I’ve played bagpipes at many weddings and there are some pointers and ideas I’d like to share:
- I believe that a wedding is primarily about the bride. It’s her big day. Of course the groom is also very important but many times the groom doesn’t have quite the same ideas and the same clarity that a bride will have. It’s my job as the bagpiper to bring those wishes/dreams to life.
- When to perform: I’ve been asked to play beforehand, as guests arrive, I’ve preceded the bride and father up the aisle and also played during the recessional escorting the new married couple out of the service. Many times I’ve appeared as a surprise for either the bride, groom or guests. This requires some preplanning but this has always worked very well in my experience.
- Entrance: one other option is also to have the bagpiper lead the bride and groom into the reception. This works very well as a grand entrance.
- Dress: if the wedding has Scottish dress I’ve also been called upon to guide the groomsmen on how to wear the kilt properly and where each of the accessories goes. 🙂
- Popular tunes for a wedding: Scotland the Brave- by far one of the most recognized bagpipe tunes on the planet, When Irish Eyes are Smiling- this adds a distinctive Irish flair to the wedding, Murdo’s Wedding is a great upbeat tune, two more I would recommend would be The Minstrel Boy and Crags of Tumbledown Mountain. Listen to me playing these tunes here. Ifthere are any other tunes I probably know them or can learn them.
- What not to do: sometimes I have a person request Amazing Grace- I always talk them out of this. For some it brings up memories of loss and grief- not the thing we want to do at a joyous occasion like a wedding!
- Don’t forget: take photos with the bagpiper. Many times I’m asked and I’m always willing to take photos with bride, groom and anyone at the wedding. It’s part of the experience and it helps make the event very memorable for all.
- Lastly: a bagpiper has to communicate well with the client about the wedding. The bride and groom have a thousand other things to worry about. I don’t want them to worry about me. I will often send them a reminder a few days beforehand just to put their minds at ease that this part of the wedding will go as planned.
Thanks for reading and I will keep posting articles of interest. If you have any questions pertaining to bagpipers or bagpiping please use my contact form and I will answer them in future blog posts.