Bagpipes have been played at weddings since the Middle Ages when they were considered one of the most popular instruments throughout Europe and the Isles. The main reason for this is that one bagpiper could make enough sound for all to enjoy without any amplification!
Not only do bagpipers add great background music to an event, but a bagpiper kitted out in full regalia turns heads in any environment and therefore is a valuable asset to any wedding photo collection.
Over the last 3 years alone I have performed at well over 100 weddings all over the North of England and Wales, as well as the East and West Midlands. I’ve appeared on ITV’s ‘The Lakes’ piping for a wedding at the Langdale Chase in Windermere and I’ve also appeared on ITV’s ‘The Dales’ piping for a wedding in Clapham. Below is an outline of what is generally required of me at weddings.
I am generally required to pipe as guests arrive at the wedding ceremony. This tends to be 30 minutes before the ceremony is due to begin. I’m then required to greet the bride and lead her up to the church / ceremony room doors and if required down the aisle. If I am asked to play during the signing of the register I find the Scottish smallpipes go down well in smaller venues as they are quieter than the highland bagpipes. My next point of call is to either pipe the newly wed couple back up the aisle or as they exit the ceremony.
Popular tunes requested for the brides arrival / leading her down the aisle include:
- Flower of Scotland
- Amazing Grace
- Highland Cathedral
- The Dark Island
- Marie’s Wedding
- For The Love of A Princess (Braveheart)
- The Bridal Chorus (Here Comes The Bride)
I can play a number of medleys whilst photos are being taken to keep your guests entertained. I’m also happy to be available for having photos taken with the bride and groom, as well any guests.
If the reception is at a different venue to the ceremony I can make sure I get to it in time to greet the bride and groom as they arrive. Sometimes photos are taken at the reception in which case the above applies. Usually my final point of call is to pipe the bride and groom to the top table. For this I can suggest the following tunes:
- Scotland The Brave
- Loch Lomond
- The Athol Highlanders
- Highland Laddie
- The Black Bear
On occasion I have been asked to come back to mark the end of the evening with Auld Lang Syne.