Live wedding illustrations with Vari Longmuir

Live wedding illustrations with Vari Longmuir


This one’s for our fashionista brides!

How do you hit that sweet spot between creating unique and memorable experiences for your wedding guests while at the same time, avoiding anything that’s tacky or cheesy?

Don’t worry bridal babes, we’ve got something fabulous to share, particularly for all our fashion-conscious brides out there.

So, here’s the perfect solution – Vari Longmuir, a digital fashion illustrator. Vari offers her incredible talent and services to sketch your guests live at your wedding. As soon as we saw the concept, we loved how fresh this idea was so we couldn’t wait to sit down and chat with Vari to find out exactly what live wedding illustration is and how it all works!


Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

Hi, my name is Vari and I’m a freelance digital fashion illustrator. I split my time between beach life with my 2 boys in Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula and city life where I work from a studio in Richmond.


How did you become an illustrator?

Having worked as a graphic designer for over 10 years (wow, has it really been that long?), my work has always been creative. Since I was little, I’ve had a love of drawing and painting and so after a period of feeling a little creatively ‘stuck’, I decided to get back into it as a side project for my own creativity.

As is always the case when one follows their passions, clients who saw my art started to commission me to do illustrations and quickly my illustration work began to overtake my graphic design projects. With my background in graphic design, I naturally developed into more of a technical illustrator, sketching digitally with a tablet and pen rather than a more ‘artistic’ style with ink and paper.



Tell us, what exactly is live wedding illustration?

Initially I did live fashion illustration at corporate and PR events. One of my corporate clients was getting married and asked if I would be available to sketch the guests at her wedding. I loved the idea and jumped at the chance! Guests put a lot of time and effort into perfecting their outfit for weddings and I loved that I had an amazing opportunity to create a custom piece of art for them as a keepsake from the day.

Here’s how it works.

After the ceremony – while the bridal party are having their photos taken – I set up with my drawing tablet where the guests are having their drinks reception. Let’s be honest, no-one wants to have to stand awkwardly while they have their portrait drawn! So, I snap a quick photo, let them get back to sipping their champagne and enjoying the amazing venue with the other guests, and get to sketching.

Each portrait takes between 6 – 10 minutes and once I’m finished I SMS it straight to the guest’s phone or, as an option, can print the artwork on the spot to gift to the guest. After the wedding, I compile all the illustrations from the day into a digital PDF sketchbook for the couple.



So it’s almost like a type of ‘entertainment’ for the guests?

Yes! I explain it as being kinda like the photo booth idea but a little more luxe. Don’t get me wrong, I think photo booths are great but the idea has been around for a while now. Live illustration is perfect for brides who want something that’s different but still very classy. Having your portrait drawn by a professional illustrator is such a unique opportunity and gives you a bespoke piece of art you can cherish forever.



Do you illustrate the bride and groom too?

Yes, of course! Often the couple can be so busy that they miss out on parts of the day that their guests get to enjoy. But that’s not the case. After the wedding, I ask for the bride to send me her favourite shot from the day – this might be a couple shot or one with her bridesmaids getting ready, I then can create an A2 custom illustration of the image.




How long is your illustration session?

The standard session is 4 hours. With each illustration taking 6 – 10 minutes, this allows for 30 – 40 illustrations. I find that there aren’t quite so many guys who are eager to have their portrait drawn so 4 hours works well for a wedding of around 100 guests. For larger weddings, we can extend the time if needed.


To find out more about booking Vari to illustrate at your wedding or more about her bridal portraits, head on over to her website or email her on for costs and availability.