The sound of the pipes creates a lasting impression at a wedding, with their majestic presence, imparting distinctive charm and old country warmth to the ceremony.
Having performed for numerous weddings over the years, I have a wealth of experience to draw on to ensure your special day is joyful and memorable. I work closely with my clients to ﬁnd just the right way to use the pipes in their ceremony.
Maybe you had experienced the grandeur of the pipes at a friend’s ceremony and were wondering if they would work in the particular space your ceremony will occur in. Or if there are better times than others in the ceremony to employ the pipes. Or what sorts of tunes are appropriate. Or any number of other important concerns. And if you’re still in the process of deciding whether or not to use the pipes, please listen in.
In short, the all encompassing answer to any of the above questions is, by all means, use the pipes, for they will not only ﬁt within any ceremony, but will also, through consultation with the piper, provide a distinctive and memorable ﬂavor to this most important event.
I believe any ceremony is a living thing, a kind of ecology in which all the components contribute: place, time, and participants. The pipes, as one of the grandest of ceremonial instruments, have over the centuries been used for their ability to enliven and enhance each of those ingredients.
Place: Sometimes the pipes can be effective to show where the ceremony is to be held, drawing the audience through the terrain, deﬁning the site or its entrance way, as with outdoor weddings, or one where the building or room is difﬁcult to ﬁnd. Many of my clients have also found it helpful for me to pipe the guests to the reception area, or to lead them to the outside of the church for musical entertainment while photos are taken. Preeminently, the sound of the pipes envelopes exteriors and ﬁlls interiors, enlivening them with the beautiful, unmistakable sound of life-changing rites.
Time: In much the same way, piping can be used to deﬁne parts of the ceremony, such as the beginning of the service, where it opens the collective heart. It can demarcate any portion of the ceremony or procession, such as the bride’s procession, underlining that magical moment. And can announce the conclusion, with the joyful, celebratory recessional.
Participants: Similarly, the pipes might be used to musically augment and personify sections of the processional with its members. Often I will play a different tune for each set of people-- bridesmaids, groomsmen, ﬂower girl and ring bearer-- modulating the key as each walks down the aisle, building in beauty towards the entrance of the bride. Of course the piper is also a participant, and so should enhance the ceremony by his visual presence as well as by his sonic one.