Pipers have been entertaining guests at weddings, banquets and parties for centuries. By hiring a Highland Piper to play for your wedding, you will be carrying on a cultural tradition. According to Scottish tradition, if a bagpiper greets the bride first, she is assured of a long and successful marriage.
Indeed, bagpipes often have been, and can be played at multi-ethnic weddings to the enjoyment of all. Your guests will be quite surprised and pleased when they see and hear a bagpiper at your event. A bagpiper provides an electrifying presence and leaves an indelible mark in everyone’s mind.
Most of the time you the client know what you want, the rest we decide after we have an informal chat and talk through the typical following options.
Before the Ceremony – This is actually a very good time to have the piper play. If the majority of the guests are expected to arrive within a short period of time, say 15-30 minutes before the ceremony starts, then a piper can be used quite effectively to greet them.
During the Service – We are quite often asked to play all or a portion of the bridal processional, which can include playing for the parents, flower girl(s), ring-bearer and bridesmaids, as well as for the bride herself. If playing for everyone, or most everyone in the procession, we usually suggest to the client a change in tunes for the entrance of the bride herself.
The Recessional comes at the end of the ceremony when the piper will either lead the couple and attendants back down the aisle, or play them down the aisle from the back of the ceremonial area.
After the Ceremony – The piper can continue to play outside the Hotel as the guests are exiting. The playing can go on for approximately 15-20 minutes while waiting for the receiving line to complete, or while photos inside the Hotel are being taken. The piper usually doesn’t play while photos of the newlyweds and family are being taken outside the Hotel.
If the reception is being held in a different location, the piper can also play as the guests are leaving for the reception. If however, the piper is asked to play for the arrival of the guests at the reception, he will need to leave soon after the ceremony to arrive at the reception location prior to the guests.
At the Reception – There are other prime moments during the reception for a bagpiper or accordionist to play. The most common and appropriate use of a piper at the reception is to announce the arrival of the wedding party and pipe them all in. A quick musical florish before the speeches, or just prior to the cake-cutting can also be a great attention getter. If the piper or accordionist is sharing the entertainment with another band or a D.J., he can play for a few minutes just prior to the change-over. He can also play during the other band’s or D.J.’s breaks (usually a customary 15 minutes).
Most of the time there are no specific tune requests, only that we use Scottish, Irish, or some other kind of European traditional bagpipe and/or accordion music.
If you have special tunes that you would like played, a special “learning” and/or “rehearsal” fee may also be applied.