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  • Dan Nelson

Wedding Painter Highlights

I’ve had so many glorious experiences as a Wedding Painter, I’ve lost count. Nearly every wedding I do is “one for the highlight reel.” But here are a few that stand out:


I had a wedding in downtown Manhattan once (at the Four Seasons, for those of you who remember it.)

Nancy couldn’t join me for this one, so I hired my dear friend, Josh, to go with me. We arrived Friday evening (No wife! What a waste of a 5-star hotel!) We got up fairly early Saturday morning to stroll down the street to where our GPS told us the restaurant was. New York streets are crazy busy, of course, and we walked past out target TWICE before we figured out it was BEHIND this phalanx of panel trucks that were clogging the whole street. Oh! THEN we discovered that those trucks contained an army of workers preparing for the very event we were looking for! This reception covered two entire floors of this restaurant– They were laying white shag carpeting over the whole place (about 8000 square feet) just for the reception. Hordes of theatrical set-designers were building fountains and forests and tropical islands and tiki bars all over the place. When the guests showed up (the calligraphy on the place-cards was the best I’ve ever seen!) Some of the names included titles like “Lord 'Such-and-Such' ” and “Lady 'Who-She-Be'.” Needless to say, I was gobsmacked. But I had the good manners to keep my jaw firmly OFF the floor and act like “Oh, yeah, I do this all the time!” It was another one of those times when I was glad my momma taught me good manners! Oh . . . and the music that night was maybe the BEST I’ve ever heard. Full orchestra and big band. Singers sounded like Frank Sinatra and Barbara Streisand. It was quite a night. I did two paintings of the reception. They seemed pleased. I can think of worse ways to make a living!


Another wedding was exceptional because of WHO was getting married: Two Hollywood actors, as it turned out. But I’ll save that story for another blog.


Another California wedding was exceptional because of its beautiful location: Napa Valley, and because of it’s SIZE: an entire winery-- the reception probably covered 20 acres, and because of who was paying for it: NOT the bride's father, but the bride! She had gotten a degree in Entrepreneurship at Boston College, and evidently put her knowledge to good use. She had started a sporting wear business in San Francisco, and seemed to be doing quite well. I got a little insight into how real business-minded people think when I delivered the paintings to her company warehouse on Monday: She had just started a NEW company that rented Wedding Reception Furniture! Ha! Now THAT'S the way to pay for your reception!

I spent three and a half days out in California for that one– including an art class that I taught in Napa Valley on Sunday afternoon. Good trip!

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