In the second of our November weekly specials, we’re bringing you the top solo wedding performers in Scotland. Whether you want a harpist, a magician, a singer or a piper, we’re bringing you the best in the biz
Debbie Abbott, Singer
What made you want to perform at weddings?
Singing is not just a job, it’s my passion – and I see weddings as right up there at the top of the tree. Everything needs to be crafted individually around each couple’s wishes and then delivered perfectly on the big day. It’s such a privilege to create special memories for my couples! Another bonus is that I get to perform at lots of beautiful Scottish venues, each with their own unique atmosphere and romance.
What are your favourite songs to perform?
I love singing a mix of totally different types of music: from rock to reggae; from the 60s right up to today. My favourite genre has to be country, both traditional and modern, just because it makes me feel so happy. That said, I always fly the flag for the rich array of brilliant Scottish artists we have like Annie Lennox, KT Tunstall, Amy Macdonald, Dougie MacLean and Lewis Capaldi.
Can you tailor your performances to couples’ requests?
Having now built up a repertoire of over 200 popular cover songs, I can offer clients real choice and personalisation in their set list, while making sure to keep the right balance across age groups and the right flow through the evening.
What makes you stand out from other acts in this category?
Clients typically say that I have an amazing voice which is warm, rich and strong – think Annie Lennox, Karen Carpenter, Billie Jo Spears and Amy Winehouse. They also tell me that I have a fantastic range of songs, that I got everyone singing along and up dancing, and that I went the extra mile to make their day really special.
What sets you apart from other pipers?
Some pipers prefer to stick to traditional tunes, but I’m happy to mix it up. I also take requests on the day. I would say my performances are full of energy and are a mixture of traditional and modern.
How long have you been piping at weddings?
I’ve been performing at weddings for around eight years and started CWH Piping in 2016. I believe my first wedding was for one of my school teachers who heard me at a school concert. Ever since, I’ve been advertising my services!
What’s your favourite moment from a big day?
It’s got to be when I pipe the couple into the wedding meal. This is the grand entrance for them and, no matter what, every single guest is on their feet cheering and clapping along with the pipes. It creates such a wonderful memory.
Sam MacAdam Harpist
Tell us something about being a wedding harpist you wish more people knew
Playing harp at weddings is a specialist skill in itself, from being able to fit in perfectly with what’s happening during a ceremony, to having a specialised and niche repertoire. I learn about 200 new pieces a year just for weddings!
What makes you stand out from other acts?
I’m versatile and can play anything from classic and grand to fun and family friendly. My range includes jazz, classical, pop, Disney and folk. I’m adept at arranging modern pop songs for the harp and can play literally anything – I love a challenge!
Where are you based?
Glasgow, but I’m happy to travel across Scotland and the north of England.
Jody Greig Magician
What do you like most about performing at weddings?
I love being part of such a special day and helping to build an atmosphere that brings family, friends and strangers together. Being able to add that extra bit of magic to the day is highly rewarding. They’re my favourite kind of gigs.
What makes you unique?
I understand that magic is more than what is taught in books or videos. You need to connect with your audience, build rapport and create experiences that are the best they can be. Understanding these principles has allowed me to develop a performance style that puts people at ease and gets them laughing.
Anything else you’d like couples to know about you?
If time permits, I like to provide a bespoke performance for the newlyweds and give them a little wedding gift to help them remember the magic of their day.