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Tyler and Ed’s Mount Vernon Alternative Guestbook Painting

May 24, 2017

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

comments +

  1. Lauren

    May 24th, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    You did a great job! It’s beautiful! I grew up near there in Springfield, VA.

  2. bbranson

    May 26th, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Thank you so much!! Oh cool!!! I lived in Arlington and Reston for a few years!

  3. Laura Thomas

    May 24th, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    This is so unique! I just love it! Such a nice painting!

  4. bbranson

    May 26th, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Thank you!! I really appreciate it!!

  5. Jessi

    May 24th, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Love this idea. Such a great alternative. Your painting is beautiful.

  6. bbranson

    May 26th, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Thank you so, so much! That means a lot!!

  7. marirosa anderson

    May 24th, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    gorgeous work as usual!!! xoxo

  8. bbranson

    May 26th, 2017 at 2:58 am

    Thank you so much lady!! And thank you for your amazing photos <3

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