Wedding Tips for your big day

First of all congratulations of your engagement and good luck with your wedding planning.

I’ve put together some wedding tips, which I’ve developed over the years, which will hopefully help you arrange and experience a wedding that is both smooth and really enjoyable.

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The essential wedding tip

Let’s face it, not many weddings happen without a venue. So, this is the one thing that you need to book early, as popular venues get booked up sometimes years in advance, especially for the summer months at the weekend. If you just can’t wait to get married, then consider a midweek or winter wedding.

Consider having your ceremony and reception in one place, as it saves on travel time between venues (so more time for other things) and it means that everyone, but especially elderly relatives, can get a drink and something to eat whilst waiting for the ceremony to begin.

It also means that you have no chance of a breakdown between venues and your guests don’t need to sit in a car or a coach instead of enjoying themselves with you.

Ministers, celebrants and registrars are all licenced to marry couples just about anywhere, so why not ask them along to your venue of choice.

Does the venue have a separate room for the wedding breakfast and the evening reception or does it need time to turn the room around? If the band are playing in the same room as the wedding breakfast, can they set up without interrupting your guests?

Do they need to set up before the wedding breakfast or do you leave time between eating and the band starting, to allow them to set up? It all takes planning and TIME.

Choosing the Wedding Band

The band are another element that can make or break a wedding, so get the band sorted asap. Try to see the band playing and once booked, keep in regular contact to ensure your booking stays in their calendar.

The Piper

I am biased, but a Scottish piper will add something special to your day that you and your guests will carry with you for ever.

Make sure you see your piper playing on video or live, to ensure he can play and also that he is attired in full highland dress.

Groom’s attire

More and more people are wearing Scottish highland dress for weddings, but I am continually surprised by how many people don’t know how to wear it.

I will soon be starting a series of videos designed to help with this subject starting with “how to tie gillie brogue laces”.


Yes…delegate! Small tasks on the day are what the best man, ushers and bridesmaids are for! Just arriving dressed for the occasion is a challenge in itself, without having jobs to do.

At a recent wedding, the groom had left himself so many minor tasks, that he forgot the rings…Ooops!

Timings and the Small Things

Strike a balance between leaving enough time between ceremony and wedding breakfast, to allow for all the things you want to do and not having your guests faint with hunger or too many libations.

2 to 2.5 hours is a good amount of time as a rule of thumb. Canapes are a great idea and essential if you’re going to extend this time.

What I mean by “the small things”, is that 5-10 minutes here and there, soon add up and before you know it you are scrabbling around trying to turn back time.

For example, even if a bride does arrive on time (unlikely, no offence girls!), it’s going to take 5-10 minutes to get out of the car once photos have been taken and the dress has been extracted too.

Then it’s another 5-10 minutes to have a welcome chat with the minister and then process down the aisle. So already, things are running 20 minutes late, if you didn’t factor this in. All the small things add up!

The photographer

It’s important to check that your photographer can capture your day the way you want and also do it quickly, so you get time to spend with your guests, before the wedding breakfast.

At a recent wedding, the bride and groom arrived at the reception venue with 5 minutes to spare before being piped in for dinner because their photos had taken so long.

And that was because the bride arrived 15 minutes late (not too bad in the grand scheme of things); then took 10 minutes to go into the church; the service was an hour long (planned for 45 mins) and the photographer took 2 hours to take family photos.

Photographs can, without doubt, take up the most amount of time and I would urge anyone to check how long is needed for photos before booking, because a photographer like the one above, in my opinion, can spoil a day. Some photographers (like Greg from Napier Wedding Photography) are great, but others need to be supervised.

Herding cats...I mean guests!

This is something that catches people out all the time. If you have around 80 guests it will take them at least 15-20 minutes to move from one room to another, so if you have a schedule which says that guests are to be seated for 4.30pm, you need to ask them to be seated around 4.10pm and ideally your coordinator should give them a 30 minute warning before that, so that people can plan a bathroom break.

So, any time you are moving your guests from one place to another, allow time for that to happen. Unless you you are Harry Potter of course.

Wedding Piper Scotland. Choose us and rest assured you have made a sound choice!

Scottish Wedding Piper playing at Loch Lomond

About us

If you’re looking for pipers in Glasgow, not all services are the same. Premier Pipers are the leading supplier of Scottish pipers for weddings. Get in touch for a free quote.

Keith’s career as a Scottish piper began 34 years ago when he started learning the bagpipes. He became a professional wedding piper in 1993, whilst studying, and has been playing weddings, funerals and functions ever since. He now combines piping with ski instructing. Looking for Pipers, Premier Pipers can help!

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