A Thousand Years, new version

In August we are playing for the destination wedding of Rob and Heather on Marco island. They requested a different version of A Thousand Years so we made a tape for them today.

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St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church

Our wedding on Saturday was one I will remember as one of my favorites.  It was a destination wedding for our couple, Malini and Justin. They chose the St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church as their wedding site and the Seaside String Quartet to provide the music for their wedding ceremony.  Lisa Radlovacki of Lisa London Weddings and Events was the wedding planner. We also saw our friends Nanette from Luminaire Foto and Steven from iheART Films.

It was my first time playing for a wedding of this denomination and my first time at this church. It was so beautiful inside! The ceremony was full of traditions and symbolism. And there was a lot of music! There was a choir to handle the sacred sections of the ceremony and a guitarist played a song for the Lighting of the Unity Candle. The Priest was amazing as he chanted throughout the 90 minute ceremony.

In the planning process, the couple had requested a song called Arms of Love by Kutless for the Bridal Procession. Unfortunately, I was unable to find the sheet music for it. Justin asked a friend to help and she was able to arrange the music for our string quartet. Justin asked that this be kept a secret from Malini. Thank you so much to the arranger, Anissa! It was a pleasure to meet you! Here is an excerpt:

We arrived at 2 pm and began playing prelude music at 2:30. The wedding was due to begin at 3 pm but the couple did warn me it would probably be delayed. The couple chose popular music to entertain the guests as they arrived at the church. Here was our prelude playlist chosen by the couple:

You’re Beautiful, James Blunt; A Thousand Years, Christina Perri; Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison; Baby I Love Your Way, Peter Frampton; I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserables; Hallelujah, Jeff Buckley; Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Frankie Valli; Come Away With Me, Norah Jones; I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, Aerosmith; Amazed, Lonestar; I’ll Stand By You, The Pretenders; You and Me, Lifehouse; For the Longest Time, Billy Joel; Rhythm of Love, Plain White T’s; Every Breath You Take, Sting; All of Me, John Legend; Just the Way You Are Amazing, Bruno Mars.

We began to play Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring as the Entrance of the Groom’s Parents  began the Processional. They were followed by the Mother of the Bride and her escort. We continued to play this selection as the mothers went up to light the Unity Candle.

We changed to the Pachelbel Canon in D as Justin entered followed by his 10 Groomsmen, 8 Bridesmaids, 2 Ring Bearers and 3 Flower Girls. Malini entered to her song, Arms of Love. I wish I could have seen her face when she realized what we were playing. Anissa served in the choir and I saw a big smile on her face! I got goosebumps!

When the ceremony concluded with the presentation of the newly married couple, we played the traditional Wedding March. For postlude, we played Marry You by Bruno Mars and One Love by Bob Marley.

Congratulations, Malini and Justin! Best wishes always!

 

Proposal

I had just gotten home from playing an Easter Sunday church service when the phone rang. It was an inquiry to play violin for a proposal the next day, Monday. I had the evening free so we worked out all the details. I was to arrive at 5:30 at the spa at the Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort. The couple would come in about 6pm, supposedly checking out the accommodations for a massage. The room would be decorated and I would play. Eight songs were chosen, the most important one being ” My Heart Will Go On”, the love theme from the movie, Titanic.

It was such a wonderful experience! The bride- to- be just glowed with happiness. It was all so romantic! The ladies who worked at the spa took pictures and a video. Phone calls were made to announce the happy news. This lovely couple was here visiting from Israel. It was a pleasure to meet them and be a part of their special memory of South Florida!

Edgewater Beach Hotel Vow Renewal

Last week, I got called early in the week to play violin solo for a vow renewal on Friday. The couple gave me freedom to choose the music, preferring mostly classical. Sandy and the staff at the Edgewater Beach Hotel did a tremendous job. It was a very intimate event and the weather was just perfect for a dinner on the beach.  I really enjoyed performing for the 6 people for two hours, they were so kind.  I feel fortunate to have gotten this last minute booking. 

Twin Eagles Private Home

We were fortunate to be asked to play for a benefit for the Golisano Children’s Hospital. The event was at a private home in the Twin Eagles  Community in North Naples. In fact, it was the residence of the son of Roald Dahl, writer of children’s books, most notably the book on which the “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” movie was based. Each corner of the house was decorated for Christmas. It was awesome! I learned it took them three weeks to decorate but I’m sure much longer to plan. There were so many things to see!

I was joined by my colleagues  to form the Seaside String Trio.The host and hostess could not have been nicer. We were encouraged to have a look around before guests arrived and I took a bunch of pictures.  Given the atmosphere, we performed mostly Christmas music with a few classical selections thrown in too.

We got so many wonderful comments. It was a really fun and memorable evening!

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