• Hilary Maxwell

Beauty and the Beast - A French Provincial Dream

I have been in love with the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast since I was a young girl, and was ecstatic when I found out they were remaking it! All of the buzz for the movie made me nostalgic and dream up this gorgeous styled shoot based off of the movies.

I brought this idea to my friend Cait, from Bourbon & Bloom, to help me pull my ideas together as I had never planned my own styled shoot before. She obviously said yes right away with lots of capital letters and exclamation points. Her ability to take all of my thoughts swirling around in my head and help me get them down onto paper in a tangible way is amazing. She is so detail oriented, and helpful. I highly suggest hiring this woman when you need a wedding or event planned. (shameless plug).

The main image I had in my head for this was a massive building where the bride and groom would be dancing in the middle of the room, based off of the ballroom scene in the movie. This naturally made me think of Stonefields Farm as they have a gorgeous barn with even more gorgeous chandeliers! They were wonderful to work with to book a date and letting us take over their barn and outdoor grounds where many weddings are held.

We decided to keep the decor more French Provincial and to Belle's roots in the small town she grew up in, rather than focus directly on the castle and her becoming a princess. For these details, we spent many hours in Homesense trying to find the right details. I believe in the end, I had bought about 3 or four sets of different dinner plates before landing on the perfect one. We also contacted Wishes Vintage Event Rentals and Amy + Jen Decor to pull in the rest of the details. I reached out to Wishtree Invitations to make our beautiful invitation suite and menu, and they came out beautifully! I am so impressed by her, as she banged them out in a matter of a couple days and then promptly gave birth a couple of days later! Go momma!

Florals came from the wonderful Riverwood Gardens, as Cait knew they were perfect for that wildflower look we were aiming for. We wanted it to look as if Belle had just gone out and picked a bunch of wildflowers for her bouquet and tabletop vases. She also created this beutiful hanging ivy stand behind the table that I was absolutely in love with all day long.

The delicious treats were my favourite. To me, a wedding is not a wedding without a gorgeous cake, am I right? I have been following Cat from Cake Whisperer for years upon years and pretty much fan girled when she said she would create something for the shoot! Her hand painted cake is just stunning, and I wanted to just gobble it up. And what is a french provincial styled shoot without some french macarons? They are becoming more and more popular these days, and you are seeing them more and more at weddings on the desert tables. I thought it was fitting.

The beautiful and handsome models came to me from MIM - Models International Management, and Daniel and Jenn were just wonderful to work with on this shoot. Liana Lacroix Beauty created wonderful looks for the two of them. She kept our bride's makeup soft and romantic, and the hair was a beautiful twist on Belle's soft bun. She then created a hairpiece (Lola Rose Bridal) that had an elegant flare to it that tied the whole look together. The brides dress came from La Maison Bridal, with it's peach undertones matching our colour scheme perfectly and the large ballroom skirt fitting in with the dress from the movies. Meanwhile, the groom was in a handsome blue suit - which are all the rage these days - came from L'Hexagone Mensware as Yannick Beauvalet is our local go-to for stylishly dressing the men in our shoots, and is arguably Ottawa’s authority when it comes to men’s fashion.

Their hands donned stunning custom designed rings from Stor by Margot , pairing simple elegance with intricate beauty. I absolutely love her work and the rings were just stunning! It was really tough giving them back at the end of the day, I wanted to keep the pretty diamond encrusted bands forever.

I decided to ask Emma from Photography by Emma and Lisa from The Salt and Light Studio to come along and help me to capture the beautiful shoot. They're both so fun to work with and easy to bounce ideas off of, that I knew they would bring my vision to life in a beautiful way.

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