Casa Ybel Resort beach wedding

On this final weekend of December, as 2014 winds down, I traveled to Sanibel Island for the wedding of Julia and Jon. Joined by colleagues Wendy Willis and Diane Coffman, it was the Seaside Strings Flute, Violin and Cello ensemble providing music for the wedding ceremony and cocktail reception. This was a destination beach wedding with about 40 guests. We shared the day with  Tori from Casa Ybel, Rabbi Michael Raab, Audrey Snow Photographers and Floral Artistry.

Casa Ybel beach wedding

It was such a beautiful day! The beach was full of guests enjoying an unusually warm day for this time of year- it was probably in the low 80’s. Ceremony time was 4:30 and we began prelude music at 4:15. I had worked mostly with the Mother of the Bride, Jane, on the music selections. Lively classical was what was requested so we played some Baroque classics along with a Mozart Trio.

The Processional was simple. The 2-year-old flower girl preceded the Bride. Julia had requested the Handel Allegro ( ) for her Entrance so I chose the Handel Air ( ) for the flower girl’s entrance to complement it. The pieces were both in the same key and the timing worked perfectly.

Rabbi Raab officiated a beautiful ceremony. The breaking of the glass was our cue for the Recessional, Siman Tov. Guests stayed on the beach afterwards for pictures and as they made their way to the reception, we quickly packed up and joined them on the terrace. We played a mix of music for the cocktail hour. I was given freedom to make the choices and we played some waltzes, some Jewish songs and some contemporary songs. We finished the night by debuting a new one, Happy.

Best wishes, Jon and Julia!! Thank you for having us share this special day!

Casa Ybel trio



Casa Ybel Resort

A Ohio couple, Jennifer and Fred, chose the Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island, Florida as the venue for their destination wedding. The Seaside String Trio provided the live music for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. The wedding was on the beach at 5:30 followed by the cocktail hour on the lawn.  We enjoyed working with fellow vendors Carrie Darling of Carrie Darling Events, wedding planner; Floral Artistry, florist; Hunter- Ryan, Photography and Christina Bowman of Beautiful Florida Weddings, Officiate

Casa Ybel beach weddingWe began prelude music at 5;00 as the guests ventured down the boardwalk to the beach. I had worked mostly with Fred and he chose a mix of music.  Classical favorites such as Debussy’s Clair de lune , Vivaldi’s Spring and Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring  were on the playlist along with Por Una Cabeza Tango, When I’m 64 (Beatles) and Somewhere Over the Rainbow. When we got the signal from Carrie, we began to play A Thousand Years (Christina Perri) for the Entrance of  the Officiate and the Seating of the Family. Our Bride, Jennifer, entered to the Canon in D by Pachelbel.  After the vows and exchange of rings, the couple did a wine box / love letter ceremony and we played Delibes Flower Duet as Christina explained what was happening and the couple sealed the box to be opened again on their first anniversary. After Christina introduced the newlyweds, we played Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Stevie Wonder) as the Recessional. When the guests  rose to move on to the reception, we played  You’re My First, My Last, My Everything (Barry White).

The reception area looked gorgeous! Casa Ybel receptionWe debuted a couple new songs that Fred had requested. These were I’m Gonna Be 500 Miles (Proclaimers ) and I Want You to Want Me (Cheap Trick). Also on the couple’s  playlist were Fly Me to the Moon (Frank Sinatra), Good Life (OneRepublic); I Got You Babe (Sonny & Cher); I See the Light (Disney); Just the Way You Are Amazing (Bruno Mars); Let Me Be There (Elvis); Mack the Knife (Bobby Darin); Margaritaville (Jimmy Buffet); Marry Me (Train);  The Way You Look Tonight (Sinatra) and What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong).

It was such a pleasure to meet this young sweet couple! What a wonderful evening for them and we wish them a long and happy life together!

Casa Ybel, Sanibel Island, Florida

Valentines Day is such a romantic day to get married , don’t you think?  Choosing a beautiful Sanibel Island Florida destination, the Casa Ybel Resort,  Rebecca and Abdul shared their vows on the beach on a gorgeous sunny day. The Seaside Strings Flute, Violin and Cello Trio added to the romantic atmosphere and provided the live music for the wedding ceremony and cocktail reception.

Casa Ybel beach wedding

The wedding was scheduled for 5:15 so we began prelude music at 5 pm.  There was a slight breeze and at low tide, the waves were gently coming in onto the beach. It was so peaceful! The small group from Ohio were definitely happy to be here as it was still so cold back home.

Rebecca and Abdul preferred popular music for us to play. The selections included Married Life from”UP”, The Forest Gump Feather Theme, At Last, In My Life and Can You Feel the Love Tonight. With the signal from Tori, the wedding planner at the resort, we began to play” Everything” for the Entrance of the Officiate, Janette Adams  of Wedding Vows by Earth, Air & Sea,  and the Groom, Abdul.  Once they  took their places in front of the arch, Rebecca entered to the music Portuguese Love Theme from the movie “Love Actually”.  At the spur of the moment, we played music during the sand ceremony and chose ” You & Me”. As the ceremony concluded, the couple kissed, we played “All You Need is Love” for the recessional. Since the guests were still mingling on the beach while pictures were being taken , we played ” All I Want is You” and “Marry Me” before we headed to the terrace for the cocktail reception.

Rebecca told me she was happy with anything we played for the reception. So, I put together a playlist of music that I thought they would all enjoy. Selections included Cheek to Cheek, Don’t Stop Believin’, Fly Me to the Moon, God Only Knows, Good Life, Here Comes the Sun, How Sweet It is, It Had to Be You, Love Story by Taylor Swift, Lucky, Make You Feel My Love , Moon Dance and This Will Be (An Everlasting Love). As the DJ took over for the rest of the evening, I got a chance to meet and congratulate the newlyweds. They looked so happy! We hope they enjoyed their time in Florida!

Casa Ybel Wedding

We are nearing the end of rainy season and the number of weddings we have picks up dramatically in the month of October. Our wedding on this Friday was at the Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island. It is a destination beach wedding for Heather and Rich from Missouri and they have booked the Seaside String Quartet to provide their wedding ceremony music.

Casa Ybel 002

Thankfully there was only a small chance of rain and the occasional clouds helped keep it from feeling too unbearably hot. I guess the Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf helped make this happen. Oh, but because it wasn’t windy enough to keep them away, the noseeums were horrible.  It was a real challenge to play while feeling the bugs biting!

All my communications were with the groom Rich. Book of Love was one of their “must have” songs and we were playing that as their guests came our onto the beach. We played Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls after that and then Rich walked his grandmother to her seat. We quickly changed to the Forest Gump Feather Theme, the music chosen for the Processional and got the signal from Lea, the coordinator at the resort. The 2 Mothers were seated, Rich and his Groomsmen took their places and then the Maid of Honor made her entrance. The little flower girl appeared after her and slowly came out . It appeared she wasn’t going to make it out the whole way and  since we had already repeated the song a couple of times, we switched to the music for the entrance of our Bride, Heather, which was the Pachelbel Canon in D.  As we began, the flower girl then quickly moved to take her place, with the help of her mom, and all stood as Heather made her way onto the beach.

The ceremony was performed by the brides’ brother. Readings were made by both Mothers . Then after the exchange of rings , they did something we had never seen before. The couple rang a bell together. As the newly married couple was introduced to the clapping crowd, we played the traditional Wedding March for the exit of the wedding party.

We followed with two special requests made by the couple, Wanted and Have a Little Faith in Me. As pictures were being taken, we also played Lucky, Marry Me and finished with A Whole New World.  Afterwards, Rich came over to thank us for playing the new songs for them.  It was a pleasure! And, we added 2 great new songs to our list!

Congratulations and best wishes, Rich and Heather!

Casa Ybel Resort

Our wedding on this last Saturday in August brought us to Sanibel Island at the Casa Ybel Resort. This was a destination wedding for Allison and Christopher, our couple from Vermont.  It turned out to be a lovely day and luckily enough, rain free.  Allison chose the Seaside Strings Violin and Cello Duo for her wedding ceremony music so I am joined by my colleague, Diane Coffman.

Casa Ybel Wedding 004

I loved the colors that she chose for this beach wedding and the white flower arrangements made by Libby’s Flowers were gorgeous with the teal.  The starfish hung onto the aisle chairs were a nice touch too. Thankfully, they were able to find the owner of the boat in the distance. He moved it so they would have a clean view for the pictures.

We were due to start playing at 4:45  but the guests did not begin to come to the beach until 5:10. It was a hot day, in the upper 80’s, but with the nice breeze it did not feel too uncomfortable to us.  Allison chose all popular songs for us to play for the prelude. These included” Bittersweet Symphony”, “Halo”, and “Titanium”. With a signal from Leah, the coordinator at the resort, we began to play” Paradise”  for the Entrance of the Groom and Officiate, the Seating of the Mothers, the 5 Bridesmaids and Ring Bearer. As we began to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Allison’s baby daughter was carried out and then Allison made her way down the aisle.  Allison’s Mom later told me it was her dream to walk out on her wedding day to  that music since she was a little girl. It was our honor to help make that dream come true!

The ceremony was led by Jack, a family friend. He kindly gave us a nod to start the music, “Only Time”,  when Allison and Christopher presented their baby with a special necklace. After the introduction of  the newlyweds, we played “Marry Me”  as the wedding party exited. We concluded our portion of the proceedings with” Just the Way You Are Amazing” as pictures were being taken.

The guests greeted us so warmly afterwards and I did get to sneak in during pictures and congratulate Allison. We enjoyed playing the music she selected and wish the couple all the best! It was a very special day!

Casa Ybel

It is such a relief that you can’t always trust the weather forecast when it’s a bad one. Yesterday we had an unusual day of rain all day long and the forecast was for rain again today. But on this first Friday in May, it was a beautiful sunny day with a wonderful breeze when I arrived at the Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island.  Since it is quite a trip from Naples, Joan Stewart carpooled with me and Diane Coffman joined us there. It was the Seaside String Trio providing the wedding ceremony music for our couple from Los Angeles, Linzey and Garrett.  A huge tent was set up behind the Thistle Lodge for the reception and that would have been the backup plan in case of rain. Since the weather was beautiful, we were out on the beach. Signature Florals did a beautiful job with the ceremony site. Cody and Tiffany from Hunter Ryan Photo were here to do the photography.

Casa Ybel beach wedding

Garrett chose the prelude music and he obviously loves romantic classical music. He chose Torna a Surriento (Come Back to Sorrento), Debussy’s Claire de Lune, and The Girl with the Flaxen Hair,  Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise,  Faure’s Pavane and Schubert’s, Ave Maria. It turned out we needed one more piece so we added the Elgar Salut d’ Amour which I think fit nicely along with his other choices.

I had called Lea, the coordinator at the resort,  a week ago to confirm everything so once I got a big wave from her, we began to play the Pachelbel Canon in D for the Processional. As we played, a Grandmother was seated, the two Mothers were seated, the Officiant, a friend of Linzey’s, walked out followed by Garrett and his Groomsmen, 7 Bridesmaids, 1 Junior Bridesmaid and 2 Flower Girls. All the girls wore a different colored dress and all had a ring of flowers on their heads. I had never seen that before and all the girls looked gorgeous. More great flowers from Signature Florals!  For Linzey’s Entrance , the music was Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns and Roses. This was a special request that I think it will be a great addition to our repertoire list. It has already been requested by a future bride.

It was a great ceremony, a bit out of the ordinary with a California New Age vibe and you could tell it was a fun bunch a people. I was seated where I could see Linzey and she looked so beautiful in her lovely lace gown and so happy! There was lots of laughter during the ceremony and huge cheers when the newly married couple kissed.

The music for the recessional was Firework. As the guests mingled and pictures were being taken, we also played Here Comes the Sun and Yellow.

I am so glad it was an ideal day for them and we wish this couple all the very best! It was a pleasure to work with Linzey and to meet her and Garrett!