Chloe and Will hosted their fun-filled wedding across three days at Cambo House, complete with North Sea swimming, Israeli dancing, homemade flavoured vodka and toasties to keep the party going

Chloe and Will

11th September 2022

Venue | Cambo House, St Andrews
Photography | PJ Phillips Photography

“We got engaged on Boxing Day 2019 and hadn’t managed to get out of the gate before Covid struck. We wanted a venue that could accommodate lots of guests staying on site, enable us to have a multi-day celebration in one place, and allow us to keep the party going as late as we wanted – and Cambo gave us all of that, and more!

We loved Cambo’s location: the proximity to the beach and to St Andrews, which is a significant place for us both, was perfect. We also loved the flexibility offered, plus no curfew and no corkage were added bonuses, so we could really go all out with the party.

We had around 120 guests who travelled from Scotland, England, Singapore, the Philippines, New Zealand, the USA, France, Spain and more. We wanted them to have a memorable weekend to thank them for their efforts in travelling so planned three days’ worth of activities. Many of our international guests stayed on site, so we got to maximize the time we spent with them outside of the wedding day itself.

We knew we wanted to bring together both Jewish and Scottish traditions for the wedding weekend. We hosted our ceremony outdoors under a canopy called a chuppah (there was an indoor back-up plan in case of bad weather) and we walked down the aisle to the romantic ‘Bo’ee b’shalom’.

We had a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony incorporating many symbolic elements, and we had detailed programs made up to outline all the traditions for the guests who had never been to a Jewish wedding before. Our drinks reception was outside too, with an Aperol bar, canapés and a few lawn games. Before going up for dinner, we did some traditional Israeli dancing (not unlike a ceilidh!) in the courtyard to make sure everyone had worked up an appetite.

Many of our other ideas were inspired by Cambo: they have such a good record of what other couples have done and it was useful to take inspiration from these and put our own spin on the weekend. However, the venue is so beautiful it doesn’t really need more decorating. That said, we went for a “more is more” approach with flowers.

We were lucky enough to have four nights staying at Cambo. We stayed here alone on Thursday night, then guests staying on site started arriving on Friday. There were around 45 of us, split between the main house and the cottages down the road. We put together a pub quiz to do after Friday night dinner.

On Saturday during day people got to do their own thing (either explore St Andrews, go a beach walk or wander Cambo’s grounds) before a buffet lunch.

On Sunday morning, before the wedding, we did a North Sea dip together with many of our guests, which really blew away the cobwebs from the night before. Patrick, our photographer, arrived early specifically to shoot the swim, and the photos from it are just amazing.

Patrick from PJ Phillips Photography had a relaxed approach and his creative approach was exactly what we were looking for, plus he had experience of snapping a Jewish wedding so knew the key moments to look out for.

Planning three days of activities was slightly overwhelming to begin with, as we wanted each aspect of the wedding to have something unique to us – but we managed it. Every single person at Cambo was so kind, friendly and professional during the entire planning process and weekend itself.

Lauren and Joanne deserve a special mention: they were superb at bringing everything to life and were unbelievably helpful and supportive.

We had carte blanche to make the day unique to us: Edinburgh School of Food and Wine catered the whole wedding weekend (providing gin-cured trout for starter, pan-fried sea bream for main, and a chocolate hazelnut blondie for dessert on the big day), and The Cheesy Toast Shack provided late-night snacks on the big day itself.

Our band, The Twenty Somethings, performing throughout the day (they even learned a niche Van Morrison song for our first dance!) and my mum spent months brewing homemade flavoured vodka for the tables instead of favours.

Cambo gave us so much more than a wedding day – it was a whole wedding weekend experience! We got to have the most unforgettable and perfect time with all our favorite people for four days – and why would you not want to prolong the best weekend of your life as much as you can?!"

Top tip: "Remember you’re planning something fun – so make sure to enjoy the process! We focused on not seeing wedding planning as an admin task. Google Sheets was our best friend – we had a live, shared tracker with every single detail noted down. For joint tasks, we made sure we always involved a nice meal or glass of wine together to ensure that planning evenings were ones to look forward to!

Think about what’s important to you as a couple in terms of what you’ve liked at other weddings and what you like to do. If you’re having fun, your guests will feel that from you and have a better time as a result!"

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