Post # 1
I need some help for a complicated guest list problem, so please bear with me while I try to explain.
We’re having a celtic themed ceremony (my fiance’s only request was that he could get married in his kilt!) and we’d really like to have a bagpiper encorporated into the ceremony.
I happen to know a piper, Kim, from the church that I grew up in and was interested in using her because of familiarity and possible discount.
Ok, here’s where it gets complicated. The church I grew up in was small, about 6 or 7 core families, most of those families had 3-4 kids that I grew up with as well. I had slowly been distancing myself from the church my senior year of high school, and college was a convenient excuse not to go back. I have had very little contact with these people in the last four years. I’m afraid if I ask Kim to pipe for my wedding, I have to invite her and her husband to the reception. I’m also afraid if I invite them I have to invite everyone else that I grew up with, since they’re all close friends and still think of me as one of their own.
What would you do? These people were an important part of my life but aren’t anymore, and I’m trying to keep my wedding fairly small (150ish, and both of our families are large).
Post # 3
Sounds like all the extra guests would cancel out the discount….I’d say you need to find another piper.
Post # 4
You should invite the piper and his wife to the reception (and the RD), particularly since you’re trying to capitolize on your past relationship to get a good price for his services! I don’t see any reason why you need to invite the rest of the church membership, unless they are going to provide some service for you as well. It should be clear that the piper and his wife are a special case, since he is participating in the ceremony. If you (or your parents) get any questions, you can just explain that you have budget/space limitations, and so the wedding is primarily limited to family and very close friends.
This isn’t the only time this question will come up. We had probably a dozen people on the guest list that caused us to wonder "If we invite so-and-so, do we also have to invite these other people?" We finally decided that our blanket answer was "No." Just because a group of people are somehow close to each other doesn’t mean that you and your Fiance aren’t a lot more close to one or two of them than the rest of them. Trust me, they all already know this. People will in fact be a little disappointed, but much less likely to be offended than you think.
Post # 5
I think you should maybe invite the piper and her husband to the reception. But that’s only if you want to. You wouldn’t invite your photographer or your cake makers family to the reception so it is just another vendor. If you don’t want to invite them to the reception don’t! At the end of the day it’s your wedding and it’s what the couple wants, don’t try to please everyone else because you can’t!
on another note, we had a celtic themed wedding and we did the tartan exchange and we had so many people tell us how different it was and they had never seen that done before so I was happy our wedding was unique!
Post # 6
I would pay Kim to be the bagpiper, then treat her as you would any other musician — give her food if she will be there at mealtime, or, if she will only be there for the ceremony, then you’re only paying her to play and she will leave after that. You can express your gratitude at having someone you know be so talented and willing to play for you, and that’s all you need to do.
If you wanted to be generous, you could invite her and her husband to stay for the reception. But you definitely don’t have to. If you do, you do not need to invite the rest of the church members, either.
That’s what I would do.
Post # 8
it’s great when you have a personal connection with vendors, though it does also complicate things a bit. i wouldn’t treat her like any other vendor – pay for her services and then invite her and her husband to the reception. it would be like inviting your officiant and spouse. when it comes to the other church families, if you’re just inviting the piper and spouse, it is because she is playing for you. should anyone raise a fuss, you can gently explain that there are many people you’d like to invite, but have chosen to have a small wedding (or whatever standard line you feel comfortable with).
one thing to consider would be if the church families are still close with the rest of your family. that may make things awkward for your family, so you may want to check in with them.
Post # 9
Thanks for the advice guys. I think I will keep her in mind, but compare her prices to other pipers in the area as I would with any other vendor. If other vendors are comparable, I’ll just skip the drama 🙂