Naples Beach Hotel

After the unusual rainy weekend last week, it was a relief that this weekend was lovely. But you can tell summer is approaching. The sun feels more intense and the humidity is climbing. Tonight our wedding is at the Naples Beach Hotel and our couple Dori and Jason are local residents. Dori has been planning this day for about a year and a half so I am relieved the weather is not going to spoil anything. Today I am joined by my colleagues Susan Sikuta on violin and Angie Trochessett on cello to form the Seaside String Trio. Today I am also performing on violin, so the trio is 2 violins and cello. We found our shady spot on the lawn and were thankful for the breeze. We have now started wearing our summer dress, which is a sleeveless cream top and black skirt or pants.

 When I arrived , Sarah Cardenas was put the finishing touches on the tables. Even though we had talked on the phone a few days ago, we went over the details again. I knew the Processional was very important to Dori so I wanted to make sure we were coordinated.  As we began to play prelude music fifteen minutes prior to the ceremony , the guests began to arrive. For this, Dori had chosen Meditation, Ode to Joy, Con Te Partiro, and Handel’s Largo. We added The Gift of Love and Air from the Water Music Suite as we waited for Sarah to let us know the wedding party was ready. On her signal , we began  to play Schubert’s Ave Maria as Pastor Tony Cubello led the men onto the lawn. They were followed by the two Grandmothers who were seated and then the Groom’s Mother. Because this is not a piece that can be ended in the middle, I was thankful we came to the end just as the Mother was seated. The timing was perfect! As we began to play Pachelbel’s Canon, the Bridemaids made their entrance. I loved the pale yellow color of their dresses and their flowers matched perfectly! Since the Canon has many stopping places, the timing is always easy to plan. Now it was time for Dori’s entrance. She had from the beginning of our planning knew she wanted us to begin to play the Bridal March and then quickly segue into Amazing Grace. This was her dream and it worked perfectly. As she walked in escorted by both her Parents, I could see the happiness on her face! As she reached the front of the columns, we came to the end of the song- the timing again worked perfectly!

Another favorite song of Dori’s was The Prayer. We played this quietly as Ellen read a poem. Next the couple performed something I had never seen before. It was the Unity Cross Ceremony. As Pastor Tony explained  it to the guests, Dori and Jason constructed the cross which symbolized the joining of their lives. It was quite lovely and a keepsake for their new home. After  the introduction of the newly married couple, we began to play the traditional Wedding March as the wedding party exited.

Cocktail Hour was also on the lawn area and we continued to play for the guests as the wedding party moved to the beach for pictures. Susan and Angie were booked for the hour so they played a few popular songs with me.  Among the requests that sounded better as a trio, we played Beauty and the Beast and Only Time. I was to continue the cocktail hour on solo violin. Among the requests were Embraceable You, Endless Love, Somewhere in Time, Unchained Melody,  and You Raise Me Up. I ended the evening with Music of the Night.

I hope everyone enjoyed their evening; it was a lovely sunset. It was a pleasure to meet Dori on my way out. I am so thankful she was so pleased. Her dream day was not over yet!  May this be the beginning of numerous wonderful memories for her and Jason.


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