TLWB Blog: Tell us about your business, what services do you provide for weddings?
Rikki @ Alba Bagpipes: Alba Bagpipes was established in 2010 and has very quickly become one of the leading piper hire companies in the North East of Scotland.
All of our pipers have at least 15 years piping experience and pipe with some of the top pipe bands in the North East of Scotland which include, Portlethen & District, Grampian Police Scotland and Buchan Peterson.
We offer 2 wedding packages which both include the piper using small pipes which are perfect for piping the bride down the aisle and playing during the signing of the register.
Our packages are - Full Scottish (Full Day) & Wee Dram (Half Day)
Key stages where our pipers perform include;
Pipe for 30 minutes to greet your guests (Full/Half Day)
Pipe to welcome the Bride (Full/Half Day)
Pipe the Bride down the aisle (if required) – smaller quieter pipes can be used for this (Full/Half Day)
Pipe during the signing of the register if required again with the smaller pipes (Full/Half Day)
Pipe for 15 minutes at the conclusion of the ceremony (Full/Half Day)
Pipe to greet the guests on arrival to the reception venue (Full Day)
Pipe to greet the Bride and Groom on arrival to the reception venue (Full Day)
Pipe the Bridal party into dinner (Full Day)
Pipe the Bride and Groom into dinner (Full Day)
TLWB Blog: What's your favourite part of your job?
Rikki @ Alba Bagpipes: The favourite part of my job is getting to pipe outside some amazing venues all across the North East of Scotland. I love just getting to stand out the front of these venues playing my bagpipes and entertain the guests as they arrive.
TLWB Blog: What sets you apart from your competitors?
Rikki @ Alba Bagpipes: There are very few piper hire companies in the North East of Scotland that can say their pipers play in some of the best pipe bands in the area. Our pipers play at Grade 1, 2 & 3 in the pipe band world and compete against the best pipe bands in the world.
Our passion for piping is clear to see as I was the first piper in the world to hold a Guinness World Record for solo piping. In August 2015, I attempted a solo piping marathon and set the Guinness World Record at 26hrs 5min 32sec.
TLWB Blog: Do you have an unusual or funny story about your business/previous clients?
Rikki @ Alba Bagpipes: I often pipe the bride & groom to the top table for their meal and on this occasion, both the bride & groom appeared to have gone straight to the bar after their ceremony. They were both very much intoxicated and even the hotel staff struggled giving them direction.
TLWB Blog: Have you won any awards or accolades? what for and when? Do you have a claim to fame?
Rikki @ Alba Bagpipes: Our biggest achievement which we like to shout about is my Guinness World Record title. The actual title is - 'The Longest Marathon Playing Bagpipes' and was achieved in August 2015. I was able to fundraise £7500 for 5 different charities.
I was also the piper for a BBC drama series called Stonemouth. This aired on BBC 2 in March 2015. I was featured piping outside the MacDuff Parish Church for a funeral.
TLWB Blog: Do you have a top tip(s) for couples getting married in the North East of Scotland? (relevant to your business, eg: don't forget to .....)
Rikki @ Alba Bagpipes: Best tip I can give couples is book your piper at the earliest opportunity. We will never overbook ourselves and we often run out of availability when couples try booking us last minute. One reason we don't overbook is because we feel we lose that personal touch with our clients if we have too much weddings for 1 day.
Many thanks Rikki, for taking the time to talk to us.
Alba Bagpipes will be attending the YWE in January.