What tunes are played for a wedding?

In Scotland and Ireland, the bagpipe was the music of everyday life and of special events. Pipes were common at weddings. Today, a bagpipe at a wedding may not only provide a magnificent musical centerpiece, in the U.S. it may also be a bold statement and/or celebration of Scottish or Irish Heritage.

I've played as much as every bit of music for a wedding and as little as one piece when a unity candle was lit.

The single most important aspect of any music played at the wedding is that it must reflect and/or create the mood desired by the bride and groom. Even if you don't know the names of songs, you should tell the piper what mood you are trying to create. The piper can help set that mood using the songs in their repertoire.

Some of the points where music is appropriate include the prelude, seating of mothers, entrance of groomsmen/clergy, bridesmaids, flower-girl/ring-bearers, processional, lighting of the unity candle, hymn, recessional, postlude. Some of these events will require multiple tunes and a skilled piper will seamlessly weave them together for you.

Probably the biggest issue is "Can you play (insert name of tune here!)?"  While some tunes which you may associate with weddings were not originally intended for the bagpipe, the following can be played on the instrument and sound very nice:

Sorry, but no bagpiper can play Mendelssohn's Wedding March from Midsummer Night's Dream. It doesn't work!

(Note: If you want any of the tunes above played with other musicians, please let me know at least two weeks in advance.)

There are literally hundreds of other Celtic tunes, written for the pipes,  which are very suitable for weddings.

I'd be more than happy to suggest tunes from within my repertoire for each part of the wedding and to provide an informative CD to prospective clients. Please contact me for more information on this subject.

Copyright S.K. MacLeod 1996-2016