So, you’ve booked your wedding venue, got the date you want in the diary and now you’ve got to start booking the other elements of the day which we hope might include a bagpiper, as it can really make a difference!
Recommendation for Your Wedding Piper
Even in Scotland, there is not a big percentage of people who play the pipes and even fewer who play the pipes well enough to play in public, so statistically it’s not that likely that you will have a piper in the family or even know a piper who could play on the big day. The other thing is that if someone in your family does play the pipes, but isn’t confident enough to play at a function, then they are not going to enjoy the day, if they have been cajoled into doing it. If you don’t know a piper then you ideally want one who has come recommended by a friend or perhaps the wedding venue. If this works out then great, that is another item ticked off the list. However, if you don’t get a recommendation, what do you do?
Finding a Piper for the Big Day
The first thing is not to panic, there are usually enough professional Scottish pipers out there to meet demand and it can be as simple as browsing the internet with search terms like “Wedding Piper In Glasgow” or Wedding Piper at Loch Lomond” in order to find them. The problem then becomes one of which piper do you choose. Having a nice-looking website and well written information doesn’t mean that the piper can play the bagpipes well enough to play at your wedding…so now what do you do?
Wedding Piper Videos
Any piper worth booking will have videos of them playing the bagpipes at another wedding. Videos will allow you to verify that they can actually play the pipes and also play them to the standard where none of your guests’ toes are curling. If you don’t feel confident choosing the piper on your own, then ask the wedding coordinator at your wedding venue to have a look/listen and give you some feedback. Another thing that a video will allow you to find out is how smart the piper is and how he carries himself, whilst “on duty”. Having someone who looks like a bag of spuds, is not going to go down well with guests, no matter how good a piper he is. The piper should be attired in what we call “number 2” uniform, which is gillie brogues, hose (kilt socks) kilt, shirt and tie, kilt jacket and glengarry (piper’s hat). Some will offer “number 1” uniform, which will usually incur an additional charge.
Professional and Reliable Piper
So now you have found a piper who can play the pipes! But, how do you find someone who is professional and reliable. This is where reviews and testimonials are really important and should be checked on a verifiable source like google reviews, tripadvisor or feefo. Just having reviews on the piper’s own website can of course be made up and there is no way of verifying them. It goes without saying that if there are reviews on someone’s website, then they are going to be good ones. When you are able to check review platforms, make sure there are a good number of reviews, so that you can be sure it is not just friends and family who have written them. I would suggest that for a piper who has been around for a while, there should be at least 30 reviews and more than 95% of these should be glowing.
At Premier Pipers, we pride ourselves on having immaculately dressed pipers, who are exceptional players and have the experience to help make your day extra special. We are happy to give advice regardless of whether you have booked a piper, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.