Wedding Caricaturist Amusement

It can be daunting and mind boggling, deciding on any kind of entertainment, for your big day. You want it to be memorable and not a ‘run-of-the-mill’ old hat form, you want style. It has to be fun for all ages, genders and denominations, as well as yourselves! Why not try this quirky and highly popular form of entertainment Caricatures are perfect as a memento, to be kept by each guest.

Most caricature artists will draw quick 5 minute per guest, slick images, utilising marker pens in black and perhaps shaded in grey tone brush pens. Drawing guests on high quality art paper either A4 or A3. A crowd will soon gather around the caricaturist and the sound of the guests chuckles and laughter can be heard bellowing around the venue…

Some may use pencil, but these tend to be a little slower and not as outstanding. Some may also use a quick splash of colour with brush pen markers, this may again make the drawing time a few minutes slower.
Couples or sometimes several heads can be drawn, rather than a single person on a page. Although I must admit, I do recommend per person on a page. Then I can exaggerate the persons features more, in a flattering manner of course!

Remember it’s fun, most artists will see how much a guest likes to exaggerate their features! “If we cant laugh at ourselves, who can we laugh at”.

How long for?

Bookings are generally around 2 or 3 hours for most weddings. That said, I have found over my 20 years experience in this trade, that 2 hours is usually not enough time. This art form is astonishingly popular. So 3 hours is the best option or 2 hours with an option to increase the time on the day. This also depends on the amount of guests. Pricing is charged generally at a flat rate per hour (as this is entertainment, as well as drawings produced) and travel can sometimes be added to this. So try to book an artist in your local region or county. Payment is usually made in advance of the day, by banking app or transfer. Often either a deposit and final payment made long before the event day. Or many prefer to make the full payment when booking, so this saves worrying about this later.

Don’t miss out

As you can imagine, caricature artists are highly sort after, so it’s best to make your booking enquiry well in-advance, to confirm availability. I personally only confirm a booking once payment is made, of which I would email a receipt and confirmation sheet. So you would need to supply all the relevant information, well in advance. Such as both your names, address details, suite or room of the venue, venue address, including the postcode and time of drawing. I always ask for two emergency mobile phone numbers for the day. As once a booking I had, changed the venue and yes, they forgot to inform me! Luckily I managed to ring the number and got through to the best-man, who informed me that the new venue was an extra 40 minutes drive! I do always arrive at an event around 1 hour before the booking, to make sure I’m in the correct place.

Priority of important guests

I have learned that it’s often best for the bride and groom to be drawn early on, or first, as they are usually too busy during the duration of the booking to get their image produced. But then again, many couples look at this as an amusement for the guests, rather than them. I am often asked to start at the top table, if the drawing time is just after the speeches.

Caricatures are a bit like marmite, some love it, some hate it. So don’t expect to calculate on how many guests will have one produced. It’s not an exact science. So 5 minutes per guest will not have ever person invited drawn, but switch over of guests and banding and giving the guests a drawing, can all add to delay an exact amount of drawings.

I find it best in today’s digital age, to photograph each guest holding, the drawing. I then email this to the bride/groom or add an emailed link with the photographs on, to my Facebook page. As the happy couple do not see all the drawings when finished, they can have a good giggle at the after-wedding images.

Many artists will also add a service of printing the date and name details on the page. This would generally incur an extra printing cost fee, although I have known some couples supply paper. If this is required, then it should be discussed with the artist to allow enough drawing space and the thickness of the paper can matter, as marker pen can go straight though thinner or cheaper paper lacking quality.


Mix and mingle is one way to do the drawings. The artist literally walks around holding a drawing board and asking the guests if they would like a fun cartoon. They could be seated in a well lit area, perhaps near the bar or an area that is well inhabited by your guests.

It’s often best to have the artist draw in the afternoon (depending on the ceremony timing). After the speeches is an excellent time, as the guests are often mulling around before the evening change over. Some do have them drawing during the wedding breakfast. This is non-intrusive and drawings are produced from 3 to 10 feet away from the subject.

Early evening also goes down well. Obviously before guests get a bit too merry and before the disco gets into full swing! Plus the lights go down at this point, so unless you have a well lit area nearby, then it can be hard for the artist to draw. Another reason I often turn up early is because I often get asked to start a bit earlier, as timings of the day don’t always go to plan.

Digital live iPad Caricatures

The latest innovation is digital live Caricatures in colour. They are drawn on an iPad or digital artist tablet. These take around 10 minutes per guest and a digital image is supplied to the guest, as well as a 6 x 4 inch photo print.
All whilst being viewed live, by all the other guests on a large LCD television screen.

This is all a bit more involved and can be a lot more costly to book. But, some prefer colour and everyone is into digital images now days. A background theme can be pre-drawn if requested. Wording of the date and names can also be included. Some couples like to add the guests name on each drawing too!

Digital equipment takes around 30 minutes to set up and a mains outlet is needed near by. Usually at least a 3 or 4 hour booking is required, as these drawings do take around double the time, especially with the prints produced and airdrop or emailed images.

Pre-drawn commissions

Digital commissions are often available for wedding table plan or gift. The artist will usually request several weeks or months before the day to produce these, as they take a lot of drawing hours to complete. I drew one recently in great detail with many hobbies, guises and characteristics of the happy couple. They are printing out an image on a large canvas for their wall, as well as printing fridge magnets as a wedding favour and memento of the day. They can be produced in chalk, watercolour, marker pen or pencils. Why not go digital, so everything can be produced via email? Good clear photos are sent to the caricature artist and images can also be emailed to the couple. This allows them to print and produce what they wish from the digital drawing supplied. I also drew one couple that use a black line image, on the casino money, on the day!

SO what will you choose for your wedding entertainment?

This guest blog was kindly written by Phil Cole from Coleys Caricatures. Click here to visit their website.

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