Saturday, March 31, 2012

Jordan & Jared's Wedding Reception

Outside the ballroom at the Sheraton Hotel on Lake Destiny Drive up in Maitland the plaque read, Jordan Martin and Jared Clark Wedding reception. I entered and scouted the room for a spot where I could sketch. Rachel McCurdy, a wedding designer at An Affair to Remember, was quick to introduce herself. She helped me pick a spot, making sure I wasn't in the way of the wedding cake or bar. I had been commissioned by the brides aunt, Linda Sheftel, to do a large 18 by 24 inch sketch of the occasion. I was a bit nervous about trying to complete such a large sketch in the duration of a reception so I had arrived several hours early to get the stage set lightly in pencil first.

The room was a constant flurry of activity. Tables were set and glasses filled with water. I would sketch the table setting then someone would come along and move all the cups. Rachel and her assistants were unpacking lanterns and a nautical cork float that would be draped in front of the bar. The wedding cake or perhaps the grooms cake was a mountain of donuts. The DJ arrived and began setting up his sound equipment. He was pleased that there was such a large dance floor. The videographer introduced himself and asked me a few questions about my work.

I could hear the reception crowd growing larger in the hallway where hor dourves and drinks were being served. Staff positioned themselves around the room and stood at attention. The DJ shouted, "It's showtime!" and the doors were opened. As people seated themselves, I sketched frantically getting them in the composition. Throughout the night people walked up to see what I was up to. I would crack a joke or acknowledge any praise while keeping my hands moving. Color was quickly blocked in with a one inch brush.

The wedding party was introduced and groom's men and brides maids entered with unexpected drama. One groom's man waddled in like Toulouse Lautrec while a brides maid "wheeled in" her groom's man like a wheel barrel. Another couple walked in backwards then vogued for photos like Charlies Angels. I knew that the newly married couples first dance was the focus of my sketch. They danced slowly as people crowded around the edge of the dance floor. I focused on Jordan and Jared. They danced slowly, kissing and smiling at each other. Jordan's sister gave a toast in which she kept getting choked up and crying. She related an incident where Jordan seriously injured her back and Jared stayed with her in the hospital, never leaving her side. The best man's toast unearthed the groom's wild side.

After diner the dance floor got packed as everyone did the electric slide. The bouquet was tossed and the garter cinched up. The bride got a special treat when all the groomsmen danced around her doing a strip tease. They piled all their dress shirts on her and one groomsman gave her a lap dance. The women in the room screamed! With the dance floor packed, and the music getting louder, I realized that my sketch was done. I packed up my supplies and left as the bass vibrated the walls.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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