Under a Spell: Walk into a Real-Life Disney Fairytale
This “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired styled shoot at Buhl Mansion in Sharon is whimsical, romantic and timeless. We asked the stylists how it came together — and the best ways to produce a similar aesthetic.
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle.
Buhl Mansion Guesthouse & Spa in Sharon proved to be the perfect stand-in for a castle, complete with its stone exterior, stained glass and enchanting gardens that created an ideal backdrop for a “Beauty and the Beast”-inspired shoot.
In late 2017, Kathryn Hyslop of Kathryn Hyslop Photography approached Antoinette Yelenic and Lauren Virgin, owners of A & L Events, with the idea to do the shoot at Buhl Mansion. The trio had worked on a wedding together before, and Virgin says they all clicked on a professional as well as a personal level and were eager to work together again.
“Katie said, ‘I have an idea for a winter styled shoot, and I’d like it to be ‘Beauty and the Beast’ themed,’ and we said, ‘Say no more,’” Virgin recounts.
They gathered numerous Pittsburgh-based vendors for the daylong shoot and worked to get the details just right — a single red rose on a mirror, a blue dressing gown reminiscent of Belle’s village dress and later a flowing wedding gown — that ultimately took things over the top.
“We really tried to prep as a team to make sure we were able to get all those detailed shots and make it a story rather than a compilation of beautiful photos,” Virgin says.
In early photos with “Belle” in her blue dress, she shows a slight aversion to the “Beast,” whom the stylists dressed a little more rugged.
The atmosphere of the shoot changed once the couple “fell in love.” The cascades of flowers, a vibrant color palette infused with pastels to contrast the story’s red rose, were meant to showcase the extravagance of the French fairytale.
The delicate stationery combined with the antique gold-rimmed dishware, mixed metal flatware, and ornate glassware on the banquet table were meant to capture Old World whim.
A teapot and teacup were subtle references to the Disney film, which Virgin says leads to the first piece of advice she’d give to couples who want a Disney-inspired or themed wedding:
“Draw on the smaller details that inspire them,” she imparts. “Take the important aspects and sprinkle them throughout the event … because at the end of the day it’s about the two of them.
“But capturing some of those unique elements that inspired them can help create a very cohesive aesthetic for the day without taking away from who they are as a couple.”
Venue: Buhl Mansion Guesthouse & Spa, Sharon
Planning, Styling & Design: A & L Events
Photography & Design: Kathryn Hyslop Photography
Models: Alexa Kuzman and Dave Sorboro
Hair & Makeup Styling: KTHOM Beauty
Bridal Formal Attire and Shoes: Lex & Lynne Bridal
Men’s Formal Attire: Heinz Healey’s
Men’s Loafers: Steve Madden
Floral Designs: LeafHopper Designs
Cake: Tasty Bakery
Stationery Suite, Menu and Escort Cards: Fresh Cut Prints
Sofa, King’s Chair, Belle’s Chair, Candelabras, Tray, Vintage Mirror and Keys: Vintage Alley Rentals
Banquet Table and Chairs: All Occasions Party Rental
Tabletop Items, Cake Stand, Cake Cutter, Tea Pot and Tea Cup Glassworks & Cheeks: Linens and Napkins Mosaic Inc.