Surprise Wedding Gift from the Mother of the Bride
Are you on the hunt for a unique, thoughtful wedding gift that will stand out from all the others? A live wedding painting not only makes a big impact during the reception as entertainment for guests, but the resulting artwork is a completely one-of-a-kind treasure that will be cherished by the newlyweds throughout their marriage and by family for generations to come.
Now I know I’m more than a little behind on my blog posts, but let’s talk about a wedding reception I painted in Cleveland last April. Commissioned by the mother of the bride, I was hired to surprise a lovely couple with a live wedding painting of their reception, as a day of wedding gift.
Thanks Ave23Photography for capturing this moment of the actual surprise!
If you’re searching for a great urban wedding venue in Cleveland, you’ll want to checkout the Crowne Plaza at Playhouse Square (at the time of Katie and David's wedding, this was the Wyndham at Playhouse Square.) Right in the heart of Cleveland’s theater district, the location is excellent and their gorgeous ballroom is the perfect setting for a big celebration. To say I love Cleveland is definitely an understatement, and I just adore each and every opportunity to capture different Cleveland venues in my paintings. For those who don’t know, Cleveland’s theater district is the largest theater district in the U.S. outside of New York! Another fun fact about Playhouse Square, according to Guinness, we have the world’s largest outdoor chandelier!
Enough Cleveland bragging for now… let’s get back to the wedding! I have to say I quite fancied the color scheme this couple chose for their Spring celebration. The groomsmen suits were a warm, beigish grey, the bridesmaid dresses were a deep navy and the flowers were a cheerful, warm peach color that was the perfect compliment. Speaking of flowers, the florist, Mary Downey, did an amazing job. The centerpieces were absolutely stunning and I was so happy to be set up right next to the head table, making it easy to paint a good portion of the florals into the foreground.
Unless otherwise requested, I almost always take my live paintings home with me post event, and complete them in my studio. This is when I usually add the portrait of the bride and groom (if it’s a wedding) and this also allows for customization requests that can be decided after the event (or predetermined ahead of time if the ideas come earlier on.) Either way, I always welcome as much or as little involvement as my clients are comfortable with regarding what I include in their painting. With this painting, there was just one special request - that the dance floor be packed with dancers! This didn’t take too much imagination, because the dance floor was certainly packed that night... but I did take some creative liberties with the individuals I included with the most detail. In the end, the painting turned out to basically be an 18 person portrait! And all these portraits would not have been possible without the help of an amazing wedding photographer. HUGE shoutout to Nancy Collinger of Ave23photography who came up from Columbus to shoot this wedding. She was so wonderful to work with, and thanks to the many great action shots she got of the bridal party and family dancing, I was able to include a decent level of detail as I painted them all side by side on the dance floor. (If you want to see more of Nancy's photos from this wedding, checkout her blog!)
Whenever possible, I try to deliver my paintings in person. Besides being the surest way to guarantee a safe arrival, I get to enjoy the bonus of seeing my clients’ reactions when they first see their completed artwork. Katie and David’s painting delivery was one of my favorites all year. They had just moved into their first home together, and were still getting settled. The walls were freshly painted and pretty empty, except for a couple awesome pieces they picked up on their honeymoon. They told me they planned to hang their wedding painting above their fireplace, and I glanced over at the spot that couldn’t have been more perfect. What a special place for such a special memory - the beginning of their life together! It was fun to watch them point out various family members in the painting and see their joy as the young couple relived their wedding day together, through the artwork. They hung the painting on the wall while I was still there and even let me get a photo for this blog post! Congrats again Katie and David and cheers to your happily ever after! :)