Bay Area Bagpiper Jay Salter
Jay Salter, Bagpiper jaysalter @ cruzio . com 831.818.0906


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.

Jay played his bagpipes at our wedding ceremony, and I cannot recommend him highly enough.  Jay was wonderful to work with and his performance at our wedding was so special.  Jay is warm and incredibly professional.  We wanted to have bagpipe music for our processional and recessional to honor my grandmother and her Scottish heritage, and from our first phone conversation with Jay, I felt that he took our ceremony seriously and wanted to work with us to be sure we were happy with the music on our wedding day -- and we were thrilled.  Jay is very experienced at performing at weddings and knew exactly the right questions to ask us about timing of the processional, etc., had perfect ideas of what music to play, and even played tunes for us over the phone so that we could decide together.  On our wedding day he was equally professional -- prompt, dressed beautifully, and most importantly, played beautifully.  I will never forget the incredible sound of the bagpipes as our wedding processional began.  The music was moving, meaningful and ceremonial in a joyous, fun way, and several people told us how beautiful and special it was to experience.  I'm so glad Jay and his bagpipes were a part of our wedding day.  As a side note, I found that this also provided an economical option for live music at our ceremony, as Jay is one very reasonably priced musician but brings a huge, incredible sound!  Thank you for everything, Jay!
--Mariam Missaghi

©2016 Jay Salter