Weddings are a huge part of my life and every Friday and Saturday throughout each year I am usually performing. Most of my work is in Scotland but I also pipe worldwide. Some of my work has taken me to Ireland, England, Wales, Holland, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Germany, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia and several in the USA.
I am always willing to travel anywhere in the world. The format of the wedding is normally to pipe as guests arrive at the venue and then play for the bride as she arrives. Often the bride is piped down the aisle. It is traditional to pipe as the happy couple walk back up the aisle then to play to guests as the photographs are taken both at the church and reception venue.
On the day of your wedding I will arrive an hour before the ceremony begins. First I will play outside the venue or church as your guests arrive.
As the ceremony proceeds I pipe for the bride as she walks up the aisle - you can chose your piece of music for this, or we can discuss your options. There are many tunes which can be used. It’s usual to pipe the bride right up the aisle to where the groom is positioned but also I can stand at the entrance and keep playing until the bride reaches the groom I would normally pipe the bride and groom out of the ceremony; usually to a drinks reception. I can also play outside for periods during photo time - I am usually asked to get involved in photos as well.
After the formal line up at the reception, I pipe the top table guests in to their seats then pipe the bride and groom to the cake. Once the cake has been ceremoniously cut, I then pipe them back to their seats. Next I give the bride a Quaich (the cup of friendship), which she fills with whisky - I take a sip and give a good luck toast in Gaelic and then in English, which is very popular and requested by most couples. This routine can be altered as necessary.
I also have a wonderful troop of highland dancers who perform regularly with me at wedding dances. It's a great idea when the band are having a break, to entertain for 30 minutes or so with a range of unique highland dances.
There are always special events each week. During the winter months I often play for skiing parties, which sometimes include the highland dancers.
Most weeks in the cold months I'm seen piping at funerals, which today is very popular. Everyone always comments on how lovely the pipes sound and it always gives me pleasure to think that loved ones have a good respectful highland send off.
I also pipe for the distillers and address the haggis most weeks. This is in honor of their foreign guests who come here to sample and enjoy the highlands.
We often do a Celeidh in a Castle close by. Calling each dance and showing overseas guests how they're performed is always a thing which makes me smile.