We travel to many venues in Southwest Florida performing for destination weddings. On this Saturday in late October, we traveled to Fort Myers Beach and the Pink Shell Resort. It is wedding day for Valerie and Casey from Chicago!
The Seaside String Quartet was selected to provide the wedding ceremony music and cocktail reception music. Dony, the coordinator at the resort, was making sure all looked perfect at the beach site when we arrived. It was a very unique setup with chairs set up in a round configuration. It was going to be a large wedding party so a carpet stretched along the back for them to line up.
We were to play prelude music at 5:30 and the beach ceremony was to begin at 5:45 with the cocktail hour following on the patio by the pool.
Valerie and Casey chose popular songs for us to play. Many of the selections were ones recently added to our repertoire so we looked forward to seeing what kind of response we got. For the prelude, we performed Appalachia Waltz, At Last, Bella’s Lullaby, A Dream is a Wish, and Yellow. Just as we began Somebody to Love, we saw the grandparents begin to make their way onto the beach. We quickly ended and switched to the music chosen for their entrance, Butterfly Waltz. Unfortunately Dony had to allow latecomers which confused me a little but I relaxed when I saw the Mothers make their appearance. Once seated, we began to play A Thousand Years for the entrance of the Officiate, the Groom, the Groomsmen, nine Bridesmaids, 1 Ring bearer and two Flower girls. Once all were in place, we played the fanfare to the Bridal Chorus that announced for the Entrance of the Bride, Valerie.
A family friend, Doug, officiated the ceremony. it was wonderful to hear the story of this couple who have been together for eight years. The love they have for each other was apparent to all and it was a large group that came to celebrate this event. The couple chose to honor their parents and plant a new family tree to the specially requested music, Sparks.
The couple wrote their own vows. During his, Casey became emotional and had a seizure which required a pause in the ceremony. With encouragement from the Maid of Honor we began to play Appalachia Waltz again while we waited for him to recover. As we ended and they were going to continue, then one of the Groomsmen fainted! This time we did not hesitate and began to play Come Away With Me while he was being attended to. A nod from Doug brought us to a close and the ceremony continued. As he concluded the ceremony and introduced the couple, we played Viva la Vida for the exit of the wedding party. The guests went down to the water for a shell ceremony while we played The Prayer.
We quickly went to the patio area near the pool and since the sun had set, it was getting dark quickly. Due to the unusual circumstances, the ceremony had run late so we had only 35 minutes for the cocktail hour. We did not get to play all the selections they had chosen, which was disappointing . We hope the guests enjoyed the selections we did get to play which included I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, Apologize, Be Our Guest, Secrets, Blackbird, Just Dance, Bless the Broken Road, Call Me Maybe and Hey Jude. It was also disappointing that I did not get a chance to meet the couple. We wish them all the very best!