A DIY wedding weekend at Cambo Estate didn’t come without its challenges, but thankfully Nikki and David were surrounded by talented pals and family to help their plans come together

Nikki Stevenson & David Miller

7th September 2019

Venue | Cambo Estate, Fife
Photography and wedding film | Zoë Alexandra Photography

 “David booked a trip to Malta to celebrate my 30th birthday. On our third night in a beautiful hotel on our private seaside terrace at sunset, David made a toast with champagne before surprising me by getting down on one knee to propose. Even though we’d been together 2.5 years, it took me by surprise. Little did I know he had been planning it for months.

We are both from Aberdeen, but wanted to have the wedding outside of our home city. We were set on finding a venue with plenty of accommodation on site for our guests to stay and enjoy a whole weekend of wedding celebrations with us.

Cambo Estate stood out to us from the very beginning. The venue is really unique as it offers a number of different options to use for each part of the day and it seemed much more flexible than others we viewed. It also offered a significant number of rooms, which was particularly important since we had so many people travelling to the area to attend.

We had a Christian ceremony performed by Rev. Susan Sutherland from the Church of Scotland. She is a close family friend of David’s and has known him since he was a young boy.

I look back very fondly on our ceremony. We couldn’t have hoped for a more perfect scene: our personalised wedding arch (made by my dad), the rustic charity-shop rugs, the skirl of the bagpipes and all of our family and friends present with the sun beaming down on us.

As our day was completely DIY, we had a lot of input from family and friends. David’s sister Claire-Lena is an event-industry professional, so her ideas and advice were invaluable when it came to wedding planning. She sorted the arrangements for the American-themed pre-wedding celebration on the Friday evening (including a band and a mechanical bull), and also sourced us an awesome wooden swing that doubled as a photo booth area.

My talented dad made a pallet bar and pallet seating plan, both decorated by my mum. Then, on the morning of the wedding, David’s groomsmen and dad set up the decorations and seating outside for the ceremony.

I would like to give special mention to our family and friends – namely our parents, siblings, our wedding party and David’s family from Italy. They all helped us prepare for the weekend and get everything set up. We really couldn’t have done it without them.

Our biggest bargain was the dried flowers. They were a fraction of the cost of real flowers and were really unique. I absolutely loved my flower crown made from dried blooms – I didn’t take it off the whole day! Wasps were particularly drawn to them though. One of my bridesmaids has a fear of wasps and could not hide her distress during the ceremony. Everyone laughed about it afterwards and luckily no-one was stung.

Wedding-dress shopping was a breeze. Perfect Bridal Rooms in Aberdeen was the second shop we visited and I was the first person to try on the sample. It had only just arrived in store and it was my exact size – it really felt like it was meant to be. I also wore the veil my sister wore on her wedding day and my mum’s garter that she wore on hers.

It was important for us to find a photographer who would capture the atmosphere and emotions of the day. We wanted to see personalities come through in the images. Zoë Alexandra and Sam were truly amazing on the day and great to work with. We take so much joy looking back at our photographs.

At the very beginning, write down the three most important things for you both for your wedding day. When things start to feel overwhelming (and they will) remember this trio of crucial things. Doing such really helped David and I stay focused. More often than not, we discovered that is was the unimportant things that came with the most stress.”

Top tip: “Know what you are taking on with a DIY wedding. We were naïve at the outset and had no idea of the complexity of the day, the volume of work that goes into planning and the costs associated with each element. Sourcing and arranging props; liaising with suppliers; planning the timings of the day – it was all a lot more work than we had anticipated.”

Venue Cambo Estate, Fife
Photography and wedding film Zoë Alexandra Photography
Bride’s dress Perfect Bridal Rooms
Groomswear Marc Darcy and Twisted Tailor
Catering The Pantry Edinburgh
Flowers Florence and Flowers
Stationery Homemade with help from mother of the bride
Favours Ellon Fudge Company and Wedding Tea Towels
Chair hire East Neuk Centre
Drinks reception and evening band The Scoundrels
Hair Pretty You

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