Memorable Weddings

Every wedding is, in fact, a memorable wedding. For those of us in the wedding business some weddings stand out in our memories more than others. We may not be able to tell you what date or even what year it was but they stick out nonetheless. Some of them are because of special details in the wedding, something unusual, or because of Mother Nature. There are many ways the bride and groom have added personal touches to the wedding ceremony and activities to make a memorable wedding.

Special music. This one offers many possibilities. First of all the choice of music, such as classical, jazz, classic rock ‘n roll, or contemporary, sets the tone of the wedding. Our large playlist provides selections to fit each bride’s vision. If there is a tune not on our list, we have talented arrangers who will work for a fee if an arrangement is not available. At certain churches you may need to get approval from the pastor or coordinate with the music director because there may be certain selections not considered appropriate.

Having talented friends and family members sing during the ceremony can lend a meaningful element. When Landolfi is accompanying a singer, we can arrange a rehearsal before the wedding prelude. It’s important to make sure in advance that the singer and the ensemble have the song in the same key. If non-stringed instruments are desired as an addition to strings, such as trumpet, Landolfi utilizes an fine pool of professional musicians. Our violinists, violists, and cellists can perform solo selections, such as the famous Bach G Major Prelude for cello.

Location. Many places are meaningful to the bride and groom and their families. It may be the family church. It could also be a beautiful park, an historic building, or a fine winery or other place located on a scenic view. In years to come, that can be the place where the couple says “We got married there!”

Officiant and readers. When a family member is an ordained pastor, it has been a personal touch to see the relative officiate the wedding. Also, having family members and friends do special readings and ushering gives them a chance to participate.

Decorations. This is an area where creativity can really come into play. Flowers, greenery and live plants, candles, and other decorations add to the atmosphere. Many ideas are available on the web.

Weather. While we dream of the perfect wedding in a beautiful outside location, the weather is not always cooperative. That’s where a wise planner may have an alternate location in reserve. Wind can blow over hurricane lamps and shatter glass, candles won’t stay lit (maybe they should have opted for a sand ceremony instead of candles?), and musicians struggle with keeping music on their stands despite music clips. Many musicians have rain stories. One was in a perfect setting by the lake in a St. Louis Park. The string quartet started playing the pre-service music when it started to sprinkle. The musicians moved to a nearby shelter continued to play where they could still be heard and the rain cleared. All went well until the vows when the sky opened up and dumped a torrent of rain on all but the musicians. Umbrellas were no good. The remainder of the ceremony was finished under the shelter accompanied by the roar of the rain. At another wedding, there was no shelter and the musicians stood there as the wedding was in heavy rain. The bride’s dress was soaked. Memorable but not in the way she intended. There have been a rare, few weddings where we pointed out that it was going to rain at any moment, so the wedding was moved inside and the ceremony proceeded perfectly.

Thankfully, it’s been a few years, but occasionally someone in a wedding party has fainted. Usually the reason is the air was too hot and humid. Maybe someone locked their knees. Perhaps the air conditioning in the church went out. Memorable, but not in a way we’d want.

Transportation. Occasionally, we have seen weddings at a winery or historic building where the bride arrived on a horse-drawn carriage and then the bride and groom departed the ceremony site for the reception area also by way of horse-drawn carriage. We’ve also seen limousines, trolleys, and buses transport the wedding party or wedding guests. One farm with a wedding site a tractor and wagon were utilized for a more rustic feel.

Don’t forget the string quartet! One great aspect for a memorable wedding is the string quartet (or trio, or duo). You can even use Landolfi Quartet for the reception and dinner. Your guests are there for your day and to celebrate. Using a string quartet means the music will not be too loud, so your guests can still talk to each other. We have been told many times by guests how much they appreciated the fact that a string ensemble was hired to play and the music was beautiful but not too loud.

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New Music Added to Our Playlist

With the wedding season in full swing, many brides have had special requests for their ceremony. Since the beginning of the year we have been busy adding to our repertoire according to those special requests. Our arrangement fee is affordable and the talented arrangers in our quartet get inspired by every bride’s vision of their special day. What is your favorite tune for a ceremony, reception, dinner, party, or other special occasion?

We now list Christian, Catholic and Jewish selections on our playlist as a helpful guide and, see below, additions to the list from all the visions for perfect weddings.

All My Loving / The Beatles
Bad Romance / Lady Gaga
Chasing Cars / Snow Patrol
Daydream Believer / Stewart – The Monkees
A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes from the film “Cinderella” / David, Hoffman, & Livingston
Falling Slowly / Hansard & Irglova
Fields of Gold / Sting
Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words) / Howard – Sinatra
Free Fallin’ / Petty
Get Lucky / Daft Punk
Happy / Williams
Have I Told You Lately / Morrison
Here, There, Everywhere / The Beatles
Home / Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes
I Just Called to Say I Love You / Wonder
I Won’t Give Up / Mraz
I’m a Believer / Diamond – The Monkees & Smash Mouth
Isn’t She Lovely / Wonder
Killing Me Softly with His Song / Fox & Gimbel –  Flack
Let It Go from Frozen / Lopez & Lopez
Lucky / Mraz & Caillat
My Girl / Robinson – The Temptations
Only You (And You Alone) / Ram – The Platters
Roar / Perry
Rolling in the Deep / Adele & Epworth
Salut d’Amour / Elgar
She’s Got a Way / Joel
Stand By Me / King
Unconditionally / Perry
What Makes You Beautiful / One Direction
When a Man Loves a Woman / Lewis & Wright – Sledge
Where Is Love? from Oliver! / Bart
You Are So Beautiful / Cocker
You’re My Best Friend / Deacon – Queen
You’ve Got a Friend / King – Taylor

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Live String Quartet at Central West End Local Social

Come hear the Landolfi String Quartet perform as part of the Central West End Local Social event on the second Friday of May, June, July, and August. Celebrate all things local. Enjoy entertainment, sips, bites, specials, and more at the second annual Local Social Series.

Landolfi Quartet performs 5:00 – 9:00 pm on May 9, June 13, August 8, and September 12. Hope to see our friends at these special events. Music requests from our play list are welcome. Have some fun!

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What I Learned from My Wedding

Bride & groom making musicA few weeks ago my wife and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary. The years have gone fast. The day of my wedding was one of the most wonderful days in my life. The church where we were married hadn’t had a wedding in a long time and they were ready to be able to celebrate a happy event. As the groom-to-be, I let my wife-to-be decide on many of the plans, as it has been said that many women started dreaming of their weddings from during their childhood.

Set a wedding date. My wife did a great job on this. As a musician I play many weddings. My wife picked an off-season date (early November) when we would have better availability of resources and have a honeymoon in an area that was relaxed in the off season.

Listen to advice from friends and family. People were excited over our engagement and readily gave advice. Listen and judge what advice is right for you. One person’s advice was: something will go wrong; expect it and don’t stress over it. Her lovely wedding cake was hidden in a corner with poor visibility and a few years later she was still upset about it. Later she realized there were so many other things that went right that she began to think more about the good parts.

Know where to scrimp and where to spend money. Our finances were tight. As musicians, we felt the ceremony music was very important and we had a huge amount of music with an adult choir, a children’s choir, and various instrumentalists. My dad said it was “quite the production”. Being a seamstress, my wife made her own dress and picked out bridesmaid’s dresses in a design that could be worn again and again instead of for one event. We had a friend who did the floral work, saving us money. We hired a professional photographer but we rented the video equipment. Now my wife wishes we would have hired a videographer. Of the two video cameras we rented, the best video had the sound turned off. Oops. Because the music was so important to us, we would have liked better sound in the video.

Know what things are most important and where you can delegate. Music was extremely important to us. Details about what music was where in the ceremony was carefully planned. We even had a personal touch where my wife sang her original song while she played piano and I played cello. My colleagues said we were crazy to do this in our own wedding but it was meaningful to us. While we decided particular selections for the wedding, we left some prelude music to the choice of the musicians. It is good to decide where your priorities are. Music was important to us while while flowers weren’t as much, so we only had flowers for the wedding party.

Set guidelines for those involved. Is there music you’d like hear? A tune you don’t want to hear? How long should the homily/sermon be? How long should prayers or blessings be? It’s good to let those involved know your expectations so someone in their excitement doesn’t go overboard in length. Remind people of traditions you plan to follow so they know, in case they didn’t remember. For the rehearsal dinner, I assumed people would know they would give speeches. My dad, the groom’s father, declined saying anything, perhaps not realizing he would be asked. I’m sorry I didn’t warn him ahead of time. My father-in-law-to-be gave a brilliant speech.

Plan and be prepared. Complete most of the details so that on your wedding day you don’t have to worry about last-minute issues. It can be a stressful enough day without having to attend to that unfinished detail. On the morning of our wedding I arrived at my wife’s apartment for photographs to find she was still attaching trim to her dress. While she had it done shortly, it had me a little worried. What if something would have gone wrong? While she felt it was under control, it caused me stress.

Be flexible. Our caterer had to back out three weeks before our wedding. We had to scramble to make other arrangements. Because our wedding was off-season we had more options. Roll with the punches and adapt the best you can.

Enjoy the day. Remember it’s your day and it’s a special one. Someone may do something to upset you. It may have been thoughtless and rude, but don’t let it ruin your day. If a groomsman disappears for a few minutes right before the wedding is supposed to start, don’t stress if the ceremony ends up starting a couple minutes late. Remember that you might also irritate someone so try to relax when interacting with others and take a few moments to breathe.

Once again something will probably go wrong. In the scheme of things you will still be married and the day will become memory. During the vows, there was the spider I saw going up my bride’s dress. While I was debating what to do – will she freak out? – the matron of honor leaned over with style and knocked off the spider. Did it ruin the day? No. But it did give us a chuckle later when the matron of honor retold the story. Where did the spider come from? Well, there was the ivy collected from an alley and used in some of the floral decorations.

The day will go fast–way too fast. Our wedding ceremony was an hour and a half with lots of music and liturgy, involving four pastors (two gave homilies, one officiated, and one gave a prayer), and lots of meaning. We were shocked to realize the ceremony lasted that long but yet it went so fast. Wedding guests also said it went fast.

After the wedding. We chose to greet everyone as they exited the sanctuary. It was a packed church. Then it was time for more wedding pictures. My wife thinks it was all perfect, but I would have liked more time at the reception/dinner. By the time we entered the hall guests had eaten and it was time to cut the cake. I would have liked to have had time to go around to each table to greet people. Having played for many weddings, it seems simpler to skip the receiving line and greet the guests by table if you have a wedding with many people. That also avoids the question by the musicians of whether they should keep playing postlude music for the guests waiting for the receiving line or to move to the reception location to perform the music there.

The day is over so cherish the happy memories. You head off to your honeymoon for more memories but the first night you are dead tired. Get some rest, let the joy of the day sink in, and look forward to the fun days ahead on your trip. Your life is ahead of you.


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