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Why Live Painting Could Be the Next Big Wedding Trend

When you’re in the midst of planning a wedding, there a few big arrangements required: the venue, the guest list, the food, etc. But then there are a million small things that have the power to really make a wedding super memorable. You could deck your ceremony out in 4,000 pom-poms like our creative director Anjelika Temple did. You could provide guests with custom temporary tats OR you could have a live painter there to capture your day in real time.


The old-school art form seems to be making a comeback on the wedding scene. And to be honest, it’s no surprise why. Atlanta-based live painter Maggie Smith Kühn recently shared photos from a wedding she painted in North Carolina, and the results are totally stunning. We chatted with Maggie to ask her a little bit more about her unique job and why she thinks live painting is making a comeback.

She tells us, “The practice of live painting is something that is a dying art and live painters are exceptionally rare. Historically, it used to be the only way to visually record major events before the invention of photography. Artists would set up their easels at coronations, births, weddings and even on battlefields to capture moments in time! I always went through museums and thought the energy in those historic paintings was very moving. I think live painting is still an important and interesting way to document history, especially personal histories. That’s what draws me to weddings. It’s such a life-altering day for each bride and groom I paint!”

Maggie says each painting typically takes her three to four hours to complete and that the process goes a little something like this: “I set up my easel and start painting when the event starts, and I finish the paintings before the event is over. People can watch everything happen in real time, which is a lot of the appeal for guests. The best part is that at the end of what is essentially a performance, there is a beautiful artwork as a memento of the occasion.”

While painting the first dance seems to be the most popular scene newlyweds want captured, Maggie has also been hired to paint quick watercolor portraits for guests as a wedding favor – think of it as a super classed-up version of those caricature drawings you used to get at theme parks. While she admits that painting a live scene can be stressful at times, she remembers her most challenging wedding to be a beautifully lavish California wedding where she painted five-minute watercolor portrait of each guest. Maggie says, “I managed to finish 94 paintings over the course of six hours. It was insane!”

Now, we’re not saying you should fire your wedding photographer in favor of a live painter (unless you saw this bride’s wedding photos that she shot herself and now feel inspired to do the same), but we are saying that having a live painter contribute to the day could be a super special memento you’ll be able to keep and cherish forever.

Have you ever been to a wedding with a live painter? Share with us in the comments below.

(Photos via Robyn Van Dyke)

Alright, folks. We've officially made it to fall. And if you haven't already started switching out your decor (as long as it's ready by Friendsgiving, right?) you still have time to do so. Draw inspiration from this round-up of new home products that includes harvest-inspired candles, cozy linens and textiles, and a v. practical piece of furniture. One scroll through these, and you'll have all the motivation you need to transition the seasons. Scroll on to start shopping.

Prism x LOREM Collection ($96+): Calling all Cali babes. The popular Long Beach boutique, Prism, announced a boho-fabulous collab with home decor line, LOREM, that we can't get enough of. Shop everything from plant hangers (eight options, to be exact) to artwork, all inspired by the very colorful vibes of the brands. If you were looking for a cheery way to tide you through winter, this. is. it!

Floyd Mattress (Price TBD): Fans of the cult-favorite Detroit-based brand will love their latest launch debuting on October 29. The highly-coveted Floyd Mattress will have the same made-to-last design and superior comfort as their other furnishings, tailored perfectly to fit the line's in-demand bed frame. Additional details for the mattress include a breathable foam material, highly-mobile packaging, and a low-profile design to secure your best night's sleep yet. Check back on the last week of the month to get one for yourself.

Dims 'Composed Vanity' ($595): Small space? No problem! Direct-to-consumer brand, Dims, is giving you a quick and stylish solution to your storage needs with their newest item that doubles as both a desk and vanity. The functional piece is made with non-toxic, chemical-free materials and can be assembled in seven minutes or less. Throw in four sleek shades to choose from, and this may just be your best purchase of 2019 yet!

Saatchi Art x The Citizenry Holiday Collection ($225+): Get ready to deck your walls this holiday season. Saatchi Art partnered with The Citizenry in a one-of-a-kind collection that features a curation of art across styles. Explore everything from modern to abstract creations in a selection so stunning, it's bound to spark a conversation at your next gathering.

NEST Spiced Orange & Clove Collection ($16+): If you haven't experienced the addicting aromas of the beloved NEST fragrance brand, this is the perfect time to get on board! The label recently released their latest scent — spiced orange & clove — just in time for all your gatherings. Inhale festive notes of orange pomander, spiced brandy, cinnamon, and gingered honey across their suite of candles and diffusers to bring all the good vibes to your home.

Bloomingdales x RiLEY Home ($19+): RiLEY Home gets millennials. So they teamed up with Bloomingdales to make shopping their selection more attainable than ever. Now, you can get in on long-lasting, luxurious staples like flannel sheets, bedding, printed throws, premium pet beds, and more, by shopping online and in-stores at the department store. (Trust us: These dream goods are ones you're going to be *glad* you stocked-up on.)

Italic Serene Towels ($12+): The luxury brand that prides itself on using the *same* factories namesake brands (like Calvin Klein and Lacoste) use, but without the price tag behind them, brings you a new product for fall. Treat yourself to Italic's ultra-soft towel set spun from fluffy, 100% Australian cotton, in a convenient set of six. Consider it the perfect indulgence after a long soak in the tub on a cozy FNI (Friday night in)!

Hyascent x Neiman Marcus ($169): 'Tis the season for a delightfully scented home. Warm your abode with scents like bourbon joy, cheeky rose and more in a unique diffuser that doubles more as decor than a fragrance-inducer. Fresh off the (online) shelves of Neiman Marcus, explore nine scents that last up to six months in a specialized hourglass holder. (Shhh! Your friends will never know the secret of why your place smells so darn good!)