Okay – I have to add to this conversation even though the wedding has already come and gone for the person who posted this question. I hope future brides who come across this forum in their search will find my comment and have their questions answered.
I am a silhouette artist. I travel all over the states to hand cut silhouettes at wedding receptions (and other events) quite often. I have also done this art for celebrities. They want something unique, rare and entertaining for their guests and they are always more than happy they thought of such an original idea and celebrity guests are completely captivated by seeing this art form in person.
As others have commented, silhouettes only take 2 minutes or less for the artist to cut and you don’t have to be a statue. They’ll get glimpses of just the right pose. We are used to doing children’s silhouettes at boutiques or in our studios (and even emailed pictures) so adults are easy. And we also know how to do a tiny nip or tuck for a neck line or a chin if you like so you don’t have to worry if you don’t like a certain feature of your profile. Once other quests see the first few silhouettes and how complimentery they are, they all line up and gasp in delight as they see each person’s profile created from start to finish right before their eyes. They make such lovely souvenirs to remember the occasion.
We fold our paper before cutting so that there are two silhouettes made when we unfold the paper after cutting a profile. And then most of us do give one to the guest (mine are placed on heavy cardstock and into a clear plastic sleeve for protection) and the other goes into an album for the bride and groom with best wishes signed from each guest. What a wonderful pictorial guest book they will always have to look through!
There are only a handful of artists in the United States who can do this rare art form so just being able to hire one who is available that day is impressive. And as for photo/booths… pictures are a dime a dozen now with a camera in everyone’s pocket. I think photo booths have their place, but I can tell you, we are hired for the weddings that intend to entertain and honor their family and friends in a most elegant and respectful way.
In this day of technology, we are all used to instant gratification, so how cool is it for your guests to watch an artist cut (not draw… and certainly not trace), but CUT the shape of each guest’s profile in under 2 minutes. It’s an art you can especially appreciate in person. What I love about silhouettes is that they eliminate skin tone, hair color, eye color, even attire, and leave only the most pure, basic essence of a person to be recognized by the viewer. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as “portraits of the soul.” How fitting for a celebration of two people in love! …Or for an event where artists are the guests!
Silhouettes are the type of portrait that get passed down through the generations. Your silhouette will be displayed in someone’s home in later years and proudly mentioned as their great, great grandmother or an uncle etc. They don’t become dated like a family photo which fades or shows out dated clothes or crazy hair styles. They are a most classical and traditional way to portray someone.
Silhouettes were the snapshot before the camera was invented. If your lover were leaving on a voyage across the sea, you’d seek out a silhouette artist and have them create your silhouette and give it to your lover to remember you. You may even have it made into jewelry like a cameo brooch or a ring. They have roots in the most romantic of gifts from centuries ago.
Many silhouette artists (as I do) will also cut a head to toe full figure silhouette of the bride and groom posing together within only 5 minutes or so which makes it even more entertaining to watch. For a smaller event, an artist could even do additional head to toe silhouettes: a flower girl, a boy in a tiny tux, a guest holding a wine glass… The guests are all dressed formally so the silhouettes turn out looking like classic Jane Austen’s or stately Andrew Jackson’s.
What could you do with your silhouette? Frame it in a black oval frame (traditional) or a silver rectangular frame; place it in a scrapbook; give it to your mother; make it the wallpaper on your phone; your avator in social media; your personal stationary; have it monogrammed onto towels… and most silhouette artists are able to feature them onto all sorts of gift items if you contact them after… How many silhouettes do you already have of yourself?