I learned to play the bagpipes at high school in Edinbugh which is longer ago than I care to mention. Let's just say I've been playing the bagpipes for over 10 years! I moved to Sydney in 2002 and have played all around the world including a performance for the Queen at the Royal Albert Hall. More importantly several of my friends have trusted my professionalism and skill enough to give me the honour of playing at their weddings.
Generally a piper provides a welcome to guests by playing near the entrance for a time before the event is due to start. What better way is there to open an event! For parties or other special events this is often all that is required.
For weddings the piper can also announce the arrival of the bride, or can lead the bride up the aisle, play while the registry is being signed, lead the bridal party into the reception etc. The choice is yours, but I can help advise.
Remember that the bagpipes are very loud; which is why pipers generally stand outside by an entrance or on a balcony.
There are a fairly standard set of tunes that are played at each stage of a wedding and I know most of them - I'm happy to learn any special requests. Bagpipes have a limited scale however so not all tunes are suitable.
I will normally play a selection of tunes at my discretion while playing for any length of time; while guests arrive for example. These can be upbeat or downtempo according to the type of event or organiser's wishes.
For the bridal entrance I will always pre-arrange the tune of course. A slow melodic tune is best for this; popular tunes are Road To The Isles, Come By The Hills, Highland Cathedral.