I was contacted this year by a lady named Monica inquiring information on hiring a bagpiper for her wedding. Monica told me about a dream her fiance had, having a group of pipers play "Amazing Grace" as she walked down the aise. In the dream he described how the sound of "Amazing Grace" got louder and louder as the pipers approached. He said there was one piper that started and others joined. Monica talked with me to see about making his dream come true. She wanted this to be a surprise to her fiance and also with 4 pipers playing at different times as they walked to the alter.
Here is a copy of our exchange of emails:
On Mar 19, 2016
That is wonderful. If we could recreate that dream and have four in total, one beginning at each corner of the property and then stagger the playing it would be really powerful. Let me know if we can make it happen, as long as everyone is on board with being incognito and the importance of the element of surprise.
I have 4 pipers lined up. I will get there early and scope out the place in regular clothes. I will look out of place.... I will work out the details when I get home.
This will be great!
Stanley! You are AWESOME! I am so excited. I am looking forward to hearing from you!
This was an interesting gig to be coordinated. All I knew was that I would be coming from behind a tree and up to the wedding party playing "Amazing Grace". We, the pipers, had to get tuned up, get in place, and start playing at the appointed time without having the groom know what what going to happen.
I arrived a couple of hours early so I could look at the place and find out where we needed to be and when to start playing. Monica had a wonderful group of coordinators that showed me where we were going to start playing and how we were going to get there. I was dressed in normal clothes so the groom had no idea who I was.
Prior to the wedding, I had the pipers meet me at a location about 1/4 mile away from the venue to get tuned up. Once tuned, we drove to the location and went through the back gate and into a building to wait for our que to get in place. Because I could not hear the music, I had the coordinators signal us when to start playing.
We needed to end up with two pipers on the groom's side and two on the bride's side when we finished with "Amazing Grace". When the signal came we split up and started making our way toward the wedding party. We started from behind and came toward their backs.
Richard was the last piper to come in playing. We were almost to the wedding party at this point.
The bride was about half way down the aisle at this point.
We are all playing at this point.
All the pipers were playing and in place at this point. He was in tears and overwhelmed by the moment.
...and Monica arrives!
If you noticed my foot up in the back ground, I was letting the pipers know we are going to end the tune.
I could not have asked for a more beautiful performance! When she was at the front, we had ended our tune. Perfect! Because we were only hired for this one moment, we split up and went our ways.
About a month after playing for Monica I received a call from a lady named Dawn.
Dawn was an interesting lady. She started off by asking me how much it was to have a piper play for her wedding. I went through the list of questions so I could give her an accurate quote for the time requested. Dawn further explained that her fiance was always trying to out do her with various things like an unexpected gift or even a spontaneous outing. They were always competing to see who could come out on top.
For their wedding she wanted to surprise her fiance with a bagpiper as he had had a dream of pipes at their wedding. What?
I told her about the wedding I and four other pipers played at last month. Dawn was set on outdoing her husband-to-be and decided to have 3 bagpipers at the beginning of their wedding playing "Amazing Grace". Ok, not a problem! We continued to discuss the details.
Because we were a surprise, I could not arrive dressed up to look at the area where we would be playing. I went in plain clothes and coordinated with details the coordinator. This was going to be a lot less complicated than the other wedding I played for. We simply had to enter in through the front doors to the hotel playing and walk down the aisle to the stage where Dawn and her groom would be. When the time came, the coordinator gave us the signal and we started playing "Amazing Grace".
We started outside and entered into the lobby of the hotel.
We marched down the aisle toward the stage.
This was a beautiful thing! It's awesome to see people overwhelmed with joy!
We played for the bride and groom then made our way out.
We finished Amazing Grace when we went outside.
I hung around to say hello to the bride and groom when the wedding was over.
I enjoyed the conversations I had with Dawn on the phone. It was nice to meet her in person.
These two wedding made for some good times! They had their own challenges but we managed to pull them off.
Special thanks to Richard, Jimmy, Harry and John for making these dream become a reality for the people.
Thank you Jesus for giving me this opportunity to meet and play for these beautiful people!!!!