White Orchid

It is near the end of August and on this Saturday, Diane Coffman and I traveled to White Orchid at Oasis in Fort Myers for the morning wedding of Dan and Monica. The Seaside Strings Violin and Cello Duo was chosen to provide the wedding ceremony music and just a bit of reception time as well. The plan was to begin on the front porch and then move to the back yard where the ceremony would be held. Ceremony time was set for around 11:30 am and we would begin to play at 10:45 am. Before we started to play, I went in the back to check on our chairs and met the ladies from Enchanted Florist of Cape Coral. I really liked the way they incorporated the existing fountain with the ceremony set up. It looked lovely and very romantic. The ceremony was set up quite differently from our previous visits to this venue. The ceremony site was very near the building instead of right near the water. The paved sidewalk made a perfect aisle.

White Orchid 003Since everyone seemed to prefer to be where it was cool, we moved inside to entertain the guests as they arrived and mingled.  Monica, the Bride,  is from Venezuela and several Latin music selections were requested.  Maria served as the wedding planner and came around to let everyone know the ceremony would begin soon. So we moved outside , thankfully to a shady spot. Because of the heat, they began just a bit early.  We played 2 selections as everyone found their seats and we were playing Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring as Dan and the Pastor walked outside. I found out later Maria was also the Maid of Honor so she was unable to give us a signal.  It was funny how this was never mentioned in our planning conversations. There are always surprises!

As the ring bearer and flower girl appeared, we made a quick switch to the music chosen for them, The Wedding Song.  Maria followed and all took their places at the arch. As Monica made her way outside, we began to play the Wedding Processional from the Sound of Music. Because of the short walk it all went so quickly but worked just fine. As the Pastor introduced the newly married couple, we played Handel’s Le Rejouissance as the Wedding Party exited.  We followed that with When I’m 64 as the guests made their way up the steps to the back porch. Instead of staying outside, we moved back inside . Since the doors were kept open, everyone could still hear us and it was a relief to be back where it was cool.

As we finished the last requested selection and began to pack our things, we did get to speak with Monica and wish her congratulations. She looked so beautiful and was really lovely to us. She told us how much she enjoyed listening to our music as she was upstairs getting ready. That really made our day!  It was such a pleasure to be a part of this special day! Best wishes Dan and Monica!

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White Orchid at Oasis, Fort Myers

It is June 1st and rainy season has started!  All our outdoor jobs pose a challenge but during the summer months here in southwest Florida it becomes likely that rain will threaten our clients’ plans. And so it was today when we arrived at our venue for the wedding of Haley and James. Dark clouds were all around us and rain was in the forecast. I am joined by Joan Stewart, Susan Sikuta and Diane Coffman as the Seaside String Quartet was to provide the wedding ceremony music and cocktail reception music.

White Orchid

White Orchid is a lovely venue near the river district of downtown Fort Myers.  A historic Old Florida  house, it has a huge expanse of lawn that stretches out to the river. The house has a front porch and back porch and a large room inside which served as the backup plan in case it started to rain. I got to meet our Bride Haley as soon as I arrived  and we went over all the details again together. Her friend Toni would  be helping us with the signals for the ceremony. We were all praying the rain would hold off.

We began by playing prelude music on the front porch. Starting with Bach Brandenburg Concerto #3, At Last and Handel’s Entrance of the Queen of Sheba, we soon got the signal from Toni that we should head to the back yard for the ceremony.

It took us 5 minutes to reset and we were playing Can’t Help Falling in Love as the guests came out to take their seats. With the signal from Toni, we began to play Wonderful Tonight as the Mothers were seated, the Officiant (an old family friend), Groom and Groomsmen walked out followed by the Bridesmaids and Flower Girls. When the last little girl took her place, we changed to the music Haley selected for her Entrance, Pachelbel’s  Canon in D.

As soon as the ceremony started, we felt the raindrops. We quickly devised a plan. Susan and I would hold umbrellas over Joan and Diane so they could play the Recessional. Luckily the rain stopped and all went as planned. As the wedding party exited, we played Viva la Vida.  With a great feeling of relief, we followed everyone back to the front porch for the cocktail hour.

The guests mentioned they really enjoyed the contemporary songs. We entertained them with Just the Way You Are Amazing, Don’t Stop Believin’, Come Fly With Me, Marry You, Make You Feel My Love, the Israel K version of Over the Rainbow, Paradise, I Gotta Feeling, Firework, Love Story and finished with Another One Bites the Dust.

As we were leaving Haley and her Mom came over and said how happy they were to have us there. We had fun playing the music she picked and were thrilled that they enjoyed it so much! I am so glad the weather did not spoil their plans.  We hope this good luck follows Haley and James through their married life together!

Seaside String Quartet