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The National Piping Centre exists to promote the study of the music and history of the Highland Bagpipe.
Patron HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, KG, KT, GCB.
Founders: Sir Brian Ivory CVO, CBE, FRSE, FRSA, MA, CA - Lady Ivory, DL - Sandy Grant Gordon, CBE.    Read More

Bride Blog: Pressure? What Pressure!

The National Piping Centre's resident Bride-to-Be, Helen Wilkinson, is back to share stories and insights as she gets ready for her big day! As National Stress Awareness Day takes place in the UK today, Helen's latest blog has focused on how she's dealt with the stresses and pressures of organising a wedding. Read on to find out more...


There are now about seven months to go before the big day, and all that I hear is “Not long to go, it’ll just fly in!” which is usually swiftly followed by “How are you getting on with the organising? I bet you are nearly all done”.   This is mostly because they know me and my almost fanatical list-making, but I feel like this adds more unnecessary pressure to create “The Perfect Day”.

I am lucky in some respects in that I have organised large events so I know that there is ‘event pressure’ unavoidable time constraints etc. and ‘unnecessary pressure’ which usually comes from outside your event and influence. I have also been able to learn a few things that help me feel more in control of the situation and which me to relax and enjoy things.

Firstly – the perfect event doesn’t exist. There will always be things that go a little bit wrong – things that don’t happen when they should, or people in the wrong place at the wrong time.  These can seem big, massive, humungous to anyone who has spent as long planning the event as you will have but as long as you can be philosophical and a little bit creative, no-one will know it was never supposed to be like that (unless you tell them about it).  And if it is noticeable to your guests then just think it will make your wedding memorable! As long as everyone turns up and has a good time that’s really all you want.

A major factor in relieving the big day planning nerves is my lovely Bridesmaid and sister, Lou. I helped her plan her wedding a few years ago (if you have ever seen the Friends episode where Phoebe gets married – I was Monica with the headset!) Now she is giving me her wisdom, ideas, and a little bit of her calm “sure it’ll be grand” attitude. She has come to wedding fayres, given (and toned down) ideas, bought me bridal magazines to look at fun stuff – and sat through endless hours of “so, here’s my list so far…” I couldn’t have gotten this far without her. She even proof-reads my blog posts, and that’s really above and beyond the BM duties! But I think bridesmaids are so important to help you relieve stress, stop putting so much pressure on, and to turn up with a box of chocolate fingers and watch Say Yes to the Dress at the right moment.  So remember to let them help, delegate where you can and remember to take their ideas on board rather than dismiss them out of hand – they want your big day to be as much of a success as you do.

Lou has also provided with me pretty stationery (pictured above) – I find list making so much easier when the book you are planning in is gorgeous! There are loads of great wedding planners out there, and mine is currently stuck full of pictures of things I have planned, silly WhatsApp chats I screenshotted, and unfeasible but beautiful dresses that we have chatted about, all saved for posterity. I thought in years to come when I am looking back on my planning, I want to remember what fun it was – so everything is going in. I have important stuff like conversation notes from suppliers, but also the many bridesmaid dress ideas we sent back and forth, cake toppers and ribbon ideas!  This should be a fun process and this might help you narrow down your options if you are feeling a little overwhelmed.

I love the build up to a big event, and with the biggest event looming I really want to make sure I do it right. But that pressure in itself is what is making us worry – that internal pressure that we heap on ourselves to make everything just perfect.  So when someone says ‘ I bet you are nearly all organised’ you can't help but play it down, say no and list (outloud or mentally) all the things you still have to do.  But I have found solace in what I like to call the Piping Live! line. Finlay MacDonald, head of the BMus – Piping Degree course, renowned recording artist, and Piping Live! programming guru has a saying for just such moments:

“I don’t foresee any problems”

 and for those moments where you just don’t know where to turn or how to get to the next point:

 “Just vibe it”.

So as long as the big things are in place don’t foresee any unnecessary problems, smile, breathe and just vibe it.  It will be the perfect day.

If you'd like to find out more about getting married at The National Piping Centre, contact us on 0141 353 5551 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The National Piping Centre exists to promote the study of the music and history of the Highland Bagpipe.
Patron HRH The Prince Charles, Duke of Rothesay, KG, KT, GCB.
Founders: Sir Brian Ivory CVO, CBE, FRSE, FRSA, MA, CA - Lady Ivory, DL - Sandy Grant Gordon, CBE

Read More

HRH The Prince Charles,
Duke of Rothesay, Patron

with Founders, Sir Brian and Lady Ivory and the Lord Provost Bob Winter on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Opening of The National Piping Centre.

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