Ceremony and Vow Ideas

XP: Bagpipes at a Catholic wedding

I am working with a couple whose ancestry on both sides in predominately Celtic (mostly Irish, some Scottish).  Both share a strong affinity to their heritage and have spent time in ireland -- she studied in Dublin, he worked in Cork and Waterford -- as well as in Scotland

The bride would like to have an Irish bagpiper "pipe" (lead) the wedding party in for the processional and have the piper lead the recessional. She added that she might have the piper play one or more of the hymns for the Mass.

Has anyone every attended a Catholic wedding that included a bagpiper? I have been to Catholic funerals and to baccalaureate Masses for Catholic high schools in which bagpipe was included, but never at a wedding. Since a lot of you are more knowledgable than me, I thought I would ask (Yes I know we will have to check with the pastor and the parish music director, but one thing at a time)

Any thought or comments would be appreciated. Thanking everyone in advance ...

Re: XP: Bagpipes at a Catholic wedding

  • I've only been to one Catholic wedding, and there were no bagpipes, but I'm a little confused why you are asking here first instead of going to the priest. It won't really make a difference if other people have seen/done it if he says it's not allowed in his parish. It is my understanding that the Catholic Church is pretty restrictive on the order of service in a wedding Mass, so that would really be the first stop to find out if this is even feasible.
  • We are having a bagpiper outside the church who will play as people enter and exit.  Our priest had no problem with that.  I'm not sure about having bagpipers in the actual church, I feel like that could be really loud.  FI and I have both been to a few weddings with a bagpiper playing outside, but have never seen one inside the church.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I've been to a wedding that had bagpipers outside the church and then inside at the reception hall. I've never seen them inside the church involved in the ceremony. But I think that would be really cool. I love bagpipes. 

  • Liturgically, there are no restrictions on what kind of instrument plays the music, only the certain parts of the Mass must be sung.

    I agree, though, that the priest may have restrictions on allowing bagpipes in his church.

    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • I love bagpipes...at a distance.  I think the idea of having them outside is wonderful, inside not such a great idea.  Up close bagpipes are loud and squeally, really not a pleasant sound.
  • I was a wedding once where a bagpiper lead in the flower girls & ring bearers followed by the MOH & the bride. It was beautiful. The big difference though it was an outside ceremony. My concern would be the acoustics of the church. How loud would the bagpipe be inside the church? It could be deafing depending on how the church is and then people will be more focused on covering their ears & asking when will this be over then the bride & groom. The alternative would be to maybe have him play from the back of the church as the bride goes down the isle and stand outside for when you exit.
  • You mention that she wants Irish bagpipes. I think those are typically quieter, so indoors might be okay, but they are played sitting down, do the piper would not be able to "lead" anyone in. But as others have mentioned, I think it's really up to the officiating priest what would be allowed in terms of music. Good luck!
  • I play the pipes, so here is my advice.  Yes they will be loud, but shouldn't be unpleasant if you can find someone good.  The reason most people don't like bagpipes is because 90% of the pipes they hear are played horribly.  If you can find a local bagpipe group/band, they'll have better options.  Finding a group like this may be easier than you think.

    I play the highland pipes, which are way more popular, especially in the states, and they are more widely used in Scotland.  Irish pipes are more complicated to play, and finding an irish piper is going to be harder to find.  

    Maybe leading them outside would be better?  As they walk down the aisle it will be very loud for those sitting next to the aisle.  
  • Uilleann pipes are the irish version of bagpipes and they are, i suppose gentler than bagpipes, for want of a better word.
    Check with the priest first, then find a piper.

    As a side thought, perhaps suggest they have someone play a bodhran to accompany choir/singer. Still very celtic but way more likely to go down well in church
  • Havana2014Havana2014
    10 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its
    edited December 2013
    We are having the uilleann pipes at our indoor ceremony. As mentioned above they are different than Scottish bagpipes (they are not blown into for example) and I think have gentler sound, more appropriate for indoors. We are also having the low whistle.
  • I went to an Irish Catholic wedding a few years ago that had bag pipes. It was part of the processional and recessional so they were inside the church. I don't think they played during any of the hymns. It seemed really loud, but I was also not expecting it. Looking back, it was really cool.

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I did attend a wedding once with bagpipers.  I was very young and its really the only thing I remember from it!  Depending on the size of the church, perhaps the bagpiper can play in the back corner, away from the majority of guests.
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