Fredell and Bobby came to Naples from Houston Texas to celebrate their 50th anniversary and renew their vows before their family at the Ritz-Carlton Naples Resort A week before their scheduled event they decided to add live music and their Officiate Suzi Freeman referred them to me. I gave Fredell a call and we had such a wonderful conversation over the phone! Originally she asked for violin solo but after talking it over, I convinced her they would be happier with a violin and cello duo. We scheduled a meeting two days later at the Ritz on Saturday morning to take care of the paperwork and to discuss the music in more detail. Their event was to be held on Wednesday evening in the Rose Garden. Diane Coffman, cellist, would be joining me for the event.
When I arrived at the Ritz lobby that morning, I got to meet both Fredell and Bobby. What a super couple! I could tell that now Bobby was starting to get excited about the event. Fredell talked about the show tunes she loved and how her family loved them too . Bobby was looking forward to everyone being involved, especially the small children.
After our meeting, I got busy putting together the music and writing out several new arrangements. Fredell had told me Anything Goes and Hello Dolly were her theme songs and Gigi was her favorite musical. She also loved My Fair Lady and The Sound of Music. For the little ones, we would play some Disney songs and for the adults some country songs and Frank Sinatra songs.
Plans were already changing because of the weather forecast. Nicola, their event planner, told me it was now planned for Center Court but there were also other options in case of rain. On Tuesday, Fredell called me to say they were hoping to be able to have the Presidential Suite but would not know until Wednesday afternoon. Tropical Storm Andrea had formed and the rain kept coming. That afternoon just before 4:00, Nicole called to tell me that the event would be in the Suite. This sounded like a wonderful place for them and I was excited about being able to see it!
Diane and I met up with Suzi in the lobby at 6:30 pm and we went up together to the 14th floor. We would also be joined by Tonya and Mike of Tonya Malay Photography. The room was perfect. Chairs were set up in front of the fireplace, lamps were brought in to provide soft lighting and I could smell the lovely flowers. Thank you to Suzi for taking this picture of us.
As the family members began to arrive we played Vivaldi”s Spring and Handel le Rejouissance. It felt right to have lively cheerful music.
Suzi had written a very touching ceremony that included their renewed vows and the drinking of a glass of wine together. It ended with the breaking of the glass. We played To Life as the family celebrated afterwards. As pictures were being taken, we played all the show tunes. I heard some singing a long with us which was great!
We were asked to join them in the private dining room for another hour. This was such a compliment since it meant they enjoyed our music!
What a wonderful family and it was a privilege to witness the love they have for each other!