Why You Should Hire a Live Painter for Your Wedding


There are tons of ways to capture your wedding day memories. A wedding photographer gives you photos that capture memories as they flutter through time. A wedding videographer captures the sounds, emotion, and movement that a photo can’t. But what if you could capture the moments of your wedding day in the most time-honored way: through a painting?

Live wedding painting allows you to do just that. Incorporating a live wedding painter into your wedding day adds an artistic element that your guests will love watching. It gives you a cherished memory you share with friends and family for years to come.

Today I’m honored to have Brittany, of By Brittany Branson, on the blog. She’s sharing all the details about live wedding painting and how you can have one created for your wedding day.

blonde haired woman wearing a floral dress smiling in a garden
Photography by Kir2Ben Photography

What is Live Wedding Painting?

It’s pretty much what the name suggests. It means painting a wedding…live! As the artist, I bring my easel, canvas, and paints and get to work! I set up a little area where I’m visible to the guests and can actively watch the scene I’ll be capturing.

painting of a bride and groom dancing at a tented wedding with guests watching

Why Did You Become a Live Painter?

I actually had an amazing live wedding painter at my own wedding! I was reading a wedding magazine that featured an image of a live painter and I fell in love with the idea. Though I was occupied with other things at my wedding, I kept watching our painter. I remember what she was able to complete on-site and what it looked like after she completed it in her studio.

I was working in arts management and arts legislation when I got married. I had no idea visual artists could make a living providing this unique service. It took me about a year to get the courage to offer the service myself. Eventually, I come to the “I can do this” conclusion and I’m so glad I did!

My couples often tell me I was their favorite investment or part of their big day. I can’t imagine not having our own live painting. Knowing that I can give my own couples the same thing is an amazing blessing.

woman with an easel painting a portrait of a bride in a garden
Photography by Kelly Hornberger Photography

Why Should You Hire a Live Painter?

Many of the items that create the ambiance of your big day are either consumed or discarded at tht end of the evening. But not your new piece of art work! Having a live painter at your wedding gives you an heirloom you and your future spouse will be able to treasure forever.

Burning up the dance floor may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The lovely thing about live wedding painting is that is provides another form of entertainment for your family and friends. Watching a live painter gives guests something to do throughout the evening and it inevitably leads to wonderful conversations around my easel.

painting by Brittany Branson of bride and groom dancing with guests watching

What Should I Have Painted?

One of the reasons couples choose me as their live wedding painter is that I thrive on creating a painting they want to remember. I don’t give them a list of moments they choose from for me to paint. I paint whatever they want me to – the ceremony, their first dance, stolen kisses in front of the venue, whatever they want. I want their painting to showcase the most special moments of their wedding day.

This means we can have fun “creating” a moment on canvas by combining different moments into one cohesive painting. Many of my clients request a canvas that shows their ceremony and their first dance. We can add in the likenesses of family members who have passed on or those who aren’t able to physically be at the wedding.

Other clients opt for more traditional paintings. They may want me to capture exactly what’s happening during the first dance or the first kiss. Or they may decide to do a couple’s portrait in front of their venue. The options are endless when it comes to creating your perfect wedding painting!

Woman holding a painting of a bride and groom in a garden
Photography by Kir2Ben Photography

How Does Live Painting Work?

Once my couples and I determine what moment they want me to paint, we discuss my arrival time. I’m usually on-site painting for between four and five hours. I use that time block to help determine when I should arrive and get to work. I try to dedicate at least an hour and a hour to paint before their chosen moment happens.

If, for example, their first dance is at 8:00 PM, I suggest an arrival time of around 6:30 PM. That gives me time to complete the background and let it dry before I start painting the likeness of them during their dance. This leave about three or so hours of painting during the reception for guest entertainment.

After my time on-site is done, I take the painting home to complete. I prefer to finish the finer details like faces in the studio. This prevents someone (like your wedding planner) from having to be responsible for a wet painting at the end of the evening. Most paintings are ready for the client within two to three weeks after the wedding.

blonde haired artist in a ballroom painting

How Much Space Does a Live Painter Need?

I don’t need a huge workspace. A 5′ x 5′ space is great. My only request is that I can be in an area where I can constantly look at what I’m painting. But if that’s not possible, I can make any space work!

live wedding painting featuring bride and groom at cocktail hour underneath the cherry blossoms

A Painting for Future Generations

Brittany, thank you so much for giving us an inside look at the world of live wedding painting! An heirloom art piece from your wedding is such a unique way to commemorate your big day. It’s a piece you and your soon-to-be groom can enjoy, but it’s also something you can pass onto future generations. Not to mention, it will be fun for your guests to watch the painting unfold throughout the evening.

why you should hire a live painter for your wedding - guest post By Brittany Branson

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Guest post By Brittany Branson - Why You Should Hire a Live Painter for Your Wedding

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Hello, I’m Jenna!


Welcome to the JTE blog, where I share my favorite weddings and insider tips to make your wedding day simply swoon-worthy. Grab a cup of coffee (cream and sugar for me, please) and enjoy a virtual peek into my color-coded planning binder.

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