Under My Umbrella.

If you are a super talented W-day photographer then who do you choose to take your W-day pics? Tough one eh?… But of course the answer is – you find yourself another super talented W-day photographer…

And so that is how it came to be that Debs Ivelja shot the Wedding of Caro Hutchings. Or, as I should really say, the wedding of Caro and Simon.

We have a lot of love for Caro at RMW and I must admit, there are some newly emerging emotions flying around for Debs too after looking though this trove of beauty. Seriously folks you are in for a treat today.

Charlotte was in raptures over the bouquet (a little bit roadside chic actually!) and the dress and the cake and the veil.

Wait I’m not done… And the menu’s, the lampshades, the upside down hanging umbrellas. The streamers, the portraits…

Let me put it another way. She LOVES this wedding. So do I. So, get ready to fall in love as well.

Our Wedding was at St Peters Church. We then got a boat from Marlow to the reception venue, Monks Barn in Hurley.

Simple Lace.

My dress was from Phase Eight. I always knew I didn’t want a big extravagant dress so started going down the bespoke route but soon realised how much it was going to cost. I was talking to a friend describing my perfect dress and within in a week she had called me and told me she was sure she had just seen ‘my dress’ in the John Lewis window. I investigated and soon found out it was by Phase Eight. One of my bridesmaids and I went up the following Sunday and I bought it 18 months before the wedding. For me it was the perfect, simple, lace dress I had always wanted and completely affordable at £350.

The Veil Of My Dreams.

My earrings were a gift from my mum, I wore my mums sapphire ring (borrowed and blue) my hair piece was from etsy and my veil was purchased during a holiday to Spain with my girlfriends… I saw it in the window of a tiny little random shoe shop which had two wedding dresses and two veils. it was so beautifully made and I knew it was the veil I had always dreamed about. My granddad had told me during my first communion to ‘wear my veil’ as he was too ill to make it to that. He died not long after, so I had always known I had to have a proper ‘catholic’ veil in his memory and finding it with my girlfriends was a really special moment.

Three Pairs Of Shoes.

Shoes were the biggest problem!!! I didn’t want bridal shoes as I wanted to wear them again.. I knew I wanted something a bit different but just couldn’t find anything that wasn’t peep toe (I HATE my toes!!) or with a huge platform. I love the shoes in Irregular Choice but the pair that I loved were ridiculously high. So after many many searches I opted for the ridiculously high ones (4.5 inches). I loved them and thought I would see how it went. I bought a back up pair also from irregular choice for when the pain was too much. I also ended up wearing a pair of sandals for the evening when my feet just couldn’t cope anymore. I did end up wearing 3 pairs throughout the day.

Keep It Simple.

I knew I wanted my hair and makeup to be really simple with the veil and maybe have an up do for the evening. I am really lucky that my cousin is a professional hair and make up artist so she did a fantastic job of making me look good and the best bit of all was she was there all day for touch ups and in the evening a total hair transformation.

Pick Your Own Blooms.

The flowers I found one of the most difficult aspects. Given the option I would have been in Covent Garden market the morning of the wedding buying my flowers to make my own bouquets etc. But I knew this was not very viable. After speaking to many florists who either were way out my budget or were over complicating what I wanted I had lost hope until weeks before the wedding I found Rachel at Green and Gorgeous in Oxfordshire. Green and Gorgeous own a picking field on a farm. Rachel was able to make the bouquets and buttonholes for me and also pick all the other flowers I wanted from her field and deliver them 2 days before the weddings for us to arrange into vases. I walked with her around her field pointing at the flowers I liked and disliked (no roses allowed) and she got them altogether for delivery. It really is the best concept for someone who doesn’t want the fancy displays and it keeps the costs down massively.

Colour Is The Key.

Having 6 bridesmaids means that the outfits could have easily spiralled out of control. Something I suggest you think about if you are contemplating a lot of maids!! We ended up organising a shopping trip to London but I wasn’t overly hopeful we would find anything. We were all amazed at the options on the high street… We settled for a dress from Matthew Williamson at Debenhams and my mother in law made sashes that matched the colour of each maids shoes. The groom and best man got there suits from Ben Sherman and the ushers all had suits from Marks & Spencer. The ties and all the accessories were left to the groom to sort out with a few colour guides but obviously nothing that he stuck to but it all looked great with the bridesmaids. From the outset we knew we didn’t want a colour scheme and tried to tie it all together with the yellow, purple and blue variations but colour was the main theme of the day.

The Right Man.

Simon looked amazing and although I really didn’t have any say in his outfit I honestly couldn’t have pictured it any more perfect. He showed me what he was wearing a week before the wedding and when he tried it all on for me I got such a feeling of calm and I just knew he was the right man for me. I bought him some customised cufflinks to open in the morning. They were handmade with a map in them of where he proposed to me in Moss Landing, America.

Relaxed And Laid Back.

As a wedding photographer myself this was the hardest decision. Not because I couldn’t find anyone that lived up to my expectations but simply because I love so many other photographers that I wanted them all!!!! I knew Debs previously and after a few emails and a coffee I knew she would be amazing and fit in with the relaxed and laid back nature of the day. She was so incredible throughout the day and captured the memories that we really will treasure for the rest of our lives . Some of my favourite shots that she captured were of my dad and I in the morning as this was all a bit of a blur but looking back at these pictures always makes me smile.

Three Flavours.

My cake was an absolute triumph!!! A really dear friend of the family Pat Bridges has always made cakes for friends and family and when asked she was more than happy to help. I gave her no real direction except I wanted three different flavour sponges and something really simple. It really was the most beautiful work of art and I spent ages just looking and admiring it. It also tasted absolutely amazing.

Ready To Rock.

Simon always wanted a live band for the evening and after much deliberation we chose After Dark. My brother is a guitarist and a few days before the wedding he approached them to see if he could play with them. This was one of the bests bits from the evening and everyone was dancing and rocking out.. even my 90 year old nana.

The Sweetest Feeling.

We choose ‘I get the sweetest feeling’ by Jackie Wilson. Simon is rubbish at leaning song lyrics and during a car journey to the Alps I taught him every line to this song until he learnt them. So for us it was a great choice that held happy memories and wasn’t too slow and gushy.

Umbrella Theme.

After so much deliberation we opted not to really have favours but something that could double up as the place name and a sort of favour. To keep with the umbrella theme we bought lot’s of cocktail umbrellas and wrapped a piece of paper around the stick so they could double up as place names. What was really fun was that everyone ended up wearing them in their hair.

The Best Find Ever.

We had always wanted a blank canvas venue that we could dress our own way. This was one of the most important sides of it for me – Simon’s being a free bar. We came up with a very loose theme of umbrellas while we were travelling. We were in a restaurant in Vietnam and they had hung umbrellas from string to create a ceiling… We thought is was so cool and wanted to replicate it at the barn. I have a really good friend Barty who really did ‘get’ my ideas… With Simon helping they hung about 30 umbrellas that I had collected from the ceiling, suspended over the dance floor. It looked amazing!

One of my bridesmaids, Sophie, then found the beautiful umbrella centrepieces in a shop on Hayling Island. These literally were the best find ever and without them I really don’t think the umbrella thing would have made any sense.

Other key details were the drapes I made to cover the black doors that acted as a lovely backdrop for the speeches. The suitcases I found in my nanas loft that we used to house pot plants from the mums’ gardens. A really special suitcase that belonged to my Bampa which had his initials on… This housed all the presents and cards. We put a marquee up in case it rained and this acted as the coffee, cake and sweet tent. I love old lampshades and hung them above the sweet table with coloured pom poms to dress the marquee up a bit. Photos were also hung around the marquee of family and friends.

As it was a dry hire venue we built our own bar and bought copious amounts of alcohol including ‘Fort Simon’ and ‘Chateau Caroline’ wine. I then customised it as a ‘Pompey’ bar, which is the football team Simon supports, we also met in Portsmouth so it is a special place to both of us. I found loads of Pompey memorabilia on ebay and decorated it for him as a surprise.

Completely Us.

It is so hard to put into words how special our day was to us and I think the fundamental thing everyone kept saying was that it was completely ‘us’. So many special moments from my dad driving me down to the church in his beloved Porsche to walking down the tiny isle in the same church as my confirmation and seeing Simon’s face at the end of it. Having a boat party to the venue and seeing everyone’s reactions as they walked in to the barn.

What also stands out is the week before the day, which we spent in the barn, setting up with all our friends and family rallying to help. The experience as a whole made me realise how lucky we are to have such amazing friends, family and best of all each other – and that’s what a wedding should be completely about in my opinion.

Venue Monks Barn

Dress Phase Eight

Hair piece etsy

Shoes Irregular Choice

Blooms Green and Gorgeous

Photography Debs Ivelja

If you are thinking about having a wedding in the UK then ‘Umbrella’s’ is a pretty safe theme to go with I reckon – So why has no-one done this before?

I don’t know what to say for fear of repeating Charlottes stream of consciousness from earlier.. I too seriously love all the stationery, I’m loving line drawings at the moment – and that umbrella ceiling? Words properly fail me.

Also – serious car envy over here – a camper van and a porsche for wedding vehicles? Very snazzy indeed! Mahoosive thanks to Caro and Simon for sharing this groundbreaking and seriously imaginative colour feast of a wedding.


Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

36 thoughts on “Under My Umbrella.

  1. I have just squeeled in the office. And then clasped my hands together with joy. People here already think I’m odd…

    So, first things first…j’adore the umberellas but I also love the lampshades! I think if I had been at that wedding I’d really have wanted to put one on my head!

    I always really enjoy looking at the facial expressions (and outfits!) of guests…and I just love how the girl in the yellow dress and sunglasses (who looks so cool I would probably blush and stutter if she spoke to me!) literally is so excited by the whole things she has her shoulders up and hands together!

    Congratulations guys!


  2. Oh my… what an gorgeous wedding!! Love, love, love the bridesmaids outfits, they and all the other guests just look so happy in every photo! Colour scheme is amazing, umbrellas are fab, and I’m a massive sucker for anything involving paper pom-poms! Big LOVE!

    @Pamela – completely agree about the girl in the yellow dress, she looks like a film star – I’m not sure I’d be able to speak either.

    Congratulations to Caro and Simon! xx

  3. Awesome wedding! I love the umbrella theme, and those centrepieces are perfect! I love the bridesmaids gifts too. And of course, Caro – stunningly captured by the gorgeous Debs. Love, love, love!

  4. Love love love it 🙂

    Love the umbrellas and lampshades, and the shoes…..I have a bit of a thing for irregular choice and had a pair for my wedding too.

    Also loving the boat ride

    I’ll stop….it’s ALL so lovely!!


  5. This wedding is unbeliably stunning, I am dumbfounded! The veil is beautiful. The flowers gorgeous and don’t even get me started on the umbrellas. Best wedding I’ve seen in a long time. Massive congrats to the lovely Caro and hubby!!! Will be dreaming of this wedding all day and will definitely keep sneaking back… XxX

  6. This gorgeous wedding has made me smile on the cold and dull morning! the veil is just absolutely fabulous, i do not think i have seen one so beautiful in a very long time. Love love love the umbrellas, shades and just over all feel of the whole day.

    I would love to have a boat to take us to our reception venue….how cool!


  7. When I saw Caro’s dress I was having me a little guess at the designer (various fancy designers came into my head) and couldn’t believe it was Phase Eight…. Not that Phase Eight isn’t lovely, it’s just this gown looks like it cost thousands – the material and cut is so beautiful.

    So apart from my adoration of the stationery and the decor, and the BOUQUET (loves!!) I also want the veil and the shoes and…what is that nail flower transfer item?! I need me one of those immediately.

    Gorgeous wedding both – congratulations.

    Charlotte xxx

  8. THIS WEDDING ROCKS = FACT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I ruddy LOVE IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!

    That decor is just SOOOOOO ruddy fantastic definatly one of my favorites EVER!!!!

    I’d be SOOOOO proud if my day looks this great!!!!!

    That is all!

  9. Wow. There are so many ideas I want to steal I don’t know where to start?! Who ever would have thought of paper umbrellas as a place name? – so clever! X

  10. This is a case of amazing decoration doubling up as something really personal, with meaning.

    The story behind the veil made me well up a little, and well quite frankly the rest of the day did too. So beautiful, so happy, so much fun. Congrats Caro xo

  11. Love this wedding! A huge congrats to Caro and Simon too 🙂 Makes me super excited for my own wedding which will be photographed by the lovely Debs very soon 🙂

    p.s. the veil is STUNNING 🙂

  12. Thank you so much for sharing Caro and Simon’s amazing day Adam and Charlotte! Was truly a phenomenal day and one I just loved capturing! Very special people indeed 🙂

  13. Congratulations, the pictures are amazing! We had our reception at the monks barn on the 15th July (and been to one other there), and its so crazy how different (yet how beautiful) every wedding looks there! Fab venue! Thanks for showing the gorgeous barn dressed totally differently, and glad you had an great day there- it looks amazing! x

  14. This wedding is just so unique and personal – love all of it!

    Does anyone know where I can get the engraved glass water bottles?

  15. I saw this this morning but had to come back and comment, not only am I going to check out Phase 8 for dresses but I am also going to be collecting lampshades for my reception! Thanks so much for the inspiration and sharing such a wonderful wedding X

  16. Arhhh love it, I grew up in Marlow and is lovely seeing pics of it! Does make me think for a nano second if I should be going ‘home’ and then I could have the boat ride etc! Anyways then I remember all the amazing things about where I live now and don’t feel so bad. Love the little favour umbrellas the most 😀 all so well done and beautiful!

  17. This is such a cool wedding. Big ups Hayling Island, that’s where I am from and that is where we are having our wedding. Such a clever theme and I have never seen anyone do it before. Loves all the details and that veil is literally to die for. xx

  18. Thank you so much everyone it really was the best day ever!!! I loved all the planning and designing of it and it was just completely ‘us’….

    So lovely to read all these comments and see that other people get the umbrella thing (initially everyone thought we were a little odd)

    Someone asked where the engraved bottles were from well we made them.. really easy… sticky letter, clear glass bottles and etching spray and away you go…

    I have loved looking through the pics again this week and seeing what an amazing job Deb’s really did… so so so thrilled and the memories really are going to last forever now. So much love goes out to her.

    Thanks Charlotte and Adam made my week!!! (and the husbands of course)

    (reading this back it is starting to sound like an acceptance speech…. well i suppose it is like winning something being featured on this fabulous bog so yes an acceptance speech it is)


  19. Amazing wedding! Love the deco, the shoes, the veil (OMG, THE VEIL!!!!!), and the fact that Caro’s stunning dress does indeed look like it cost thousands!
    The maids and chaps look VERY cool!
    Love this!

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