This is the second in a summer series on unusual wedding how-tos. In this post, our good friend Celeste Hamilton Dennis shares how she and her husband made what we consider the greatest Save the Date card of all time—a video featuring muppet versions of themselves. 

It started as a joke, really. A muppet version of myself to give to my nieces while I was living in Buenos Aires, so we could still play together despite the vast distance between us.

Then it came in the mail on one of our rare trips back home to the States and my husband Craig and I got a kick out of its blue skin, its felt glasses, its tiny hoodie. It was me but not really me and we’d use it to diffuse whatever fight we were having at the moment or make stupid wisecracks when we were feeling silly. So we kept it. (Sorry, girls!)

We got engaged soon after the muppet arrived. Bored of traditional photos of couples holding hands on train tracks or kissing on the beach,  we brought up the idea of using the me-but-not-me for a photo shoot that could be used as a wedding invite. Again, a joke.

One thing was missing: a muppet of Craig. A crafty friend said “I could make him.” And so she did. Our Save the Date video was thus born.

So if you get a giddy feeling every time you hear “Mahna Mahna” and have incredibly creative friends who are willing to lend you their time, skills, and energy to make a similar video, here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Your method of muppet creation ultimately depends on how much work you want to do.

If you have some money to spare and want to make this easier, you can create your customizable muppet at FAO Schwarz. If you want to give it a go yourself (or have a friend who instinctively knows that burlap would make great muppet hair),  there are a ton of online muppet tutorials from sites like Instructables and DIY. Jim Henson even has a guide.

2. The more ordinary places you can photograph your muppets in, the better...

Once our mini mes were made, we grabbed a few willing friends who could be puppeteers for a day and went to an ice cream shop, park, antique market, choripan food cart—anywhere you’d normally find Craig and me exploring. The best part were people’s reactions, which were always the same: confusion, then laughter. The muppets turned out to be great conversation starters.

3...but know your limitations.

Muppets can’t ride motorcycles, and bridges make it really obvious that human hands are controlling the action. Ice cream melts quick.

4. Be deliberate about what you want your video to achieve.

We asked our artsy web designer friend to put the photos all together (he used a combo of QuickTime Pro and iMovie) to whimsical music that matched the mood and purpose. We included outtakes because, well, we just got a kick out of seeing our giant friend Scott holding a tiny version of Craig in the palm of his hand. That, and we wanted to thank our friends and family who gave up their weekend to help us.

5. Give into the fact that muppets are going to become your thing.

We didn’t start out being muppet people. But we quickly became them. Our Save the Date muppets were guests at our wedding (obviously) and were the inspiration for our cupcake toppers. They now sit on our bookshelf in our living room. And we’re not done. There’s still one of our toddler daughter we’re itching to create, and one of our new baby who will arrive in October. Once you go muppet, you never go back I guess.

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