parks Dept. and the NYPD.  A squad car was idling right in front of the Boat House and we were obscured only by a tree in full bloom.  They zoomed off without so much as a notice.  We breathed a sigh of relief, for a moment. 

It's now 7:11 and we were fully set up and quietly running through the song in advance of the couple arriving.  As we were doing this one of the Parks Dept. finest stopped his cart, yanked up the emergency break and headed up to us.  He asked about our permit to perform.  We said we didn't have one and explained that a marriage proposal was about to take place.  He was unmoved by the sentimentality of the impending moment and said we had to shut the generator off.  We nervously obliged and then waited for him to be gone for about 5 minutes before powering back up.  I checked my phone and the couple thankfully was 15 minutes away.  They had just entered the park.  The photographer, BJ Enright was situated on the rock across the path and gave me the thumbs up that they were on approach.  As we launched into "Something" I was focused on the couple and delivering the song.  Unbeknownst to me a character from out of Home Alone 2 emerged, huge overcoat flapping in the breeze, gyrating, ambled up to Aldo on percussion and Billy shrieking that we weren't allowed to play music in the park.  Billy calmly and professionally and in hushed tones said a marriage proposal was underway.  Unmoved she persisted and threatened to call the cops.  Ultimately she walked away and the couple was none the wiser.  They were none the wiser about any of the tense moments with the rain and parks department.  There were a lot of firsts here and some challenges to overcome but overcome we did and delivered a great performance.  The couple entered the Boat House to the sound of cheers.  At the end of the day it was a major success and a template for how to arrange for the Suns to do a proposal is now clear.  

Bethesda Fountain - Valentine's Day Proposal

Posted on February 23, 2014 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

This is the inaugural blog post for my new website, Marriage Proposals by Mike.  I'm pleased to be able to kick it off with an accounting of a very successful Valentine's Day proposal that took place at Bethesda Fountain in the legendary Central Park.  John from San Diego found my profile on GigSalad.com (www.gigsalad.com/mike_cranmer).  He and his girlfriend were planning a full on, go-all-out adventure to New York City.  Unbeknownst to his girl he was going to pop the question and wanted to have a guitar player play his girlfriends favorite song, "Come what may" from the movie Moulin Rouge.  John was emphatic that this is her favorite song.  He also requested mandolin to be featured in this acoustic rendition.  I tapped my friend, fruequent collaborator and band mate Billy Ryan to join me.  John also expressed an interest in having a photographer capture the event for all time.  For this i tapped BJ Enright whom i had met at a corp show last year.  

So the stage was set and the players in place.  Now we just needed a little cooperation from the weather gods.  It was cold cold cold and we had immense amount of snow, which then turned to rain and then back to snow.  John's original flight was cancelled on Wednesday but thankfully was able to board a plane headed for New York the next day.  By Friday the sun was out and Central Park looked beautiful with all the snow.  John & Taylor took a buggy ride to the 72nd Street transverse where we were all waiting.  BJ hid out in a corner by the pond just across from the Loeb Boat House so as to appear inconspicuous while still beginning the work of capturing the randomness of a couple strolling by the fountain.  I spotted them as they were deboarding the buggy and as they approached John shot me the wink.  Billy and I had been playing the opening chords of 'come what may" since they began their descent down the stairs so as to appear as 2 guys busking.  When John gave the nod we began the song. Taylor heard it and was like "oh my goodness, they're playing that song from Moulin Rouge that I love".  That was John's natural cue to begin the proceedings.  On bended knee he proposed to Taylor and she accepted coffee in hand.  Then it became clear that the photographer and the musicians were not randomly there as part of the landscape but rather as players for her proposal.   It wasa great day indeed.  Onlookers at Bethesda Fountain all were snapping photos with the iphone.  Great day indeed. 


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