I had been asked about a month ago to play the pipes at my friend Ciorsti’s wedding at Bonawe House, Taynuilt near Oban. Naturally I said yes so, ALLANDER PIPERS was on the road up north. If you have never been in that part of the world it is a must for you, words still fail me! Stunning scenery all the way there and when you arrive…..just go and you’ll find out!
I decided that as I was playing for a childhood friend on her special day that it would have to be in full No.1 uniform and medals. As well as that Tony’s family are based in London so it would be an added bonus for them.
Having never been to Bonawe House it was time to do a bit of investigating. The house was built in 1753 for the manger of the Bonawe iron furnace which is situated nearby but is now a museum. The iron works declined towards the end of the 1890’s. The house is now a bed and breakfast and self-catering cottages. Bonawe House is situated in an isolated spot with its own woods snuggled between Loch Etive and the mighty Ben Cruachan.
So, it was time to take up my position on the driveway. Most of the family and friends were staying in the cottages and were already in situ at the garden wedding venue but some were travelling by bus. A set of 6/8 marches seemed to be in order for the first bus arriving, so I played ‘Angus MacKinnon’ and ‘Farewell to the Creek’ two of my favourites.
As I stated earlier the wedding was being held outside and the scene was idyllic but what put the icing on the cake was the musical accompaniment of Ciorsti’s sister Seylan Baxter on cello. Traditional music taken to another level and was absolutely magnificent (seylan.Baxter.com/corporate-weddings) Please visit her website you won’t be disappointed!
A short while later Ciorsti and Tony arrived together. Ciorsti looked captivating in her wedding dress whilst Tony looked resplendent in his Baxter tartan kilt. As they walked up the driveway hand in hand I could see that they were getting quite emotional so thought it best to get things started and played them along the drive way with ‘The Brown Haired Maid’. A decent introduction to their family and guests.
The formal part of the day was over. It was time to play them to their festivities. Obviously, it had to be ‘Mharies Wedding’ but I then broke into a couple of jigs, ‘Out of the Air’ and ‘The Fittie Boatman’ it seemed a good way to round off a lovely celebration and introduce what was going to be a great night of celebration.
Congratulations to Ciorsti and Tony, very best wishes for the future.