Beauty and the Beast Styled Shoot at The Union Club

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Venue: The Reading Room at The Union Club
Photography: Hunter Photographic
Floral Decor: Blooms by Plantscaping
Cake and Desserts: Luna Bakery
Linens: L'Nique 

(by Katie)
The Disney classics were a staple of my childhood. Princess-themed birthday parties, lunch boxes, and bedsheets were my prized possessions, and—let’s be real—those of every other three-to-ten year old girl I knew. My teeth were never clean enough unless I brushed them with my special Ariel and Sebastian tooth brush, and no dinner was acceptable unless served on my Cinderella plate. But of all the epic movies the folks at Disney so kindly bestowed upon us, Beauty and the Beast captivated me the most. 

I have always admired Belle’s resilience in the face of adversity. She is a strong female, confident, outspoken, and never afraid to be herself. Belle does not concern herself with the opinions of those around her and refuses to compromise when it comes to the life she wants.  By being true to herself she is able to live happily ever after!

It was not just Belle’s mystique that led me to watch Beauty and the Beast so many times that my VHS copy stopped working, it was the film’s beautiful animation as well.  There is something enchanting about an old (perhaps haunted!) mansion. There is something fascinating and bewitching about the extravagance of the Beast’s lair, its grandiose rooms, commanding tables, and overall opulence. Not to mention, it is French! Tres chic! It is because of all of this that I decided to use Beauty and the Beast—a tale as old as time—as inspiration for my styled shoot.

I knew immediately that The Union Club was the ideal venue to bring my lavish dreams to life. The historic Union Club is late nineteenth-century Cleveland at its best. A true delicacy, this quaint space is as unique as Belle herself.  The styled shoot took place in the Reading Room, which was clearly serendipitous, given Belle’s love of books and the prominent roll libraries played in the movie. The dark wooden paneling of the walls and fixtures of this room helped to create a regal vibe fit for a beloved Disney princess!

It wasn’t until meeting with my all-star team of vendors that my vision for the shoot truly came together. As always, Arne from Plantscaping had some novel ideas! The focal point of this shoot was the 16-foot long table, which mimicked the famous dining table in Beauty and the Beast. Both Belle and the Beast are fascinating, independent characters, and I wanted to juxtapose their separate personalities in my design. I did this by dividing the table in two, one side Belle-inspired and the other Beast-inspired.

Belle’s side of the table was feminine and eclectic, with floral-patterned china, delicate pink glasses, and an extravagant rose-velvet throne chair. The Beast’s side of the table was more masculine, with gold and blue-rimmed china, a heavy goblet for drinking, and a leather reclining throne chair  (because comfort and style CAN go hand-in-hand).  Thank you to All Occasions for providing the perfect place settings for Belle and the Beast and for the lovely tablescape rentals! Borrow filled in with vintage pieces for the tablescape and the throne chairs!

The entirety of the table was created to exemplify the peculiar nature of the Beast’s mansion. Both sides were highlighted with vintage teapots, ornate candelabras, a scattering of pillar candles, plush, overflowing centerpieces by Blooms by Plantscaping, and trays of freshly-cut fruit. Everything about these luscious combinations commanded attention: they were extravagant, ostentatious, and oh-so DIVINE!  Everything a living fairy tale should be!  For added decadence we draped L’Nique’s metropolitan brocade linen in a scalloped pattern over the merlot pintuck underlay. Cascading ivy and luxe red roses highlighted the sumptuous scene.

A succulent, French-inspired menu was completed with an array of petite desserts, including macarons, tartlets, brownies, and pies, all handcrafted to perfection by the magicians at Luna Bakery. The rich burgundy cake was highlighted by gilded golden leaves which formed the shape of the Beast’s enchanted mirror. To coincide with the French theme, we created a late-night crepe station where our imaginary guests could refuel after hours of dancing and merriment.

Each element of the shoot was perfectly captured by the talented Hunter Harrison of Hunter Photographic.

If you would like to win a Beauty and the Beast enchanted mirror (perfect for a menu or specialty sign at your fairy tale wedding) be the first person to share, like and comment on our Facebook post. 


JRickey said...

Lovely work!

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