What does it mean having a Piper at your Wedding
Well, you decided to hire a piper (hopefully me) for your wedding day. Brilliant!
An experienced piper with this kind of job should know that he plays an important role during the whole ceremony. Indeed he has the great responsibility to the bride and groom as well as with parents, siblings, relatives, friends and guests.
Usually a bride and a groom tend to create a special atmosphere through the thrilling sound of the Great Pipe. In ancient celtic times the Great Bagpipe has always been the soundtrack for events such as weddings, Clan gatherings and often mournings. The piper appeared in peace and war as a symbol.
"A piper is usually a gentleman, often a noble, hardly esteemed as only a mere musician. He represented the glory of a Clan. He had a deep important role in the life of a Clan."
(David Murray, music historian and Eric Moss, piper - When the pipers play video)
The presence of a piper at your wedding will add a special taste of magic at your ceremony. Irish and Scottish heritage is preserved through the presence of a piper. His beautiful highland dress and the old dear tunes like Amazing Grace, Scotland the Brave, Hielan' Laddie, or the everlasting old Irish March of the King of Laois add the perfect touch.
I've been playing all those beautiful airs, and many others, since 1981 when I was asked to play for a wedding in Florence. I will remember forever the tremendous effect that the bagpipes had on the people, someone even crying. Since then I decided to put my attention in two main aspects of my work: quality of sound, performance, overall musical effect and the care of a perfect dress and overall appearance. Both these sides contribute to the final result of being the "perfect piper" in a perfect wedding day. Another not less important side is to be a good entertainer.
Usually a piper is called to play at precise times and moments such as:
- Arrival of bride at church or townhall
- A short play after the ring exchange as a salute to the new marriage
- Accompainment of bride and groom after the ceremony when they leave the venue
- Playing in the background outside the church or townhall while guests congratulate the bride and groom
- Playing in the background during photo and video shootings in special places the newlyweds are led by the photographer and videographer to shoot intimate pictures (countryside, cliffs, castles..)
- Arrival of bride and groom at party
- Special tribute before the speeches, usually a short Piobaireachd, the traditional classic music for the Great Highland Bagpipe.
To properly perform all these tasks a piper must have the feeling of the wedding joy and he's called to play and appear flawless, since his figure will be recorded both by photographer and videmaker and will last forever into the bride and groom's memory.