Jerry Finegan
907 Northwoods Dr.
Cary, NC 27513
My Love Is Like a Red, Red Rose...
The Great Highland Bagpipe can be a wonderful way to add a Celtic flavor to your wedding. The first thing you should know, however, is that there is no such thing as a "Traditional Scottish Wedding". I have played bagpipes for hundreds of weddings and each and every wedding I have done has been unique. You should utilize the bagpipes when and where you think it is most appropriate - after all, it is your wedding. The general areas where the bagpipes may be employed are outlined below.

Prenuptial Music
The bagpipes are a perfect way to welcome your guests to your wedding. The bagpiper, strategically placed, can not only entertain your guests with the prenuptual music, but also serve as a beacon to help guide guests to the wedding location. For church weddings, the bagpiper can play on the church steps as the guests arrive. For garden weddings where the bagpiper is often the only music, the bagpiper can be placed so that they can both entertain those who are already seated and also guide the arriving guests to the seating area.

For the prenuptial music, bagpipers usually play slower and more stately tunes such as marches, waltzes, and slow airs.

The bagpipes add pageantry to the procession and can help you make a stately appearance as you enter to join your future spouse. If you choose to use bagpipes for all or part of the processional, I recommend that different tunes be used for each of the individual parts of the procession to separate them musically.
  • Groom and Minister
  • Groomsmen
  • Mothers and Grandmothers
  • Bridesmaids, Ringbearers, and Flower Girls
  • Bride
For list of suggested tunes for processional music, please see my Repertoire Page

During the Service
The bagpiper can play a special piece during the service. If you would like to preserve a quieter and softer mood, the Scottish Smallpipes may be played. The Smallpipes are not as loud as the Highland Bagpipes and are ideal for indoor playing especially if the room is small.

Please see my section at the bottom of this page about Amazing Grace if you are thinking about using it during the service.

The bagpipes are a great way to add excitement to the recessional. Newlywed couples often like to make a Grand Exit and have the bagpiper begin playing as they are introduced and lead them back down the aisle. For recessional music, I recommend something lively.

For list of suggested tunes for recessional music, please see my Repertoire Page

The bagpipes can be used to help fill in the void as guest leave the wedding and gather outside before heading to the reception. The bagpiper might play outside as guests mingle after the wedding while the pictures are being taken. If the reception is within easy walking distance, having the bagpiper lead a procession to the reception facility is a great way to make your event even more special.

For the Postlude music, I usually play Hornpipes & Jigs to augment the celebratory feeling.

Nothing is more spectacular than the newlywed couple being led into their reception or to their table by the bagpiper. The bagpiper can also welcome arriving guests to the reception area. Perhaps a Highland waltz as the first dance?

What about Amazing Grace? My one caution against playing Amazing Grace for a wedding is that you never know who among your guests may have recently been to a funeral where Amazing Grace was played on the bagpipes in Eulogy. That said, I remember one wedding where I played Amazing Grace immediately before the processional while the Groom and his family lit a candle in memory of the Groom's mother who was deceased. It was very moving indeed.

Playing my bagpipes for the arrival of the bride
Photo courtesy of Judi Reid and Created in the Image

Wedding of Matt & Angie Keifer in October 2009. Matt is an excellent bagpiper in his own right and I was honored to be asked to play bagpipes for his wedding. He and his wife are both veterinarians who met in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Photo courtesy of Judi Reid and Created in the Image

Here I am with Cara Sorensen at her wedding in May 2005. Not only is Cara a lovely bride, but she is also a bagpiper and a former student of mine.