with this being said, i will share my idea with you and maybe another bride can make it work :)
remember this scene in love actually? if you haven't seen love actually yet - put a pause on your plans for tonight, grab a french baguette, some wine, and amazing cheese and park your a$$ on the couch for an amazing movie, and one of my favorites. caution - it is definitely an emotional basketcase trap though.
so anyways - i LOVE that scene. i love how the acapella choir takes everyone off guard and sings "love is all you need" at the end of the ceremony. and i wanted to duplicate this at my ceremony (minus the instruments popping up from the audience). i contacted every acapella choir i could find and they were all booked. i even convinced my catholic priest to let us have a song in the church that wasn't religious! then i contacted the local high school acapella choir to see if they'd be interested - and low and behold - they were!!! i was SO excited!! my idea was going to become reality!!... and then the music teacher told me how much they wanted. and i nearly threw up.
ok so i am ALL ABOUT supporting a high school music program, ok? let's just get that out of the way first. my mom is a music teacher in new haven and i know it's hard to get the funding for instruments, music, etc. so i justified a cost in my head that i thought would make sense for 8 minutes and 1 song. yes - the kids had to learn the song and yes - it was a saturday, but the music teacher said they were all excited about it and fine with coming down for a 20 minute time slot.
they wanted more money than my guitar duo was costing. 2 guys playing guitar for a little over an hour at our cocktail hour. 2 guys who are learning at least 8 new songs for us. so for a high school music group to charge more than a "professional" group was totally out of the question for me. at this point i am in budget mania with only a few days before the wedding and i just could not justify this ridiculous cost!!
so as much as i wanted my dream surprise to take place at the ceremony, i think i would enjoy a helicopter ride over the volcanoes in maui and a nice dinner out (relatively the same price they were asking!), rather than spending that money on 1 song.
sometimes you just have to weigh the options and see what really makes sense, especially in crunch time!!
PS - IF ANYONE ELSE USES THIS IDEA PLEASE LET ME KNOW! i'd love to see the final product, even if it's not at my ceremony :)