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!

 

The Club at Barefoot Beach

This fourth weekend in October brought us to Barefoot Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida for the wedding of Judi and Jim. This couple is local and as an older couple, it was the second marriage for both of them. It was perfect weather on this Friday evening and the Seaside String Trio was providing the music  for the wedding ceremony.  Judi had arranged for a saxophone player ( part of the band playing later in the evening) to entertain people as they arrived at the clubhouse and we set up on the beach.

Barefoot Beach & Hyatt 001What a lovely venue this is!  The beach is so private here and it was such a serene atmosphere.

When Judi had booked us, she had originally requested the violin and cello duo. A month later she decided to add a musician and have the string trio. She sent me a list of music that she liked and most of it was classical.  As the wedding day approached and it was time to confirm her selections,  she decided to go a different direction and chose popular songs for us to play.

We set up before 5 and were ready to play if people came onto the beach early. The ceremony was set for 5:30 and a few folks did wander down early since it was such a lovely evening.We played Lucky, (Jason Mraz); In My Life ( Beatles); Everything (Michael Buble); The Ludlow’s, Theme from Legends of the Fall; and Forest Gump Feather Theme. We got the signal that they were ready and we began to play Can You Feel the Love Tonight (Elton John) for the Entrance of the Officiate, Buddy (the couple’s brother-in-law), the Groom, Best Man and Maid of Honor. For her entrance, Judi chose The Prayer. After the couple stated their heartfelt vows to each other, we played an excerpt from  All I Ask of You. It was all so romantic!  The ceremony concluded and we played the Bach Brandenburg Concerto as the wedding party exited. A few guests lingered to take pictures on the beach and we played Judi’s remaining requests, Just the Way You Are ( Bruno Mars) and Can’t Help Falling in Love ( Elvis).

What a memorable evening and we wish all the best to Judi and Jim!

Miromar Lakes Beach Club

It was another gorgeous day for a wedding on this Saturday in mid October. The Seaside String Quartet arrived at the Miromar Lakes Beach Club to provide wedding ceremony and cocktail reception for the wedding of Sara and Joshua. The wedding was on the beach just behind the clubhouse and it was really a resort atmosphere here in this community.

Miromar Lakes Beach Club

The ceremony was set for 5 pm and we began prelude music at 4:30. Sarah requested classical music for the ceremony. Her favorites were Handel’s Hornpipe and La Rejouissance and we added additional lively pieces such as Entrance to the Queen of Sheba, Rondeau by Mouret and the Bach Brandenburg Concerto. We contrasted that with some romantic pieces, Delibes Flower Duet and Elgar’s Salut d’amour. As we began to play some music from Handel’s Water Music Suite, the Groom’s Father Ed, who was serving as Officiant, came over to tell us they were ready to send the family to be seated.

As w played Debussy’s Clair de Lune, the Grandmother, Great Aunt and the two Mothers were seated. The Groom led his 10 Groomsmen onto the beach to a song I think was his choice,  Lose Yourself by Eminem. Next came the Bridesmaids entering to Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary along with 3 ring bearers . The precious baby flowergirl arrived in a wagon pulled by a Junior Groomsman.

Sara entered to the traditional Bridal Chorus. The ceremony was filled with joy and laughter and serious committments and we played the traditional Wedding March as the wedding party exited. As the guests moved on to the cocktail reception area, which was poolside, we played All You Need is Love.

Sara had requested contemporary music for the reception and really left the specific selections to me. So I chose what was most popular, what we liked to play and what I know are fun arrangements. On the playlist was All of Me (by John Legend); Clocks (Coldplay); I’m Yours (Jason Mraz);  In My Life (Beatles);  I Say a Little Prayer (Bacharach);  Just the Way You Are Amazing (Bruno Mars) ;  Kiss the Girl (Disney);  Love and Marriage (Sinatra);  Over the Rainbow (Israel K version);  Sway/ Cherry Pink (cha-cha-cha!) , That’s Amore (Dean Martin);  A Wink and a Smile (Harry Connick, Jr.) and Wouldn’t it Be Nice (Beach Boys).

As the couple left to do pictures elsewhere they first stopped to tell us how much they enjoyed our music. The Groom was especially impressed that strings could play a song like Lose Yourself! We certainly appreciated the warm response we received from them and the rest of the family!  Best wishes, everyone!

Heritage Bay Golf and Country Club

We got to play at a new venue this Saturday of Easter weekend, Heritage Bay Golf and Country Club located in Naples, FL.  The Seaside Strings Trio provided the wedding ceremony music for Samantha and Justin, a local couple. Samantha was so organized. She had booked us last August and by September she had already sent me her music requests. I had her choose a few more songs just in case and she never had to make any changes.

Heritage Bay GC weddingHeritage Bay GC wedding

We began to play prelude music 15 minutes before the ceremony began. As the guests  came from the clubhouse to the gazebo area, we played Marry You, Marry Me, Can You Feel the Love Tonight and Don’t Stop Beleivin’.  No delays today and Kaitlyn, the venue coordinator,  had everyone lined up ready to go at 5 pm. We began to play Fur Elise by Beethoven for the Seating of the Grandparents and the Mothers. For the Entrance of the Wedding Party, we played Just the Way You Are Amazing. Once the 2 ring bearers had taken their place, we played the Pachelbel Canon in D for the Entrance of the Bride. She made a lovely entrance down the staircase from the clubhouse and was met by her dad at the bottom. The short ceremony was performed ( from memory) by the Bride’s Brother, Stefan.  Samantha and Justin enjoy bicycle riding together and a bicycle built for 2 was decorated in the gazebo. I hope you can see it in the picture.

Loud cheers welcomed the newlyweds and we played the traditional Wedding March for the Recessional. Most people headed inside but a few people stayed outside to mingle and enjoy the weather. Then the wedding party returned for pictures so we entertained them all with I’m Yours, Viva la Vida, I’ll Be, Bubbly, Come Away With Me, and Hey Jude.  To complete the hour, we then added Better Together and Kiss the Girl. We got such a super response from everybody! Many thanks to Samantha and Justin for having us. We wish you all the best!

The Club at Grandezza

March is the start of our busy wedding season and the weather could not have been more perfect on this second Saturday of March in Southwest Florida. The Seaside String Quartet was chosen to provide the wedding ceremony music for Amanda and Brian at the Club at Grandezza. I am joined by colleagues Joan Stewart, Susan Sikuta and Diane Coffman to perform the live music.

When I arrived, I was greeted by wedding planner Courtney Gabelbauer of Fabulously Chic Weddings.  We had played for her wedding at this same venue in January. However, instead of being in the front garden the ceremony site was under the porte-cochere. Everything looked gorgeous!

Grandezza 006

Amanda and Brian chose to have a mix of music for their prelude and ceremony. They chose 5  popular songs and I chose lively classical pieces for the prelude. Their requests were Forest Gump Feather Theme, Marry Me, Phantom of the Opera, Marry You and Stand By Me.

When I got the signal they were ready, we began to play Bach’s Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring for the Seating of the Grandparents and the Mothers. During this, the mothers also came to the front to light the unity candles. Pastor Doug Pratt led Brian and his Groomsmen down the aisle as we played the Pachelbel Canon in D. The 3 Bridesmaids followed. Once they were in place, we began to play A Thousand Years for the entrance of Amanda.

It was an emotional ceremony. Amanda and Brian wrote their own vows and spoke them to each other tearfully. When it came time to light the unity candle, we played The Prayer. As Pastor Pratt introduced the couple, big cheers came from the guests and the confetti filled the air as we played Viva la Vida for the Recessional. As the guests  moved inside for the reception and the wedding party gathered for the pictures, we played Just the Way You Are Amazing.

We hope Amanda and Brian have a wonderful life together!

Thank you so much to Tiffany and Cody of Hunter Ryan Photo for these pictures of us.

Grandezza WeddingGrande

Casa Ybel Wedding

We are nearing the end of rainy season and the number of weddings we have picks up dramatically in the month of October. Our wedding on this Friday was at the Casa Ybel Resort on Sanibel Island. It is a destination beach wedding for Heather and Rich from Missouri and they have booked the Seaside String Quartet to provide their wedding ceremony music.

Casa Ybel 002

Thankfully there was only a small chance of rain and the occasional clouds helped keep it from feeling too unbearably hot. I guess the Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf helped make this happen. Oh, but because it wasn’t windy enough to keep them away, the noseeums were horrible.  It was a real challenge to play while feeling the bugs biting!

All my communications were with the groom Rich. Book of Love was one of their “must have” songs and we were playing that as their guests came our onto the beach. We played Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls after that and then Rich walked his grandmother to her seat. We quickly changed to the Forest Gump Feather Theme, the music chosen for the Processional and got the signal from Lea, the coordinator at the resort. The 2 Mothers were seated, Rich and his Groomsmen took their places and then the Maid of Honor made her entrance. The little flower girl appeared after her and slowly came out . It appeared she wasn’t going to make it out the whole way and  since we had already repeated the song a couple of times, we switched to the music for the entrance of our Bride, Heather, which was the Pachelbel Canon in D.  As we began, the flower girl then quickly moved to take her place, with the help of her mom, and all stood as Heather made her way onto the beach.

The ceremony was performed by the brides’ brother. Readings were made by both Mothers . Then after the exchange of rings , they did something we had never seen before. The couple rang a bell together. As the newly married couple was introduced to the clapping crowd, we played the traditional Wedding March for the exit of the wedding party.

We followed with two special requests made by the couple, Wanted and Have a Little Faith in Me. As pictures were being taken, we also played Lucky, Marry Me and finished with A Whole New World.  Afterwards, Rich came over to thank us for playing the new songs for them.  It was a pleasure! And, we added 2 great new songs to our list!

Congratulations and best wishes, Rich and Heather!

Casa Ybel Resort

Our wedding on this last Saturday in August brought us to Sanibel Island at the Casa Ybel Resort. This was a destination wedding for Allison and Christopher, our couple from Vermont.  It turned out to be a lovely day and luckily enough, rain free.  Allison chose the Seaside Strings Violin and Cello Duo for her wedding ceremony music so I am joined by my colleague, Diane Coffman.

Casa Ybel Wedding 004

I loved the colors that she chose for this beach wedding and the white flower arrangements made by Libby’s Flowers were gorgeous with the teal.  The starfish hung onto the aisle chairs were a nice touch too. Thankfully, they were able to find the owner of the boat in the distance. He moved it so they would have a clean view for the pictures.

We were due to start playing at 4:45  but the guests did not begin to come to the beach until 5:10. It was a hot day, in the upper 80’s, but with the nice breeze it did not feel too uncomfortable to us.  Allison chose all popular songs for us to play for the prelude. These included” Bittersweet Symphony”, “Halo”, and “Titanium”. With a signal from Leah, the coordinator at the resort, we began to play” Paradise”  for the Entrance of the Groom and Officiate, the Seating of the Mothers, the 5 Bridesmaids and Ring Bearer. As we began to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D, Allison’s baby daughter was carried out and then Allison made her way down the aisle.  Allison’s Mom later told me it was her dream to walk out on her wedding day to  that music since she was a little girl. It was our honor to help make that dream come true!

The ceremony was led by Jack, a family friend. He kindly gave us a nod to start the music, “Only Time”,  when Allison and Christopher presented their baby with a special necklace. After the introduction of  the newlyweds, we played “Marry Me”  as the wedding party exited. We concluded our portion of the proceedings with” Just the Way You Are Amazing” as pictures were being taken.

The guests greeted us so warmly afterwards and I did get to sneak in during pictures and congratulate Allison. We enjoyed playing the music she selected and wish the couple all the best! It was a very special day!