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Live Wedding Painting: Everything You Need to Know



If you’re anything like most of my couples and clients, you’ve probably seen Live Wedding Painting all over Pinterest or in magazines and blogs, but you have no idea what it is. It’s been a trend for a while now, but there’s no shame in the not knowing about it game! Today, I’m going to break it down for you as simply as I possibly can. You’ll learn everything you need to know about Live Wedding Painting from the why to the how so you can start considering it for your own big day. Let’s get started, shall we?

examples of live wedding paintings by Brittany Branson
Live Wedding Painting examples from the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, MD, Rockwood Manor in Potomac, MD, and Rust Manor House in Leesburg, VA.

What Exactly IS a Live Wedding Painting?

A live wedding painting is a custom piece of artwork created by an artist at your wedding of the moment of your choosing. Not only does the painting end up being a favorite wedding keepsake or heirloom, but having a live artist at your wedding ends up being a unique form of entertainment for your guests in attendance. It’s really a win, win!

first dance live painting example from Ocean Pines Yacht Club
Live Wedding Painting example from the Ocean Pines Yacht Club in Ocean Pines, MD.

What Wedding Day Moment Should I Choose?

Choosing what moment from your wedding day you want created on canvas is completely up to you! Some very popular memories couples choose include their first kiss, ceremony exit, reception grand entrance, first dance, final exit or even an intimate portrait of just the two of them in a specific pose. Sometimes, we can even get creative and incorporate two different moments on one canvas. It’s up to you! The painting is my couple’s to hang on their walls forever after, so they choose their most precious moment.

Brittany Branson painting live at White Sparrow Barn in Dallas Texas
Brittany live painting a wedding at the White Sparrow Barn in Dallas, TX. Images courtesy of Madison Katlin Photography. As featured in Junebug Weddings!

What Kind of Space Does a Live Painter Need at the Wedding?

Each live artist is different! However, I personally only require about a 5×5” area within the space where the chosen moment is happening. For example, it’s incredibly useful to be working in the ballroom with a view of the dance floor should my couple choose their first dance for me to capture. Constantly being able to look at the chosen space helps me work faster! Otherwise, I provide everything else, including a portable plain air easel, canvas, all paints, and drop cloths to protect the floors.

Brittany Branson live painting a wedding at Keswick Vineyards in Charlottesville Virginia
Fun images from Kelley and Tim’s wedding at Keswick Vineyards in Charlottesville, VA. Images courtesy of Meghan Elizabeth Photography.

What Does the By Brittany Branson Experience Look Like?

It’s highly possible that if you’ve looked into hiring a Live Artist for your wedding day that you’ve come across quite a few of us. That’s awesome, actually! But, if you’ve come across this blog post, there’s a good chance you’re wondering what it would look like if we were to work together. So, I thought I’d break that down for you!

Working together first begins with a decision: would you love my signature “Just the Two of Us” live wedding painting experience (where I capture a live portrait of just the two of you) or would you love a more custom painting? The custom experience is perfect for couples who prefer to include painted likenesses of numerous other family and guests. If you’d love an intimate portrait, an investment in that experience averages between $1,999 and $2,400 depending on the desired canvas size. Custom experiences vary, but average $2,600 – $3,500 depending on the complexity of the painting! Custom experiences always include a fun chat with myself to discuss my couple’s vision for their piece.

On the big day, I prefer to arrive at least 2 to 2.5 hours before the start of the chosen moment. For example, if my couple chooses their first dance as their painted moment, and it’s slated to begin at 7pm, I prefer to arrive around 4:30pm to begin painting the background of the painting. Then, I work throughout the evening so that your friends and family can watch and enjoy!

Brittany live painting a wedding at Chesapeake Bay Beach Club
Painting Taylor and Kyle’s wedding at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club in Stevensville, MD. Photograph courtesy of Christa Rae Photography.

What Should I do with the Painting After the Wedding?

Most “Just the Two of Us” live wedding painting experiences can be completed on-site. However, I sometimes prefer to take the painting home with me to complete finer details and apply a varnish (which protects the painting from dust and UV rays). Depending on what additional work may be needed, it could take anywhere from 1-2 months to receive the painting back (especially if my couple’s wedding is a destination for me). 

Before delivery of the final painting, I often take high res photographs of the piece to create “thank you” notes or even canvas prints for my couples! These are super popular gifts, especially to parents. 

However, after receiving it, there are so many things you could do, but the main option is to display it in your home. Have you ever gone into a home and seen a beautiful piece of artwork that just sticks with you? Imagine your wedding painting as that statement piece in your home! Most couples have their wedding portraits hanging on their walls, but imagine this custom artwork hanging beside the wedding pictures in your dining room, above your bed, in your living room, or wherever you’re going to see it most. Imagine being able to glance at your painting and being taken right back to that very moment every time you see it. Now that’s an investment worth making!

Live wedding painting example from the White Sparrow Barn in Dallas Texas
Kyndall and Jake’s completed live wedding painting from their big day at the White Sparrow Barn in Dallas, TX. As featured in Junebug Weddings.

It may feel as if there are a ton of decisions to make when it comes to wanting to hire a live wedding painter: determining what style you love, who to hire as your artist, what to have them paint, what to do with it afterwards, etc. But, regardless of what you choose to do, choosing this wedding vendor to be a part of your wedding day is never a regret for my couples! In fact, most of the time, it ends up being their favorite part of their wedding day. Whether we work together or not, I hope this blog post helps you decide if having a live wedding painting done is for you. Thank you for supporting artists!

Are you ready for your own live wedding painting experience? Simply send me a message, or email me at Hello@ByBrittanyBranson.comDON’T FORGET! I’m still on a mission to live paint a wedding in every state! Message me today to tell me where I should head to next!


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