Friday, October 13, 2017

Live Event Artist Captures Romantic Wedding: Part 3

Pure Romance.
It was the moment no one expected. 
 It captured us all with its sweeping gesture of old fashioned chivalry, 
something straight out of a romance novel.
The groom swept the bride off her feet after they were pronounced husband and wife. 
He carried her down the stone steps into the wedding tent to present his new bride.
Its moments like those that we can't get enough of, in real life.
And it was just that moment that will now be captured forever on 
canvas by Sheila Foley, the wonderfully talented live event artist.
Have you ever heard of live event painting?
  I had not until recently, when I spotted Sheila's work on Facebook and Instagram
I was enchanted by her paintings.
The entire idea of it!  
It struck me during the wedding planning that hiring Sheila
would be PERFECT for capturing this wedding.  I love original art, and I was
amazed at the romantic impressionistic essence of her paintings of weddings,
 as they unfolded.... LIVE!
Sheila arrives ahead of time to see the wedding site, and at that time we briefly discussed 
ideas for the painting.  I gave her "carte blanche" to paint something she saw fit.  She said that was rare, that most often brides or the one commissioning the painting has something specific predetermined in their minds that they want to have painted.
 I think that the way to get the best out of an artist is to let them express their vision, and you won't be disappointed.  I know from my own experience that painting things for myself are often superior than the things I must paint on command, because the inspiration and artwork is guided instead of natural.
 Often times Sheila is painting at an event in a grand ballroom, and the architecture adds
a lot to her paintings, and yet our wedding was in a tiny tent.  I set her painting station up to afford her the best view of the ceremony, the tent, and the guests.  She arrived two hours early to start the 
background and the tent part of the painting.  Sheila will capture guests and moments on her iPad and then refer to it as she paints.  It was the most marvelous thing, to have an artist painting as
if she were just a fly on the wall.  The guests would come and look and then go back to their tables and it was fun to see the painting progress throughout the night.  While our wedding was all about keeping costs down, this was my one big splurge!  And you can see what she decided to paint
for capturing the essence of the wedding~that grand romantic gesture of Brandon sweeping Mimi off of her feet!  I cannot wait to see the finished painting.  Sheila takes the partially finished painting back to her studio and will work on it to add the guests and fine tune the details.
This is a closeup of a groom sweeping his bride off her feet during a dance,
and it was my favorite painting that I saw on her website.  This shot is from Sheila's 
website as I viewed it from my phone.
Sheila told me it was her favorite too! So I knew we were on the same page, and
now our family will have a painting by this amazing artist that recalls a moment
captured in time.  Fleshed out in the painting will be the faces of those who we were 
fortunate to have around the table with us, as Sheila actually paints the guests to look
like themselves!! That is truly amazing to me, as painting people is very difficult.
The painting takes shape, and this is the last I saw of her progress.  Stay tuned for the finished portrait of the wedding, I will be sharing that for sure.  Sheila Foley is in high demand, and I think its wonderful that people are recognizing the specialness of what she does, and how something like this can add so much to an event you want to remember in a uniquely beautiful way.
When I last blogged about the wedding in Part II, I said I would share my splurge (the painting),
and other details from the wedding and how we went about getting the wedding of our dreams.
 There were many other special moments of course, like the cake moment. 
 Personally I find the money spent of cakes to be CRAZY, and since I
 am not a big desert person,  I wouldn't spend tons of money on a pretty cake.
  However the bride loves deserts and pretty cakes, and so the hunt was on
 to find a cake that wasn't outrageously priced.  We found it.
 This pretty little white wedding cake with buttercream frosting was made by the chefs at WholeFoods Supermarket.  
A supermarket bakery department created this cake for Mimi.
Mimi described a simple white on white cake, to be frosted in buttercream with simple dots and flowers for decoration.  
The cost?  A jaw dropping $58.  
 These beautiful and romantic elements of a wedding do not have to cost a fortune, like we 
are programmed to believe.  I set the cake on a silver tray and we had stacks of vintage gold and white cake plates for each slice.  The top layer was a chocolate cake, and the bottom layer was white cake with strawberries.  Matthew Mead captured the moment beautifully for the couple.  The bride sliced up the cake and the groom delivered it to their guests.  A charming way to serve a wedding cake, don't you agree?
Vintage gold metal heart trays were used to serve a mix of chocolates.  I found this stack of interesting tiny gold hearts, and have no idea what their purpose was, but I thought they would make nice little trays for sweets.  Matthew and Jenny Mead took a great shot of it adorned with a tiny rosebud.  All the chocolates were bulk chocolates, delicious none the less, from Costco.  Ferrero Rocher, Lindt, Roca, and other sweets filled these cute little trays and were passed out as the wedding cake was being served by the couple.
One other expenditure that was fairly modest but added a lot, was the trio of string musicians 
that we hired to perform for the cocktail hour and the ceremony.  Thankfully the rain let up, but we kept them under an umbrella just to be safe.  Find musicians like these on Craigslist, or a local music school or college and you can hire them by the hour to add a touch of elegance to your event.  What fun it would be to have musicians playing at a cocktail or dinner party!  I think we often overlook ideas that aren't super expensive, yet create a memorable feeling for the event.  Live artists and musicians can give such a "rich" experience for both the guests and the hosts. 
 Lighting is a big consideration for creating the right mood, and for an outdoor event, its easy to string lights, wrapping tree trunks and branches.  Starting at the base just ball up a string of lights and wrap the trunk and then connect another string and so on, until you have reach the upper part of the tree.  You can just wrap trunks, or you can add more, as my son Brandon did in the tree that the bride walked underneath.
This shot of my buddy Matthew Mead shows how magical the trees appear
as dusk starts to fall.  Its an inexpensive trick and just takes time to do it.
 It all added to the romantic effect we were aiming for....
The guests had departed, the wedding was officially over. 
Still wanting to linger in the magical spell cast upon us all, 
the newly weds danced in the living room with family watching,
 until the clock struck twelve.

A very romantic wedding was enjoyed by all.

Read PART ONE here Fairy Tale Wedding without the High Price
Read PART TWO here Romantic Home Wedding Dreamy Table Tips

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  1. Magical and romantic, old-fashioned yet beautifully present-day. Bravo.

  2. How beautiful of a say for sure.Love the artist painting also

  3. Just beautiful all the way around and I LOVE the live painter idea. We have had both with our daughters--an outrageously expensive wedding with every bell and whistle you can imagine and a small intimate wedding performed on the Bay with hubby officiating. We gave the same amount of money to both daughters and daughter #2 used the bulk of her money as a downpayment on their home. We loved both weddings--different things are important to different people.

    It is amazing how much you can save though by being budget conscious.

    I hope this is just the start of a long and very happy life for your sweet couple, Amy. xo Diana

    1. I love that you were able to accommodate both of your daughters wedding dreams, and enjoy both equally the same Diana!

  4. Reading the three-part blog post about the wedding was enlightening. Being there, I could literally see all the loving touches that went into it. Thanks so much for hiring me. Your family and friends were warm and welcoming on a chilly night. I really love an intimate event. I look forward to finishing your painting and hope to do justice to the romantic evening, and of course, the gorgeous couple.

    1. It was such a pleasure and personal high to have you there painting our special day Sheila!

  5. Well you can add wedding coordinator extraordinaire to your repertoire of your many, many talents....The live artist was such a wonderful idea...she captured the heart of the wedding...this reminds me of plein air artist watching artists create their beautiful work. Cannot wait to see the finished work of art. Such an amazing gift in so many ways!

    1. Oh you are too kind! I think wedding planning sends people into a tizzy....but its really just another party. Especially if it is a moderate or small group. Thank you Shirley!

  6. Amy, you are a genius! Seriously, you made this wedding special and magical on a budget, but it didn't look like it was on a budget...brilliant! Thank You for sharing your wonderful life with us, you are truly inspiring.

    1. My mom was a bit surprised I shared the "budget" aspect of the wedding on my blog, but I did really want to encourage and inspire people to be brave enough to do it themselves and save money while putting on a lovely memorable affair.

  7. The DELIGHT is in the details! Everything looks lovely, especially the live event painter. Ron Bayens is another portrait artist / live event painter who has painted for us, & he was fantastic! RR

  8. What a beautiful gift of love you gave your son and his bride with this beautiful wedding. Hats off to you.

  9. What a wonderful Wedding, you are so clever. The paintings are so amazing.

  10. Love this Amy!!! My husband and I recently went to a wedding at the New London (NH) Historical Society that was done on a tight budget and it was magical as well. The financially savvy twists and turns were so refreshing and made for the best 'non-cookie cutter' wedding I have ever been to. I do have a request....could you do a part four on how you dealt with the expense of cocktail hour appetizers and the entrees? That tends to eat up a budget within seconds. Did you have help in regards to servers for food?
    Congrats to you on all your hard work, it really paid off gorgeously.

  11. I too just loved the wedding. That is the perfect size! I too have the same comment as the post before. What was your dinner menu
    and was it served? Love your blog it is so helpful when planning events

  12. What a special way to capture that beautiful day! Love this idea, Amy. And I love all of the wedding photos you shared on Instagram.


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