January 5, 2022

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picasso, the million dollar napkin and live painting
I create timeless heirloom paintings for couples looking for an original and intentional way to capture their wedding day, and I do it live.

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A definitive guide to what live wedding painting is, why live wedding painting is important, and how you can make live wedding personal and meaningful at your wedding

“I don’t have words for how  much we LOVE our painting! We will cherish it! You are fantastic!”

Live wedding painting testimonial text from clients: reads, “I don’t have words for how much we love our painting! We will cherish it! You are fantastic! Heart

^^It’s messages like THIS ONE that make my heart soar and make me so happy to be a live wedding painter.

In this post, you’ll learn ALL ABOUT the world of live wedding painting.

NO. 1 – Live Wedding Artistry is HERE.

What’s live wedding painting, what does a live event painter do?

Live wedding painting is when an artist paints a moment of your wedding, for example, the ceremony or the reception, first dance, first look – and paints it LIVE in front of you and your wedding guests.
How much does a live wedding painter cost?Live wedding painting varies in cost, but typically between $2,000 and $8,000. (

How do you paint a wedding?

The short answer? Very carefully. 

The long answer is much more in depth – conversations with bride and groom, chatting about timelines, proposals, visions for their unique painting, chats with wedding planners and photographers – basically, I want to be sure I have all my ducks in a row before I even set pencil to paper for precious pre-painting sketches. By the time your wedding arrives, I know exactly what moments you want captured, exactly WHO you want in the painting, and the feeling you want portrayed.

With all that in mind, I begin your live wedding painting. While painting, I work from videos of the precious moments from your wedding so that I can zero in on expressions, body language, and precious memories that might otherwise get lost in the shuffle.

While I paint, I’m an open book.  You and your guests get a front row seat to my creative process and watch while your love story becomes fine art.

What if my friend hires you? Will our paintings look the same?

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Every single wedding is completely unique, and even if you are a twin (which I am one, and I’ll be painting for a set of twins this year), and you’re identical, your paintings will still look COMPLETELY different because the moments, the feelings, and what’s painted is different. Rest assured, if I paint another wedding, yours will still be totally unique.

Do you edit your work after the wedding?

Typically, no.  My goal is to allow you to see the entire painting unfold from start to finish, so I allow enough time for that to be possible.  So far I’ve never *not* finished a painting, but if that were to happen due to some unforeseen circumstance, I would edit and finish the painting after the wedding.

NO. 2 – Live wedding ART Matters.

Art Inspired Design is TRENDING

According to Vogue, art-inspired design is TRENDING.  And if you didn’t know, I’ve noticed a major uptick in not only searches for fine art weddings but ALSO live wedding painting…

“The entire room becomes part of the experience. Clients are thinking about custom ways to fill (or add to) empty spaces, creating complex signature graphic or artistic branding into their details. For example, we contracted an artist to paint the couple through his abstract style. While we prominently hung the painting, we also incorporated the artwork in other ways, from the small scale of food to-go boxes to an oversized rendering on a custom dance floor.” Mindy Weiss (Vogue)


Maybe it’s the trends, maybe it’s more than that, but the truth remains – Live Wedding Painting is an old tradition that’s coming back, and it’s here to stay.

Interactive Entertainment is HERE

Much like art-inspired design, there’s a big PUSH towards being present and living in the moment.
We’re seeing this in the transition from hanging flowers and twinkle lights from the ceilings to now tablescapes that catch your eye but also allow for deep and meaningful conversation. Who doesn’t want their best people talking about how amazing they are as a couple, right?!

In the same way, interactive entertainment (i.e. photo booths, live wedding painters, live bands) and EXPERIENCES set the metaphorical stage for not only a beautiful event, but an event that entertains your guests and leaves them in awe and wanting more.  

Just like a photo booth can capture “in the moment” reality, a live painter captures the unique feelings and deeply rooted love of your wedding day.  The photographer and videographer capture the details – but a live artist captures something much different.  A live wedding painter captures the magic of your love, and can bring together different moments from different locations and times to create a beautiful and timeless piece that you’ll pass down for generations.

A live painter ALSO entertains your guests.  I can’t even explain how many times people come up just to WATCH.
It’s magical – not only seeing a behind the scenes look at an artist’s typically hidden creative process, but watching the love story of the sweet couple that they adore come to LIFE through a watercolor live painting.

On that note, there’s something pretty unique about watercolor that sets itself apart from ANY OTHER painting medium. 

It’s quick drying and there’s no way to fix it.  It’s amazing and wondrous, but an artist who paints with watercolor has much less flexibility to make a mistake. 

It’s not just that we want it to be perfect the first time, it’s that if it’s not, a watercolorist must start over, whereas an live wedding painter using acrylic or oil can paint over the mistake or wipe it off.  

Watercolorists can’t fix mistakes, so watching a live wedding painter paint with watercolor in front of many people is pretty amazing.

An ode to tradition in a modern way

Even though tradition can sometimes feel *old* and *dated*…

as a lover of meaningful tradition I disagree with this wholeheartedly but let’s just leave that for another day…

…the escape from tradition we experienced in 2020 and 2021 has left many feeling lost and needing that sweet tie to something familiar.

While we aren’t all up for being in a small enclosed space with lots of people, open air tented receptions and weddings are a modern way to create that welcoming space like weddings pre-2020, while still understanding the nuances of what it MEANS to be together while still in a pandemic.

Live wedding painter in black dress paints a styled shoot at The Mansion at Woodward Park, Tulsa

In that same way, live wedding painting gifts the couple a beautiful timeless heirloom that will last for generations while not making the couple sit still for hours and hours on end like the kings and queens of centuries past. 

By the grace of modern technology, live artists have cameras in our back pockets, so to speak, and can mesh moments together to create a beautiful wedding portrait that you love and cherish forever.

NO. 3 – Live Wedding Painting is Present and Personal

How does live wedding painting help is mindfully remain in the present moment?


Live wedding painting offers you and your guests the opportunity to see with your own eyes the unfolding of your marriage story. 

The beautiful connection that you will remember on both the good days and challenging – that’s what a live painting shows. 

Photographs come sometimes 6-8 weeks after your wedding, which is also so exciting, BUT you don’t get to see the entire process of your photographer or videographer creating the magic.

With live wedding painting, you not only get to see the process front and center, but YOU are the subject of the fine art. 

And because it’s not a quick  “one and done” moment, you and your guests get to enjoy the live wedding painting, the creative process, throughout your entire wedding, reception, or EVEN your entire wedding weekend if you so choose.

Then  at the end, you get to hang it on your wall in a place of honor, remembering the loving connection that brought you and your spouse together for a lifetime.

How can live wedding painting be personal, unique, and meaningful to me?

Every wedding is entirely different, and there’s a reason! Your love story is so uniquely beautiful and so unique to YOU. 

NO. 4 – Live wedding painting can’t be copied.

Your wedding painting shows the uniqueness of your wedding day because it’s just as unique as your love story is.

How can you make it more personal?

Talk with your painter.  Be sure you’re on the exact same page about what it is you want.  If you want to give your painter free reign, go for it!

… BUT I would also be sure to explain if there’s a certain moment you want captured–for example, the exit from the ceremony, the first kiss, the first dance, or you want your late father present in the painting even though he can’t be there in person – tell your painter. 

Your wedding portrait is something you want to hang in your home forever, and I want that too. I want this piece to be something you cherish, so I want you to love every bit of it.

I know for me, all I need to know is what you want and I’ll make it happen.

My entire mission is to CAPTURE the essence of your wedding day AUTHENTICALLY and TIMELESSLY.
And I intend to to just that and more.

The world of Live Wedding Painting – it’s a full but beautiful world for you to enjoy at your wedding. 

If you liked this post, please let me know by liking it below, subscribe to my email list, and share it with your friends on Pinterest, and comment below with “LIVE” if you’re jumping on the live wedding painting bandwagon too.

Now you know just about everything I can think of about live wedding painting, but what about if you need a *little* more info on live painting? I’ve got just the post for you to read next to help you with that.

Bringing your wedding day to life, thrilling your guests with a show-stopping live wedding painting experience, and creating a timeless keepsake that honors your sacred bond and will warm your heart every time you look at it – it’s what I do best.

Hey, I'm Courtney.

From behind the easel, I serve timeless brides who still embrace the unexpected by creating heirloom painting experiences that are immersive, one-of-a-kind, and thrilling to watch.

Comments +

  1. […] live wedding painting, you can go about your day trusting me to create the painting that shares your vision. No need to […]

  2. […] Insider shared that wedding registries are not only featuring physical items like china and flatware – couples are favoring intangible items like (again) a live wedding painter, honeymoons, and experiences. […]

  3. […] me just tell you right here and right now – a live wedding painting (or a commissioned painting of your wedding) might seem extra – but I assure you, it’s THE […]

  4. […] Live painters work alongside photographers to paint the feeling or essence of your beautiful day. […]


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With a slightly abstract Impressionist live painting experience that captures the love and joy of your story, shows off the beauty of your wedding day, and helps everyone who enters your future home to feel your wedding day, you’ll finally have THE THING that makes your wedding day unforgettable.

And your guests? They'll talk about your wedding forever because of the experience you gave them.


Simply put? This is way more than just a wedding painting.