The biggest and most important decision any couple makes when ordering live event painting services for their wedding is choosing their painting scene.  Typically, live wedding paintings include one of two scenes:  the wedding ceremony or the first dance.  Keep reading to see some pros and cons for each of these popular painting scenes.

It’s important to keep a few things in mind when choosing a painting scene:

  1. Most importantly, keep in mind that paintings are not limited to first dance and ceremony.  Experienced event painters can create a wide variety of painting scenes and compositions, and we love creative brides!  If you want your painting of a unique scene or moment from your big day, contact us to make it happen.
  2. All of the below pros and cons are subjective.  What we list as a con may be a pro for someone else, and vice versa!  The best thing about art is that there are no wrong answers.
  3. Your most important tool when selecting something as personal and customized as a painting is your gut.  Listen to it!  If you are leaning towards a specific scene for your painting before even reading this list, it’s best to follow that intuition.

With that out of the way, here are some basic pros and cons for the two most popular live wedding painting scenes, first dance and ceremony.

Live Painting of a first dance at a wedding reception in Tampa, FL

This first dance painting was created live at Kathleen’s Garden in Tampa, FL in November 2019.

First Dance


  • A livelier painting
    First dance paintings offer a snapshot of the party that follows the wedding ceremony.  For those looking to capture the celebration aspect of the big day, a first dance painting is a great option.
  • More variety
    While most ceremony paintings typically have a similar look, first dance paintings offer a wider variety of options, from off center compositions to paintings depicting a big dip at the end of the dance, the options are endless.  
  • More focus on the couple
    Ceremony paintings usually depict the entire wedding party front and center.  While guests and the wedding party still usually appear in first dance paintings, the couple is usually a much larger and more obvious focal point in first dance paintings.
sarasota event painting sarasota wedding sarasota bride

This first dance live painting was created in January 2020 at the Powel Crosley Estate in Sarasota, FL.


  • Less painting time
    Since the first dance is later on in the event than the ceremony, first dance paintings typically come together later in the evening than ceremony paintings do. Guests who leave early may not get a chance to see the painting close to its completed state if a first dance scene is chosen.
new smyrna beach wedding painting, new smyrna beach wedding, wedding painter new smyrna beach, orlando weddings, orlando events

This ceremony painting was created live at the Brannon Center in New Smyrna Beach, FL in July 2019.



  • Capturing the most important moment
    Paintings are family heirlooms, and weddings are the beginning of a family’s story. If capturing the moment that two become one is an important factor, a ceremony painting may be the right choice.
  • Longer painting time
    Ceremony paintings offer the benefit of the painting coming together earlier on in the night.  This allows guests to see the painting close to its completed state earlier on than first dance paintings typically allow.
  • Brighter paintings
    Since wedding ceremonies typically take place before sunset, these paintings offer a brighter landscape than the typical first dance painting, which usually takes place under darker lighting.
Painting of a wedding reception at Sydonie Mansion in Mount Dora, FL

This ceremony painting was created live at Sydonie Mansion in Mount Dora, FL in September 2019.


  • Less focus on the couple
    While first dance paintings are often zoomed in on the couple, who is usually on the dance floor by themselves, ceremony paintings almost always depict the entire wedding party, the officiant and the guests watching the event unfold.

While these are general guidelines to keep in mind when selecting a live painting scene, remember that there is always room to customize. If a darker ceremony scene is appealing or a first dance painting that includes other guests on the dance floor sounds like a good fit, be sure to talk through your vision when inquiring about your painting.

For more event painting tips and news, be sure to follow along with our blog!  For even more behind-the-scenes fun, check out the Event Painting by Jamie Instagram page.  Happy planning!


Comments are closed