There is truly no more romantic wedding destination than Mackinac Island. Situated in Lake Huron, it is accessible only by boat or airplane, and there are no cars allowed on the island. Transportation is on foot, bike, or by horse-drawn taxi. It’s a wonderful place to get away from modern “conveniences” and have an old-world elegant wedding!
I was so excited to have the opportunity to play for this ceremony and cocktail hour at the Inn at Stonecliffe. Away from the downtown strip, and past the magnificent Grand Hotel, it is a secluded venue that offers a view of the Mackinac Bridge from the backyard ceremony site.
The logistics of getting the harp to the island took a little extra planning, but everyone was very helpful and accommodating. Before boarding the ferry in Mackinaw City, I triple checked to make sure I had everything I could possibly need for the wedding. This is one place you can’t just run back to the car to pick up something left behind! I wheeled the harp down the ramp, onto the boat, and the ferry was on its way.
Upon arrival, I boarded the Inn’s shuttle – horse-drawn, of course! They were also hauling up the flowers, and I met the wedding coordinator, Anne Coulter (who is super-organized and did an amazing job). The harp was placed in a cart behind the shuttle, and plastic wrapped to the sides. With every bump we hit along the way, Anne and I swiveled around to make sure we still had a harp!
We passed the Grand Hotel on our way up the hill, and we became a bit of a tourist attraction ourselves. There are several other Mackinac Island visitors who have pictures of my harp precariously wrapped to the cart!
We arrived at the Inn at Stonecliffe, cut through the plastic wrap, and set up the harp. We had arrived about three hours before the ceremony was scheduled to begin (you never know about those horse taxis!), so I had some time to relax on the back porch and enjoy the view myself.
The florist set up the aisle decorations a little too soon in the sun, so Anne moved them off to the porch. We were able to hang them on the harp cart, so they wouldn’t get smashed. This must be the month for hydrangeas – one of my favorite flowers.
The bride’s only music request was that I play Enya’s “Only Time” as she walked down the aisle. She allowed me to recommend pieces that went well with it, and we decided on “Hymne” by Vangelis for the wedding party processional and the Czech/Bohemian folk song “I See You, My Beloved” for the recessional.
During the cocktail hour, I played a variety of upbeat, popular selections, including “By the Light of the Silvery Moon,” “All You Need is Love,” and “Hey, Soul Sister.” No Mackinac Island wedding would be complete without “Somewhere in Time,” made famous by the movie of the same name filmed at the Grand Hotel.
The taxi back to the ferry docks didn’t have a cart, so I managed to slide the harp under the back bench seat, and secure it with the rain flap. Another wedding adventure, and I enjoyed every minute of it!
I am available for weddings and parties anywhere on Mackinac Island – visit http://www.theclassicharpist.com/ for details.