first let me say congratulations on your upcoming wedding, and thank you for considering the tradition, thrill and spectacle of using bagpipes for your wedding ceremony music.
i offer exclusive, first class service to ensure the biggest day of your life goes smoothly and exceeds your expectations. your wedding will be the only booking i accept on the day so you are assured of my undivided attention and commitment to professionalism. on the day services include; coordination with the venue, wedding coordinator, officiant. dj and other musicians.
Having a piper at a wedding is an age-old tradition. Bridal parties were conveyed in procession from their homes to the site of the wedding. They were accompanied by pipers and a constant firing of guns which kept off evil spirits and brought good luck to the couple. Elements of these customs persist today in the tying of cans and shoes to the wedding car.
Another reason for their popularity at weddings and other celebrations has been that by hiring just one musician you could get enough sound for all to enjoy (no amplification required) and they are ideal for outdoor ceremonies.
“The ritual use of music, song and dance is common to all societies… The wedding tunes invoked fertility and good fortune… It has been noted that the giving of favors by the bride imbued fertility and it will come as no surprise to learn that it was the custom to tie a piece of the bride’s garter around the pipes to impart ‘fertility’ to the music, for good luck.” (from the book “A Scottish Wedding, woo’ed an’ married an’ a’, an exploration of Scottish wedding customs” by Gordon J. Mooney).
i regard being asked to perform at a wedding as an invitation to a sacred space. each wedding i attend is an opportunity for me to uphold hundreds of years of social, musical and clan traditions. with over 10 years in the wedding industry your satisfaction is guaranteed.
suggestions for using a piper at your ceremony
imagine the thrill your guests will experience as they are greeted at the ceremony site by a piper in full dress!
entertain your guests as they arrive and take their seats. traditionally this was to “wake up the town” and let them know something special was about to take place (and to bless the space.) the tunes i play are some of the most popular and familiar (i have over 100 tunes committed to memory.)
when your bridal party is ready for the processional(s) i can move to the back of the congregation (this creates a nice dramatic pause and directs your guests’ attention.) from there i can play any number of processional tunes such as for the seating of family members, for the groom and groomsmen, and for the bride’s maids.
a special tune for the bride. i have sometimes remained hidden until the bride’s processional – what a wonderful surprise for your groom and family and guests! i can appear from some dramatic, photogenic location or lead you and your escort down the aisle. here i like nice melodic tunes that are easy to walk to such as “wedding march from unst,” “flower of scotland,” and highland cathedral” (which was used in the kilted wedding scene in the movie “four weddings and a funeral.”)
during the service i am sometimes asked to play an anthem like “amazing grace,” often as a gesture to those who have passed away and could not attend the wedding.
at the end of the service, after the officiant introduces you as the new mrs. and mr. to the congregation, i can play a bright, happy tune for the recessional, like “mari’s wedding, “murdo’s wedding,” or “highland wedding,” and follow you through the congregation. i have also been hidden away until the recessional to the great surprise of all.
then there are a number of options depending on your reception plans. i can continue playing for background music as you and the bridal party pose for photos and your guests move on to cocktails,
i can pipe your guests in procession to the reception site
or if the reception is offsite i can be there to welcome your guests (a great help for your guests to find the spot!)
and to announce your arrival at the reception. oft times a dj or mc will introduce the wedding party as they join the reception. here i can ‘pipe you in’ with the same tune used for your recessional or some other fun tune.
at the reception the bagpipes may be used to call your guests to their seats at the conclusion of cocktail hour, to call attention for the toasts and a scottish waltz for the first dance or father-daughter dance.
there are a number of tunes appropriate for the processionals and recessionals besides those i’d mentioned and they are all easily searchable on the internet for sound samples or we can get together in person or on the phone to go over tune selection. sometimes there will be a favorite tune in mind for the bride’s processional or recessional. if it’s not a traditional pipe tune i can sometimes transpose it for bagpipes given enough lead time, although not all tunes translate to bagpipe because of the limited scale of the instrument. i’ve transcribed everything from “commitment to excellence” – the theme song for the oakland raiders – to the theme from star wars.
consider this, for over 200 years a cummings has performed the duties of wedding bagpiper – aye! we’ve got it right and your satisfaction is guaranteed!