8th Avenue South, Naples FL

Our first wedding for 2016 was held Friday, January 1st at 8th Avenue South in Naples, FL. Joan and Jordan, our couple from Fort Myers, coordinated their wedding through Ashley and Hilton Naples. The couple chose the Seaside String Trio to perform the wedding ceremony music. Dr Dan Lamey Officiated. The weather was perfect!

We arrived at 3:15 to set up. Guests arrived by bus from the hotel and we were ready to start when they arrived (just a bit earlier than expected) around 3:30. The ceremony was scheduled to begin at 4pm. On our playlist for the prelude was A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay; Better Together by Jack Johnson; Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John; Everything by Michael Buble; Happy by Pharrell Williams; Marry You by Bruno Mars; Take My Breath Away from Top Gun; You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder; Yellow by Coldplay; Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton; You and Me by Dave Mathews.

The Officiate, Groom, Parents, Bridesmaids and Groomsmen entered to the music, I Won’t Give Up by ]ason Mraz (a special request).

Joan made her entrance to the Pachelbel Canon in D. During the ceremony, we played All of Me by John Legend for the Sand Ceremony. A special request, Home, was the Recessional music. After the wedding as pictures were being taken, we finished performing the selections on the prelude list, finishing with Wonderful Tonight.

Here is a video of Wonderful Tonight. Thanks to my husband for filming!

Congratulations to newlyweds, Joan and Jordan. Thank you for having us be a part of this special day!


8th Avenue South and Hilton Naples

I met Chandrea and AlRenzo in May of 2014 so their wedding was planned well in advance. Chandrea was one of the most organized bride’s I have ever worked with! The couple from Georgia chose 8th Avenue South in Naples for their ceremony with the reception at Hilton Naples. The Seaside String Quartet provided the wedding ceremony music and a string duo ( violin and viola) performed at the cocktail hour. Chandrea sent all her music choices far in advance and since she had special requests, it gave me plenty of time to arrange the music for our group. Sarah and Jenny of Lyfe of the Party did a beautiful job with the florals. It was great to see Rick and Patti from Reel Treasures Videos too. Dr. James Berger was the Officiant. Ashley from the Hilton always makes everything run so smoothly!

8th Ave South wedding

8th Ave South Wedding

The guests were transported by bus to the location from the Hilton and we began prelude music when they arrived just before 5pm.  The couple chose a nice mix of music for us: Marry Me by Train; A Thousand Years by Christina Perri; Just the Way You Are Amazing; Pachelbel’s Canon in D; Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis; Can You Feel the Love Tonight by Elton John; I Say a Little Prayer by Burt Bacharach; It Had to be You by Frank Sinatra.

Dr . Berger led the way down the aisle as we played Angels by Robin Thicke. The Groom and Groomsmen took their place, the Mothers were seated and the 4 Bridesmaids made their entrance. Chandrea chose the music Ave Maria by Beyonce as her entrance music. What a look of absolute joy she had on her face! It gave me goosebumps watching her come down the aisle! For the Sand Ceremony, we played All of Me by John Legend and Marry You by Bruno Mars for the Recessional. The newlyweds were involved in pictures and the guests mingled for a bit before boarding the bus back to the Hilton as and we played Have I Told You Lately by Van Morrison.

I am sorry I did not get a chance to congratulate the couple since I had to rush off the the Hilton for the Cocktail Hour.What a wonderful wedding for a wonderful couple!

8th Avenue South Wedding

8th Avenue South

Naples beach weddingOn this Saturday before Easter, the weather could not have been more ideal.  Our wedding today for Samantha and Edwin was taking place at 8th Avenue South, a very popular location in Naples, Florida for weddings. It is such a beautiful setting with the palms lining the center sidewalk. With the wedding ceremony scheduled for 6:00, many of the holiday beach-goers had left for the day.

The guests were to arrive by trolley from the Bellasera Resort. On hand to coordinate was Catherine Fazzina of A Beautiful Florida Wedding. David Ames from North Naples United Methodist Church served as the Officiant and Joe Capasso was here to capture the photographs.  Flowers for the bouquets and boutonnieres were provided by Marco Island Florists. And of course, we, Seaside Strings, were providing the wedding ceremony music.

We were scheduled to begin to play at 5:30 but when the first trolley arrived at 5:15 we were ready to begin the prelude music. Samantha chose a mix of classical and pops witch included Schubert’s Ave Maria, Have I Told You Lately, Only Time, Clair de Lune and Can You Feel the Love Tonight. Since we started early, some last minute additions included Delibes Flower Duet,an aria from the Bach Wedding Cantata and You and Me.

With a big wave from Catherine, we began to play the Pachelbel Canon for the Seating of the three Mothers. As we began to play the Bach Air, the Groom and his Groomsmen walked down the aisle . Following them were the Junior Bridesmaids, Ring Bearer and Flower Girl and the five Bridesmaids. As the last girl took her place, we came to the end of the piece. What perfect timing!

A short fanfare and the Bridal Chorus announced the Entrance of the Bride, Samantha. David welcomed everyone and recounted how he has known Samantha since she was a little girl.  After the vows, rings and blessing, the sand mixing ceremony was performed as we played the Handel Air. With the introduction of the newly married couple, we played the Wedding March. As guests were mingling and then a group photo was taken, we continued with Handel’s Hornpipe, All You Need is Love and Lucky.

Congratulations and best wishes to Samantha and Edwin!

8th Avenue South

The day started off beautiful but very windy. As the afternoon approached, the forecast called for some scattered showers and the dark clouds overhead warned that the weatherman was going to right. When I arrived at 8th Avenue South, I could see that many people had left due to the weather. There was not a soul on the beach and the parking was plentiful. The power of prayer must have been at work because after checking the radar, it was looking like the rain was going to hold off. And it did! So our couple from North Carolina, Jenny and Jason had the beach all to themselves.

Stephanie Meiser of Along Came Stephanie was the wedding planner and she and her husband had everything all ready. They had a very cute table set up, decorated with starfish, with sunglasses laid out for the guests. Starfish hung from the chairs at the end of the each row. All the was left to do was to unroll the carpet and lay it down the aisle.

I was soon joined by my colleagues Joan Stewart and Diane Coffman who make up the Seaside String Trio.

As is customary at this location, the guests arrived by bus approximately thirty minutes prior to the start of the ceremony. Jenny had asked for several popular songs to be played. I have noted that a lot of our brides are mixing classical along with the popular. Her requests were At Last, Kissing You, Bless the Broken Road,  Let it Be Me, Love Story and She is Love. This last song must have been a special song for them as Jenny was kind enough to purchase the sheet music so we could play it for them.

The Ceremony began with the Bach Air as Aunt Peggy, the Officiate, led the processional of Jason and his Groomsmen. We continued this same piece as the three mothers were seated.

For the entrance of the Bridesmaids and the ring bearer and flower girl, Jenny had chosen Marry Me by Train. Her entrance music was the Pachelbel Canon in D. After a very touching ceremony, the wedding party exited to Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours.

Many thanks to Stephanie for her help and congratulations to Jenny and Jason! We wish for you a lifetime of happiness!

8th Avenue South

Our weddings on the beach are usually at sunset but on this Sunday in December the Ceremony was scheduled for 2:00 in the afternoon. The location that our couple Megan and William chose was the 8th Avenue South park in Naples. It was a picture perfect day! The beach was not as crowded as I expected especially since the weather was absolutely ideal.  It was such a peaceful setting with the clear blue sky, gentle surf and sailboats slowly going by.

We were greeted by the ladies from Niche Rental Events and Focus Floral as they were finishing up the set up for today’s Wedding. They were kind to take this picture of us prior to our start. I was joined by Joan Stewart and Diane Coffman to make up the Seaside String Trio.

We began the prelude at 1:30 with the selections that Megan requested. We were playing the Schubert, Ave Maria as Pastor Gene Scott arrived. He was serving as the officiant for today. We briefly discussed the details of the Ceremony and then it was back to the music. As we started the Bach, Air, the trolley with the guests arrived. The ushers quickly went to work and guests were being seated while others mingled . Since our couple is from Pennsylvania, I think most folks were from out-of-town. As the Wedding Party was gathering at the steps near the street, I could see the  horse- drawn carriage that was transporting Megan arrive. How romantic!

We began to play Pachelbel Canon in D as the Mothers were being seated; the two Bridesmaids entered followed by the young ring bearer with the Matron of Honor and lastly the two flower girls. The music change to the Clarke Trumpet Voluntary announced Megan’s entrance. Pastor Scott is the senior pastor for the Celebration Beach Church and it was apparent he was accustomed to projecting his voice in front of large crowds. He welcomed everyone, gave an opening prayer, led the exchange of vows, blessing of the rings and a reading . Next came the sand ceremony and we  began to play The Prayer”.  After the kiss, the newly married couple was presented and exited to the music, Le Rejouissance by Handel.  We played a few more pieces and then it was time for everyone to head back onto the trolley. I got a chance to meet and speak with Megan before pictures. She looked so beautiful and happy! May they have a long and happy life together!

Wedding at 8th Avenue South, Naples

Today was the wedding ceremony for Amanda and Ryan, a couple from Michigan. The Seaside String Trio provided the live music so today I was the violist in the group.They chose 8th Avenue South for their location, one of the most beautiful natural settings for a wedding in Naples. The palm trees line the path creating a perfect aisle. Although a cold snap last winter had hit them pretty hard, they have recovered and look beautiful once again.

Electa Saker and her staff from the Hilton Naples did a beautiful job with the setup.

I was checking the radar all day as the forecast was not good. We did have a backup location, the Hilton, but we always hate to have to resort to plan B. It started to sprinkle on and off and finally did start raining. Electa was ready to move it- not a decision I would want to make! After checking with Amanda we decided to wait it out and good thing we did. The rain stopped and we quickly reset. The guests were on their way and we would start immediately not taking any chances for the weather to get bad again. We had our window of opportunity.

The guests entered to the sound of Rondeau by Mouret. We  followed that with Handel’s Allegro and then got the signal from Electa that the Mothers were ready to be seated. Reverend Russ Winn took his place up front. The three mothers entered to Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach.  The Mother of the Groom and then the Mother of the Bride both came to the sand ceremony table to pour a little sand in the single vase before being seated. This was a nice way to do this.

Three Bridesmaids entered wearing beautiful light pink dresses to the Pachelbel Canon in D. Because the aisle is fairly short here, we decided to have Amanda enter to this also. The timing worked great that we were at the faster notes, which is everybody’s favorite spot, when she walked down the aisle in her lovely ivory dress.

Ceremony began, vows were said, rings were exchanged and then came the sand ceremony. We had chosen Gluck Minuet for this, a nice light airy piece. After the kiss and introduction, the Wedding party exited to Handel’s Hornpipe. We did it! No rain spoiled this couple’s day. Congratulations and best wishes!