Flute Quartet Music at the Vail Wedding Deck

Vail Wedding Deck after a storm

Vail Wedding Deck after a storm

A bride celebrates when the Vail Wedding Deck gondola reopens after a thunderstorm

A bride celebrates when the Vail Wedding Deck gondola reopens after a thunderstorm

In early July, my flute quartet (flute, violin, viola, cello) headed to the Colorado mountains to play for a wedding ceremony on the Vail Wedding Deck. When we arrived, the weather was unusually hot and dusty and unlike the cool crisp air that we usually expect from Vail. The sun was shining brightly and all was calm as we took the gondola up to the top of Vail Mountain. The moment we arrived, it was announced that a large storm was moving in, and the gondola would be closed!

Over 400 people were trapped at the top of the mountain, including two brides. One bride had just been married and the second bride was supposed to be married at the bottom of the gondola in Vail Village. The storm rolled in, bringing with it lightning strikes and heavy rain. Our wedding party and guests were waiting at the bottom of the gondola and we were waiting at the top, and we were all hoping that our couple could have their dream outdoor wedding on top of the mountain. It must have been about an hour, but finally the announcement came through that the storm had passed and the gondola would be running again. The crowd of people erupted into big cheers, and the cheering brides were escorted onto the gondola first.

Flute Quartet wedding ceremony music on the Vail Wedding Deck in Colorado

Flute Quartet wedding ceremony music on the Vail Wedding Deck in Colorado

Our wedding party made it to the top of the mountain for their dream wedding after all. The rain had washed away the hot and dusty feeling, and it was fresh and cool. Just as the bride and groom said "I do", the sun came out and shone on them as if for a blessing.

My quartet played elegant classical music as the guests arrived for the ceremony, and we continued to play after the ceremony to accompany the wedding party as they had their pictures taken.

Selections from prelude and postlude music:
Rondeau (Mouret), Ave Maria (Schubert), selections from Handel's Water Music, To a Wild Rose (MacDowell), selections from Bach string quartets

Hire my flute quartet (flute, violin, viola, cello) to make your Colorado mountain wedding even more spectacular!

Vendors:
Venue: Vail Wedding Deck
Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Quartet

Vail Wedding Deck after a summer storm

Vail Wedding Deck after a summer storm

Flute Trio Wedding Ceremony Music at Vail Interfaith Chapel

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Recently, our flute trio (flute, viola, cello) played classical and contemporary wedding ceremony music at Vail Interfaith Chapel in Vail, Colorado. We always love playing at Vail Chapel because of the beautiful acoustics that carry our sound throughout the sanctuary. Our very busy bride had a high stress job, so after a short consultation, I put together a music set list for her prelude and worked with her day-of coordinator for the details. I mixed classical and contemporary music and chose songs based on the bride's musical preference. The ceremony was emotional and joyful and the couple had the support of a lot of friends and family. After we played the recessional, a bagpiper played outside and led everyone to the reception site. We left the Vail Chapel to a gorgeous autumn day.

Sample Prelude Music: Allegro from Spring (Vivaldi), Ode to Joy (Beethoven), The Wedding Song (Peter, Paul, and Mary), Make You Feel My Love (Adele), Salzburger Menuette (Mozart),

Wedding Ceremony Music: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach)~ Seating of the Families Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach) ~ Bridesmaids, Groomsmen, Flower Girl, Ringbearer Canon in D ~ Bride Trumpet Voluntary ~ Recessional

Wedding Ceremony Vendors: Venue - Vail Interfaith Chapel, Vail, Colorado Wedding Coordinator - Steps and Stones Photographer - Maheux Studios Photography Videographer - Larisa Graham Videography Florist - Petals and Pours Musicians - Christen Stephens (Flute Trio)

Solo Flute Wedding Ceremony Music at the Denver Botanic Gardens

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music by Christen Stephens

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music by Christen Stephens

I recently enjoyed playing solo flute for the wedding ceremony of a delightful couple in Denver, Colorado. The bride was from Turkmeninstan, the groom was from England and their former college teacher from California officiated the wedding ceremony. Of all the places in the world to get married, this couple chose the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, Colorado. They were married under the Water Garden Gazebo by the peaceful Monet Pool, which reflected the beautiful flowers and puffy clouds.The weather was beautiful with just enough clouds in the sky to keep the temperature very comfortable. The ceremony was small with just close family and friends and everyone was so warm and friendly that I felt quite welcome.

From the bride:
"Christen was absolutely amazing! We had our wedding ceremony at Denver Botanic Gardens on June 7, 2016 and couldn't have wished for the greater experience with Christen. We were absolutely impressed with her music, she made our special day magical! The guests loved Christen's playing. I recommend her to anyone who wants beautiful music for their ceremony/wedding, you will be amazed!!!"

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Prelude Music: The Swan, The Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, Minuet from Eight Minuets and Trios, K 315a (Mozart), Romance (Beethoven), Spring (Vivaldi), Simple Gifts, Menuet from the Notebook for Anna Magdalena Bach) Postlude: Gavotte (Handel), The Lord's Prayer

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Processional ~ Amazing Grace
Recessional ~ Hornpipe - Purcell

Wedding Ceremony Vendors:
Venue - Denver Botanic Gardens
Wedding Ceremony Music - Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Solo Flute

Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Ceremony Music at the YMCA in Estes Park

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Our flute and guitar duo recently played for a beautiful October wedding ceremony at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colorado. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning with gusty winds that challenged our ability to secure our sheet music and supplies. However, with many clips for our music and heavy rocks to hold down our music stands, we kept everything secure for the duration of our performance. By keeping the wind directly to my back, I was also able to get a good sound out of my flute. The ceremony was held outdoors at the Sara Smith Chapel which was a lovely location with a wild Colorado mountain feel. We played classical prelude music that the bride let us select and then a classical processional that I helped the bride select. During the ceremony, a small choir sang an incredible version of "Be Thou My Vision" and I felt honored to hear their talented performance in such an amazing setting. They sang this while the couple performed a foot washing ceremony, symbolizing the the servant-hood of marriage in comparison to Christ and the church. Then, because both the bride and groom are scientists, they did a small science experiment that they made up to represent marriage and the blending of two lives together. While they did that, we played Simple Gifts.

Selected Prelude Music:
Musette (Bach), Gavotte (Gossec), Polonaise (Mozart), Little Italian Song (Tchaikovsky), Valse Sentimentale (Schubert)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Bridal Party (Grandmothers, Mothers, Bridesmaids, Flower Girl) ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Bride ~ Gavotte from Sonata for Flute in C major (Handel)
Unity Ceremony ~ Simple Gifts
Recessional ~ Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
Postlude ~ Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel), Gymnopedie No. 1 (Satie)

Vendors:
Venue: YMCA of the Rockies - Estes Park
Photographer: Katie Keighin Photography
Wedding Ceremony Musicians - Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Guitar Duo

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Solo Flute - Wedding Ceremony Music at Della Terra Mountain Chateau in Estes Park

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Outdoor autumn wedding ceremonies can be tricky in the Colorado mountains because the weather can be anything from warm and sunny to freezing cold and snowing. This bride hoped for the best with her early October wedding ceremony, but was also ready to brave the worst. It was clear to see why she wanted an outdoor wedding ceremony at Della Terra Chateau in Estes Park. The chateau is beautifully situated in the mountains and gives the feel of majestic isolation that is pure Colorado. The grounds feature garden areas and small ponds and bridges that blend well into the wild Colorado landscape. Wildlife abounded and I saw several elk, wild turkeys, and many birds and chipmunks. Inside, the chateau was built to reflect the classic European charm of years gone by. I had no idea what to expect from the weather as I drove up the fog-shrouded mountains. The forecast was calling for thunderstorms and even snow later in the evening. When I arrived at Della Terra, it was cold and cloudy and I set up under a small musician pavilion to protect my flute from the drizzling rain.

The bride chose solo flute music for her wedding ceremony, and I played elegant music on my flute as the handful of guests began arriving. As the guests arrived, the cold rain began to fall in earnest and umbrellas were quickly supplied to the guests and they wrapped themselves in the warm blankets that had been provided. I chose cheerful spring-like music to give the atmosphere a feeling of warmth, and one of the guests later told me that my music was the perfect balm for the cold, dark weather. The processional began, and just as the bride reached the front, the sun came out and the rain abated just long enough for a beautiful ceremony to take place.

Selected Wedding Prelude Music:
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Bach), Danza Pastorale (Vivaldi), Spring (Vivaldi), Hornpipe (Purcell), The Swan (Saint Seans), Minuetto (Mozart)

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Wedding Party ~ Trumpet Voluntary
Bride ~ Trumpet Tune
Recessional ~ Bourree from Handel's Water Music
Postlude ~ Hornpipe from Handel's Water Music and Chopin's Waltz, Op. 69 No. 2

Wedding Vendors
Wedding Venue: Della Terra Mountain Chateau
Officiant: Reverend Simone Shepherd
Ceremony Musician: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Solo Flute

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The view behind the ceremony site

Flute and Cello Duo at Piney River Ranch in Vail, CO

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In August, our flute and cello duo headed up to Piney River Ranch in Vail to play for a wedding ceremony and cocktail hour. After a string of cold and rainy days, the sun finally came out at this incredible mountain location and made for a beautiful wedding day. Once we arrived in Vail, we followed a long set of directions through White River National Forest. The 45 minute drive brought us over very rutted roads and was very challenging in our Prius. Since the going was slow, we embraced the moment and rolled down our windows to enjoy the peaceful quite and the spectacular scenery. We arrived at the lodge in time to enjoy a meal at the Piney restaurant. I ordered their signature pulled pork BBQ, which was exceptional, and having lived in North Carolina for a while, I can be picky about my BBQ! We also had time to take photos of the lake and of the resident moose, Monty Jr.

The bride knew what she wanted for music, and she chose most of the prelude music and all of the ceremony music on her own with the aid of my repertoire list. She requested that we fill out her prelude selections with music from movies with big scenery to compliment the lake and mountain backdrop. I really enjoyed making these music selections and it was wonderful to play them in a location that perfectly complimented them.

One of the best moments of the wedding ceremony was when Monty the moose walked through the water right behind the couple! The pastor had been talking about living in the moment and not letting life slip by us unnoticed. The reactions of the guests was wonderful as the ceremony paused and we all took some time to embrace that wonderful moment.

For the cocktail hour, the bride requested Beatles, Sinatra, and jazz styles. Our flute and cello duo mostly plays classical music, but I was eager for the challenge and after looking through my extensive music library, I found a number of popular and jazz pieces that would work wonderfully with the flute and cello.

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Wedding Ceremony Music:
Mothers, Groom, Pastor, Groomsmen ~ Haunted by the Waters from A River Runs Through It
Bridesmaids ~ All I Ask of You Bride ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Recessional ~ La Rejouissance from Handel's Water Music
Postlude ~ Arrival of the Queen of Sheba (Handel)

Selected Prelude Music:
The Sound of Music, To a Wild Rose (MacDowell), Largo from Winter (Handel), The Wedding and the Ludlows from Legends of the Fall, Clair De Lune (Debussy), Si Bheag, Si Mhor (Irish Traditional), Moon River , from Breakfast at Tiffany's, What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)

Selected Cocktail Hour Music: 
Imagine (Beatles), When I'm Sixty Four (Beatles), A Whole New World, I Want to Hold Your Hand (Beatles), Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, Blue Spanish Eyes, All of Me, My Funny Valentine, Blackbird (Beatles), Misty

Christen and Heather playing at Piney River Ranch, courtesy of Zach Mahone Photography

Wedding Vendors:
Wedding Venue: Piney River Ranch, Vail
Wedding Coordinator: Meg Stepanek of Gemini Event Planning
Photographer: Zach Mahone Photography
Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Cello Duo

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Flute and Piano Duo at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon

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This summer, our flute and piano duo enjoyed playing for this beautiful wedding ceremony at Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon, Colorado. This bride loves sunshine and has a sunny personality to match, so she chose the appropriate "Sunshine on my Shoulders" to walk down the aisle to. The church was situated on a hill overlooking a panoramic mountain view, and the weather was perfect and sunny. The piano in the church sanctuary was a very fine instrument with an amazing sound that we enjoyed. The bride told her family and friends that there would be music and everyone was so excited to hear the music that they all arrived 45 minutes before the ceremony, so we began our prelude early and gave them a little concert of hymns and sacred songs.

Selected Prelude Music:
Sunshine in My Soul, One Eagle's Wings, Great is Thy Faithfulness, How Great Thou Art, Your Grace Still Amazes Me, All Creatures of Our God and King, As the Deer

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Processional ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
Bride ~ Sunshine on my Shoulders (John Denver)
Unity Candle ~ Be Thou my Vision
Recessional ~ Wedding March (Mendelssohn)

Vendors:
Photographer: Studio Kiva - Thank you for the photo of me playing the flute and the photos of the dancing bride!
Ceremony Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Piano Duo

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Flute and String Trio - Wedding Ceremony and Cockail Hour Music at Silverthorne Pavillion

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It's always nice to travel from the hot summer weather of Colorado's front range to the mountains, and this time our destination was the town of Silverthorne, where it was a sunny 70 degrees. This wedding was held at the Silverthorne Pavilion which is located by the banks of the Blue River. Our flute, viola, and cello trio played classical prelude music and then traditional wedding processional music that the bride and groom selected together. The wedding ceremony was very sweet and as the couple said the vows they had written for each other, we tried to hold back our tears. Sometimes it doesn't make a difference how many weddings we have played for - each one is beautiful and unique! After the ceremony, we moved to the shaded patio where we played a mix of classical and popular music as the guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks. The bride and groom had several song requests for their cocktail hour music and I put together the remainder of our set list using those songs as my inspiration.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Wedding Party ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Bride ~ Bridal Chorus (Wagner)
Recessional ~ Wedding March from a Midsummer Night's Dream (Mendelssohn)

Selected Wedding Prelude Music:
Largo from Winter (Vivaldi), Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach), Selections from Handel's Water Music, Allegro from Sonata in F major (Handel)

Selected Cocktail Hour Music:
Italian Song (Tschaikovsky), Ecossaise (Beethoven), What a Wonderful World, Over the Rainbow, All You Need is Love, Romantic Flight from How to Train Your Dragon, Imagine, Anything Goes (Cole Porter)

Wedding Vendors:
Wedding Venue: Silverthorne Pavilion
Wedding Coordinator and Photographer: Laura Pierson at L Elizabeth Events
Wedding Ceremony and Cocktail Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Trio (flute, viola, cello)

Announcing New Music Samples From Our Flute and Piano Duo

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I'm excited to announce that new music samples of our flute and piano duo are now available for listening on my website! Listen to them here on my flute and piano duo page. I made these recordings accompanied by talented piano/keyboard player, Adam Revell. Our versatile duo can play classical music for your traditional wedding ceremony and then play popular, rock, and jazz for your cocktail hour or wedding reception. We also love playing for parties and feature classical music for elegant formal gatherings to upbeat rock and jazz selections for parties and events.

Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Ceremony Music in Breckenridge

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This weekend, I played flute for a wedding ceremony in an incredibly beautiful location. The ceremony was held on the lawn of a private residence in an idyllic mountain setting above the town of Breckenridge. The landscaping was gorgeous and flowers spilled from every corner and lined the garden paths, framing the mountain backdrop. Storms began to move in, giving the mountains and sky a dramatic and eerie look, and thunder began to rumble and echo around the mountains. Because of the coming rain, the decision was made to begin the ceremony 15 minutes earlier than originally planned. Our flute and guitar duo welcomed the guests with classical prelude music and then began playing the processional music. Just as the bride began her walk down the aisle, the sun came out and stayed out for most of the ceremony, even as the thunder continued to rumble in the distance. The storm held off just long enough for the beautiful wedding ceremony to finish and for the photographers to get some great shots afterwards. Thank you Steve Tinetti for sharing these beautiful photos!

After the ceremony, I was invited to stay for the cocktail hour, so I drove to Breckenridge Lodge and Spa where I had a few refreshments and enjoyed watching the storms move in over the mountains as I got to know few of the guests.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Parents and Attendants Processional ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (JS Bach)
Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Recessional ~ Wedding March from a Midsummer Night's Dream (Mendelssohn)

Prelude Music:
Classical selections from Bach and Telemann

Wedding Vendors:
Photographer: Steve Tinetti Photography - Thank you Steve for these wonderful pictures!
Wedding Ceremony Music - Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Guitar Duo

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Flute and String Trio at the Lodge at Cordillera in Edwards, CO

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Recently, we enjoyed spectacular views from the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, Colorado. This very busy bride asked us to select her wedding ceremony music for her, and we took care of everything so she could focus on getting married. With severe thunderstorms the previous day, everything had to be moved indoors, and rain continued to threaten on the wedding day. However, the following afternoon the sun came out and the bride had her beautiful outdoor wedding after all. Our trio serenaded the guests with classical music as they came to their seats and then we played for the ceremony. Afterwards, we moved down to the pool area where we played classical music for the cocktail hour.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Bridesmaids and Flower Girl ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring Bridal
Processional ~ Sheep May Safely Graze
Recessional ~ La Rejouissance from Handel's Water Music

Selected Prelude and Cocktail Hour Music:
Selections from “Water Music” (Handel), Spring (Vivaldi), Ecossaise (Beethoven), Papageno's Aria from the Magic Flute (Mozart), Salzburger Menuette (Mozart), Gavotte (Gossec), Gigue (J.S. Bach)

Wedding Vendors:
Wedding Venue: The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera
Wedding Coordinator: Valerie Woodbury
Ceremony Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Trio

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String Trio Wedding Ceremony Music on Top of a Mountain

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This summer, I had a once in a lifetime experience playing wedding music - in the middle of nowhere on top of a mountain! The bride and groom had an intimate outdoor wedding ceremony on family land, with only about 20 guests in attendance. The ceremony site was by their small vacation cabin and had views of rolling hills, green from the spring rain, and a panorama of snow-capped mountain peaks as a backdrop. The couple told us to bring a four wheel drive vehicle and I'm glad we did! It was quite a drive up the rutted and rocky mountain road, from the small town of Eagle, through the middle of nowhere, past the mansion of a Spanish ambassador and even higher up the mountain until we reached a point of land with a small cabin and an amazing view. The couple chose a string trio for their wedding music, and I played the cello. We serenaded everyone with a classical prelude, processional music, and finally postlude music while pictures were being taken. Our classical music contrasted with the wild and beautiful outdoor setting, and brought a sense of elegance and sophistication.

After the wedding, we were kindly invited to eat a catered lunch with the family. They were so friendly and we felt like part of their family. We learned about the land's history and heard stories about the family's relatives who settled and ranched there a long time ago.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Recessional ~ Finale from Handel's Water Music

Selected Prelude and Postlude Music
Selections from "Spring" (Vivaldi), Selections from "Water Music" (Handel), Italian Song (Tchaikovsky), Arioso (Bach), Ode to Joy (Beethoven), The Toy Symphony (Haydn)

Wedding Vendors:
Photographer: April O'Hare Photography - thank you April for these beautiful photos!
Wedding Ceremony Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - String Trio

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Flute and String Quartet Wedding Music at St. Thomas More Church and Castle Cliff Estates

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This weekend I played flute for a gorgeous Catholic wedding ceremony and reception. Our flute and string quartet played Irish, classical, and sacred music for the prelude to this wedding ceremony, which was held at St. Thomas More church in Centennial. The church was modern, but very elegant with vibrant stained glass windows, and lovely wood and stone work. The ceremony was not a full mass, but there was a short sermon and a number of lovely Biblical readings.

After the ceremony, we drove to Castle Cliff Estates where we played classical and Irish music for the reception. Castle Cliff Estates had an elegant classic feel with large windows overlooking the vibrant gardens and water feature in the back. The bride's choice of flowers and decorations, our musical accompaniment, and a roaring fire in the fireplace perfectly complimented our opulent surroundings and cheered up the cold and rainy day.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Family Processional ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (J S Bach)
Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Bridal Processional ~ Bridal Chorus (Wagner)
Unity Candle: Winter from the Four Seasons (Vivaldi)
Recessional ~ Wedding March from Midsummer Night's Dream (Mendelssohn)

Selected Reception Music: An Irish Blessing (traditional), Last Rose of Summer (traditional), Psalm 19 (Marcello), selections from Water Music Suite (Handel), Palladio

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Flute, Viola, and Cello Trio - Wedding Music at the Greenbriar Inn in Boulder

Flute and String Wedding Ceremony Music at the Greenbriar Inn, Boulder
Flute and String Wedding Ceremony Music at the Greenbriar Inn, Boulder

On Saturday, our flute, viola, and cello trio played for a wedding ceremony at the beautiful Greenbriar Inn located in North Boulder. The couple got married outside surrounded by warm autumn colors drenched in late afternoon sunshine. This couple chose to select all of their own music including their own prelude music. They chose favorites ranging from classical, to ragtime and popular. I made several special music arrangements for our trio to play including “New York, New York”, “I Feel Pretty”, and “When I’m 64”. We played the prelude as the guests enjoyed light refreshments, and just as the sun began to descend towards the mountains behind the "Chuppah" (traditional Jewish wedding canopy), the wedding ceremony began. The vows went by quickly as the couple chose to say their "I do's" in unison, and guests did various readings. Once the sun set, there was a sharp chill in the air, and everyone went inside to enjoy a warm fire and refreshments.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Prelude Music ~ Trumpet Tune (Purcell), Salut d’Amour (Elgar), Ave Maria (Schubert), Selections from Handel’s “Water Music”, London Trio #1 (Haydn), Paragon Rag (Joplin), I Feel Pretty (Bernstein), When I’m 64 (Beatles)

Attendant’s and Parent's Processional ~ Canon in D
Bride ~ Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
Recessional ~ New York, New York

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Greenbriar Inn
Wedding Ceremony Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Trio

Flute and Guitar Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt

Flute and Guitar Duo  Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt
Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt

Recently I had the pleasure of playing the flute for a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony and reception. I loved the music selections which included a combination of classical, traditional Hebrew, Latin, and Spanish songs. The wedding was held in the Pinnacle Club, the top rooms in the Denver Hyatt. Fromthere we had a sweeping view of downtown Denver.

We played prelude music as the guests arrived, and then as each couple walked down the aisle for the processional, everyone clapped for them. The wedding ceremony was more like a celebration and family and friends were encouraged to cheer on and support the bride and groom and affirm the words spoken by the rabbi during the service. The ceremony was complete with blessings and readings in Hebrew, and ended with the traditional smashing of the wine glass as the guests shouted "Mazle Tov!. Everyone sang "Siman Tov" along with our musical accompaniment for the recessional.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Selected Prelude Music ~ Cinema Paradiso, I Will (Beatles), Meditation from Thais (Massenet), Bittersweet Symphony (the Verve), Brighter than Sunshine (Aqualung) Processional Music ~ Erev Shel Shosanim Bridal Processional ~ Can't Help Falling in Love Recessional - Siman Tov then Mazel Tov

Reception Music included music from Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Vianne Sets Up Shop from Chocolat.

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: The Pinnacle Club at the Grand Hyatt
Denver Photographer: WD Yeager Photography shooting for Broxton Art
Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Guitar Duo

Flute and Guitar Duo  Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt
Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt
Flute and Guitar Duo  Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt
Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt
Flute and Guitar Duo  Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt
Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt
Flute and Guitar Duo  Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt
Flute and Guitar Duo Wedding Music at the Denver Hyatt

Flute, Violin and Cello Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia

Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia

A short while ago, I drove south of Denver to play music for a wedding ceremony and reception in the small town of Sedalia, the home of Gabriel's Northern Italian Restaurant. Gabriel's is a darling Victorian restaurant with a wraparound porch, gardens, and a large stone patio perfectly sized for events and wedding ceremonies. This wedding was to be held in the garden area accompanied by our flute, violin, and cello trio. This was a beautiful outdoor wedding and everyone enjoyed the sunny day that wasn't too hot. This wedding, as with all outdoor weddings, offered a few complications. As we played the prelude music, I had a run-in with a horsefly who kept giving me painful bites on my legs. I knew the music had to go on and I kept playing as smoothly as I could until he finally got bored with me right around the time the ceremony began. However, just as the minister asked the couple to repeat their vows, we heard a very loud, long whistle and a train went roaring by, right behind the guests, and for several moments, it was impossible to hear anything. The minister made a few false starts which were interrupted by more whistles but the couple took it all in stride, and after a good-natured laugh and a little bit of waiting, the ceremony went on and they were married. We then played a lively recessional and transitioned into more upbeat classical music during the outdoor reception.

Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Prelude music ~ selections from Telemann, Vivaldi, and Mozart Wedding Party and Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel) Recessional ~ Allegro from Spring from the Four Seasons (Vivaldi)

Selected Reception Music:
Selections from Water Music (Handel), Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), Minuet (Beethoven), Selections from String Quartet in F major (Haydn)

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Gabriel's Northern Italian Restaurant
Photographer: Bob Sullivan
Wedding Ceremony Music: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute Trio (flute, viola, cello)

Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia
Flute and String Trio, Wedding Ceremony Music at Gabriel’s Northern Italian Restaurant in Sedalia

Flute and Violin Duo, Wedding Ceremony Music in Breckenridge

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It's hard to surpass a Colorado mountain wedding in July, and this gorgeous Breckenridge wedding ceremony was no exception. The ceremony was held outdoors at a private home with a sweeping view of the mountains and Breckenridge Golf Course. With only about 8 guests, this was the most intimate wedding I have played for, and among the sweetest. The festivities began as the guests enjoyed appetizers while our flute and violin duo set the mood with elegant classical music. Then the guests gathered around the alter for the wedding ceremony. During the ceremony, friends and family had an opportunity to speak to the bride and groom, and they laughed and cried as words of encouragement and advice mixed with many fond and humorous memories were passed around. Then the daughter of the groom sang "Someone Like You" by Van Morrison, a song that was meaningful to the couple, and I accompanied on the flute. Afterwards, everyone gathered inside to congratulate the bride and groom, visit, and enjoy a special dinner.

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Selected Prelude Music ~ Gavotte (Gossec), Rondeau (Mouret), Presto from Sonatina in F major (Telemann), Romanza from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart), selected Menuets (Devienne), St. Anthony Chorale (Brahms), La Rejouissance (Handel), March in D major (Bach)

Bridal Processional ~ Canon in D (Pachelbel)
Special Song (daughter of groom, voice with me on flute) ~ Someone Like You (Van Morrison)
Recessional ~ Danza Pastorale from Spring (Vivaldi)

Wedding Vendors:
Photographer: Virginia Stiles
Musicians: Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Violin Duo

Now Offering a String Quartet and a String Trio

string quartet and string trio wedding ceremony music
string quartet and string trio wedding ceremony music

It's time to go traditional, and I am pleased to announce that you can now hire a string quartet or a string trio right here through my website. String music will add a touch of elegance and class to your wedding ceremony, cocktail hour, or your special event. The formal sound and appearance of stringed instruments make them a very popular choice for brides. If you would like to hire a quartet or a trio but want a more unique and varied sound, you can replace the first violin with the flute. The flute has a smooth sound that contrasts beautifully with that of stringed instruments.

Flute and Violin Duo, Wedding Ceremony Music at Red Rocks Trading Post

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

This past Saturday I played my flute for a wedding ceremony at the beautiful Red Rocks Trading Post in Golden, CO. With cold and snowy weather the week before, and the same forecasted for this upcoming week, I was happy to wake up to a beautiful day in the upper 60's. As is usual for Colorado mountain wedding locations, our drive up the mountain to Red Rocks unfolded magnificent views. I also enjoyed my first sight of the famous Red Rocks Amphitheater which is built into the side of the mountain and nestled between two towering rocks with an amazing view of the valley and Denver in the distance.

The wedding took place at the nearby Red Rocks Trading Post, which also overlooked a sweeping vista. The bride chose a flute and violin duo for her wedding ceremony, and I played flute with Keynes Chen on violin. At the bride's request, we played light and upbeat classical music for the prelude, and the bride's special selections for the wedding ceremony. During the processional we played Handel's Hornpipe and just as the music changed in the second part to a faster lighthearted sound, the three flower girls emerged dancing around the guests and tossing out flower pedals, eliciting delighted laughter from everyone. Just as the couple was pronounced husband and wife and began their walk back down the aisle, the sun came out in full glory from behind the clouds as if to bless their union.

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

Wedding Ceremony Music:
Selected Prelude Music ~ Danza Pastorale from Spring (Vivaldi), Allegro from Flute Sonata (Handel), My Heart Ever Faithful from Cantata #68 (JS Bach), Air from Orpheus (Gluck), Gigue from Suite #3 (JS Bach), Gavotte (Gossec), Sicilienne from Variations on a Theme by Haydn (Brahms)

Seating of the Parents ~ Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (JS Bach)
Attendant’s Processional ~ Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel)
Bridal Processional ~ Waltz from Sleeping Beauty (Tchaikovsky)
Recessional ~ All You Need is Love (Beatles)

Vendors:
Venue - Red Rocks Trading Post
Ceremony Music - Flute and Strings by Christen Stephens - Flute and Violin Duo
Wedding Planner - Entwined Wedding Planning
Photography - Denver Wedding Photographer R. J. Kern / Kern-Photo

Photos courtesy of Denver Wedding Photographer R. J. Kern / Kern-Photo.

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

Traditional Wedding Ceremony Music - Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music
Colorado Wedding Ceremony Music

Several years ago, I shocked the mother of a bride during our wedding music consultation by suggesting that our flute and harp duo play “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” at her daughter’s wedding ceremony. She had requested worshipful songs including hymns and traditional classical music, and being unfamiliar with this traditional wedding favorite, she thought the title seemed just a bit scandalous. Perhaps I should have instead asked if she wanted to hear the final movement from Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Herz und Mund und Tat”, or “Heart and Mouth and Deeds and Life”, written for church services in Lepzig:

Jesus remains my joy, my heart's comfort and essence, Jesus resists all suffering, He is my life's strength, my eye's desire and sun, my soul's love and joy; so will I not leave Jesus out of heart and face.

“Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” was originally written for a choir, strings, trumpets, and bassoon, and the melody that we are so familiar with today was played by the violins. The English version that we most commonly associate with this melody, and from which today’s title is derived, is quite different from the literal translation:

Jesu, joy of man's desiring, Holy wisdom, love most bright; Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring Soar to uncreated light.

Word of God, our flesh that fashioned, With the fire of life impassioned, Striving still to truth unknown, Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding, Hark, what peaceful music rings; Where the flock, in Thee confiding, Drink of joy from deathless springs.

Theirs is beauty's fairest pleasure; Theirs is wisdom's holiest treasure. Thou dost ever lead Thine own In the love of joys unknown.