A Venue Steeped in Romance

In the heart of Olympia, Washington, nestled among lush landscapes and the serene backdrop of Swantown Inn & Spa, a magical styled shoot unfolded, themed "Better Together" in celebration of love and companionship. I had the distinct pleasure of co-hosting this event alongside the talented team at Lyera Photography, bringing to life a Valentine's Day dream that was as enchanting as it was inspiring.

Swantown Inn & Spa, a Bed and Breakfast Retreat known for its charming architecture and inviting atmosphere, served as the perfect canvas for our styled shoot. Its picturesque settings, from the elegantly manicured gardens to the cozy, intimate interiors, offered a variety of backdrops that perfectly complemented our theme. The Inn's inherent romance and warmth set the stage for a day filled with beauty and love.

Located in the heart of Olympia, Washington, is a quintessential representation of the Pacific Northwest's charm and historical elegance. This bed and breakfast retreat, boasting a Victorian Queen Anne-style architecture, has a rich history that dates back to its construction in the late 19th century. Originally built as a private residence, the Swantown Inn has been meticulously preserved and restored over the years, maintaining its historical integrity while offering modern comforts and amenities to its guests.

Throughout its history, the Inn has been a beacon of hospitality, welcoming visitors from near and far to experience the tranquility and beauty of Olympia. Its location provides an ideal base for exploring the natural wonders of the area, as well as the cultural and historical attractions that the city has to offer. The Inn's name, Swantown, is derived from its proximity to the historic Swantown Marina and the vibrant local community, reflecting its deep roots in the region's history and its connection to the surrounding landscape.

Today, the Swantown Inn & Spa continues to enchant guests with its beautiful gardens, elegant accommodations, and personalized service, all while preserving the historical character that makes it a unique and cherished landmark in Olympia.

The Concept: "Better Together"

Valentine's Day, a time when love is celebrated in all its forms, was our inspiration. The "Better Together" concept was not just about the romantic bond between partners but also about the beauty of collaboration and creativity that comes from working as a team. We aimed to showcase the strength and beauty of relationships - not only through the lens of a romantic couple but also through the unity and shared vision of our talented vendors and models.

Models that Brought the Vision to Life

The shoot featured a real couple, whose genuine love and affection for each other were palpable, adding an authentic touch to the photographs. Their natural chemistry was a photographer's dream, enabling us to capture moments of tender love, laughter, and joy that felt both real and incredibly romantic.

Complementing the couple, we had a high-fashion bride who embodied grace and elegance, and two bridesmaids who brought vibrancy and fun to the shoot. Their outfits were carefully selected to reflect both the Valentine's theme and the latest wedding fashion trends, resulting in a stunning visual narrative that was both timeless and contemporary.

A Feast for the Eyes: Cake and Florals

No styled shoot is complete without the decorative and edible elements that tie everything together, creating a feast for the eyes and the palate. Our partners excelled in bringing our Valentine's theme to life through their incredible artistry.

The Cake Alchemist provided a cake that was not only visually stunning but also a testament to the craft of cake design. With intricate details and thematic decorations, the cake was a focal point of the shoot, perfectly capturing the essence of love and celebration.

Adding to the visual splendor, the florals arranged by Allison Archer brought layers of texture, color, and fragrance that enriched every scene. Her creations, ranging from delicate hand-held bouquets to elaborate table settings, infused our setting with beauty and elegance, echoing the "Better Together" theme.

A delightful addition to our styled shoot was the themed cookies by Chatty Cakes and Bakes. These edible pieces of art were meticulously designed to complement our Valentine's theme, offering a whimsical and tasty treat that delighted everyone involved. Each cookie was a mini-masterpiece, showcasing the creativity and skill of their creator, and added an extra layer of sweetness to our day.

Together, the cake, florals, and themed cookies created a harmonious and enchanting display that was as much a joy to behold as it was to taste. They were essential in bringing the full vision of "Better Together" to life, showcasing the power of collaboration and the beauty of celebrating love in all its forms.

A Day to Remember

As the day drew to a close, we were all reminded of the beauty of coming together to create something beautiful. The "Better Together" styled shoot was not just a celebration of Valentine's Day but a demonstration of the incredible things that can be achieved when talented individuals unite with a common vision. It was an honor to co-host this event with Lyera Photography at the Swantown Inn, and we hope that the images and memories from this shoot inspire others as much as they have inspired us.

To all the couples out there, remember, you are always better together. And to everyone who contributed to this magical day, thank you for your passion, creativity, and hard work. Here's to many more collaborations that celebrate love in all its forms.


Hosted by: Lyera Photography  

Co-Host, Stylist & Invitation Designer: Christal Lamb 

Venue: Swantown inn and spa  

Florist:  Allison Archer 

Cake:  The Cake Alchemist 

Cookies: Chatty Cakes and Bakes 

High Fashioned Gown: Laurel Miller  

Bride: Nicole Privett 

Groom: James Douglas

Bridesmaid: Cassandra 

Bridesmaid: Sam Martin 

High fashioned Bride: Tori King