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!

 

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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. 

Edison- Ford Winter Estates

There were so many details to love about Caity and Nick’s wedding. It was held at the Edison- Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers and the weather was perfect. The Mysore Fig is such a landmark here and the couple chose to have their ceremony and reception on the grounds surrounding it. The Seaside String Quartet was there to perform the music for the wedding ceremony on this Saturday afternoon in March. Tourists visiting the estate were all taking pictures too because everything looked so lovely!

Dr. Dan Lamey Officiated the ceremony and Cori Cramsey was the coordinator at the venue. Caity looked gorgeous in her lace gown!

Here was our playlist:

PRELUDE:  At Last, Etta James; A Dream is A Wish, Disney;  All You Need is Love, Beatles; I’ll Stand By You, The Pretenders; Love Me Tender, Elvis; Kiss the Girl, Disney;  Your Song, Elton John; When I’m 64, Beatles; This Year’s Love, David Gray; Wanted, Hunter Hayes

CEREMONY:  Air, Handel: Seating of 2 Grandmothers

                                                        Seating of Groom’s Parents

                                                         Seating of Mother of the Bride

                              Butterfly Waltz, Brian Cain: 

                                                         Entrance of Officiate & Groom

                                                      6 Bridesmaids/ 6 Groomsmen

                                                      Ring Bearer & 2 Flower Girls 

                               Canon in D, Pachelbel:  Entrance of the Bride

                             Wedding March, Mendelssohn: Recessional

                               Postlude: Brown Eyed Girl, Van Morrison

Here is an excerpt of Butterfly Waltz recorded prior to the wedding;

Thank you Caity and Nick for having us be a part your wedding celebration! Congratulations and best wishes!

Naples Botanical Garden

This picture does not do this wedding site justice. The wisteria was in full bloom, a beautiful pale purple, and petals were strewn all over the grass. It looked gorgeous and I have to compliment our Bride Lauren for choosing this spot at this exact time of year! The Seaside String Trio provided the wedding ceremony music for Lauren and Nick’s wedding held in the Caribbean Garden at the Naples Botanical Garden. The weather was beautiful too. It was windy but we were in a protected area so we did not have any problems.

I loved all the music the couple chose too! For prelude we played I See the Light from Tangled; Until the Last Moment by Yanni; What a Wonderful World; Viva la Vida; The Prayer; Beauty and the Beast; All I Want is You; Con te Partiro.

Amanda with Venuelux was the coordinator helping us on this first Saturday in March. When she and her assistant had everyone lined up, we began to play Love is a Many Splendored Thing for the Seating of the Family. This included Grandparents, Parents of the Groom and Mother of the Bride  For the Entrance of the Wedding Party, the music was The End of August by Yanni. The Groom entered followed by the Groomsmen, Bridesmaids, Junior Bridesmaid, 2 Ring Bearers and 2 Flower Girls.  Lauren entered, escorted by her father,  to the music Come What May from Moulin Rouge. Lauren and I had worked out the timing for this and I think it worked perfectly. The couple performed a wine ceremony during the ceremony and we played Wonderful Tonight as they mixed the red and white wine and then each drank the rose wine,  signifying their love. The Officiate, Jason, brother-in-law of the Bride, presented the newlyweds and the Wedding Party exited to Marry You by Bruno Mars.

It was such a memorable evening!  Congratulations and best wishes to Lauren and Nick!

 

Naples Bay Resort

 

Naples Bay Resort wedding

We had such fun being a part of Natalie and James’ wedding celebration! They decided on a beach themed wedding and I enjoyed working with them to find the perfect music.  The couple chose the Seaside Strings Quartet to provide the wedding ceremony music. We were surrounded by awesome vendors: No Worries Weddings, Eric Tharp All Request Entertainment( DJ), Darren Miles Photography and the staff at the Naples Bay Resort. Family friends , Barb and Ken, Officiated.

I met with the couple last October and we came up with a great playlist from our repertoire. For prelude we performed: All You Need is Love, Beach Boys Medley, Girl from Ipanema, Happy Together, In My Life, California Girls, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You, Kokomo and Margaritaville. We had some Bob Marley on the list too but unfortunately did not get to it. With a signal from Paige of No Worries Weddings, we played ‘Here Comes the Sun’ for the Seating of the Groom’s Parents and the Entrance of the Wedding Party. Natalie made her Bridal Entrance with her Parents to the song’ God Only Knows’. Within the ceremony, the cousin of the groom, Johnathon, sang I’m Yours as we accompanied him. Wouldn’t It Be Nice was the Recessional.

We are so glad the threatening clouds did not bring rain. It was a lovely ceremony with the couple speaking their own vows. I enjoyed hearing the story of their meeting. With their strong love binding them, they will have a long happy life together. Congratulations Natalie and James!