Sundial Resort

November is such a wonderful month in Southwest Florida and so it is a busy month for weddings. On November 10th, the Seaside Strings Violin Duo arrived at the Sundial Resort on Sanibel Island for the afternoon wedding of Megan and Sean. Amanda Wichmanowski  of Amanda Caroline Weddings and Events was the wedding coordinator and Sue Totterdale officiated the ceremony.  Sundial 006

The ceremony was held on the lawn. This is a great spot because it offers privacy and a beautiful view of the water.

We performed a mix of music for the prelude including Megan’s main requests Debussy’s Clair de Lune and Marry Me by Train.

Here is a video of the prelude songs, Can’t Help Falling in Love played by the duo.

When Amanda gave us the signal  that they were ready to begin, we began to play the Bach Air for the Seating of the Family and the Entrance of the Wedding Party.  Megan entered to the Canon in D by Pachelbel.


When the ceremony concluded, we played Here Comes the Sun as the Recessional.

Here is another video, this one is The Way You Look Tonight, which was one of the postlude songs.

And here is an excerpt of Stand By Me, one of the postlude songs Megan requested.

We enjoyed being a part of this special day! Congratulations Megan and Sean!


Hilton Marco Island Beach Resort

Wedding season is in full swing now. On this Friday in October, the weather could not have been more perfect! Our first cold front of the fall season came through last weekend and we were still enjoying less humid conditions. And, it was wonderful to not have to worry about rain today! The Seaside Strings Violin Duo was here on Marco Island to provide the music for the wedding ceremony of Nikki and Ahmad. The Mother of the Bride, Susan, had arranged, as a gift to the couple, to have our live music for their special day.

Hilton Marco Island wedding


Hilton Marco Island wedding

The ceremony was set for 5:30 and we started prelude music around 5:00 as the guests began to arrive on the beach.  On our playlist was Can You Feel the Love Tonight, A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, All of Me, Can’t Help Falling in Love, Spring and Ode to Joy.

Tina from the Hilton served as Officiant and she arrived first.  As the Groom and Flower Girl made their way down the boardwalk, we played Pachelbel’s Canon in D.  Once they were in place we concluded that and began to play  All I Ask of You for the Entrance of the Mother of the Bride, the Father of the Bride and his wife, and the three ring bearers. For Nikki’s entrance, we played Someone  to Watch Over Me and both her parents escorted her down the aisle. The breaking of the glass concluded the ceremony and we played All You Need is Love as the couple walked back down the aisle.  The family enjoyed a beautiful evening on the beach and we continued to play a few more of their favorites  to complete our hour of service: Just the Way You Are Amazing, Marry Me and Wouldn’t It Be Nice.

It was a pleasure to be a part of this very special event. Thank you Susan for having us! Best wishes to the newlyweds!


La Playa Beach Resort

We had a fabulous wedding last week at the La Playa Beach Resort in Naples, FL.  Lindsey and Steve were our Bride and Groom and this was a destination wedding for the Colorado couple. They chose the Seaside Strings Violin Duo to provide the wedding ceremony music and cocktail reception music. Located on the north beach at the resort, which is a little more private, we were very lucky the weather was beautiful for this late June wedding. Many thanks to Betsy at the resort for providing us with an umbrella!

It was great to see Emma Burdis, photographer, capturing the event for the couple.

La Playa Wedding


La Playa Reception









Susan Sikuta was my colleague today and we began prelude music at about 6:45 pm when the guests began to arrive on the beach. The couple chose all popular music for their event. On the playlist for the prelude was Can You Feel the Love Tonight , A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes, From This Moment On and A Moment Like This.

When the wedding party was all lined up, we began to play Marry Me for the Seating of the Mothers , the Entrance of the Officiate and Groom and the 4 Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. For the Entrance of the Bride, the music was Can’t Help Falling in Love. The Father of the Groom, Tom, officiated a very heartwarming ceremony. The couple chose to do a wine box ceremony and we played The Prayer as they inserted their letters and the wine into the special box. A Whole New World was the music for the Recessional followed by All You Need is Love.

Lindsey told me she loved Disney and some newer songs and gave me the freedom to choose the music for the cocktail reception. I always put together a fact sheet for the bride to review and she thought all the selections were great. We played I’m Yours, Just the Way You Are Amazing, In My Life, So This is Love, Marry You, Good Life, Wonderful Tonight, Better Together, How Sweet It Is, It’s a Small World, Kiss the Girl, Lucky, Once Upon a Dream, Part of Your World, Someday My Prince Will Come, Here Comes the Sun, Under the Sea, This Will Be ( An Everlasting Love) and we finished the evening with When You Wish Upon a Star. Everyone was so wonderful to us, expressing their appreciation of our music as they left the beach to go to dinner. It was such a pleasure to meet everyone and we wish Lindsey and Steve all the very best!

Marco Beach Ocean Resort

Once again I get to write about a bride who had a unique vision for her wedding day. Lena and her fiance, Josh, chose the Marco Beach Ocean Resort for their venue and the Seaside Strings Violin Duo provided the music for the wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. But what was out of the ordinary was they had the cocktail hour first, on the terrace, followed by the ceremony on the beach. This was a destination wedding for the couple from New York and they had about 130 guests make the trip to be a part of the couples’ celebration.

Marco Beach Ocean Resort terraceWe began to play at 6:15 and since the weather was just a bit threatening , we went under cover. A small shower quickly came and went. It was mostly popular music on our playlist for the cocktail reception.  Our selections were Can You Feel the Love Tonight; Breathe (2am); Come Fly With Me; From This Moment On; How Sweet It Is; La Vie En Rose; Over the Rainbow; Only Time; Penny Lane; Theme from NY,NY; In My Life; You Are the Sunshine of My Life; When You Wish Upon a Star; Edelweiss; A Moment Like This, Waltz of the Flowers, Bach’s Minuet in G.

At about 7:10 we made our way onto the beach for the ceremony and the guests quickly followed us.  As the guests waited for things to begin we entertained them with That’s Amore, It’s a Wonderful World, This Will Be ( An Everlasting Love) , Beauty and the Beast and Kiss the Girl. There was a delay as we learned they were waiting for the Rabbi so we played some more Sinatra and Beatles songs. As the Rabbi came down the boardwalk, everyone cheered and we began to play the Israel K version of Over the Rainbow. The Groom and his Parents walked onto the beach followed by the 3 Bridesmaids and Groomsmen. Lena had 6 children walking as ring bearers and flower girls and she chose the perfect song for them” It’s a Small World”.  As Lena walked with her Parents toward her Groom, we played A Whole New World.  When Josh broke the glass to end the ceremony, we played Hava Nagila.  The Rabbi began to sing and the couple led their wedding party back down the aisle.

We were happy to share this event with these wedding vendors; Kevin Morris of Botanicals on the Gulf, Karl and Nanette of Luminaire Foto, AnnMarie and Steven of iheART Films and Daniella of Ella’s Cakes. And Corrin and her staff at the resort are always so wonderful to us! Another great memory!

La Playa Gulf Lawn

Another rainy weekend yet once again prayers were answered on this second Sunday in August. On this particular day, we had pretty steady rain throughout the day since morning. At about 6pm, it looked like most of it had passed and our evening wedding was going to be fine. As I approached the La Playa Resort, the sun was peeking out through the dark clouds. The radar showed me there was a patch of storms out in the gulf heading inland. I prayed it would hold off until our ceremony was over. Ah, summertime in southwest Florida!

It is not unusual to be contacted by a groom arranging for ceremony music. But what was special about this wedding was that our music was going to be a surprise for the Bride!  This was a destination wedding-the couple Brant and Jessica were from Atlanta. It was a small intimate wedding with only 8 guests and was held on the beautiful gulf lawn at La Playa I swear they have this grass looking like carpet! The tiki torches were lit and all was ready.

After having coordinated on the phone with Gail, the Concierge at the  La Playa Resort,  I checked in with her when I arrived. Brant was in the lobby so I got to meet him before I headed outside.  I was joined by my colleague, Joan Stewart, and we were performing today as the Seaside Strings Violin Duo. The Ceremony was due to begin at 7:15 and with the heat we were not sure when the guests would come out or if pictures were to be taken prior to the ceremony. We were ready to do what was required of us. As the dark clouds got closer and we heard the rumble of thunder I was beginning to worry once again. An update from Gail relayed  that the groom was a bit nervous too but the Officiate had not yet arrived.  As she went back inside, I noticed the clouds were staying just south. Thank goodness!

Not too much longer and I got the signal from Gail. Rondeau by Mouret was one of the requests for when the guests were being seated. We began to play and although we could see the guests lined up outside the restaurant , no one came out to be seated. We played it twice and continued on with other lively selections. As we were playing the Bouree and Hornpipe from Handel’s Water Music, the guests slowly approached the lawn. Everyone became part of the Processional and it worked perfectly. They came in couples and did not rush out all at once. Brant came and took his place. Now time for the Bride to appear. To the music of Pachelbel”s Canon, the beaming Bride made her entrance.

It was a short ceremony (I am guessing at the request of the groom) performed by Deborah Temirlioglu, a notary from Cape Coral. As she introduced the couple as Mr. and Mrs. , we began to play Vivaldi’s Spring.  The next request was for Purcell’s Trumpet Tune. As pictures were taken on the lawn, we continued to play lively classical pieces. Many guests came by to tell us how much they enjoyed our music and Brant came by to tell us how pleased he was too. I am so glad!!

As they headed inside for their dinner, our work was done. Gail told me the groom said it was all as he had envisioned. How wonderful is that! Best wishes to all!

La Playa

This summer has been so different from the past years. It seemed that in the past rain had not affected too many of our events but this year is such a different story. I feel bad for the couples when their original plans have to be adjusted because of the weather. We want the weather to be perfect for all our Brides.

On this Sunday near the end of July, it had been raining all day. Checking the radar several times throughout the day, there was a huge green blob over the southern part of the state that looked like it was going to be there for a while. So I wasn’t surprised when I got a call from Julie at the La Playa Beach Resort that we were moving from the beach to the terrace for the Wedding of Shelly and Shawn. When I arrived at the resort around 6:15 and saw the truck from Botanicals on the Gulf, I knew the terrace was going to look lovely.  Kevin always does such a wonderful job! And luckily enough, the skies had cleared and there was a breeze that felt wonderful.

I was joined by my colleague Susan Sikuta as it was the Seaside Strings Violin Duo performing for the ceremony and cocktail hour. As we were warming up. little Jack, the ring bearer, came with his dad to practice walking down the aisle. You could tell he was excited about the job he had today!  Since guests began to arrive, we started just a bit early. It was all classical music and we kept it lively, just as the couple had requested. We were soon joined by Michelle Reed of Michelle Reed Photography.

When I got the signal from Julie, we began the Pachelbel Canon in D. Little Jack sped down the aisle and had to be called back. Guess he was a bit excited!  The Officiate, a family friend, led the Processional. Shawn and his Groomsmen took their places, Shelly’s Mother was seated and then the Matron of Honor walked down and took her place. Now it was time for Jack to walk down the aisle and he did his job perfectly. Following him were two very adorable flower girls. Once they were in place, we began to play the Clarke Trumpet Voluntary for the Entrance of the Bride, Shelly.

It was a very moving Ceremony. Their brother sang two songs while accompanied by someone on guitar. I did not know the first song but the second one was Longer by Dan Fogelberg. After the rings and the vows, Juli, the Officiate, asked everyone to notice they were given a stone that was attached to the fan that had been placed at each of their seats. She asked everyone to give a blessing to the couple and then place the stone in a vase in the back as they exited the ceremony area. As everyone silently said their prayers for the couple, we turned our pages to the Recessional music. After Juli introduced the happy couple, we began to play Purcell’s Trumpet Tune for the exit of the Wedding Party. We quickly followed that with the very joyful La Rejouissance by Handel.

We moved slightly forward on the terrace for the Cocktail Reception. Shelly and Shawn requested pops music for this hour. Their requests included My Heart Will Go On, Cheek to Cheek, At Last, Kiss the Girl, Endless Love, Dream a Little Dream of Me,  Can’t Help Falling in Love,  If,  I’ve Got the World on a String, Wonderful Tonight and Penny Lane. This last  was a new song added to our repertoire list and was in honor of one the flower girls whose name just happened to be Penny Lane.

We finished our performance with What a Wonderful World. It is our wish that Shelly and Shawn have a wonderful life together!

Here is a picture of the beautiful ballroom that awaited the guests for the rest of their evening. We hope everyone had a fabulous time!

Marco Beach Ocean Resort

Marco Beach Ocean Resort is one of my favorite places . When I first moved to Florida and started Seaside Strings, I think this is where we played our first wedding. It is a smaller resort ( I have never see them to have more than one wedding at a time) so you get very personal service and Corrin Green the Wedding Planner is wonderful to work with. And now she is planning her own wedding! Congratulations Corrin!

October is a busy month for weddings in Southwest Florida. The crowds of tourists have not yet arrived and you can get wonderful fall weather. It is a transitional month  for us; we move from wearing cream tops and black skirts, our summer dress, to all black. The sun is less intense but we can still get humid conditions,  the occasional rain and it can be quite breezy. This Sunday started off perfectly but as Ceremony time approached, so did some dark clouds. The radar looked OK but I took the umbrella as my insurance.

Today our couple is Carrie Anne and Brian from Rhode Island. Since they have around 35 guests, we have the Seaside Strings Violin Duo performing for the Ceremony. I am joined by Joan Stewart on violin.

With the Ceremony planned for 5:45, we begin the prelude music at 5:30. The guests start to arrive and Carrie Anne had requested we save Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring for just before the Procession begins. Patti Fuenffinger, the officiate, is the first one to come down the long boardwalk to the beach. We begin to play the Pachelbel Canon in D which  has been arranged for 2 violins.

Next comes Brian and his Groomsmen; his parents are seated. Three Bridesmaids  wearing lovely salmon colored dress take their places and lastly three young boys serving as ring bearers walk down the beach and take their places. Their tropical shirts match the color scheme perfectly. Carrie Anne has chosen beautiful fall flowers provided by Marco Island Florist.

Carrie Anne enters with her Parents to the Clarke Trumpet Voluntary wearing a white flowing dress that looks perfect for a beach wedding. The short ceremony concludes and we begin the Trumpet Tune by Purcell for the Recessional.

Tonya Malay and husband Mike are the photographers today. Tonya is one of the best photographers in the area and she has been a good friend to me!  Mike and I have both recently had knee surgery so we check each other’s recovery progress whenever we see each other. We continue to play as Tonya begins pictures of the group. The group stays close by so we entertain them during picture time. As our time concludes, I get to say a quick hello and thank you to the couple. Congratulations and best wishes Carrie Anne and Brian!