Hood River Bagpipe Wedding

Of all the days Oregon Department of Transportation decides to close the I84 corridor between Portland and Hood River, it just had to be on Saturday, January 26, the day I was scheduled to perform at a Wedding in Hood River Oregon. Although there wasn’t a hint of snow at lower elevations in Portland, it was dumping in the Gorge. I wasn’t aware of this until I received a call from Kim’s sister informing me of the dismal road conditions. They kindly acknowledged the driving difficulty and candidly told me they would understand if I wouldn’t be able to play my bagpipes at the Wedding.

Of all the Portland Bagpiping Gigs I have performed at thus far, never once have I missed a Wedding, Funeral or Party. And this wasn’t going to be my first. So I braced myself for the worst and took the Washington equivalent of I84. It took twice as long as normal but I arrived safe and sound. Although, a wee bit late, the best man hadn’t arrived because he too was driving from Portland. Luckily, I had plenty of time to warm my pipes and play a few tunes for the reception.

Once the Wedding was underway, I played Amazing Grace as the entrance tune for the bridesmaid and groomsmen. When the bride was ready, I escorted her in with Scotland the Brave. It was a short waltz to the front of the alter where everyone was waiting for her. I had literally just started the tune and already I was in front of the crowd facing the audience.

Halfway through the ceremony I was instructed to play Highland Laddie which is a very nostalgic tune for me. Highland Laddie was one of the first tunes I learned on my Portland Bagpipe and favorite amongst mass bands at Highland Games.

Once the Bride and Groom said their “I do’s” and kissed, I marched in from the back with Mari’s Wedding, turned to face the crowd and ushered them out with the same tune.

Afterward, they requested I play something a bit more lively which I quickly obliged. I choose some Jig/Hornpipes, Strasthspey/Reels and my bands Medley compilation of tunes. All in all, I played for another 20 minutes. Once I put my pipes down, my mind focused on how to make it safely home. I kindly thanked everyone and set off my long track home. What should have taken me 2 hours turned into 5 hours. Lots of other commuters shared the same goal as me; final destination, Portland.

Fortunately, I made it in time and kept my present gig record. It takes more than a bit of snow to slow a Scotsman on his way to an Oregon Bagpiping Wedding. Portland Bagpiper playing in front of Hood River WeddingPortland Bagpiper playing at PrecessionPortland Bagpiper playing at PrecessionPortland Bagpiper posing for pictures with the recently married wedding couple

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