Café Cortina is an inspired Italian countryside vineyard setting in Farmington Hills. Founded on the site of a former apple orchard in 1976 by the Tonon family, Café Cortina was the venue for Scott and Marthe’s wedding last month. The outdoor patio proved to be a perfect setting for an elegant and timeless wedding ceremony and cocktails prior to the dinner. The bridal party wore stunning gowns of grey and ivory and walked to Schubert’s Ave Maria. Marthe, a Beatles fan, walked with her father to “The Long and Winding Road”. Following the ceremony, we played for the dinner beside the French doors of the dining room. They were a receptive audience and made requests, applauded and truly embraced the music and festivity. We were honored to play “In My Life” for Marthe and her father’s first dance, “What A Wonderful World” for Scott and his mother’s dance and finally, a personal favorite for the bride and groom. It was a beautiful night for two lovely families who made us feel like a welcomed part of the celebration. Our best wishes to Marthe and Scott!
Karly and Mike had a beautiful morning for their wedding at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester. The glass conservatory provides an outdoor feeling with all the benefits of an indoor wedding. The couples friend, Kelly Lerdahl, acted as their officiant. The bridal party wore individual styled dresses in a pretty purple. It was an excellent choice as each lady looked fabulous in the dress style of their choice. Together with Karly, they walked down the aisle to “I Will Wait”, a song specifically requested by the couple and arranged for string quartet by our arranger.
Following the ceremony, a brunch was held in the hotel. The smell of omelets was mouth watering and they cleverly used cupcakes as a wedding cake. Groomesman Joe Buratto, did a superb job as the MC. We played another requested and arranged song, “We Found Love” for the bride and grooms first dance. Having an arranger to work with our clients as needed is a great asset for our clients. Sometimes a song is so new and young in its popularity that arrangements have not yet been created. For a reasonable fee, he will take your choice of song and arrange it for string quartet.
An event at the Royal Park is always elegant and this day was no different. The staff is helpful and responsive to every need. We wish Karly and Mike the very best as they begin their newest adventure!
Who would have thought that we would see temperatures of 52 degrees in September. Ah, Michigan weather! It will test even the best plans for an outdoor wedding. Fortunately, the sun was shining and Stacey and Bret exchanged vows overlooking the beautiful golf course of Devils Ridge in Oxford. The couple chose to conduct a sand ceremony as part of their wedding but did it in a unique way. As the picture shows, they had a picture within a frame. The sand was poured behind the picture providing a backdrop to their photo. We love to see a new twist on an old idea. The reception decor and flowers were gorgeous and all the result of the talented Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton Designs. One of the pleasures of the wedding business is meeting individuals who have a passion for their work and do it superbly.
There are countless unique venues in the Metro Detroit area with accommodations to allow for weddings, receptions and special events. However, one stands out as a National Historic Landmark, magnificent in it’s architecture and offering outstanding staff and service for their clients. The Great Estate of Meadow Brook Hall is the historic home built by one of the automotive aristocracy’s most remarkable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of automobile pioneer John Dodge, and her second husband, lumber broker Alfred Wilson. Constructed between 1926 and 1929, for $4 million, Meadow Brook represents one of the finest examples of Tudor-revival architecture in America. As the pictures show, the Pegasus Garden is a rich setting for an outdoor wedding. Maintained by several master gardeners, the grounds are an impeccable showpiece.
It was here that Michelle and Chris chose to exchange their wedding vows. The bridal party, in navy gowns, processed to “Kissing You” and included a flower dog. Yes, the beloved dog had a special role to play on this day. Michelle was escorted by her parents to “A Thousand Years” and the couple recessed to the Beatles “All You Need Is Love”.
Following the ceremony, we moved inside to the Great Hall and played for the cocktail hour at the base of the great staircase. The hall coordinators, Courtney and Debbie, are always a great help. We’ve had the pleasure of working with them many times this summer and have watched them handle weather emergencies, wardrobe failures and various other “surprises” with calm expertise. These ladies do their job well and make our time at Meadow Brook a pleasure.
Kaitlyn and Andrew are one of those unique couples whose relationship has already stood the test of time. High school sweethearts, they sustained their love through five years of college and the resulting long distance relationship. Nicole Bertucci of “A Simple I Do” opened the ceremony with the beautiful story of Andrew’s proposal in what is know knows as the “proposal patch”. By the time she finished, many were wiping a sentimental tear. The bridesmaids,dressed in a pretty aqua blue, walked to “A Thousand Years” while Kaitlyn processed to “Love Story”. A moment of remembrance was included in the ceremony with guests blowing “bubble kisses” to the sky while we played “You Raise Me Up”. It was a beautiful day at the Oak Circle of Indian Springs Metropark.
It’s always a pleasure to play at a new venue and meet new colleagues in the wedding business. Trista and Stuarts wedding at The Valley of Misty Farms provided us with both! Situated on sixteen beautiful acres just six miles west of main Street in Ann Arbor, Misty Farms is a top choice for those seeking a beautiful outdoor venue close to the heart of Ann Arbor. On site are two historical barns; one built approximately 1860 and the other after the turn of the century. Trista and Stuart chose a shady glen by the river for their ceremony. Pine benches were laid out for the guests with mason jars of baby’s breath outlining the aisle. We’ve noticed that baby breath has been very popular this summer. Trista, escorted by her mother, walked to Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years”. Denise Tucker directed a touching ceremony which included a hand fasting ceremony complete with beautiful colorful colored ribbons and involving the couple’s young son.
The cocktail hour was held in the courtyard between the two barns and began with a champagne toast. We played several movie theme medleys and contemporary songs. Our arrangement of “Game of Thrones” is always a big hit. We had the pleasure of meeting and working with April Gladieux from “Your Perfect Day” and send our thanks for her help with cues and logistics.
Your Perfect Day
A National Historic Landmark, Meadow Brook is the historic home built by one of the automotive aristocracy’s most remarkable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of automobile pioneer John Dodge, and her second husband, lumber broker Alfred Wilson. Constructed between 1926 and 1929, for $4 million, Meadow Brook represents one of the finest examples of Tudor-revival architecture in America. Gerta and Leonardo held their elegant wedding at this magnificent estate. This was the perfect setting for a wedding that blended the traditional with the contemporary. Their music selection represented a mix of romantic contemporary songs including Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are” and U2’s “With or Without You” with the traditional Pachelbel Kanon and Wedding March.
The Chaldean guests were eager to applaud the bridesmaids, charming flower girls and handsome ring bearer. Dressed in gorgeous gowns, the family and friends knew how to celebrate and did so with great style.
Congratulations to Stephanie and Corey! They were married at the Elks Lodge in Port Huron on a warm, sunny day. They chose classic romantic songs for their wedding day. We played “Cheek to Cheek”, “It Had To Be You”, “When I’m 64″ and more. As the pictures show, they had beautiful flowers and a great sense of humor. We chuckled over the “Order of Ceremony”. Marriage is hard work and when those who are blessed to be married 50+ years are asked what has been the key? They often reply, “a sense of humor”. If that is true, then Stephanie and Corey are off to a great start. We wish them the best.
Being in the wedding industry, we have the opportunity to work with wonderful people at a special time in their life. We give our best performance for their wedding and wish them well. Obviously, our goal is to NOT play another of their weddings but hope their experience with our quartet was rewarding enough that they refer us to friends and family. Personal recommendations are best kind of advertising. On occasion, we are hired to play special events that come around annually and are not related to the wedding business. Those events are so much fun because of the different setting and style of music. Often times we get to interact with people and play requests. We also get to re-engage with the client year after year. Such is the case with the” Italian Happenings”. The event celebrates Italian cars and bikes as part of the Concours d’Elegance of America weekend held each year at the Inn at St. John in Plymouth. The event is the annual display of over 150 Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Maseratis. Set up on part of the golf course, we set up our tent and play everything from Italian Opera Arias to the Beatles and everything in-between. Thank you, David, for the opportunity to be a part of this great event. We look forward to next year and the sound of revving engines.
For a natural setting, our are Metro Parks are a great location for outdoor weddings. We were at Stony Creek Metro Park last weekend and then found ourselves at Indian Springs Metro Park this weekend. Indian Springs has an Environmental Discovery Center worth exploring. A short distance from the building is the Oak Tree Circle, the site for Ian and Rose’s wedding ceremony. The couple had a family friend build this unique doorway which then created the feeling of a small, intimate space. Hopefully, Rose and Ian can find a place in their home or garden to use this gift.
For the ceremony, the couple chose mostly classical music and saved the popular music for the receiving line. We enjoyed the compliments and conversations following our performance with several family members. Rose and Ian had many friends involved in their special day. Our thanks to Greg, who was a great help to us. Congratulations to them both and best wishes!