You know, writing a wedding blog can be tough. Every day I pore over THE most beautiful images, THE most beautiful brides, THE most beautiful details. And every day I wish that I could do it all over again. Don’t get me wrong. My wedding was one of the best days of my life, and definitely the most beautiful. But seeing the creativity that comes from our readers and our vendors is always a recipe for jealousy. Well, today’s first featured couple just might have solved my “I wish I could do it all over again” issues. Photographed by the fabulous Katie Neal, it’s the perfect day after shoot…three years later.

day after shoot

day after shoot

day after shoot

day after shoot

{click here to see the full, completely gorgeous photoshoot}

Dom and Tara are the cutest couple on the planet. :) Basically, they got married a few years ago, but, they didn’t have the budget for a really good photographer (one of their main regrets). This was super shocking to me, as they both have great style, and Tara is SUPER crafty and creative (she’s in the early stages of starting an invitation design company called “smitten stationery”). I thought for sure they would’ve had wedding photos that complimented who THEY are. But, nope, they got super cheesy, 80′s style photography. They knew that this was possible, but needless to say they couldn’t afford anything different. Now, they have no wedding photos hanging in their house.

So, finally, after years of wishing she could “do it all over”, we put it all into action. Tara and I decided to use an inspiration board we found, involving raspberry and navy. Tara had been planning for months to make a bunting that said “Mr. and Mrs.” to hang above their bed, which went perfectly with the theme! From there we envisioned old ball jars and glass holding loads of beautiful flowers, old books, a picnic bench, and raspberry sorbet in the middle of a green meadow. We contacted Ann with Coast 101 Estate Services who was sweet enough to let us grab some old vintage ball jars and glass to hold the flowers! The vision couldn’t have turned out better! She got to put her cute, simple BCBG wedding dress back on, we added a perfect shawl from Anthropologie and to finalize the look she had a beautiful hairpiece from Lo Boheme! Dom had the perfect accent with a Tie via Liberty of London.

Ultimately, it would be perfect if every couple had hired a great wedding photographer for their big day. But, not everyone has the circumstances that allow for that when they get married. I can truly say that Tara and Dom were SO excited to get gussied up again, and get portraits of them together, still in love after a few years of marriage. They even had a ‘first look’! The icing on the cake, was that they wrote each other super sweet love notes and emailed their notes to Lori of Paper and Thread Studios. She put together these adorable rolled up treasures, emulating the whole note in a bottle scenario! There were tears, but mostly there was laughter and sweet looks of love and endearment towards each other! It’s a really cool way for couples to remember what it was like on their big day, and to, in a way, relive it. Tara had also never had her makeup done (she did her own makeup on her wedding day). You can tell that she felt beautiful in the photos, and she truly is. It was ultimately such a joy to capture their love, and passion for each other, and give them photos that they will cherish. — Katie Neal

Photography: Katie Neal Photo / Flowers: The Floral Lab / Paper Design: Paper and Thread Studio / Hair and Makeup: Beauty To Be / Dress: BCBG / Design: Katie Neal + Tara / Location: Rancho Santa Fe / Various Glass Jars provided by Coast 101 Estate Services / Hairpiece: Lo Boheme