A marriage proposal, Lego style

Sure, Walt Thompson could have gotten down on one knee, opened a tiny jewelry box, and asked for his girlfriend's hand in marriage.

Or he could've written Nealey Dozier a poem, as he typically did to celebrate their "first date" anniversary.

But the traditional proposal route didn't feel quite right. And his girlfriend of nearly four years wasn't just just any girl.

"I wanted to do it in a creative way," Thompson, 29, told the AJC.

The result was a combination of something old and something new. Thompson created a stop-motion video featuring Lego characters to propose to Dozier. Yes, Legos. The plastic building blocks children love. Only this time, the toy "Walt" held a very real engagement ring.

After several days of taking 2,600 pictures, then putting them together in a three-minute story, Thompson convinced Dozier to push the play button on the DVD player, one day shy of the four-year dating anniversary.

"It took one little Lego person on the screen, and I felt his quivering hand, and I knew it was no anniversary poem," Dozier said.

Thompson, a filmmaker and photographer, says he bought the Legos online, searching for the perfect pieces to tell the couple's story. The first time the real-life couple met, while living in Los Angeles, Thompson was wearing overalls. His Lego character does too.

Though they're both from the South, Thompson and Dozier each moved across the country after college. They now call Atlanta home.

Dozier, an Auburn University graduate, is a chef and food writer who moved to L.A. after college to work as a wedding planner. In the Lego video, she sports Auburn's colors, orange and blue, and prepares food while Walt takes pictures. That, the couple says, is a typical day in the Brookhaven house the two share.

It was in some of those photos of her cuisine creations that Lego characters first started to appear, Dozier said.

"I’d be looking at my pictures, and Indiana Jones would be in the background," Dozier said.

A video with Legos wasn't a complete shock. But Dozier admits she had no clue what Thompson had been working on behind closed doors. Now she knows she may have been the only person who didn't know.

Dozier said she had so many questions about how and when Thompson had made the video, that she almost forgot to answer THE question.

She said yes.

Dozier said since she works out of her home, spending most of her time in the kitchen, it's not uncommon for her to still be in pajamas in the afternoon. The couple says the typical 8-to-5 workday isn't for them.

When Thompson teasingly suggested she change from her pajamas on a recent afternoon, Dozier obliged. And was very glad she did.

"Thank goodness for once I actually took a shower and brushed my hair," Dozier said.

Thompson arranged for both of their families to arrive at the couple's home to celebrate after the video proposal. The guests waited down the street before getting the green light from Thompson to knock on the door.

Thinking their friends would like to see the Lego proposal, the couple shared it on Facebook and Vimeo. But the two had no idea how quickly the video would spread online. A video meant for just the two of them now has been featured on various online sites.

The two say the attention is fun. And the couple is enjoying celebrating their engagement with others.

“That’s all that matters to me – that she’s still happy two weeks later," Thompson said.

The couple hasn't made any wedding plans just yet. But they say the wedding, like the proposal, probably won't be traditional.

"It’s not going to be a cookie-cutter wedding," Dozier said. "At the end of the day, we want it to be very fun.”

If Legos are involved, it will be.