This is the latest installment in my wedding series, and this entry is going to really appease all of the people who are angry about me spending $20k on my wedding. And I know most of you have already read it, but if you think $20k is too much I will just direct you to this response.

I’ve already decided to set a total budget of $20,000 for the wedding, and we’ve already covered the $3,195 for the photographer. Next up: ceremony musicians.

Tag and I are both Catholic, and we will be having a full Catholic mass for our wedding. That means we need a pianist, one or more vocalists, and potentially some additional instrumentalists if we so choose. Musicians are not cheap and we could end up spending big money on all this stuff. So what’s the damage?

We’re Spending $0 on Musicians (not including tip)

One of the activities that Tag and I are involved in is the music ministry at our church. Every Sunday we show up to church an hour early to rehearse the songs, and then we are part of the choir as we lead the congregation in worship.

pianoIt’s a fun, spiritual activity for us, but it also comes with a great benefit: we are friends with all the musicians. Our choir director is also the pianist, and he is truly the most amazing pianist I’ve ever heard play in real life. He’s so good he has played at Carnegie Hall. He will be playing piano for our ceremony.

We also have friends who sing in the choir with us every week. We have officially asked one of them to sing already, but I’m thinking about asking a few more to join. The more the merrier as far as I’m concerned! Especially since these are our friends and they are happy to sing at our wedding.

We haven’t decided on the music, but we’re hoping to do something contemporary. If that’s the case, we have a guitarist, a bassist, and a drummer who we can ask. I’m pretty sure a lot of them would do it as a favor for us.

What About the Tip?

So in theory we are getting free musicians. In reality, we’ll probably pay just a little less than anyone else would. Our friends are offering their services free of charge, but we are going to tip them, and we’ll tip them a heck of a lot more than a normal tip since they aren’t charging us anything.

We are trying to save money wherever possible, but we also value our friend’s time and talent. If they weren’t playing the music then they would be sitting in the pews with all our other friends and family, so we are definitely going to tip them well for being willing to “work” at our wedding.

To My Married Readers: Did you have friends help you with parts of your wedding like the music? Did you give them a nice tip?