Mary Paints Weddings
What does a typical day look like for you?
On the day of a wedding, I get there at least three hours before the ceremony and set up my easel and paints, and start painting the background of the scene. I usually paint either the ceremony, the reception or a couples portrait, depending on what the couple prefers.
I continue painting through the day, and as people arrive I paint them in. I paint in acrylics, which are great because they dry fast and are water resistant when dry, so if there is a bit of a drizzle the painting won't be damaged.
When the painting is done, it goes on display for the reception, so the guests can enjoy it, and I chat to guests throughout the evening about my process, which is great! I love painting weddings, it's always so amazing seeing the love, happiness and community at a wedding.
Tell us a bit more about your creative process?
I like to paint a very romantic and impressionistic portrait of the weddings I attend. I always try to capture the essence of the scene, the emotions.
My trademarks are my sunsets, the elements of landscapes I include and the connectedness which I capture on canvas.
How did you get into the wedding industry?
Actually, it was a very sudden thing. One minute I was browsing for wedding presents for friends, thinking about what I could DIY. Then the idea of painting their weddings struck me and I was entranced.
It seemed like such a beautiful direction to take my art in. I have always preferred happy, beautiful subject matter, and I'm a huge romantic, so I decided wedding painting was where I was always meant to be.
How has your work evolved since you began?
I worked hard to ensure that I am able to produce my best work under the pressure and time constraints of a wedding environment. I did this by practicing other forms of live painting first before I moved purely into weddings.
I painted at events, at markets and even at a wedding expo! I also painted couple portraits and friends and family. This was on top of all the other painting which has always been a huge part of my life.
All of this helped me develop my romantic, idealistic style, which combines attention for detail with a love of emotion and romance.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I love the moment when a couple is saying their vows or enjoying a few moments together during their couple shoot, and I can focus on capturing their essence with my brush. During those minutes, everything else fades to background as they come to life on the canvas.
How early do engaged couples need to book?
I would generally recommend booking 6 months in advance.
What are some of the challenges in your business?
I think some of the challenges I face are the same as those faced by many small business owners and wedding professionals. You have to wear a lot of different hats, be the marketer, the social media manager, the business manager and then also the wedding painter. Its easy to focus on your favourite part (the painting!) but its crucial not to forget the rest.