Now that you've decided to have a bagpiper at your wedding, it's time to consider just when and what will be played.
By all means use the contact page here to get in touch with me and I can provide many suggestions or if needed we
can meet beforehand so you can hear the pipes in person. In general, I feel the selection is completely left up to the
Bride. However, having done hundreds of weddings I would like to make a few observations. Note these are given
only as suggestions and should not be considered the limits of playing.
Although I'm often asked to play outside as the guests arrive, I feel it somewhat takes away from the majesty and
effect of the Processional if the pipes will be used to bring the Bride in. I think that the first time your guests should
hear the pipes or know a piper is present is at the moment the Bride is to enter. I strive for this whenever possible.
Imagine, the bridal party enters to organ music or other instruments if you wish. As the last bidesmaid enters the
doors close behind her. When they are all in place and the music stops, the pipes strike in outside the sanctuary and
the doors open for the piper to enter alone. He proceeds down the aisle and turns as the crowd stands for the Bride
and her escort to enter. The piper plays to the side until the Bride is in place bringing the tune to a close. This is my preferred and most frequent wedding performance.
Although I am often asked to play the ever popular "Amazing Grace" at a wedding I have only done so one time. It
was done to honor the Bride's mother who had recently passed. And I must admit that it had the effect of throwing
a dark cloud over the wedding that was almost impossible to recover from. So don't even consider this one.
By far the most popular tune I play for the Processional is "Highland Cathedral". You'll find a link on this site to a
sample. Whether it's played with organ accompanyment or solo it is a perfect tune for the pipes and this usage. But
there are many other tunes that would work for this and we can discuss them as needed.
The next "most common" use for the pipes at a wedding is for the Recessional of the Bride and Groom. Usually this
is done by the piper stepping at the end of the ceremony or if needed, remaining to the side during the service and
at the final blessing, the piper strikes in and leads the couple down the aisle. I usually continue to play until all the
bridal party exits and then I end the tune.
Here there are many more choices for music. The primary concern in my opinion is that the recessional should be a
happy uplifting tune. My most popular one here is "Ode to Joy"(Joyful,Joyful) or next, "Simple Gifts". I should have
links to samples of both tunes on the site. I have also played many tunes as requested by the Bride for this. From
"Rocky Top" to "Tennessee Waltz" we can work out something that will please you.
I am often asked to play a tune during the wedding to honor a family member or at the request of the Bride. After
the Processional it's certainly no problem. And once the wedding is over I often play outside the church as the wedding guests are leaving. Here I usually play many selections of my own choosing or requested by the Bride.
Beyond this, the pipes can be used to lead the Bride and Groom to their "exit" vehicle or to make an entrance at the
The important thing to note is that we can work out music together that will make your wedding special. I will gladly work with your organist for any accompanyment needed. Contact me with dates and your suggestions and we can work together to make this portion a truly special day.