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Old 12-31-2004, 06:29 AM   #51
Champion Bagpipes
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

I just had to let everyone know the conclusion to Andrew's funny initial posting. I thought it appropriate that everyone know how this all turned out in the end.

The cheque bounced.................!

The happy couple eventually paid him in cash. You can just imagine that poor groom's life!

Happy New Year!!!!!
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Old 12-31-2004, 07:10 AM   #52
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

Great stories... someone should do a book.
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Old 12-31-2004, 07:57 AM   #53
Klondike Waldo
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

My favorite Wedding:

I played a garden wedding one time Which i refer to as "The Mother of All Weddings". It was to be a garden wedding on a hillside that slopes down to a tidal river. They had a woodwind quintet playing on a side porch as guests arrived, a tent set up in the front yard for the reception, a swing band, a DJ, a horse and carriage to take the couple away (and return) after the ceremony, Salmon flown in from Norway and Asparagus from France, and an airplane towing a banner. Need I mention there was a professional wedding planner involved?

As I was driving down to the gig, a tremendous thunderstorm blew in, throwing lashhings of rain, wind and electricty about with singular abandon. The storm delayed the ceremony for about an hour.
when the rain abated, I helped the groomsmen wipe down the folding cairs so the ceremony could go on. We could hear the hum of the circling plane and banner, which was out of sight in the low clouds and mist. With the chairs died and the rain holding, we started the ceremony. Teh bride requested "Skye Boat Song" for her processional, after "Endearing Young Charms" for the bridesmaids, IIRC. As soon as the bride started down the garden path, it started raining again, lightly. The ceremony continued despite the weather. After a Shakespear sonnet read by a well-known actor from a TV daytime drama ( friend of the family or some degree of in-law), I was supposed to play "Amazing Grace" for the Exchange of Rings. By then it was a fairly respectable drizzle. As I played the first phrase of AG, a shaft of sunlight broke through the clouds, directly on the couple, as if the celestial director had called "annnnd... cue spotlight!" The sunlight spread out from the couple to the rest of the gathering as the clouds parted in glorious sunshine. The gathered family and friends all looked over to me in astonishment as if I had somehow caused this occurance with my piping.

I don't remember much of what happened after that point,including what I played for the recessional, etc., but I'll always remember that "spotlight" part.

BTW, the bride works for a relief organization in Southern Asia, and may be involved right now in the tsunami relief efforts over there.
Slainte Leibh/ Slan Leat, Bob Cameron
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:03 PM   #54
Drewz Dronez
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

I did a wedding a couple of years back that was quite memorable. Basically the Bride and Groom wanted me to pipe them up the aisle of the church which was no problem. I hadn't actually met them before the big day, just talked to them on the phone. Anyway, I turn up at the church and the groom is wearing a kilt plus a full size claymore strapped to his waist! Talk about Braveheart!! The Bride was wearing a quite attractive wedding dress - not a bit like a meringue at all. When I was chatting to her later, she said that she had bought the dress from a local Op shop for $150 and did a bit of a nip and tuck on it - looked much better than other dresses that cost more than 10 times as much.

The wedding ceremony went off without a hitch and I played in the churchyard for a bit afterwards while the photographer went mad and photographed everything. The bridal party then went off with the photographer to get their formal shots done and asked me to go with them and so I said OK.

They had decided to get the photos done in the grounds of Newcastle Cathedral (NSW, Australia) - they didn't get married there but the grounds are nice. While we were waiting for the photographer I chatted to some of the bridal party and it turns out they all belonged to some medeival re-enactment group - hence the Braveheart sword. Anyway, it turns out that they had firm ideas of the sort of wedding photos they wanted done. There were the usual groups ones with the groomsmen and bridesmaid - then they got one of the Groom kneeling down on one knee in front of the bride with his sword stuck in the ground before him as well as one by himself kneeling on one knee with his sword. Next photo was the groom standing among the grave stones swinging his sword around in the air at head height. Then the bride gets on in the act - and lies down on one of the large rectangular sandstone graves with the sword lying full length on top of her body with the blade between her cleavage. It was really weird and gothic to say the least. Heaven knows what Aunty Mabel would have said when she saw the wedding photos!!

Without a doubt that would have to be the most memorable wedding I have been to!

O Wad some the giftie gie us
To see ourselves as others see us

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Old 01-03-2005, 11:07 PM   #55
Hilton Cubitt
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

I played one wedding where the bride & groom requested, for the recessional, the theme from 'Star Wars.' Sure, why not?

Another one took place on a beach...I was to start playing at a specified time, supposedly just in time for the guests to begin descending from a parking lot, out of sight and above me. I played for about 40 minutes in the sweltering heat before *anybody* showed up, just in time for the dripping drone reeds to start shutting off, one by one.

I played another beach wedding where the bride asked that I march, playing, towards the ceremony from some distance. I didn't realize when I agreed just how long a march can be when played trudging in ghillies across the sand! It was like a bad dream, where your legs move in slow motion, and you don't actually ever move forward.

I played one at night a month ago where I was to stand outside the church for 20 minutes playing before the ceremony. It was about 25 degrees Fahrenheit out so I waited in my car in the parking lot behind the church until it was time to play. When I reached the front of the church I noticed that everybody was already seated inside. I played at the time I was supposed to, but there was not a soul in sight, they couldn't hear me from the chapel, and it was so cold my fingers couldn't find the holes on the chanter. SQUonk, SQueeL! At least nobody heard that.

The week before Xmas I played one where I was a surprise for the groom. It was at a swanky inn, and they said they would have a spot to hide me where I could tune. That turned out to be the swimming pool room, which was a good 20 degrees warmer than the room the ceremony would take place in, and extremely humid. I explained the problem with this to the wedding coordinator who told me to follow her to the only other spot available, which turned out to be behind a door about 20 feet from where the groom stood. I had to stand there, motionless, behind the door, like an idiot for a half hour, untuned. When it came time to play I did the fastest tuning I am capable of and began. Halfway through the processional the bass drone shut off. Argh. I popped it back on at the first note opportunity; it shut off again. So I finished without it. During the ceremony I pulled the drone out and lo, the reed fell into the bag. Normally I hemp the reed in so this can't happen, but I'd been fiddling around with it and forgotten to redo it. So I spent a few minutes at the back of the church doing the "dance of the disappeared drone reed" with the bag while other musicians looked on, bemused. Found it, got it out, jammed it in, played the recessional, felt lousy. Next day, got the flu and spent the week in bed. Moral of the story: always fasten your drone reeds!
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Old 01-04-2005, 05:01 PM   #56
Ernie Halley
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

As long as we are talking about weddings, I have to relate one of my experiences.

The best way to describe this wedding is to call it a "train wreck". It was very Irish. The groom even wore Kelly Green socks with his tux.

I always arrive early to a wedding to meet with the organist, and get a feeling of which tune to play for the recessional. It depends on the size of the church on which tune I select. About 20 minutes before the ceremony, the groom and his groomsmen arrived, slightly overserved. They were litterly smashed.

The bride was one of the most beautiful brides I had ever seen. But, in her infinite wisdom, she decided to have all of her nieces and nephews a part of the wedding. The ring bearers were a 2 year old boy with two 6 year old boys. And the flower girls were the same. The boys were first to go down the aisle. The organ struck up the Trumpet Voluntary and the two 6 year old boys took the 2 year old by each hand and started to walk down the aisle. All of the sudden, the 2 year old balked and started screaming bloody murder. He wasn't about to walk down that aisle. His mother, who was one of the bridesmaids, had to pick him up and carry this kicking and screaming kid down the aisle. Then it was time for the flower girls. That 2 year old girl did the same thing. She wasn't about to go down that aisle either. And her mother, who was also one of the bridesmaids, had to carry this kicking and screaming girl down the aisle. During the wedding mass, all six of these kids were playing, and running up and down the aisles of the church causing much comotion.

About half way through the mass, one of the "overserved" groomsmen vomited right in front of everybody. He literally puked his guts out.

Just about the only thing that went right at this wedding was the piper's performance. That part went off without a hitch.

The biggest day of a woman's life is her wedding day. I felt so sorry for the bride. Even though she used some bad judgement in having her young neice and nephew in the wedding. Two year old children have no idea what they are there for. They should not be put in that position. But she did not deserve having one of the groomsmen blowing chunks during the mass.
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Old 01-04-2005, 07:43 PM   #57
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

she used some bad judgement in having her young neice and nephew in the wedding.
Or how about choosing a groom who would show up drunk at the wedding??
"Always stand on principle....even if you stand alone." -- John Quincy Adams
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:01 PM   #58
Iain Sherwood
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

Last month I was contacted about a wedding from a lawyer; she only wanted one tune, playing her down the aisle. I told her my fee, and that it was non-negotiable. She even wanted one of my own tunes - one that was particularly NOT suited to a wedding - but she left without committing, and told me she'd be 'in touch.'

the next day I got an email from her offerring me fifyty bucks to do the job. I emailed back that I seriously doubted she'd do equal legal work for the same fee.

I pity the poor bastard she finally gets to play for her....
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Old 01-04-2005, 09:06 PM   #59
Ron Teague
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

Gee Andrew, that doesn’t sound like fun. I’ve heard the term ‘Bridezilla’ to describe these ‘ladies’ who are going to let NOTHING stand in the way of their big day, the day they have been waiting for where everyone has to tell them just how wonderful they are, yuck.

My story doesn’t have a bad bride, she was in fact rather stupid, but I get before the story. Awhile back the p/m of the local band, I don’t play with a band--piobaireachd you know, who has been a pal for some time had this wedding gig but he got ill and asked me to fill in. He said that none of the band members either had the skills to play this special wedding or were up to it and I owed him a favor anyway so would I do it. I should have known something was up as who would ever invite a piobaireachd guy to play at a wedding!! but a favor given is a favor owed, so I accepted.

I called the person who was organizing the event and asked them what they wanted me to play. I was dreading this as they probably wanted something with a beat to it. I was thinking of the Walking of the Groom or Mary’s Praise( her name was Marie). He said Scotland the Brave for the groom and Gary Owen for the bride!! “Say what!? Are they Irish?” “No but they like the idea of the Irish 7th Cavalry and it isn’t really a scottish wedding but they want pipes”. I said OK and told him my fee and that I always have my fee donated to the Venerable Order of St. John, you know the ambulance corps. I don’t think I could accept any money for MY playing for God’s sake. It is nice to know that by donating my fee to the Order that at least somebody will get some benefit from my poor squawking, certainly it won’t be my audience. So we had a deal.

On the big day it was hot, 102 F that is about 40 C. The address was way out in the country in the baking raisin vineyards. I mean waaaaay out there. I pull up to the address and there are lined up about 100 chopped harlies. I say to my self “oh, oh, trouble”. The place is full of a major nasty motorcycle gang, I’m mean a famous and real one with each of the boyos sporting their full dress leathers with their colors. Scraggly teeth, gnarly beards T-shirts that said ‘ If you don’t like it, I’ll bust your chops or I’ll chop your bus’. There were guys in Natzie helmets and hats out of the head of coyotes. I myself am in natty pressed shorts, a polo with the S. Francis Yacht Club burgee on it and birkenstocks as I didn’t want to wear the kilt until I had to. With great trepidation I go up to this old guy who had this enormous gray beard and was bald on top with a braided pony tail down to his waist, who seemed to be in charge. I told him that I was the piper and where could I change. He grunted and pointed to an old trailer out back. As I left him he barked, “Ya wanna brew or six?”. I told him thank you no not until I have played as I wanted to do a good job for them and not drool on the pipes. He said that it was good that I knew my self but that he would be sure that I was ‘taken care of’ after the ‘performance’. So I change and tune up a bit and said a few Ave Maria’s and came out. As I passed a line of bikers one of them shouted “Holy S**t that M*****f****r has a knife in his sock”. I don’t know what possessed me to do this but I went up to the guy, he was big, and I said ‘Do you know why we wear this knife? Do you know why it is called a kilt? Some jerk called it a skirt and got himself kilt” He nodded sagely and said that that made sense to him. I asked him where the preacher was and he indicated the old guy who offered me a sixer who had by this time changed from his ‘Chop it or Drop it’ T-shirt to a plain white T-shirt for the festivities. He told me the order of service, I pipe in the groom then I pipe in the Bride and then Scotland the Brave out. In comes the groom, very drunk, in comes the bride-who was way stoned on MJ. At the exchange of vows he gives her a cheesy plaid of his ‘family’ Klan. When it was time to ‘kiss’ the bride they french kissed for about 5 minutes while grinding on each other and I was wondering if they were going to do the rite of the Heiros Gammos and if they where what would I play for that! Too Long in this Condition, the Drunken Groat what could possibly be acceptable music for the public consummation of the marriage? Thankfully they stopped and I piped them out. The Reverend asked me what I wanted to drink and I said that pipers only drink Guinness as anything else mucks up the reeds and the reeds always know when you try to cheat them. He looked sad and embarrassed and said they only had Bud but they had a lot of it, which I did not doubt for a moment. After a moment he said he would double the donation to the Venerable Order and we shook hands on it and I left--quickly. This is probably the only time that a large group of convicted felons made a sizable donation to the Venerable Order of St. John. Now you know why I don’t play in public.


Ron Teague
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Old 01-05-2005, 02:44 AM   #60
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Default Re: The Bride from Hell

Perhaps a bit O.T., as mine was a funeral.
Greg, an old buddy of mine who had been a Marine in Nam, finally passed away from the cumulative effects of Agent Orange. A few close friends and I thought we would make the drive to Fort Harrison, Mt. to say good bye to a good friend and a fallen warrior. I had already talked to the Chaplain and had permission to participate in the burial service at the fort cemetary. As we pulled into the cemetary we were suprised to see a well dressed couple climbing out of a rental limo. Greg's mother and father had both passed away and his only living blood relative, a sister who lived in Md., had legally stolen his (large)inheritance from him many years before. I was even more suprised to have a rather large and loud woman walk up to me and introduce herself as Greg's "loving" sister!! The woman immedeately tried to take charge of the funeral. She was badgering the Color Guard, the Chaplain, and me( I was in my full kit). She wanted to have a chair out in front, she wanted the flag presented to her (Greg's wife was livid!), and she wanted me to play on her cue! I took her aside and informed her that there was already an established procedure for the funeral, which actually did not include her leadership. She blustered and blew and told me she would "have my job". I felt it pertinent to point out that I was there as a friend of the deceased and his wife and not as a hired performer, and that most of the mourners knew of her strained relationship with her brother( he HATED her!). When she realized that no one was listening to her, she stomped off to a chair and sulked. The ceremony went off without further incident, until I was half way through AG. There was a loud wailing sound and I glanced over to see Greg's sister sobbing uncontrolably and VERY loudly! Certainly she was the center of attention. After the ceremony a few of us were talking to Greg's wife comforting her, when Greg's sister came pushing her way through the group and florishing an envelope said loudly for all to hear " I thought you should have something special as a Thank You from my husband and I". I turned around and handed the unopened envelope to the Chaplain and told him to donate the contents to one of the fort veterens groups. I stayed and talked to friends for a while after Greg's sister and her husband had left. At that point the Chaplain, smiling, motioned me over to him. The envelope contained a blank piece of paper!
"It's not about the kilt or the competition, it's about the music. Learn that music, and the spirit of the Celtic peoples will burn in you forever. That is why we play." P/M James C. Morrison 1993
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