Live Wedding Painting in Cleveland, OH
I hear this a lot: “What are you doing? What are you painting? Wait... are you painting the wedding? I’ve never seen this before!”
It’s fun to be able to bring a new element to events that people are excited about and haven’t seen yet. Over the last several years, I’ve watched the “trend” of live wedding painting catch on in the Cleveland area and I’m so thankful that people enjoy what I do. I remember when I first started, I used to have to provide a lot more explanation and do a bit more “selling” of the idea. Now, even though it’s still a fairly new thing, I notice more clients are seeking me out because they’re “looking for a live wedding painter”. As a result, I’ve been a busy little bee painting away almost every weekend, and keeping up with my blog posts about each event has definitely hit the back-burner!
It’s been a wonderful experience getting to know so many great couples, their families and friends, and being part of their celebrations. It’s also been really cool seeing so many beautiful wedding venues, having the opportunity to study them up close and capturing their unique character with my art. I love seeing how every celebration has a distinct life of its own and reflects each happy couple in a such a personal way. In this blog post, I decided to highlight a handful of Cleveland wedding venues that I painted last year. So much care and thoughtful attention to detail goes into planning these celebrations. I feel lucky to have witnessed so many beautiful events and thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite details along with the paintings they’ve inspired.
Alissa & Matt’s Wedding Reception at The Lake Erie Building
Alissa and Matt’s ceremony and reception both took place at the Lake Erie Building, otherwise known as the Screw Factory, located in Lakewood, OH. This huge warehouse, originally built in 1917 as an automobile manufacturing plant, has housed a number of businesses and companies over the years, including Lake Erie Screw (hence the name). In recent years, a significant portion was converted into artist lofts (Read more about that here) and one heck of an event space. This is an AWESOME wedding venue, especially if you’re the creative type, because the unique character of this once factory warehouse provides the perfect blank canvas to be transformed into whatever vision you can dream up. The potential of the space was not lost on this couple, who brought in 6+ truckloads of vintage furniture and other decor to create an environment that was truly magical. Additional accents adding to the style came from Borrow Rentals, including the stunning greenery that hung throughout the high ceilings among the twinkling lights and chandeliers, compliments of the Lake Erie Building venue staff. It all came together to create a romantic, vintage, arsty, bohemian space that was the perfect setting for Alissa and Matt’s wedding. Feathers, flowers, lace dream catchers, crystal, candles - Everywhere I looked, there was something else I wanted to paint! Shout out to Suzuran Photography for all the awesome portrait photos they got of this couple. My favorites were the creative shots they took outside the building with a pink smoke bomb. (I was tempted to include the smoke in the painting!)
Katelyn & Jeff’s Wedding Reception at The Cleveland Arcade
Canvas Size: 30in x 40in
Venue: Hyatt Regency at the Cleveland Arcade
Wedding Date: June 10, 2017
Commissioned by: Sister of the Groom/Groom’s Family (surprise gift)
Photographer: Jenny Benz, Captured with Love Photography
Wedding Planner: A Charming Fete
Katelyn & Jeff’s live wedding painting was commissioned by Jeff’s sister as a surprise wedding day gift to the couple, from the groom’s side of family. (Big thanks to Captured with Love Photography for getting the great photos below of the couple when they were first surprised with the canvas!) Both the wedding ceremony and reception took place in The Cleveland Arcade, a truly iconic Cleveland venue. I love painting weddings here because the angles and perspective of the grand, wide open space are so dramatic and stunning. I especially love the way it looks at night, once all the sparkling lights illuminate the space and highlight the gorgeous angles. The theme of this wedding was classic and elegant. The bridesmaid dresses were a very light, almost white, shade of periwinkle, and the groomsmen donned classic black tuxedos. (my personal favorite!) The day of wedding coordinator, Maggie from A Charming Fete, did an incredible job making sure no detail was left unturned. Decor included lots of fresh greenery and flowers in a variety of cream and white shades, gold and blue accents and a number of gorgeous calligraphic signs. My favorite detail of this wedding that happily made its way into the painting was the popcorn bar, complete with five different flavors of popcorn - So fun!
Alexandra & Patrick’s Wedding Reception at The Club at Hillbrook
Alex and Patrick’s live wedding painting was also a surprise wedding day gift, this time commissioned by the MOG. As you can see from the bride's face in the photos below, it went over quite well! (Thanks Emily Millay for getting these great shots!) This wedding venue, The Club at Hillbrook, is a total hidden gem. The venue staff is amazing to work with and their dreamy, tudor style mansion feels like it came right out of a fairytale. This wasn't the first time I painted a wedding at Hillbrook (Read about the first time here) but it was like painting a whole new venue because unlike the last time when I captured cocktail hour on the patio, I set up inside to paint the reception instead. And what a fun, lively reception it was! This wedding was BIG - The bridal party alone included over 25 people! So needless to say, the reception room was filled to capacity with cheerful wedding guests and smiling faces. I always love live music at weddings, and the band they hired to keep the energy up throughout this celebration was on point - The Orchestra with Cleveland Music Group. I was glad my angle made it easy to fit them into the painting (look in the background on the right side of the canvas.) Another detail you can pick out in the background is the gorgeous cake by The Hive Cake Studio. Although this wedding took place in September, it totally felt like Summer with the warm weather. Hillbrook is an especially magical wedding venue on a bright, sunny day like this, with the sunshine glittering across the lawn. It all perfectly complimented the light and airy wedding theme, with cream colored flowers, lots of fresh greenery and bridesmaid dresses in a gorgeous pale blue. (Artist Side Note: You might notice that every once in a while, like in this case, I don't sign my paintings. Well, actually I did sign it...on the side of the canvas. The reason? I didn't feel like either corner was a good place to put it. Truth is, I was so happy with the way the table setting on the right and the chair on the left turned out, I just didn't have the heart to paint over either with my name!)
Sarah & Kevin’s Wedding Reception at The Old Courthouse in Cleveland
Canvas Size: 24in x 36in
Venue: The Old Courthouse, Cleveland, OH
Wedding Date: September 23, 2017
Commissioned by: Bride
Photographer: Mel and Dustin, One Red Door Photography
Wedding Planner: Abby Green, How Eventful, LLC
Sarah and Kevin’s ceremony and reception both took place at another one of my favorite downtown Cleveland venues, The Old Courthouse. This is a magnificent venue for a wedding, with a massive space that provides a stunning and elegant backdrop. The beautiful, classical architecture, complete with towering ionic columns and grand marble archways, reminded me of painting in Italy. Since this ceremony and reception both happened in the same place, there was a room flip involved, which always makes things a bit tricky for me. Luckily, I was able to focus on painting the surrounding architecture first, and by the time I was ready to paint in the guests, the caterers (Taste of Excellence) and the venue staff had the entire room set up for dinner. Abby and her team at How Eventful did an amazing job coordinating this gorgeous celebration. The florals, by The Red Twig, were exquisite and perfectly complimented the color of the bridesmaid dresses (a beautiful, soft shade of green called Sage, which looked just as pretty as it sounds!) The portrait of the bride and groom incorporated in this painting is one of my favorites. I wanted to portray the moment of their first dance, but I actually used a photo taken by the wedding photographers (One Red Door Photography) that happened in a more private moment with the bride and groom dancing alone in the marble stairwell. I loved the look of the couple, with the bride's dress twirling and the groom watching her. It reminded me of Cinderella’s dance with Prince Charming the night of the ball! (one of my favorite movies as a little girl, of course!)
Francesca & Andrei’s Cocktail Hour at the Cleveland Botanical Garden
Francesca and Andrei’s wedding reception at the Cleveland Botanical Garden took place on the most gorgeous Autumn day, again it totally felt like Summer! In fact, I felt more like I was painting a destination wedding, as I set up on the Geis Terrace, overlooking the tranquil lily pad covered pond and surrounded by vibrant flowers of all varieties and colors… even a palm tree made its way into the painting! (Who doesn’t love painting palm trees!?) The moment captured in this painting was the cocktail hour, which happened between the ceremony and the reception. Huge thanks to Catherine McKinley Photography for helping me out with such a perfect photo of the bride and groom so I could add their portrait - Such a sweet moment! Speaking of sweet moments, one of my favorite details of this painting is the two little girls, younger relatives of the family, sitting on the ledge of the lily pad pond, with their toes dipped in the water. It was so adorably picturesque, when I noticed them I knew right away I just had to include it in the painting. Another detail to point out, towards the right side of the canvas, I also included the keyboard player, who’s lovely music filled the air and made painting this wedding even more enjoyable.
I hope you enjoyed this brief glimpse into these beautiful celebrations and how a live painting can capture the unique memory and special energy of each wedding. If you or someone you know is getting married and you’re interested in learning more, message me through my CONTACT Page and I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
(Please Note: All my available dates for 2018 are already booked and my 2019 dates are going fast! Wedding weekends are very limited and I apologize if I’m not available for your wedding day.)