A perfect day calls for a perfect wedding ceilidh.

A special moment from the Bride & The Lonach Pipe Band during a recent wedding ceilidh.

Booking a Scottish ceilidh band for your wedding dance? Could be the best wedding entertainment idea you ever have!

First, you have come to the right place. Here in Scotland, we know how to enjoy ourselves. It’s no secret and our wedding ceilidh band tradition is legendary. We have a deep history of fun. We have been forced into it by long years of crappy weather and a lack of sunlight perhaps. When the weather is right in our country, we all appreciate it immensely. As soon as the mercury hits double digits, we start to sweat and tell ourselves ‘taps aff.’

We Scots invented many things. Our past inventions made an incredible contribution to the development of the human race. I could list hundreds of our significant contributions to our fellow man. Here are a few, for example, Malt Whisky, penicillin, the telephone, the television, deep-fried mars bars, and Irn Bru…we invented so many great things.

Modern traditions live on

In the modern world it pays to be creative and we Scots have been great at it. But there’s also a love of tradition and a passion for what may be familiar to us Scots. A respect for tradition that binds us to our past and our future. It warms our souls and frees our spirits. Makes us laugh with rosier smiles. Like the satisfaction of cooking on an open fire with your friends. Imagine sharing a dram of good malt, in good company, or a Burns supper with your favourite friends, or walking through the magnificent countryside or wild camping.

Dae yi mind in lang lang syne?

It’s a shame that the modern world is in danger of stealing many of our traditions for a quick fix answer. A sometimes lazier or cheaper alternative. Luckily because we notice that trend, some of us will go out of our way to help preserve what is right and join the dots from the past as we move forward through the present.

Future traditions

Some things change with the times and improve but others, though they may change will keep us tied to our ancestors through the tradition of the act. Such as the making of Malt Whisky, smoked salmon, fishing, many of the farming and food traditions still pride themselves in the traditional artisan production methods, even though utilising modern techniques to fine-tune their production. Common sense is working with tradition.
People value tradition. A bottle of 18 years Highland Single Malt Whisky is going to be of higher perceived value than a bottle of a generic mass-produced young whiskey, and so it will command a higher price.
(note that the ‘e’ in whisky means it’s not from here, there is no ‘e’ in Scottish Whisky. Good to know if you are abroad and spot counterfeit bottles)

It’s easy to get caught up in crazy ideas that might seem trendy or in vogue at the time. In recollection when I was younger, American Kentucky Whiskey brands were what everyone trendy was opting for instead of our home-grown amber gold from the gods. Shocking! At least that didn’t last long. Providence prevailed, most people saw the light pretty quickly. It’s akin to the Italians eating a German pizza because of a nice advert on TV.

When you are looking at your wedding entertainment choices it would be a great pity if you were to follow in a similar direction, wouldn’t it?

Traditions are successful for good reason.

Most of us only get married once and want it to be unique. So it’s understandable and perhaps forgivable why some people might go off in a different direction and try something unheard of. I think few people manage to pull that off on a big scale. It could be expensive and could blow up in your face. We’ve all seen plenty of social media clips of people trying to outdo others and get ‘likes’ for their original wedding ideas. I think a wedding is very personal and of course, we don’t all like the same things.

As a musician, playing ceilidh and other music, I have performed at over 1500 weddings over the last twenty years. That gives me a lot of experience in Scottish wedding entertainment and running a ceilidh band as a profession. Few people can admit to having as much experience in professional entertaining at weddings and social ceilidh than myself and my fellow musicians. By now we must be up in the top tier of our country’s imaginary ‘Ceilidh Masters Hall of fame.’ I know we are not alone, but we few, in this imaginary hall of fame are a small crew of dedicated individuals who can survive and make a living in this niche circuit. I take my hat off to the small number of competitors and friends who help carry forward the Scottish wedding ceilidh tradition. We are the tradition bearers of Scottish ceilidh music.

Live Gay Gordons Clip

How to choose your wedding ceilidh band

So, when you decide on your Scottish wedding entertainment make sure you consider booking a good ceilidh band. Please also bear in mind that ceilidh bands are not all the same. A good group is not likely going to be the cheapest band you can find. Playing music is an art form and a profession that should be appreciated for the skills involved. Listen to them playing. Booking a group is not a comparable generic product. Usually, you get what you pay for so be warned. You wouldn’t book the cheapest food, wedding dress or venue for your wedding, so don’t try to skimp on the band as the same rules apply. Even if you know nothing of music, musical entertainment is most definitely one of the most critical aspects of your wedding reception.

Think about the value

I like to use the comparison with tradesmen. Imagine asking a plumber, an electrician, a joiner and a plasterer. “Come to my party and work for 5 hours on a Saturday night, in a hotel 100 miles away. Please set up your tools in the afternoon so my guests don’t have to see you working, we don’t have a budget for a hotel room for the band so you’ll have to drive the 100 miles home after you pack up after your finish time of 1 am and load the tools into your van at 2 am. You’ll be back at about 4.30 am, but it’s good exposure for you.”

I think you’ll find the tradesmen would be much more expensive. It’s hard to understand why some people don’t value or respect professional musicians in the same way they would tradespeople. Are we not skilled? Do we not need to eat? Have we no bills to pay or mouths to feed?

The best wedding idea ever?

Booking a terrific ceilidh band for your wedding could be the best wedding ideas you have.
The advantages of a ceilidh over other music are that ceilidh can work across the generations and break the ice among the guests unlike other forms of musical entertainment. It is a very social way to entertain. In that, the people themselves take part in the wedding entertainment. The Ceilidh will bridge the gap between the generations and bring both family groups together. The right band will involve the guests and create memories of happiness that will last forever. Ceilidh will bring an amazingly positive atmosphere to your special day, and your Ceilidh will create fond memories to reflect on for years to come.

Less stress an added value

Planning a wedding can also be incredibly stressful. Wouldn’t it be great if you had some of that stress taken off? A good wedding ceilidh band will make the wedding flow with ease. They will communicate with the venue, and you will be free to enjoy the wedding reception. No reason for Bridezilla to make an appearance. You’ll be too busy smiling.

Dancing together is fun, it links us with our past. There is something tribal and euphoric about it, reminding us of our ancestral roots as human beings on a spinning rock orbiting the sun.

Think of a ceilidh as being like the mature Scottish malt. It can be addictive… But it won’t give you a hangover.

You really can’t put a value on what a great ceilidh can deliver.

single malt whisky
Single malt whisky