We know that Naples is also a destination wedding location internationally. And this was definitely the case for our wedding Friday night at the La Playa Beach Resort. Jill and Mikkel live in Denmark and so their wedding celebration included guests from all over. Although Skype was an option for us when we were doing our planning, Jill and I found email worked just fine. She chose the Seaside String Quartet to provide the wedding ceremony and cocktail reception music. I am joined by my colleagues, Joan Stewart, Susan Sikuta, and Diane Coffman. The ceremony was to begin at 6 pm so prelude music would begin at 5:45. Cocktail hour on the terrace across the street would be 7-8 pm.
The ceremony setting looked beautiful thanks to Sarah and Jenny of Lyfe of the Party. As I was about to take my pictures, they arrived with the lovely arrangements for the podiums. I always loved peonies and I saw later the color matched the bridesmaids dresses perfectly. It was a beautiful evening , a bit more humid that the last couple of days, with a nice refreshing breeze. It was great to see Michaela of Gulfside Media Wedding Photography again. She is from Fort Myers and I used to see her frequently at NAWP networking meetings.
After completing my set up, I then checked in with Karen, the coordinator at La Playa for any changes. Reverend Berger, the Officiate, arrived early so we were able to confirm the details for the ceremony. We did some last minute checks of the music and were ready for this special evening.
As the guests began to make their way onto the gulf lawn we performed a mix of classical and popular selections. These were Schubert’s Ave Maria, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, At Last, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3 , and In My Life. We finished that song just as I saw the wedding party come out the door and make their way down the steps. Perfect timing!
Reverend Berger led the way as we began to play the Pachelbel Canon in D. Following him, Mikkel and his Groomsmen took their places. Jill’s Grandmother was seated as well as the Parents of both couples. The 5 Bridesmaids made their way down the aisle and the young ring bearer and flower girl completed the wedding party. We always play the music until all have take their places and despite a bit of a detour, the young children did make their way down the aisle. I was glad to see Jill still waiting by the gate. Upon hearing the short fanfare we play for the Bridal March, she began to make her way onto the lawn.
After Reverend Berger made his welcoming remarks, the Mothers came forward to speak a prayer for the couple. Jill’s Mother said the prayer in English and Mikkel’s Mother spoke in her native language. After the vows were spoken and ring’s exchanged, it was time for the sand ceremony. We began to play Unchained Melody as the couple came forward and poured their sand into a single vase. With the ceremony completed and the couple introduced as Mr. and Mrs., we played the Mendelssohn Wedding March as the wedding party exited down the aisle.
As guests mingled, enjoyed the signature drink and pictures were being taken, we played Handel’s Le Rejouissance, Vivaldi’s Spring, Handel’s Entrance of the Queen of Sheba and an Allegro movement from the Water Music Suite. We then made our way across the street to set up for the cocktail reception.
It was all pops music for the reception. On the playlist were Born to Run, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Come Away With Me, Come Fly With Me, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, I’ll Stand By You, I’ve Had the Time of My Life, Livin’ on a Prayer, Piano Man, Take a Chance on Me, Good Riddance Time of Your Life, Viva la Vida and Wonderful Tonight (it was the perfect song to end our evening). Jim from A D.J. with Class came out to say hello. As the guests were entering the ballroom for the dinner, many commented how much they enjoyed the music. It was fun!
I got to meet Jill and give her my congratulations. I think she looked amazed at how everything came together so well. It made me think back to when she was walking down the aisle. What a feeling to see the lovely flowers, hear the music, see your Groom awaiting your arrival, have all your wedding dreams be real! I am so glad she felt we helped make this a special day for her!
Congratulations and all our very best to Jill and Mikkel!