Ritz- Carlton Naples

I woke up to rain and there was a huge green blob on the radar map covering southwest Florida on this last Sunday in April.  The forecast called for rain all day and my hope was it could be done by 6:15 , our start time for the evening wedding. I kept checking the radar all day and the rain seemed to move south and out over the gulf.  By the time I reached the Ritz-Carlton Naples, the radar looked clear and plans were on for the beach wedding. As I arrived, the ladies from the floral department at the Ritz were bringing out the vases of flowers and adding the finishing touches to the set up. Soon my colleague Joan Stewart, violinist,  joined me as the Seaside Strings Violin and Viola Duo was the ensemble for  the event. We were to play for the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner. Our couple, Sonia and William, were from Virginia and the event was a small intimate wedding of around 30 guests.

 After confirming with Nicola Long, the planner at the Resort, we were ready to begin the prelude. The selections that the couple chose were the Bach Arioso, Handel Air, Handel Largo and I added The Gift of Love, Clair de Lune and Delibes Flower Duet to complement the mood they wanted. Father Rick Ricardi led the Processional onto the beach and we began to play the Bach Air. Next came the seating of the mother, ring bearer and a baby pulled in a wagon. The wagon was decorated in purple colors with a sign on the back that said “Here Comes the Bride”. Their baby was adorable and was a perfect angel.

As Sonia came down the boardwalk we changed the music to Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring. Within the ceremony, we performed Panis Angelicus for the sand mixing ceremony. This is such a beautiful piece that we should play more often.

The Handel Hornpipe was chosen as the Recessional and we played Handel’s Le Rejouissance and Vivaldi’s Spring before heading inside the beach house for the cocktail reception. There was a beautiful huge floral display in the middle of the room. Very lovely and unique!

The music for the cocktail reception was a mix of classical and pops. Among the pieces were Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Only Time by Enya, My Heart Will Go On,  music from the Beatles, Fly Me to the Moon, La Vie En Rose, Be Thou My Vision,  Someone to Watch Over Me and Salut d’amour.

Next we moved to the second floor of the beach house for the dinner. The room looked gorgeous! I could see the sun just setting through the huge windows overlooking the beach. I have to admit the smells of the food were wonderful too!

 The guests arrived and took their places at the tables. Then it was my pleasure to introduce the couple. As they entered the room, we began to play Fields of Gold by Sting, which they had chosen for their first dance.

We continued to play all pops music during dinner that included favorites from Van Morrison, Frank Sinatra, Lionel Ritchie and a couple of Disney tunes. I loved the selections they chose!

It was a wonderful evening for all ! All my best to Sonia and William as they start this new chapter in their lives.


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