Vendor Spotlight: Live Illustration by Denise Fike

I have never been the type of person who primarily gives objects as gifts. Though I do give accessories, clothing, and other items on occasion, what I really love to do is give the gift of experiences. So, when it came time for me to decide on bridesmaid gifts, I decided to go a little non-traditional.

If you’ve been to any fashion-focused events in Philly, you’ve likely been sketched by the incomparable Denise Fike. Denise has a presence all her own, always shining in her extravagant hats and beautiful clothing, sometimes hand-painted with one of her designs. She is quick in her sketching (most only take a couple minutes) and an expert in posing her subjects perfectly, depending upon their outfits and accessories. I had collected her sketches of me from events for years.

I reached out to Denise to ask if she could come and sketch my bridesmaids and I while we were getting ready, and when we were all dressed. That way, they could have the cool experience and the sketches to take home and frame, if they chose.


Denise glided in with her incredible presence and immediately got to work. We were lucky enough to be in the Penthouse of the Residence Inn Marriott Center City, which had an adjoining room. Denise set up in there and lovingly sketched not only my bridesmaids, but my flower girl and my mom, who came in to get her makeup done. The before and after photos are just spectacular. When she was waiting for those who were getting their hair or makeup done, she sat to the side and sketched the scene, including my bouquet and a portrait of all of the things going on in the room: Bridesmaids talking, the makeup artist doing her thing.

What I love most about Denise is how genuine she is, and how passionate about her craft—not to mention how talented. She truly delivered on this gift—this memory, and went above and beyond to make it special. She also sketches her grandchildren, which make for beautiful portraits. When one of my bridesmaids had her first daughter, I commissioned Denise to sketch portraits of her based on photos that were taken. They were breathtaking.


To hire Denise, reach out to her via Instagram. You and your guests will be blown away!