Naples Beach Hotel

It was another beautiful day on this first Saturday in December! I think our couple picked a perfect day! There was a gorgeous sunset and a night with a full moon for Lily and Justin’s wedding. They chose the Naples Beach Hotel as their venue and the Seaside String Quartet to provide music for their wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. The ceremony was scheduled at 5pm on the Gulf Lawn so we began music at 4:30pm. The music choices made this a very unique event.dec weddings 004 The couple chose all popular music for us: On the playlist for the prelude music was: Beautiful Day, U2; I’m Yours, Jason Mraz; Walking on Sunshine , Katrina & the Waves; All You Need is Love, Beatles; Make You Feel My Love, Adele; The Way You Look Tonight, Sinatra; This Year’s Love, David Gray; Lucky, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat.

For the Seating of the Grandparents and the Seating of the Mothers, we played the song Perfect by Pink. The Officiate ( a family friend named Michael), Groom and Groomsmen entered to Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton. For the Entrance of the Bridesmaids, we played Kiss the Girl from the “Little Mermaid”. Lily chose At Last by Etta James for her Bridal Entrance. Many thanks to coordinator, Mary Beth, for making the timing work great with all these music changes!

During the ceremony, we played Over the Rainbow ( Israel K version) as the couple performed the sand ceremony. For the Recessional, the Wedding Party exited to Ants Marching by Dave Matthews.

The cocktail hour was also held on the Gulf Lawn. On our playlist was Marry You, Bruno Mars; Stand By Me, Ben E. King; Signed, Sealed, Delivered by Stevie Wonder; Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars; Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd; Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison; Home by Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros; Lose Yourself by Eminem; Love Shack by the B52’s; Another One Bites the Dust by Queen; When a Man Loves a Woman, Percy Sledge; One Love, Bob Marley; Can’t Stop the Feeling, Justin Timberlake; Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen; This Will Be An Everlasting Love, Natalie Cole and Just the Way You Are, Bruno Mars. Several these were our newest additions to our repertoire. We had fun performing these songs and are glad people enjoyed them. We appreciate the compliments!

Our Best wishes to Lily and Justin!





Naples Beach Hotel, Penthouse Beach

We were thankful to be spared a direct hit by Hurricane Mathew here in Naples, FL but it brought us enough bad weather I was worried Nicole and Jacob were not going to be able to have the beach wedding they had planned. It was raining when I arrived at Penthouse Beach at the Naples Beach Hotel on this first Thursday of October. I was joined by the other members of the Seaside Strings Trio, our ensemble chosen to provide the wedding ceremony and cocktail reception music.

Lindsay, the venue coordinator, said we were still going for Plan A and had set up umbrellas on the beach for us. The ceremony was due to start at 6 and guests were waiting in the main lobby. It was a miracle the weather cleared just before 6 so the guests quickly came to the beach and took their seats. I looked at the sky and it seemed like we were frozen in time. Clouds barely moved and the wind posed no problem. It was meant to be!

Naples Beach Hotel wedding

The Wedding Party walked out to the music , Canon in D by Pachelbel.  Niki made her entrance to the traditional Bridal Chorus. The ceremony was Officiated by the Groom’s Uncle. The couple paid tribute to their parents and we played “Bless the Broken Road ” while roses were given to the mothers. For the sand ceremony, we played “A Thousand Years.” The traditional Wedding March was played for the Recessional.

Everyone moved back inside the main lobby for cocktail hour where we played a mix of music. We combined Strauss waltzes along with the couple’s favorite pops songs. These songs included Crazy Love by Van Morrison; Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis; How Sweet It Is by James Taylor; It’s Your Love  by Tim McGraw and Faith Hill; Faithfully by Journey, Free by Zac Brown; Love Story by Taylor Swift, Let’s Stay Together by Al Green and Moondance by Van Morrison.

We appreciated the warm response we received , especially from the Groom. He said we helped make the ceremony perfect. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Naples Beach Hotel

It was a breezy but beautiful March evening at the Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club for the wedding of Sarah and Brent. The Groom’s family had been staying at this hotel in Naples, FL during season for years so it was the perfect place for the couple to have chosen for their wedding day! The Seaside String Quartet performed the music for their destination wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. Susan was our contact at the resort and a family friend, Greg, served as Officiant.

Naples Beach Hotel wedding

The Mother of the Groom, Susan, had made the arrangements with me. I was given freedom to choose most of the music. The couple chose the Bridal Procession music and the Recessional music.

We kept it classical for the prelude which began at 5 pm; Bach, Handel and selections from our baroque album. Guests were in place and the family was ready to be seated. We began to play Pachelbel Canon in D as the Parents were seated; the Officiate entered, the Groom, Best Man and the Maid of Honor took their places. Sarah made her entrance to Over the Rainbow. What a beautiful choice and we were able to time it perfectly! For the Sand Ceremony, we played The Prayer and the ceremony concluded with All You Need is Love.

We remained on the Ocean Lawn for the cocktail hour, 6- 7 pm. We played a mix of popular songs and classical. Here was the Playlist:

                 At Last, Etta James

                 Quartet in C, Allegro and Presto, by Mozart

                 Come Fly With Me, Sinatra

                Here Comes the Sun, Beatles

                 Por Una Cabeza Tango

                 Someone to Watch Over Me, Gershwin

                 Liebesfreud Waltz, Kreisler

                 Sway/ Cherry Pink Medley

                 Sleeping Beauty Waltz, Tchaikovsky

                That’s Amore

                 Tales from the Vienna Woods Waltz, Strauss

                 When I’m 64, Beatles

                 A Wink and a Smile, Harry Connick, Jr.

We received so many nice compliments and Susan came up and said how pleased she was. So glad to know they enjoyed our music! We were honored to be there! Congratulations Sarah and Brent!


Naples Beach Hotel

It is always disappointing when the weather spoils the original plans for our couples. But when you are planning an outdoor wedding in August in South Florida, you have to expect rain and have an alternate plan. For Christine and Chuck from New York, their destination wedding at the Naples Beach Hotel had to go into “Plan B” mode since the rain did not subside in time.

When I arrived at the resort around 6pm, dark clouds were hovering and the wind was really picking up. After speaking with Lindsay, the venue coordinator, we decided to set up in the lobby (where she had moved the cocktail hour) and wait to see if the wedding could happen outdoors as planned. I was joined by Joan and Diane to form the Seaside String Trio. We began to play prelude music at 6:45 and the ceremony was due to start at 7pm. Music requested by the couple was At Last (Etta James); Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Elton John); Don’t Stop Beleivin (Journey)’; Have I Told You Lately (Van Morrison); All You Need is Love (The Beatles); I Say a Little Prayer (Dionne Warwick); Marry You (Bruno Mars); It Had to Be You (Frank Sinatra); and Someone Like You ( Van Morrison).

It did rain and about 7:10, Lindsay came to me to ask us to move into the Sunset Terrace for the ceremony. We were able to move quickly and continued to play music from the couple’s reception list as the guests made their way into the room. It was after 7:30 when the ceremony began. We played A Sky Full of Stars (Coldplay) for the Seating of the Mothers and the Entrance of  the Officiate, Groom, Groomsmen, 9 Bridesmaids and 1 flower girl. For the Entrance of the Bride, we played Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton).

The Officiate was John, Brother of the Bride, and he really made it a fun ceremony! Within the ceremony, the couple had the sand mixing ceremony and we played Marry Me ( Train) as they poured the sand into the glass container. Amid cheers by the guests, the newlyweds and wedding party exited down the aisle to the music, Sweet Child O’ Mine ( Guns and Roses).

The ceremony ended around 8pm and we moved back into the lobby to play for the remainder of the cocktail hour (until 8:30 pm). Here was the entire playlist for the reception:

Happy (Pharrell Williams); Home (Phillip Phillips); Island in the Sun (Weezer); Hey, Soul Sister (Train); Fly Me to the Moon (Frank Sinatra); I’m Gonna Be 500 miles (The Proclaimers); Maybe I’m Amazed (Paul McCartney); Just the Way You Are Amazing ( Bruno Mars); Moondance (Van Morrison); Livin’ on a Prayer (Bon Jovi); Layla (Eric Clapton); One (U2); You Are So Beautiful ( Joe Cocker); Better Together (Jack Johnson); and Unconditionally (Katy Perry).

We loved the selections the couple chose and so did the guests! We thank everyone for their kind comments!

Congratulations to Christine and Chuck! We hope you enjoyed your time in Florida despite this rain!

Naples Beach Hotel

One of our last weddings for March happened right after a cold front moved through the area. The day was a beautiful sunny day , low 70’s,  and very windy. You can see from the picture how churned up the water was. Nick and Erin from Ohio chose the Naples Beach Hotel in Naples, FL as the venue for their wedding celebration. The ceremony was on the beach with cocktail hour following on the Gulf Lawn. The Seaside String Trio provided their live music.

Naples Beach Hotel beach wedding

We were working with wonderful vendors: Paige from No Worries Weddings, wedding planner; Reverend James Berger, officiate; Jay Rigdon, DJ; Botanicals on the Gulf, florist; Aimee Rossi, photographer.

We arrived on the beach at 3:30, ready to play prelude music at 4 pm. Fortunately, we were able to place ourselves with our backs to the wind so our stands and books did not blow over.  Erin and Nick requested all classical music for the prelude. They  gave me freedom to choose, just wanted me to keep it lively. So we played for their guests these selections: Entrance of the Queen of Sheba by Handel, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto #3, Haydn Divertimento, Strauss You and You Waltz, Allegro by Handel, Vivace by Telemann, and lively movements from the Handel Water Music Suite.

When we got the signal from Paige, we began to play Purcell’s Trumpet Tune for the Entrance of the Officiate, the Groom and his Parents and the Mother of the Bride. (Paige kindly gave us extra time because of the wind to turn our pages- we certainly appreciate that understanding help!). For the Entrance of the five Bridesmaids we played Rigaudon by Campra. After the last girl was in place, we began to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the Entrance of the Bride. During the ceremony, we played Meditation by Massenet as the couple performed the sand ceremony. For the Recessional, we played “Here Comes the Sun.”

For the cocktail reception, we performed popular songs chosen by the couple. Erin had a special favorite, Poker Face, and we made sure she was nearby when we played it. Other songs on our playlist were A Thousand Years, Brown Eyed Girl, Crazy Love, Fly Me to the Moon, Got to Get You Into My Life, How Deep is Your Love, I’m Yours, Just Like Heaven, La Bamba, Let’s Stay Together, Lucky, Maybe I’m Amazed and Moondance.

We appreciate the warm response we received from the guests and enjoyed being a part of this special day. Congratulations Nick and Erin!

Naples Beach Hotel

It is holiday week in Naples FL and the beach was very crowded when I arrived at the Naples Beach Hotel for our destination wedding on Monday, December 30th. Leyla and Bart from Wisconsin were getting married on the Penthouse Beach and the Seaside Strings Violin & Cello Duo was selected to provide the wedding ceremony and cocktail reception music.

Naples Beach Hotel wedding

Naples Beach Hotel beach weddingBart handled all the music details with me. With the beach atmosphere, he wanted light classical pieces  for the ceremony so we played mostly baroque period music and kept the selections lively. We began to play thirty minutes prior to the ceremony and Bart was there to welcome and mingle with the guests. It was a small party of about 26 people.  Suzi Freeman served as officiate and we thank her for taking this picture of us. Melissa at the resort was our coordinator.

When Melissa gave us the signal, we began to play Campra’s Rigaudon.  Suzi led Bart out onto the beach and after they were in place at the arch,  Leyla appeared. It was a great ceremony. At her vows, Leyla turned to the guests and said so emphatically  “I Do! ” that it made everyone laugh. That created a release in everyone from the serious tone to one more fun. We played Mozart’s Turkish March as the Recessional, a request from Leyla.  For postlude, we played her second request, Mozart’s Abduction from Seraglio.

A special request was a Turkish Song from Leyla’s hometown called Cokertme. Bart had provided the melody music which I played on violin and Diane improvised her part on the cello. We were told this was traditional music for her and she began to dance as we played. She was happy!

Bart gave me a list of songs off our popular music list that they us wanted to play during the cocktail hour. These included All You Need  is Love, Bittersweet Symphony, Brown Eyed Girl,  How Sweet it is, Into the Mystic, Layla, Moondance, She’s Always a Woman, Till There Was You, Love is Here to Stay, When I’m 64, Here Comes the Sun, You Are the Best Thing, Whoopee, Here Comes the Sun and Wild Horses. Since he told me they loved jazz standards, we also included  Ain’t Misbehavin’,  At Last,  Birth of the Blues,  and Stardust. As we finished with Someone to Watch Over Me, the guests had moved on to the dinner and Leyla and Bart enjoyed a quiet moment dancing to our music. It was a perfect ending!

Naples Beach Hotel

Naples Beach Hotel wedding ceremony

We were happy for our couple from Ohio, Emily and Mike, that the weather was just ideal for their destination wedding. On this Friday in late October, they chose the Naples Beach Hotel as their venue with the ceremony and cocktail hour taking place on the gulf lawn. The  Seaside Strings Violin and Cello Duo provided the wedding ceremony music and cocktail reception music.

We arrived early in order to rehearse with 2 vocalists that Emily has asked to sing during her ceremony. All went smoothly and we began prelude music thirty minutes prior to the ceremony. The couple chose all pops music and our selections included Have I Told You lately, The Very Thought of You, It Had to Be You, Just the Way You Are Amazing, Marry Me, Lucky , Cheek to Cheek and In My Life.

With a signal from Lindsey, coordinator at the resort, we began to play Marry You for the entrance of the Officiate, Dr. Dan Lamey, the Groom, Mike, and his seven Groomsmen. Once in place, Lindsey sends the grandparents and the mothers. After they have been seated, we accompany Carly as she sings I’m Yours for the Entrance of the Bridesmaids, Ring bearer and Flower girl.  Can’t Help Falling in Love was the music Emily chose for her entrance.

It all worked better than I could have imagined- the timing was tricky but it worked out really well!  Lindsey did a great job of spacing the entrances.

After the readings and the exchange of vows and rings, Kathryn came forward to sing A Thousand Years for the sand ceremony. This is such a beautiful song and a wonderful choice for this moment in the ceremony. As the ceremony concluded with the breaking of the glass and the kiss, Dr Lamey introduced the newlyweds and we played Viva la Vida for the exit of the wedding party. Kudos to Carly and Kathryn for doing a beautiful job!

Cocktail hour continued on the lawn and I loved the choices Emily and Mike had chosen for us. The songs included Wagon Wheel, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, This Will Be An Everlasting Love, Wanted, Better Together, Bittersweet Symphony, Firework, Hawaiian Wedding Song, How Sweet It Is, Hey Soul Sister, It’s Your Love, I Won’t Give Up, Pennies From Heaven, The Scientist, Signed Sealed Delivered, I Say a Little Prayer, Come Fly With Me and we finished with What a Wonderful World.

Everyone enjoyed the beautiful southwest Florida sunset. It was truly a memorable evening. Congratulations and best wishes to Emily and Mike.

We are so grateful to Emily for her review at the Wedding Wire website. You can click on the following link to read her comments.