They say that you can’t go back. And they’d be wrong. When it came time for their Big Day, Samantha and Shawn made their way back to her childhood hometown of Pilot Hill, CA for a country wedding at the Bayley Barn.
I had travelled these winding roads many times before, usually in search of mountain biking hijinks or scenic landscapes to photograph. But today was different. I was on the job, and eager to capture the wedding day fun for these two lovebirds. I pulled up to the Bayley Barn, and paused to soak in its rustic charm and listen to the quiet of the Northern California countryside. Not for too long, mind you. I had pictures to take!
Since Samantha and Shawn were stationed with the U.S. Army out on the East Coast, we had only interacted by phone and shared Pinterest boards up to this point. Fortunately, our face-to-face meeting confirmed everything I had hoped; Samantha is a fun-loving, flexible, and vibrant young woman who loves to laugh, and wants to let others in on the joke. She’s also a photographer by trade, bless her heart! Shawn is so obviously designed to make Samantha laugh, as well as to protect and comfort her with his strength and determination. And his capacity for wrenching on cars will ensure that they are never without a worthy ride.
The photos of this couple strung up all around the spacious and homey barn revealed a story of growing love⸺and growing together. Their years of dating had formed them into a seamless fit, only made more perfect by their decision to journey into marriage. So now it was my turn to make the next set of photos for their story.
Take a look at the images below to see how the story of their wedding day played out…
The rustic Bayley Barn, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range.
I figured it was time for a closer look at the ol’ barn.
After stepping in the giant barn door, it would appear that I had come to the right spot.
The entire barn was illuminated and ready to charm the guests that would soon arrive.
No doubt about it; this would be a country wedding.
Sam and Shawn encouraged their guests to take home a potted plant and “Let love grow”.
No, “Pig” is not their last name. But I think they own one.
Stunning wedding dress? Check. Dramatic light? Check.
Sam and Shawn opted for a ceremony at the pergola, shaded by a lone tree. All that was needed were people.
Speaking of which, Sam and her bridesmaids arrived in time for a prayer to calm their spirits.
Grandma arrived in time to keep the peace as well. Experience trumps all, right?
The bride and her ladies in their boots. I felt underdressed in my dress shoes.
Minutes before the ceremony and the girls looked none too anxious.
Meanwhile, Shawn was looking a little anxious…
…But as you can see, he pulled it together and kept his cool.
Shawn’s brother the ring bearer got a pre-wedding prep talk from the mother of the bride…
…Right before heading into the Bridal room to help with the bustle.
Hustle and bustle.
And there was Shawn at the altar, ready for anything…and especially Sam.
A first look and a single tear.
Kicking off the ceremony ‘neath that watchful tree…
…And with an audience of loved ones.
All smiles, which I learned is par for the course for these two.
These boots were made for marryin’ off a great friend.
Looking married and magnificent on their walk back up the aisle.
Sam and Shawn catch a breath of fresh air after the ceremony.
How often is a family as special as this one all in one place?
But then violence broke out amongst the bridal party! Sorta.
What they looked like after settling their differences.
Then the spotlight was back on these lovely ladies.
Sweet and simple.
Ultimately, I couldn’t keep Sam away from her newly minted husband.
If laughter keeps a marriage strong, these two figured they’d start laughing as soon as possible.
Kissyface. What are veils for, after all?
Back to a barn full of guests to strut their stuff.
A risky proposition…
…which was interrupted by this…
…which concluded with this.
The bartender (and close family friend) stepped out from behind the bar to sneak a look at the festivities.
Someone had to cut the cake. Sam and Shawn figured they were up to the task.
Their first married dance…
…to a tune performed by Sam’s brother and sister-in-law.
The best possible barn dance.
Sam’s dad needed a dance with the bride as well.
Groomsman Mike leapt into action when grandma needed a dance.
A quick sneak out during the dance gave us a chance to play in the dark.
Definitely one of the top 10 things you to do at the Bayley Barn.
Too good together.
These two have got plenty of heart.
So congratulations to the both of you, Samantha and Shawn! I pray that the both of you find decades of laughter, romance, and safety in each other’s arms.
Stellar service provided by:
Venue: Bayley Barn
DJ: DJ Freezto with Infinite Entertainment
Officiant: Andy Lamb
Catering: Dean and Karen Beaton
Cakes: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Hair: Christopher Todd
Interested in having me photograph your own Bayley Barn wedding? Take a look at our wedding photography packages and let’s talk!