Lauren and Ken’s Philadelphia City Hall Live Wedding Painting

philadelphia city hall live wedding painting

With the help of the amazing team at Elizabeth Duncan Events, Lauren and Ken exchanged vows in what I’m personally calling one of the coolest ceremonies ever! I really should say one of the coolest weddings ever, as the reception took place on a ship! At the top of their “must have” list was getting married in Dilworth Park right in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall. Completed in 1894, the building’s gorgeous “Empire style” architecture served as the jaw-dropping inspiration for Lauren and Ken’s Philadelphia City Hall live wedding painting!

When discussing what elements of the big day would make it on to the canvas, Lauren quite had her heart set on capturing the ceremony and grand architecture of City Hall. And so, I arrived a few hours early to start sketching out the numerous columns, windows, and details!

artist brittany branson live painting in front of philadelphia city hall
Painting in front of Philadelphia’s City Hall

The Elizabeth Duncan Events and Dilworth Park teams did an amazing job of sectioning off a huge portion of the park just for the wedding party, guests, and vendors. But, that didn’t stop some friendly strangers from politely being a part of the wedding!

The groom’s men and women paid a bit of homage to their reception later being on a ship by wearing compasses in lieu of floral boutonnieres! And in lieu of floral bouquets, the bridal party each walked down the aisle holding a sign with a portion of the Bible’s “Love is patient…” quote. They then attached each sign, in order, to the couple’s ceremony structure at the end of the aisle to complete the verse!

bride walking down the aisle with mother and father
Lauren walks down the aisle
bride and groom exchange vows during Philadelphia City Hall wedding
Lauren and Ken exchange vows!
philadelphia city hall live wedding painting in progress
Working on the Philadelphia City Hall live wedding painting

As I always do, I took the painting home with me to add in all of the details and complex colors of City Hall.

completed philadelphia city hall live wedding painting
Lauren and Ken’s Philadelphia City Hall Live Wedding Painting
philadelphia city hall live wedding painting
Lauren and Ken’s Philadelphia City Hall Live Wedding Painting

Thank you so much to Lauren, Ken, and the Elizabeth Duncan Events team for having me along for the fun! Pennsylvania is officially checked off my Live Painting in 50 States list!

Did you miss the exciting news? Check out my recent blog post about my goal to live paint a wedding in every US state here!

Brittany Branson is a live painter, wedding and floral artist serving the Annapolis, Maryland, Washington, DC and beyond

 

Brianna and Chris’ Love Journey Wedding Map Painting and Seating Chart

Image of love journey wedding map painting by brittany branson

Newlyweds and sweethearts Tyler and Ed exchanged vows in a beautiful April ceremony at DAR Headquarters aided by their talented wedding planner Margo Fischer of Bright Occasions. I was incredibly honored to create not one, but two beautiful keepsake paintings for the couple and guests to enjoy. What was even better was that both of the paintings were functional! One served as the seating chart. The other will definitely go down as one of my all time favorite creations, a custom “love journey” wedding map painting that told the couple’s story!

Image of the bride and groom laughing with members of their wedding party
Brianna and Chris laughing with members of their wedding party.

Creating the Painting

Before meeting up with Brianna and Chris at a cool brewery in SE Washington, DC, their wedding planner Margo reached out to me with a few specific ideas for some paintings. In my humble opinion, the best idea was to incorporate Brianna’s pet bunny Aristotle in some way! I love incorporating my couples’ furry friends into their paintings, so of course I was excited. We sat down, I broke out my sketchbook, and we got to brainstorming!

image of sketchbook containing rough sketch of seating chart painting design
A rough brainstorm sketch of Brianna and Chris’ seating chart painting.

We first discussed the seating chart painting and reviewed a few different layouts. One option was to separate the guests’ tables by number, but assign each table to a miniature painting of a bunny. For the sake of making the painting easier to read by organizing everyone alphabetically. we decided to simply feature little Aristotle at the top. He would be surrounded by hand painted florals similar to the ones Brianna would use in her bouquet.

image of notebook containing original rough sketch of painting design
Original rough sketch for Brianna and Chris’ love journey wedding map painting.

We then moved on to our mutual favorite: the love journey wedding map painting. Inspired by the current wedding map trend, Brianna and Margo sent me an inspiration photo of an over-sized chalkboard letter piece of art that verbally described the couple’s love story. Being the lover of venue paintings that I am, I suggested we tell their love story in a series of painted location vignettes. I would design the painting as if it were a map, giving us all another opportunity to incorporate adorable Aristotle. He would be featured hopping down the road of the love journey wedding map, finally arriving at their DAR Headquarters wedding day!

The Paintings’ Special Meanings

There were so many personal and meaningful touches incorporated into Brianna and Chris’ paintings, it’s simply best to list them!

  • The beautiful and colorful florals by Eight Tree Street Floral served as a major inspiration for both paintings! They appeared at the top of not only Brianna and Chris’ seating chart painting, but their love journey wedding map painting as well.
  • Brianna and Chris’ adorable pet bunny Aristotle makes an appearance at both the top and bottom of their seating chart painting, but hopping across the love journey wedding map painting as well.
  • The orange monogram at the top of the love journey wedding map painting was inspired by the monogram featured in the couple’s invitations.
  • A cool, slate gray finds it’s way in every painting to be consistent with Margo’s design.
  • A charming vignette painting of Georgetown University begins the love journey, an ode to where the couple met in grad school!
  • The logo for ChurchKey DC follows. It’s where Brianna and Chris had their first date! A vignette of the Jefferson Memorial and cherry blossom trees is also featured.
  • The path follows a Megabus to Durham, NC, a little ode to the time Brianna and Chris had to date long distance!
  • A sailboat floats near the Washington Monument as a tribute to the SW Waterfront neighborhood where the couple moved in together.
  • Finally, Aristotle hops on over to a venue vignette of DAR Headquarters because it’s the couple’s wedding day!
image of seating chart painting by brittany branson
Brianna and Chris’ seating chart painting. Image by Emily Clack Photography.
image of love journey map painting by brittany branson
Brianna and Chris’ Love Journey Map Painting. Image by Emily Clack Photography.
image of the bride and groom cutting their wedding cake
Brianna and Chris cut their wedding cake. Image by Emily Clack Photography.

Sending so many happy thoughts your way, Brianna and Chris! Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your oh so gorgeous, special day!

Learn More

Did you love these paintings? Head on over to my Instagram here to check out some more!

Head to Emily’s Facebook page here to see a few more pretty photos from Brianna and Chris’ wedding!

BRITTANY BRANSON IS A WASHINGTON, DC AND ANNAPOLIS LIVE PAINTER AND WEDDING AND FLORAL ARTIST

Tyler and Ed’s Mount Vernon Alternative Guestbook Painting

image of mount vernon alternative guestbook painting with guest signatures

The oh so awesome Tyler and Ed exchanged vows in a beautiful ceremony at George Washington’s Mount Vernon last month. I was incredibly honored to be a part of all of the fun! My heart may or may not have skipped a beat when their darling wedding planner Karen of RSVP Events reached out to me to let me know that the couple was considering featuring a painting of Mount Vernon. I mean, come on! A venue painting of one of the most historic, iconic, and beautiful buildings in the country?! I’m in! Their Mount Vernon alternative guestbook painting has quickly become one of my favorites to date!

 

photograph of bride and groom sharing first kiss under floral arch
Tyler and Ed’s first kiss. Image by Photography by Marirosa.

The Painting’s Special Meaning

I don’t always have the chance to meet my amazing couples. Though I’m Annapolis and Washington, DC based, I’ve shipped pieces all over the country! But, since Tyler and Ed were Virginia locals, we decided to meet up at Panera so that I could meet their shining faces in person! Perhaps I’m just speaking for myself, but we all definitely hit it off! There were lots of laughs, lots of sassy remarks, and a whole lot of fun.

I broke out my sketchbook to do a rough sketch of what a painting of Mount Vernon could look like if used as an alternative guestbook. Tyler started to get very specific about the building and how it would be portrayed, so of course my ears perked up. Turns out, the awesome bride WORKS at the estate! I mean, how cool is that? I loved how personal their wedding was already turning out to be! Well, it was all definitely cool, but also a bit terrifying. I knew this painting was going to be an amazing (and welcome) challenge for me, considering all of the details involved. I wanted it to meet Tyler’s expectations, after all!

image of alternative guestbook painting with signatures featuring mount vernon
George Washington’s Mount Vernon alternative guestbook painting. Image by Photography by Marirosa

Creating the Painting

We all decided a 24×36 canvas would be perfect for their Mount Vernon alternative guestbook painting. Tyler also requested that the painting be designed to accommodate around 150 guest signatures. However, she really didn’t want signatures all over the house. I couldn’t agree more!  We agreed that the focus of the painting would be on the mansion itself, along with it’s two immediate outhouses, and that guests would be welcome to sign the top of the painting (featuring the Potomac River and Maryland in the distance), as well as the front lawn.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I actually use a different kind of paint for areas where guests will sign! You see, most acrylic paints dry with a shiny sheen. That’s not the greatest for Sharpie markers or pens. And so, for areas on paintings where guests will sign, I use a craft paint that dries almost like chalk!

 

image of wedding guests signing an alternative guestbook painting featuring Mount Vernon
Guests sign the Mount Vernon alternative guestbook painting. Image by Photography by Marirosa.

An Unexpected Surprise

I didn’t know it at the time, but two of my favorite wedding photographers were actually hired to capture Tyler and Ed’s wedding! It made my entire day when Marirosa of Photography by Marirosa, and her second shooter for the day, Emily of Emily Alyssa Photography, shot me this fun photo of the two of them posing with the painting!

image of wedding photographers posing with mount vernon alternative guestbook painting
Photographer Marirosa of Photography by Marirosa and her second shooter for the day, Emily of Emily Alyssa Photography, pose with the Mount Vernon alternative guestbook painting

It was so much fun and such an honor to work with Karen and be a part of Tyler and Ed’s incredible day. It really warms my heart that I was able to create something for them that will serve as a keepsake memory of their big day. Not only that, but it now holds tons of sweet and thoughtful messages from the friends and family that celebrated along with them!

Learn More

Did you love this venue painting? Head on over to my Instagram here to check out some more!

Also, be sure to check out my past blog post “Three Unexpected Ways to Use a Venue Painting” for more great ideas on how you can incorporate this special work of art into your or your client’s design!

Head to Marirosa’s website here to see more pretty photos from Tyler and Ed’s wedding!

Brittany Branson is a Washington, DC and Annapolis live painter and wedding and floral artist