5/11/19 Wedding at CJ’s Off the Square

On May 11, 2019  Katie and Mike tied the knot at CJ’s Off the Square.  The light rain that fell during the ceremony did nothing to dampen the spirit of the day.  CJ and her crew immediately brought out the umbrellas as Katie and Mike recited their vows and exchanged rings.  In a few minutes the trio played the recessional and the festivities began under the Pavilion.  But I’m ahead of myself.  Katie chose music from the classical literature for the prelude and processionals.  The recessional, a favorite of Mike’s, was “Never My Love”, originally done by the Association.

The trio, consisting of Craig Duncan, Gary Tussing and myself, then played for the cocktail hour as well as the dinner.  We started off with “It Had to Be You” for their first dance, after which we played a wide range of classic rock, jazz and contemporary favorites and even a waltz by request of one of the guests.  Another one of Mike and Katie’s favorites was “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” which we played not once, but twice, to make sure Mike heard it.

Katie was a delight to work with and the guests were an appreciative audience.  It was truly a joyous evening all around.  Congratulations to Katie and Mike – a match made in heaven.  Best wishes to the newlyweds for a long and happy life together.


Wedding in Centerville, TN 9/30/17

Road trip!  On September 30, trio of us piled into my car to make the hour trek to Centerville, TN, to a beautiful little wedding venue tucked away in a hollow (or in Tennessee, a holler) off a lane that was off the main road.  There in an open pavilion replete with pews, in front of friends and relatives, Sara Beth tied the knot with Philip in a lovely ceremony.

We played mostly hymns and classical selections for the prelude after which mothers entered to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, maids to the Vangelis “Hymne” and Sara Beth to the much loved “Canon in D”.  During the ceremony they both read their self-penned, amazingly eloquent vows to each other.  After the rings and kiss were exchanged we sent them back down the aisle to the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

Congratulations to Sara Beth and Philip.  Best wishes for a long and happy life together!

Wedding at Opryland Hotel 9/26/15

September 26 found Silver Strings at the Opryland Hotel in the Delta Pavilion presiding over the music for the nuptials of Jennifer and Ryan.  When Jennifer saw the Delta Room in the hotel a number of years ago, she knew she wanted to get married there.  And it was finally so.

The music covered all the bases from the sublime to the ridiculous.  We played “Claire de Lune”, Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro” overture and other classical selections for the prelude but switched to contemporary music for the processionals.  “The Luckiest” was employed to bring in the entire wedding party.  Jennifer chose “Dream a Little Dream of Me” for her entrance.  One of the interesting things during the ceremony included a cross construction.  The officiant described the symbolism of the construction of the cross while Jennifer and Ryan assembled the parts.  Afterward two of Jennifer’s friends sang the hymn “Love at Home”.  Now for the ridiculous….they recessed as husband and wife to Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight”.

After the ceremony we made our way to the Magnolia Ballroom lobby to continue playing rock and roll with a few standards thrown in.  We knew we did the right thing when the bride nearly teared up as we played “Mrs. Darcy” from Pride and Prejudice.  Krisie Washington of A Magical Affair did a great job of making the wedding run smoothly.  We musicians are always grateful when the coordinator knows what she’s doing which makes it so much easier for us to do our job properly.

Congratulations Jennifer and Ryan!

Wedding at East Ivy Mansion 6/27/15

June 27, 2015 found Silver Strings trio at the East Ivy Mansion on the east side of the Cumberland performing for the nuptials of Megan and Nick.  The weather for late June couldn’t have been more lovely for an outdoor ceremony on a lawn next to the mansion.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this wedding was the bridesmaids all having different dresses but each had a gold metallic look in some way.  Really stunning.  Another thing was the little flower girl who found us so mesmerizing that she stopped in her tracks in front of us still dropping her petals and wouldn’t budge until Jamie Lane, the coordinator, dashed over to encourage her to keep walking.

Megan arrived at the altar on her father’s arm to the favorite “Canon in D” and recessed on her new husband’s arm to “Here Comes the Sun”.  We performed a mix of traditional and contemporary music for the prelude that included Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”.  After the ceremony we turned our chairs to face the mansion to continue to play fun music for “mocktails”.

East Ivy Mansion is a gorgeous venue for a wedding and Jamie Lane, the coordinator there, did a wonderful job of directing the action.  Definitely worth checking out if you are a bride planning a wedding.

Congratulations to Megan and Nick and their families with many wishes for a long and happy life together.

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Wedding at the Rosewall 6/20/15

On June 20, 2015 Keenan married her sweetheart, Ryan, in a Jewish ceremony under a chuppah at the Rosewall in the Gulch.  It was abundantly clear that the guests were excited for Keenan and Ryan when he was finally able to smash the glass in the final act of the ceremony.  There were loud cries of “Mazel Tov” and long applause while they made their way back up the aisle as husband and wife.

The cocktail hour took place across the street at another night club while the room in the Rosewall was turned over and quickly set up for dinner.  The quintet took the time to regroup, set up a sound system and pull a set of classical and contemporary music for the dinner hour.  Yes, that was quintet…we had the luxury of adding bassist Roy Vogt to the usual suspects making it great fun for us to play our arrangements richly enhanced by the support on the bottom.

The chuppah was moved to one corner become the canopy for the beautiful cake.  The tables were decorated with gorgeous sprays of flowers in tall vases.  We played for dinner and once again played past our contracted time without even noticing we were having such a good time with the addition of the bass.

The event was very ably directed by Lauren Hartman and Krista Cook of Southern Soiree.  They’ve become some of our favorite coordinators for their cool and calm control of the details…and they never forget about us.

Congratulations once again are in order for our newlyweds Keenan and Ryan and their families.  Mazel Tov!!

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Wedding at Laurelbrooke Clubhouse 6/20/15

June 20 was a banner day for Silver Strings.  We divided ourselves among four weddings that day.  This particular wedding took place in Franklin at the Laurelbrooke Clubhouse.  Jocelyn Sprouse took the reins to guide a trio through their paces for the wedding of Kristy and David.

The trio played traditional music for the prelude but gave a nod to the contemporary music when a friend of the bride, Kelley Dugan sang John Legend’s “All of Me” with the trio.  Then mothers were seated to “Butterfly Waltz”, a lovely, lilting tune to start off the processionals.  The wedding party entered to the beloved “Canon in D” with the two flowergirls bringing up the rear with one of them carrying a sign that said “Here Comes the Bride!”

Kristy entered to “Wedding March” aka “Here Comes the Bride” on her father’s arm.  When the Kristy and David sealed their union with a kiss the were played back down the aisle to Mendelssohn’s familiar “Wedding March”.

The trio stayed to play Buble, Sinatra, Jason Mraz and Bruno Mars selections for the cocktail hour.

Congratulations to the newlyweds Kristy and David and a wish for a long and happy marriage.

Wedding at The Cordelle 6/7/15

The Cordelle, a historic home brought back to life as an event venue near the Howard School on Lindsley Ave., has become one of my favorite wedding venues.  So Rachel and Alex were married in the side yard next to the house on the afternoon of June 7.

Rachel, along with her best friend when they were younger, were big fans of the Beatles so we included a few Beatles songs in the prelude as well as for the bridesmaids processional and the recessional.  The bridesmaids entered to “With a Little Help From My Friends”.  I had gotten an arrangement of it from a friend of mine who had found it on the internet.  It looked a little strange to me so I keyed it into Finale and had my suspicions confirmed.  Also confirmed was my conviction to never buy arrangements off the internet.  Weddings are just too important to play bad arrangements so I set about writing a new arrangement With a Little Help From My Friend, Craig Duncan, who provided me the original Beatles score.

Rachel met her sweetheart, Alex, at the altar to the strains of “Can’t Help Falling In Love”.  Officiant, Denise, conducted a lovely service and the happy couple recessed to the Beatles classic “All You Need Is Love”.

It was old home week for us musicians to see Rachel Gladstone, the coordinator, at the Cordelle.  We had worked many times with Rachel at Scarritt’s Wightman Chapel until she went off on her own.  It makes our job so much easier to have someone coordinating who knows what they’re doing.

Rachel’s mother, Jan, was a joy to work with as we emailed back and forth getting ready for Rachel and Alex’s big day.  Congratulations to the newlyweds and their families.  Many wishes to Rachel and Alex for a long and happy life together.IMG_0407

Wedding at Cumberland Park 5/24/15

I’d heard there was a park on the East side of the Cumberland near the Titans stadium and finally got to see it for myself.  The day was quite warm and I envied the kids and adults who were splashing around in a water play area.  But we had a job to do…to see that Katie and Ray got married to the proper music.  And proper for them meant Beatles, Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder and James Taylor.  Fortunately for us there was a DJ who was willing to hook us into the amplification system he was using for the minister.  Sound doesn’t carry so well outdoors and the stage where the wedding took place was quite large so it was very fortuitous that we were able to clip on contact mics and not have to play our instruments as though they were made by Black and Decker.

Katie and Ray chose traditional music for the mothers and bridesmaids.  Katie joined her groom waiting on the stage to “The Luckiest”.  Pastor Buzz Swett officiated with a lovely ceremony that included the unity ceremony of sand mingling.  Luckily they chose that over a unity candle as it was quite breezy that day.  After their union was sealed with a kiss we played them back down the aisle to Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend”.

Congratulations to Katie and Ray who were “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” that beautiful day in May.

Wedding at College Hills Church of Christ May 23, 2015

I’m a little bit of a risk taker, especially when it comes to participating in weddings that have wonderful requests for music.  On May 23, 2015 three of us dashed from an earlier wedding to this one in record time (I’ll never admit we exceeded the speed limit).  Fortunately I’d attended the rehearsal the day before and was able to set up part of our equipment to save time.  We were a quartet with a trumpet, a vocalist and a pianist this time playing mostly classic wedding selections and a few well-known songs from famous movies.  The stage was stunning with white draping  that looked almost like it could have been a chuppah with a chandelier hanging over where Lindsay and Caleb would be exchanging their vows.

The really cool thing about this wedding was the discovery that I had played in the quartet for Lindsay’s mother, Linda’s wedding 27 years earlier.  Linda handed me a picture at the rehearsal that really took me back, seeing old friends I’d worked with in what seems like another lifetime.

Jonathan Riggs was our soloist for the ceremony, singing “Ave Maria”, “My Own True Love” from Gone With the Wind”, and “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera.  Jonathan did a phenomenal job allowing us the pleasure of simply accompanying him because of his confidence in leading us to make music with him.  Steve Patrick on trumpet did a phenomenal job of tastefully adding to the arrangements when appropriate or taking the lead when it was time to bring Lindsay to her groom with a fanfare to the Wedding March.  Brandon Carver, a friend of Lindsay’s, was terrific on keyboard stepping up to work with total strangers without missing a beat.

During the ceremony there was a very sweet moment during the unity candle when a recording of Lindsay’s sister singing “The Prayer” was played.  Lindsay’s sister thought she would be too nervous to sing with us accompanying so her song was pre-recorded.

Now for the fun part…We started off the recessional with the Mendelssohn “Wedding March” but before we got to the second refrain we seamlessly launched into “Rocky Top” to send the newlyweds the rest of the way back up the aisle along with their wedding party.  “Rocky Top” had special meaning for them at the start of their relationship so it was imperative to include the song somehow.  By the time the mothers were ready to recess we were back to “Wedding March” for a little more dignified exit.

One last thing…thanks to Misty Saunders of Finishing Touch Event Design for her able directing and coordinating of the millions of details that going into making a wedding run smoothly.

Congratulations to Lindsay and Caleb and their families!  If they get busy with starting their family maybe I’ll be able to see the third generation down the aisle.  Best wishes to all!

Wedding at Lilac Farms on May 23, 2015

May 23 turned out to be a gorgeous day for an outdoor wedding.  Lilac Farms, which is just off TN-96 between Franklin and Murfreesboro, hosted the nuptials of Lauren and Josh.  We were a trio for this wedding mixing light classics with a couple of nice contemporary selections such as “The Prayer” and John Legend’s “All of Me”.  Lauren requested Michael W. Smith’s “This Is the Air I Breathe” for her bridesmaids.  This is a beautiful, contemporary Christian song that I was happy to add to Silver Strings’ repertoire.  Lauren chose “Canon in D” for her entrance.  We love this selection for a processional because it lends itself so easily to perfect timing.  I never tire of this gorgeous piece of music.

Lauren and Josh had a unity symbol I had not seen before, that of mixing wines in a common cup to symbolize the blending of their lives.  We played a verse of “In Christ Alone” to accompany this part of the ceremony.  Come time for the recessional they were in the mood for some fun and had us play Ben Rector’s “White Dress”.

Many wishes for a long and happy life together to Lauren and Josh as they begin their newly married life.

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