Bagpipers have been entertaining quests at weddings, banquets and parties for centuries. Your quests will be quite surprised when they hear bagpipers marching into the reception hall. Bagpipes have and can be played at multi-ethnic weddings to the enjoyment of all.
What is the Best Time to Have a Bagpiper Play?
Whenever you want ! It’s your day !
A bagpiper can be integrated in your wedding day in several key points such as before, during, and after the ceremony. Another great time would be during the cocktail hour. Bagpiping during the reception is an excellent time as well which adds a nice surprise for your guests.
Cocktail hours, which are usually void of live entertainment, can be a perfect place for bagpipes to be played. A single piper can easily blend in the room or venue and provide background music for your guests. One drawback is that the bride and groom are normally taking photos at this time and are not present during the cocktail hour.
Before the Ceremony
I would suggest if you really want a piper to play before your ceremony, I would limit the playing time to about 10-15 minutes before the starting time of the ceremony. There have been plenty of times where the wedding starts late for whatever reason. The other concern is the flow of guests into the ceremony. It’s best to play when you can entertain the most amount of guests. Many times, guests want to get inside, out of the weather and find a seat. II always found that playing after the ceremony allows all of your guests to listen to the performance while they are leaving the nuptials.
While your guests arrive
If the majority of the guests are arriving at the same time (exiting bus, boarding a yacht, etc.) then a piper can be used quite effectively before the ceremony.
Having a pipe play 10-15 minutes before the ceremony and stop at the schedule time. If the bride is running a few minutes late, then the piper could play one short tune as the bride is arriving. This way, the bagpipes can be be used to announce the arrival of the bride to all the guests.
The piper should make sure they are not playing over any music that may be playing inside the venue.
During the Service
Playing during the ceremony, but this can be nice if it is kept short and sweet. One tune in and one tune out. Amazing Grace or something similar is nice during the ceremony. Save the majority of bagpiping for after the service.
At the Receiving Line
Have the bagpiper start playing outside the church when the guests are exiting. The piper should play for approximately 10-15 minutes while waiting for the receiving line to complete.
Have the bagpiper stop playing when the photographer is ready to photograph the bridal party with bride and groom. When the photos are completed and the rice is thrown, the bagpiper can now begin to play a fast and lively tune while the couple enters the limo.
Cocktail hours, which are usually void of live entertainment, can be a perfect place for bagpipes to be played. A single piper can easily blend in the room and provide background music for your guests. One drawback is that the bride and groom are normally taking photos at this time and are not present during the cocktail hour.
At the Reception
This is the most popular time for bagpipers to play other then immediately after the wedding ceremony. The best time to have the piper(s) play is sometime after the food has been served, usually 2-3 hours into the reception. Don’t be surprised to see your guests clapping and dancing to the pipe music.
This is something that you will have to work out with the piper. Pipers will already have several sets of music that they know and intend to play. Though there is a great deal of pipe music that pipers will know, ask if you have a special request.
A waltz played while the bride and groom dance by themselves is very popular choice. A perfect tune for this dance is “Those Endearing Young Charms”
Just like the music selection, pipers have different rates. Several factors that may influence the fee. Expect to pay an extra fee for pipers that have to travel longer distances to perform at your function. The amount of playing time is another factor, for example when requesting a piper to play at the ceremony and reception, several hours of time may be needed to be set aside to perform at both.