Do Overs

in All Posts

I have a proposition for you on this Monday morning:  do it over.  It something didn’t work out the first time, do it over.  Erase it.  Reboot.  Reload.  Or at the very least – try to.



Humans sure are obsessed with time, aren’t we?  “What’s done is done” or “you can’t change the past.”   We see time as so linear; one attempt and failure is forever etched in our mind.  Whether it’s about health, relationships, or work… I don’t know about you, but I very often fall off the horse, curse the horse, and take the damn bus instead.  I tried, and now it’s over.  There are no real do overs in life.

Or are there?


When we moved, our wedding album ended up being unearthed from a box and placed in our closet on a shelf.  After not really looking at it for three years, I now see it every single morning.



When you’re getting married, everyone tells you, “You only get ONE wedding day.  There’s only ONE shot to create the best memories.  Hire a good photographer!  You can never recreate that day.”  In fact, so many people said that to us that the Husband and I were completely obsessed with hiring the perfect photographer and getting the perfect photos.  The reality?  The day was perfect, but our wedding photos were lackluster.  I could’ve take better photos with my point-and-shoot camera and three tequila shots in my system.  There were a few good shots of family and friends, which was very important, but all the ‘big shots’ of us as a couple – standing at the altar, our first kiss – were poorly shot or non-existent.  The Hus and I flipped through the proofs and turned to each other with a dismayed look in our eyes.  Our one chance for perfect photographs… gone.


I know this seems like a silly example (because, let’s be honest, good wedding photos are not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of your marriage), but we mourned our wedding photos for months.  Until… we decided to do it over.  We couldn’t re-invite all 80 guests, but we could pull on our fancy clothes, hire another photographer, and head back to our wedding location.  So we did.

The beautiful wedding photos hung up in our home were taken six months after our wedding.  Does anyone realize it but us (and you)?  Probably not.  We just look at the photos and see two very happy people on a very special day.


Maybe there are do overs in life.  Maybe you can go back and try again.  You can’t always go back and do it the exact same way, with the exact same people.  Time does past.  Things do change.  But things are not always so black and white.  Perhaps, if you can just see things from another perspective, every day is a chance to reload and try again.


Happy Monday!



  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction April 16, 2012, 8:44 am

    Love your message here! 🙂

  • Coco April 16, 2012, 8:44 am

    Ah how funny! I can’t believe you re-did your photos–good idea 🙂

    At my best friend’s wedding, her photographer was supposed to come early to take “getting ready” photos….and never showed up. So I became the pseudo-photographer. Were the pictures perfect? Definitely not. But did I capture some great laughs with all the bridesmaids? Absolutely.

    She got a discount and gave the photographer a bad review, btw. haha

  • Linz @ Itz Linz April 16, 2012, 8:45 am

    That is AWESOME!! And how fun to be able to put on and wear your wedding dress again! I kind of want to do this just to renact the big day!! So fun!

  • Emily April 16, 2012, 8:48 am

    What a clever and productive decision! This is exactly what I needed to hear today, so thanks.

  • Kayla @ The Best Things April 16, 2012, 8:49 am

    What a great post to read with my Monday morning coffee. Thanks for that!

  • Mary Carol Reddick April 16, 2012, 8:50 am

    What an awesome idea… I love it!! Attitude really is 90% of everything! 🙂

  • Jen April 16, 2012, 8:58 am

    I so wish we did this! Our wedding pictures suck too.

    • Ashley April 16, 2012, 9:31 am

      Mine too! My dress was a complete disaster, so I hated every single picture. I had to get my wedding pictures redone.

  • Earthy Nicole April 16, 2012, 9:09 am

    That’s so funny! I’ve seen that wedding photo of you two on your blog before and I would have never guessed it was taken six months later. That’s a sweet idea though. My husband and I were engaged for four days before we got married by a Justice of the Peace (gotta love military life) and although we don’t have any beautiful wedding photos, we hope one day to renew our vows and do the whole shebang over again!

    • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:35 am

      You should!!!

  • Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl April 16, 2012, 9:14 am

    I really needed this post this morning, Caitlin! It’s such a good lesson for Monday.

    This morning I went online to purchase plane tickets to fly home in September (I live in Amsterdam and my best friend is getting married in California) only to find out that tickets to the US increased by $500 overnight.

    I spent the morning upset, cursing and even crying at one point because I had let the tickets “go” and was going to have to pay SO much more. It was completely irrational and embarrassing behaviour… only to find out at lunchtime that there were still some tickets left at the original price! I have some apologizing to do when I get home tonight… I’d like a do-over for that one.

    • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:36 am

      Oh I’m glad you found tickets at the original price 🙂 I hope you enjoy your trip home!

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed April 16, 2012, 9:19 am

    I just ate the leftover half of a burrito I was supposed to eat for lunch as breakfast (fail) so now I need to buckle down and pick out something healthy for lunch!

  • Kate April 16, 2012, 9:24 am

    Oh my goodness! Thank you for posting this. During our wedding photos we (read I) felt stressed and rushed and our “classic shots” aren’t that great. We also got married on 1/3/09 so it must have been a bad day for pictures! lol! I never thought about re-shooting them, but I think that would be so fun!

  • Catalina @ Cake with Love April 16, 2012, 9:36 am

    Our wedding photos suck, we were obsessed with hiring the best photographer, and we did, based on recomendations and review, but I am embarrased to show my photos to the friends that came to the wedding!

  • Katie April 16, 2012, 11:06 am

    Haha my parents did the same thing! I think it’s great!

  • Bronwyn April 16, 2012, 11:07 am

    Great message for a monday. Exact do-overs might not be possible, but you can always try again. Don’t let decisions made in your past dictate your behaviour (and choices) today.

  • Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 16, 2012, 11:09 am

    I love this! First, because I am getting married this December and everyone has been saying the same thing – to the point where I’m so nervous about the pictures! This is a fabulous idea!

    And second because I just love your message here, especially for a Monday morning. Do overs might not be exactly the same, but when you think of any failed situation – there is a do-over of sorts. You can’t change the past – but you can change a lot of the past outcomes and feelings. Happy Monday! 🙂

  • Kelly April 16, 2012, 11:12 am

    That day, however many years ago it was, was when I met you and Kristien and found out about your blog. So thankful I was asked to help out with that shoot 🙂

    • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:36 am

      Aw I remember that 🙂 So fun.

  • Rebecca April 16, 2012, 11:13 am

    Did you read the article a while back about the guy who sued his wedding photographer and made the guy retake them–after he’d divorced his wife? It was interesting.

    Interesting thought for the morning!

  • Jen April 16, 2012, 11:14 am

    I’m probably going to get some flak for this, but I think that the moment does matter and a do-over isn’t always the best way of handling things. The focus on getting the “perfect” pictures in the first place can take away from the special moments people try so hard to preserve. My parents only have Polaroids from their wedding; they were 18 and couldn’t afford a professional photographer, and no, the pictures aren’t great. There are none of them in the church saying their vows, but I kind of like that that moment was allowed to exist on its own, preserved in a different way. I can tell you, over 40 years later, they haven’t forgotten when they said their vows. Conversely, the photographer at my cousin’s wedding was pretty intrusive during the ceremony and got a talking-to from the priest for going up on the altar to get shots of the bride coming down the aisle. I don’t think photos are always the best way of capturing memories and sometimes it’s better to step away from the camera and let the moment come and go on its own.

    • lauren April 16, 2012, 12:33 pm

      I like this different perspective.

      • CaitlinHTP April 16, 2012, 3:21 pm

        I don’t think it’s an OPPOSING perspective – I think you are totally right! Living in the moment is so important at events like weddings, birth… I do think I did a really good job of that at my wedding, I have so many good mental snapshots 🙂

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 16, 2012, 11:15 am

    I love that you re-did your wedding photos, and you got to wear you dress again! Haha not a one-time outfit!

  • Kat April 16, 2012, 11:16 am

    This was such a great message to start the day and spoke to me on so many levels. I recently broke up with my boyfriend, who I really thought was the “one” and needless to say feel devasted right now. I’m in my mid thirties and started to feel the biological clock a tickin and the always a bridesmaid syndrome playing…well, this post really got me to thinking that while there may not be do overs there are lessons and sometimes instead of saying “whats done is done” perhaps I should look at it like this “well what did that teach me?” Thanks so much for the post!

    • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:37 am

      I’m sorry to hear about your breakup but glad you’re taking a more positive view of the situation. Onwards and upwards!!!

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 16, 2012, 11:22 am

    I know I’m going to sound like a broken record because others have said this too, but I love the message in this post! It’s so applicable to other situations – not just wedding photos. I can think of several relationships where a ‘do-over’ card needs to be played. Thanks Caitlin!

  • Hillary April 16, 2012, 11:28 am

    This is something I’d never think to do; good for you guys!

  • Lindsay April 16, 2012, 11:29 am

    I really wish we had thought to do that or could have afforded to. I honestly would like a wedding do-over as it was most definitely not the most memorable day of our lives and really was not what my husband and I had really wanted. Instead my mother took over and created what she wanted as a wedding, it was a battle for us to even have the wedding be vegan (which both my husband and I are). So if I could I would have a wedding do-over.

    • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:37 am

      You should! DO IT.

  • Katy @ HaveYouHurd April 16, 2012, 11:39 am

    My husband has a much clearer mind about things like this. For example, having Holidays now that we’re married is very stressful to me. We HAVE TO celebrate my birthday on the exact day. We HAVE TO celebrate Thanksgiving on the real day of Thanksgiving or I freak. Jon on the other hand, always tells me…”Holiday’s happen when you make them happen…not on a specific day” This is true. What’s important is that you’re together. What’s important is that you get a great picture. Who cares if the details aren’t perfect?

  • Megan April 16, 2012, 11:40 am

    I love this! I know so many people who would have been absolutely crushed if their wedding photos hadn’t turned out exactly as they wanted, but this idea is perfect! Those photos still capture the happiness and joy you felt in the moment even if it isn’t the true “moment”.

  • Elizabeth April 16, 2012, 11:54 am

    This post was in perfect timing for things happening in my life right now! Thank you so very much!

  • Anne Kendall April 16, 2012, 12:07 pm

    What a wonderful idea! I wish I had a challenge of my own to “do over,” but I love your idea very much! I think it’s something I’d like to try. Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  • Allison Hayes April 16, 2012, 12:13 pm

    Your wedding pictures are gorgeous!

  • Lindsey April 16, 2012, 12:39 pm

    Our photographer and photos were priority number 1 on our list so I totally get why you did a re-do and I would have done the exact same thing!

  • Moni Meals April 16, 2012, 12:43 pm

    I love this! I seen nothing wrong at all. Good for you and to inspire others. 🙂

  • tima April 16, 2012, 12:48 pm

    Hi Caitlin
    I am a 32 years old who is recovering from ED , I need a good book about body image to work on that. I searched on internet but i did not find any specific book. could you ask your readers to introduce a good book for me, by the way English is my second language .

    I want to add that i want a life changing book , I started to recover from ED after reading ” intuitive eating ” book …. this book really changed my life ,but i have some problems about accepting my body and i am looking for a good body image book to change my view about my body .
    thanks ,

  • Ivy April 16, 2012, 1:15 pm

    This was a great post! Very much needed for today! Thank you!

  • RunEatRepeat April 16, 2012, 1:32 pm

    I’ve been wanting to re-take our wedding pictures for 2 years. I forgot a part of my dress and don’t have any pictures with the sleeves I had specially made for it 🙁 Ugh, I don’t even keep wedding pics around the house because it makes me sad to think about. I should re-do them asap!

  • Laura @ She Eats Well April 16, 2012, 1:40 pm


    Especially on this Monday. Thanks.

  • Amber K April 16, 2012, 1:44 pm

    We left disposable cameras on the tables at our wedding and most of our photos come from those. We did have a friend take a few others, but I mostly can’t look at my wedding photos since I look so different then than I do now.

    We’d love to renew our vows someday and maybe do it all over again. I had to finally let go of my ideal video though, or really a video at all. We had my husband’s uncle videotape it, but it’s been over five years and we still haven’t seen a thing. And I don’t think we’re ever going to.

  • Heather April 16, 2012, 1:54 pm

    I love this post! Do-overs rock!

  • Lindsay @ The Quote I Wrote April 16, 2012, 2:13 pm

    I’m loving the “message” of this post. It’s always good to be reminded that if at first we don’t succeed, we can dust ourselves off and try again… (ummm, can you say Aaliyah “try again” lyrics!…major flashback)

  • Heidi April 16, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Love it!!! And you got married on my daughter’s first birthday, so that HAS to be a lucky day, right?! 😉

  • Debbie April 16, 2012, 2:42 pm

    I wish we could have done that, but it took almost two years to even get our photos! We hired my cousin to do our photos, he claimed he would do a great job for half the price…well, we got what we paid for. By the time I got my pictures, I was already pregnant with my second baby. Advice for would be brides…don’t hire family 🙁

    • shae April 16, 2012, 2:55 pm

      Don’t hire family is pretty much my advice for EVERYTHING! Construction, catering, photos, etc…hah.

      • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:39 am

        Agree with Shae. That sucks, Debbie.

  • Beth April 16, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Great post! So inspiring!
    (From a true lurker)

  • Maggie April 16, 2012, 2:51 pm

    Very true. Nothing compares to the memory of your wedding day – no photo, video or memorabilia can even come close to the hightened feeling of excitement and serene joy you feel after you’ve said your “I Do’s”. It’s weird which parts you remember – I remember my first kiss so well, but for some reason I can’t even remember the exact wording of my vows. The whole day felt like a natural high. As for redoing the pictures, some friends of mine celebrated their first anniversary by taking pics in their wedding attire. How fun!

  • Janene April 16, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Best. Idea. Ever.

  • Cassie @ Back to Her Roots April 16, 2012, 3:41 pm

    LOVE this. We did something kinda similar. Because of immigration we had a “quickie” wedding at the court house. We got dressed up and it was a really special day (and the one we celebrate as our anniversary) and sure there are some photos snapped by my Dad, but the photos weren’t *amazing*. SO when we held our vowel renewal 6 months later, we hired a photographer and shot some amazing photos. And those are the ones that are in our house. No one seems to ever put two-and-two together to get that our anniversary is in March but the photos were obviously taken at the beginning of Fall. 😛 And we love the photos!

  • Candice April 16, 2012, 3:45 pm

    I love this perspective! I was 80 pounds heavier at my wedding than I am now. I look at the pictures and want to cry when I see myself. My memories of my wedding are good and I wish the pictures represented how I felt inside that day. I’ve thought about a renewal ceremony, but that would be so expensive. I never considered just buying a new dress and taking new photos. Thank you so much for a great idea!

    • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:39 am

      Omg, totes do this!! Go buy a new dress and renew your vows on your anniversary. I think that would be awesome.

  • Carin April 16, 2012, 4:02 pm

    It’s really funny that you wrote this, because whenever I see one of your wedding pics in the background of a new shot, I think “I should really frame one of ours!” (maybe I’ll get round to it for our 12th anniversary in June!).

    I don’t love our photos – they’re pretty cheesy and not beautiful shots. However, when I do look at them, I remember the day and smile. As long as photos bring back memories and evoke an emotional response, they’re doing their job – even if they’re not great pieces of art.

    Not really viable for us to go back for a “re-do” – we got married in Mexico, are both thinner (and a lot older) now, and the wedding gear wouldn’t fit!

  • Kate April 16, 2012, 5:06 pm

    I wish we had done something like this. We got married several years ago and I’m still disappointed by photos of our wedding. I like the photos and our photographer, but I don’t like how my dress looks. I loved it in person, but in the photos it’s not flattering, and I definitely would pick a different dress if I could go back in time… I think since people keep wedding photos for years and years, and they’re even handed down, they are really important, even IF you have a lot of mental pictures and memories of the day.

  • leslie April 16, 2012, 7:17 pm

    i love this post. there’s so many things in life that people put so much pressure on to have perfectly right and sometimes life doesn’t live up to the hype. Its good to realize sometimes you can get a do-over

  • Jen April 16, 2012, 9:19 pm

    I loved and needed this. So well put – bookmarked!

  • Emily April 16, 2012, 9:29 pm

    Love this!

  • Anonymous April 16, 2012, 9:38 pm

    I just finished a very painful, emotionally draining divorce. I loooved my wedding day and everything that went along with it. Life just took over and when one of us grew and changed, the other didn’t and our marriage got very ugly. So, for me, the do-over in that sense, doesn’t apply. Its more about starting over and if I’m ever given someone to love again, learning to care about the things that truly matter and cherishing every moment (photographed or not).

    • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:40 am

      I’m so sorry about your divorce 🙁 But I like your perspective on a do over – it’s not always repeating the same thing but just doing SOMETHING over again. Good luck!

      • Anonymous April 17, 2012, 10:22 pm

        Thanks, sweet lady. 🙂

  • Lacey @ Lake Life Blog April 16, 2012, 10:47 pm

    Thank you for this post Caitlin. It really hit home and gave me a new perspective that was absolutely needed. I’d been mourning my youth ever since turning 30 and now you’ve got me thinking of going back and doing things over, on my own this tiime, with the new (wiser, older) me!

  • Emily April 16, 2012, 11:11 pm

    This is a very inspiring post, Caitlin. I always think it’s strange when people say they have “no regrets” about . . . anything, because I know I certainly do. Maybe they have gifted motivated forgetting but there are definitely things I would like to do over about: how I handled situations, bickering with Mum, worrying too much about what other people think – the list goes on.

    I think it’s a very powerful and motivational thing that you decided to do you do-over your wedding photos. We don’t always get that chance in life but I’m glad you made the most of it:D

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen April 16, 2012, 11:31 pm

    I despise my wedding photos. The photographer was a friend of my husband’s family and we basically couldn’t say no to his offer to do the wedding. I literally can’t look at the album b/c it makes me so mad that the one tangible thing we have after the day is so horrible. What a great idea to do them over! Ours would be kind of funny now, almost 6 years later. There’s a few more wrinkles and gray hairs but it’s a really a great idea. Hmmm…

  • Kari April 17, 2012, 1:04 am

    We had the same situation happen to us. Everyone told us “Hire a good photographer, its what you’ll always remember your wedding by.” We though we had hired the best photographer. When we flipped through our proofs, we were so disappointed. I was so extremely specific in what I wanted in our photo’s, I didn’t understand how someone could’ve messed up. But she managed. We don’t have any good group photo’s of the whole wedding party. We were pretty disappointed. We’ve decided on our 5 year anniversary, we’ll do something similar again and take new pictures. But I completely understand how you felt, complete disappointment. Your idea of 6 month’s later photo’s was wonderful!

  • Laura WL April 17, 2012, 1:33 am

    Love this! When I got married I didn’t like my dress, my hair, my make up or any of the photos! But we got married! My husband likes to remind me that our wedding didn’t have to “look” perfect to “be” perfect. And it was, even if the pictures don’t show that at all. :-S

    • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:41 am

      I like your husband’s though 🙂

      • Caitlin April 17, 2012, 8:42 am


  • Linda @ Lemons April 17, 2012, 7:14 am

    I think that was a great idea! And you would be so much more relaxed and without all of the pressure of taking the photos on the actual wedding day. Everyone should do this! I probably would not have been able to because during my wedding my dress kept stretching and getting bigger and bigger until by the end of the reception it was practically falling off. I was grabbing t-pins off the tablecloths to hold my dress up. What a day.

  • Meaghan April 17, 2012, 9:54 am

    I needed to read this today. Thanks. 🙂

  • Lauren April 17, 2012, 1:00 pm

    You literally described our wedding photographer situation!! We considered many times having a re-do of our wedding…a “staging” if you will…but after 3 years…we had my dress preserved and next month we will be celebrating 6 years of wedded bliss…with one little precious blessing that will be 4 in June!! We now make sure all photographs of our daughter are done so that we don’t look back and ask ourselves why? You can’t get a do over on your baby’s childhood!! 🙂

  • Jo April 23, 2012, 12:36 am

    We share the same anniversary! Well, the same day, but not the same year. My hubby and I were married on January 3, 2003. 🙂 We didn’t have a wedding. We just went to the courthouse in downtown San Antonio and got married. 🙂 I had a friend that took 2 disposable cameras and snapped a ton of pictures. They are fabulous pictures! My hubby wore a suit and I wore a white bridesmaid dress I found at a bridal store. 🙂 It was perfect! We wanted a real wedding, but we were both active duty Army at the time and both of our units were on orders to deploy to Iraq (note the year, 2003) so we decided to get married before shipping out, just in case. Anyways… January 3 is a special day!

    • Caitlin April 23, 2012, 9:44 am

      Yay for Jan 3!!!

  • Catherine April 23, 2012, 11:40 am

    Thank you so much for posting this! I got married last week (the 14th), and to save some money we had a (younger) friend do our photography. She’s a great photographer, but had never shot a wedding before (Ok, in retrospect, not our best money-saving idea.) The day was such a whirlwind, and while we were on our honeymoon last week reflecting on the wedding day, I realized we really didn’t get any pictures of just the two of us (other than at the altar, cutting the cake, etc…but I’m not typically very photogenic in candids :-D) We didn’t get any good, posed photos of the two of us on our wedding day, and I was so crushed thinking about it. A do-over is a perfect idea, and makes me feel so much better about our less-than-ideal pictures! This post could not have been more perfectly timed…thank you!

  • Marysia December 3, 2012, 3:52 pm

    My husband and I just had the same experience. We were married in October and we just got our photos back and they are incredibly disappointing. Our family and reception photos along with most of the ceremony ones turned out blurry and dark. The pictures our family and friends took turned out far better than our professional ones. My maid of honor sent me this link to this blog post. My husband and I are definitely doing this! What a relief to start planning for our redos!

  • Barca Mama January 3, 2013, 1:50 pm

    I love it!!! What an awesome idea, good for you guys:) Happy Anniversary!

  • Sarah June 26, 2013, 12:30 am

    I came across this post at a time when I was really down on how my wedding photos turned out. People told me I was over analyzing but I too did not have that 1 photo I wanted to hang up on my wall. I feel less bad about my photography woes now that I know I’m not the only one! I ended up re shooting my photos also and they look absolutely incredible. I encourage everyone to do this.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Katie October 20, 2013, 10:58 am

    Thank you so much for writing this! I know it is an older post but I don’t think it could ever be outdated. We just got our pictures back and honestly, my husband’s 13 year old niece took better pictures with her point and shoot. Like you I was obsessed with finding the right photographer and really thought I had. Our pictures turned out very generic and there aren’t a lot of the ceremony itself. My husband isn’t impressed and he is really laid back and would normally just say they are fine. This helps solidify us using a different photographer and doing them over-very few times in life do you get the opportunity to do so and we are going to do it. Thanks!

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