Some people may think that all weddings are essentially the same. People get married, there’s food and drinks, probably some cake, and a lot of dancing. However, one of the things I actually love most about weddings is that every event is, in fact, so different. Like snowflakes, there are never two weddings exactly alike. You see, there’s a lot of little details that make up a wedding day. The day’s details are tailored to the personality of the couple and are just as lovely and unique as the couples planning them. One of my new favorite unique wedding trends is the incorporation of keepsake art into the wedding day through custom painted backdrops, venue paintings, and live painting.
Meet Brittany Branson.
I started following Brittany on Instagram a little less than a year ago when I was transitioning to the east coast wedding industry. Not only did it feel like she was my long lost soul sister with her love for Starbucks, I fell in love with each any every little square that made up her Instagram feed. Needless to say, her art is filled with so much beauty. But, what I loved even more was the heart and soul she poured into each and every piece.
I’ll be honest. I had no idea what live painting really was before I came across Brittany. You may be reading this and didn’t know there are artists dedicated to providing you precious wedding keepsakes. With my mission to help you plan well and party often on this wedding journey of yours, I decided to have a little interview with Brittany. I can promise that live painting is the new wedding trend you’re going to love.
So, tell me a little about you and your business! What services do you provide?
I’m a live painter as well as a wedding and floral artist! I always like to say I love celebrating life and love stories through whimsical brushstrokes and ethereal color schemes. I love live wedding painting as well as creating custom backdrops, venue paintings, and other wedding and floral art. (Including invitations, soon!)
How did you get into wedding art and live painting?
Cue the eye rolls! It was because of my own wedding! My hubby Tim and I married on the Chesapeake Bay, and our wedding took on this very delicate blush and pearl theme. Tim is an airline pilot, and I just felt the wedding was starting to lose his personality and passion for his job. So, I created a few pieces of art that were aviation themed (including a guestbook painting of a biplane and watercolor wedding crest) as well as some that weren’t (seating chart painting) in order to pay homage to his passion without making the entire wedding become too themed.
Needless to say, our guests adored them. Then when WeddingWire published our wedding, they actually featured every piece of art! I figured I was on to something. I just started to create pieces that not only truly celebrated the couple, but were functional heirlooms they could use on the big day and then keep forever after.
To someone who didn’t know, how would you explain live painting for weddings? How does it ‘work’?
Live painting is awesome because it not only yields a keepsake for the couple, but also acts as a kind of entertainment for guests! I, the artist, bring along a portable easel, canvas, and paints to the couple’s ceremony or reception site. Then I get to painting! I always touch base with the couple themselves or their planner/another POC to discuss what elements of the big day make it on to their canvas. Usually, it’s their ceremony, venue, or first dance! I paint for a minimum of 4 hours on-site, capturing what I see I happening. I then take the painting home to my studio to add many more details from photographs!
What (or who) inspires you in your art?
Style wise, I would say French impressionist painters! Otherwise, it’s really the stories and memories of my clients that truly inspire me. I was a Dramatic Literature major in college with a huge heart for Shakespeare and playwriting. I consider my painting an extension of a way I can tell stories and serve others who may not necessarily be able to do it themselves.
What’s your favorite thing about a wedding day?
Two moments of the big day are my absolute favorite. The first is the moment the bride (or groom) is about to walk down the aisle. More often than not a planner or someone at the venue will either physically close doors or have her/him pause as the final members of the wedding party exit the aisle. He/she knows it’s a matter of seconds before his/her life changes forever! That moment of anxious excitement is my absolute favorite. The other moment is right before the first kiss! The two of them are usually so giddy and excited to just make it official already!
Do you have a favorite type of wedding art to paint? If so, what and why?
Oh man, what a hard question! I think I love each type in it’s own beautiful way. Of course, I love live painting simply because it’s an heirloom that was created specifically for the couple on the actual big day. Couples don’t often get to physically take home something. Most decor or other day-of momentos are thrown away.
I also absolutely adore venue paintings because I think there is something so special and sacred about the location where a couple pledges their love to each other. I’m always honored when a couple trusts me to capture that!
As for backdrops, well, they’re fun for me as a painter since they’re usually quite large. I love that it usually serves both a functional purpose (ceremony focal point, etc.) as well as keepsake. I always encourage my couples to bring the un-stretched canvas to a framer after the wedding and have it stretched into a brand new painting.
Why should couples consider incorporate custom wedding art into their big day?
I think custom art is the ultimate way to ensure your personally as a couple is celebrated on the big day. Planning a wedding is an amazing experience. But, I think we can all agree that, even though the big day is supposed to be about the couple, they themselves can often get lost because too many family members want this and that their way, or the couple feels they have to follow trends, etc. The art celebrates no one and nothing but them, and it can be taken home and treasured forever.
What’s the benefit of having a live painter at their ceremony or reception?
What’s fun about live painting is that, because it’s a work of art, we (myself and the couple) aren’t limited to capturing only what’s happening before our eyes and what exactly is in the room such as with photography. For example, I can add a painted likeness of a loved one who has passed and was not physically able to attend the wedding. I can paint a scene that incorporates a few locations or moments from the big day. A part of the painting can show a scene from the ceremony, another the reception, etc. It’s also a fun entertainment for your guests! I can’t tell you how many guests LOVE peering over my shoulder and watching the progress as the night goes on! It’s fun!
Brittany’s Nation-wide Live Painting Goal
Brittany just recently announced a huge personal goal! Live painting at least one wedding in every US state and territory! In the hustle and bustle of the past few months, she noticed something was missing. Adventure. With her airline pilot hubby, Tim, they decided to fulfill that sense of adventure and serve loving couples along the way. If you are a couple that would love a keepsake heirloom that is a live painting, contact Brittany through her email address below!