Oh what a glorious day this way! When I met Terra and Caleb last fall, it was for a simple mini session. I usually don’t photograph engagement sessions with this type of offer, but it worked well for our schedules and we were a good fit. Little did I know then, our meeting that day would be the start of a beautiful thing.
If you’re blessed to have Caleb and Terra in your life, then you know what dear people they are. If you haven’t met this couple, let me just take a minute and gush on them a bit. First and foremost, they love the Lord and are humble and selfless. There wasn’t a hint of wanting to take control, needing attention or honestly even stress. Sometimes weddings bring out true colors in people, and the only thing that was pressed to the surface from these two, was sweet contentment and love. Meeting at University of Louisville freshman year at a Baptist Campus Ministry event, these two are college sweethearts. Although they met early on in school, they didn’t really become friends until sophomore year. During that spring semester, they served alongside each other in several endeavors and their friendship grew. Sounds like the perfect start, right? Well, it was going well until Terra felt a call to Africa! She left that summer for World Changers and then spent the next semester over seas. To Caleb, that wasn’t going to stop him! Terra says it best as she shares, “even through the distance, time difference, and lack of internet, we stayed in each other’s lives. He told me stories of home; I told him of the blessings and struggles of serving in Niger. As I flew home, I contemplated where God was leading our friendship. Little did I know Caleb (and Becca and Mariah) would surprise me at the airport with my mom. It looks like his surprise worked!” A year later and they were engaged!
I have lots of little details to share during their day, so make sure to read more below. It was truly a privilege to witness this union!
Terra had some very special pieces of jewelry. The necklace she wore belonged to her great-grandmother, Terra Ray, her namesake. Her great-grandmother got it in 1916-1917, so its approximately 100 years old. It was passed down to her grandmother, Lila Dodd, in 1947. Then it was passed it down to her aunt—who gave it to Terra on her wedding day. Below are actual pictures of her great-grandmother and grandmother wearing it. What a timeless and beautiful piece!
Her wedding band also has a sweet story. It belonged to her great-aunt and was inherited by her grandfather. He thought it was too small to ever fit anyone’s finger but her grandmother held onto it all these years anyway. When Terra mentioned she couldn’t afford a band right now, her grandmother gave her the ring. The sweet ending? It fits her perfectly!
The third ring show in the box was tied to Terra’s bouquet. It was given to her by her grandmother, Ann Wheeler, on Terra’s 9th birthday—a tradition in their family. She passed away 6 months later, but the ring was carried in her memory during the entire day. How beautiful to see family honored in such detailed ways.
They chose to do a first look before the ceremony, and these are always my favorite! It’s hands down the best timeline when we’re able to do portraits before the ceremony… but the best part? You get to actually talk to each other! They got to embrace, tell each other everything on their mind, how they thought each other looked, share their excitement and get out all their nerves. It was a beautiful moment, just look at Caleb’s huge grin!
Until this day, I had never had the pleasure of going to Walnut Street Baptist Church in downtown Louisville. Let me tell you- or rather show you- how absolutely gorgeous it is! Stained glass windows, deep colored walnut wood and so much history. As shared on their website, Walnut Street traces its beginnings back to the First Baptist Church of Louisville, founded in 1815, and the Second Baptist Church of Louisville, founded in 1838. The members of these two early Baptist churches joined together in 1848 to form Walnut Street Baptist Church, located in the heart of Louisville at the corner of 4th and Walnut Street.
I know what you’re thinking, “The kiss! Ceremony is over!” But oh, this was my favorite part. As Terra and Caleb’s first act as husband and wife, they chose to worship! It was absolutely stunning! We sang In Christ Alone, with the most beautiful choral arrangement and one of the groomsmen playing guitar. I often tear up at different parts of the wedding day, but this moment had me absolutely rejoicing, full blown tears and all! It was just a blessing moment witnessing such a God honoring ceremony.
As I was driving home with my friend and second shooter, Autumn, we had a serious show in the sky! It’s rare that we’re actually on the road home at this time of day, but we loved it so much we had to pull over and just soak it in. I’m including this picture because I really hope Terra and Caleb saw it as well. You can’t ask for anything prettier to end your wedding day! Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Barley! You all are such a joy to be around and I can’t wait to watch how the Lord uses you to continue to love on people in Chicago. Many blessings to you!
Thank you to the following vendors for making this day so special:
Wedding Gown: Galina from David’s Bridal
Florist: Handmade by Susan & Terra, flowers from Global Rose
Ceremony Venue: Walnut Street Baptist Church
Reception Venue & Catering: The Grand, New Albany Indiana
Reception Entertainment: Louisville Wedding Music (Jazz Trio) | Jack Griffin
Cake: Kathy Poston
Wedding Party Dresses & Suites: Azazie and JC Penny