Best Unique Wedding Idea- Live Painting at Your Wedding

There’s a new kid on the block when it comes to finding the best unique wedding idea for brides everywhere – it’s hiring a live painter to recreate your wedding ceremony and reception in real time. As a wedding photographer, I love the idea of adding another creative way to document your wedding, in addition to photographs and video. I wanted to learn more about the whole process, so I asked my friend and artist Caryn Dahm to share her insight from her recent live painting experience.

For this specific live painting, she was asked to arrive early, set up her table of art supplies at the back of the Historic Grant Station venue, and begin painting the alter scene even before any of the guests arrived. Her live painting of the ceremony scene continued on through the reception at the same location as the evening progressed. In the end, the bride received a beautiful 16×20 watercolor painting of her wedding and 25 personalized notecards. Here’s why I think this wedding trend is going to be around for awhile.


You can choose any art medium you want for your live painting – watercolor, oil, or acrylic. The challenge with watercolor live painting is that the artist has to be careful as they paint on watercolor paper, knowing there is little room for error. With an oil or acrylic painting on canvas however, the artist can touch up needed elements after the wedding back at their studio. It all depends on what you want the overall finished piece to look like. For Dahm’s bride Whitney Heim, an art therapist by profession, she knew she wanted to incorporate art into her wedding and loved the overall look and feel of watercolor. “It was the essence of Whitney, having art there and it made this personal for her. She didn’t care about specific details being included in the painting, but liked having just the outline of her guests and their clothes,” mother Sonya Hyatt recalls. Dahm advises brides to find the style of art that fits with their theme and personality.

unique wedding idea

Benefit to Your Guests

Using live painting at your wedding provides a special touch for your guests and the artist will become part of their entertainment. Dahm says that both the adults and the children that were there loved interacting with her and being able to check in to see how the painting was progressing. The custom thank you cards Dahm provided were a great way for the guests to see the final painting. “It gave the guests an extra bonus and gave an additional layer to the experience,” Dahm said.

unique wedding idea

Multiple Creative Uses

Your painting, whether a framed painting or gallery wrapped canvas, can be used along with your framed wedding photos in a creative wall display, or on a mantel. Any time you can incorporate mixed mediums together on your wall, you build on the visual appeal. Then you and your husband, family, and friends can share that memory with you in your home for a long time. Another special way to use the painting is to make it your wedding album cover. I provide custom album covers and custom USB boxes using images as the full front and back cover or in a cameo picture window on the front cover. You can use your painting for either of these cover styles.

With all these great features, I feel that having a live painting done at your wedding is a trend that will be around for a long time. Read more of Dahm’s firsthand account here.