Weddings with Memphis Bagpipes cont'd

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MUSIC CHOICES
There is no absolute protocol here. There are a number of tunes at the ready, scroll to bottom of this page for suggestions. Ask if you have another tune in mind - some popular songs can be adapted. Unfortunately many cannot because they don't fit the bagpipes' limited range and peculiar scale.

APPEARANCE
For an evening service, kilted formalwear may be appropriate if the bridegroom and his men are decked out. A day jacket or Highland shirt does well for balmy afternoon occasions that are more casual. An authentic look for renaissance weddings is also easily arranged, as is Highland military dress. Most clients seem to prefer as dramatic an appearance as possible.

SPECIAL ACCOMODATIONS
For many, the performance is to be a surprise, so assistance may be necessary upon arrival to remain inconspicuous and tune out of earshot. An adjacent building away from the ceremony site is satisfactory. A piper must tune before the 1st performance and any time there is a lull longer than 15 minutes. Bagpipes are persnickety because the reeds (four total) are not kept stable in the mouth like a saxophone, and go out of tune when idled.

It is particularly helpful to provide an assistant who can remain with the piper and provide signals to begin, go stage left, etc. Often the wedding co-ordinator sees to this and she is kept informed about last moment changes. Most pipers have experienced circumstances where details changed at the last minute and they were not kept informed - weren't disasters, but....

And if you're having an outdoor wedding, a suitable cover or an alternative location in the event the weather goes wet is appreciated.

PHOTOGRAPHS
Because the piper is a prominent part of the ceremony, many couples want him in the wedding day photos. No problem.

PERFORMANCE FEE
Each event is a custom assignment. Based on your event date and specific requirements, an exact price can be obtained in the initial e-mail/telephone contact. Expect to pay extra for travel outside our area. Amount of playing time is another consideration. For example, when requesting to play at an afternoon ceremony and an evening reception, up to several hours, perhaps a whole day are needed to set aside.

Have a contract if you choose, but at least consider writing down the agreed details and both parties initial the document. Doing so, both parties know what is expected of the other. Exchanged e-mails are a very convenient method. It is hardly reasonable for the piper to leave the wedding paid for obligations unfulfilled, nor is it fair to expect the piper to remain and play for a party that goes well into the evening for no extra compensation.

An additional 'learning fee' is applicable if there's a request to learn music outside the standard repertoire.

To secure your date, a standard non-refundable deposit is necessary. This is usually 35-40 percent of the total amount. Without a deposit, a specific date or time cannot be guaranteed.

Because the day will be a bit stressful, ask someone responsible to hand out the envelope discretely. This can be the best man, dad, wedding co-ordinator, or whomever you'd prefer. One less detail to be concerned about.

CEREMONY ALTERNATIVE
For whatever reasons, some in the family can be fiercely opposed to pipe music (probably never heard it done properly). Or perhaps the piper has a previous engagement and cannot make it to your ceremony. A number of clients have compromised by having a bagpiper at the rehearsal dinner only. Usually this is a complete surprise to someone: bride, groom, Scottish grandma, etc. The most popular time seems to be around dessert time, or before the speeches begin. The usual modus operandi is to have the piper "burst" into the banquet room playing something lively and continue with a few assorted tunes to fit the occasion. Everyone'll be on their feet instantly. The fewer who know what's about to occur, the better the effect.

A REMINDER..
Many clients schedule a bagpiper at their weddings 6-12 months in advance, so do book early. May seems to be the most popular month. Please don’t hesitate to call on short notice. Often even very late bookings can be accomodated.

TUNE SAMPLES
These are MIDI's of suggested tunes. They are electronic in origin and do not closely resemble the pipes' grand sound. Brief snippets of WAV files (in bold type) are also below. Most of these tunes can be switched around to suit your preferences.

PROCESSIONALS / BRIDE'S ENTRANCE / BRIDESMAIDS
Highland Cathedral ~ Farewell to the Creeks (live) ~ A Hundred Pipers
Come By the Hills ~ Flower of Scotland

FOR GROOM / GROOMSMEN
Cockerel of the North ~ O'Donnell Abu ~ Blue Bonnets Oe'r the Border ~ Blue Bonnets (live) ~ Glengarry's March (live)
University of Memphis Fight Song ~ The Jaunting Car (live)

RECESSIONALS
St Patrick's Day ~ Garryowen ~ Scotland the Brave ~ Wearing o' the Green (live)
The Atholl and Breadalbane Gathering ~ Prince Charles' Welcome to Lochaber (live)

Wedding Presentation Video - RECOMMENDED


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