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A bracing North Sea wedding day swim at Cambo Estate

We Fell In Love readers Julia and Jonathan started their wedding day with a bracing dip in the North Sea, but were quickly warmed by the wave of love from their guests at Cambo Estate.

Full of gorgeous autumnal blooms, delicious food and a stunning (yet comfortable!) bespoke halterneck dress, their Fife country house wedding is a masterclass in doing it your way.

If you’re looking for permission to ditch traditions that don’t resonate and prioritise what matters to you, then read on.

wedding morning swim cambo estate white swimming costume cambo estate exterior front of house lawn wedding guests

How did you two meet?

We met at work in 2013 – I was a recruiter and I hired Jonathan! We didn’t really get to know each other until around 2015, when we became closer after spending several weekends at Firbush, an outdoor centre on Loch Tay where Jonathan tried to teach me to canoe and kayak, while I tried to teach him how to sail.

What inspired your wedding plans?

I started reading WFIL during the wedding planning and loved the individuality of the stories you shared. I knew that we wanted to make our wedding feel right for us, but there is often a lot of pressure to do things a certain way. WFIL helped inspire me and give me confidence that we could have a wonderful wedding by making choices that were right for us.

We really wanted a relaxed feel – for us, it was all about bringing friends and family together. That became even more important post-pandemic! We didn’t want anything forced or complicated or that didn’t feel like “us”, so we tried to examine every tradition to see if it was something we actually wanted before just adding it in because it was a wedding.

We also wanted it to be as outdoorsy as possible given autumn in Scotland! Sustainability was also important to us when planning and we really wanted to use local and independent suppliers wherever possible. The wine was ordered through an independent company based in Edinburgh (A Case Of Wine) and our caterers, Wild Rover have a strong focus on sustainable and organic food, as well as being great for coeliac, vegetarian and vegan options – we had a lot of dietary requirements to plan for!

Tell us about your venue…

We’re so delighted we found Cambo! Our caterers had recommended them when they heard that we ideally wanted a venue near water.

From our first call the whole team were so helpful and friendly. Our wedding coordinator, Kelly did about 15 jobs during the weekend itself and was just amazing at keeping us calm and laughing.

Cambo has this wonderful balance of being a big beautiful house but also just feeling so relaxed and perfect for a party! The gardens were a big selling point too as they’re so beautiful and we were really excited to have local flowers and such pretty gardens for photographs. The woods were perfect for weekend walks (with my parent’s dog) and the sea was perfectly located for our morning swims! We also loved the flexibility with options for the ceremony, dinner and dance. It felt like we could really make it our own.

cambo estate ballroom humanist ceremony wild flower bridal bouquet halter neck white wedding dress cambo estate wild flower bridal bouquet in orange and peach tones with green foliage

We love your outfits! Tell us more…

I didn’t really know what I wanted exactly, so my sister suggested visiting a dressmaker. I am so grateful we found Mette at Freja Designer Dressmaking! When we described the kind of wedding we wanted, she had an amazing vision for how I could feel comfortable and beautiful on the day, plus be able to move around easily, eat and dance.

I chose a beautifully embroidered ivory skirt with 3D flowers and metallic thread – it felt incredible and I loved spinning in it! Mette made a satin halter neck top to go with the skirt – I loved that it looked like a dress but was actually a two-piece. I felt amazing and didn’t want to take it off!

The outfit received so many compliments and the one that came up the most was that it felt like “me” – and that’s exactly what I wanted, I didn’t want the dress to be wearing me, which was how I’d felt trying on other dresses. I hope to wear both the skirt and top again in the future!

Mette was so wonderful throughout the whole process and she is such an inspiring and talented lady. It felt great to know exactly who made my outfit.

I also wore a headdress from Rene Walrus that I tried on in Mette’s shop. I loved how it looked both natural (with leaf-shaped bits) but also kind of mythical/historical (I love history). I also wore earrings that had belonged to my grandmother and a bracelet my mother gifted me just before the ceremony – that was emotional!

Jonathan wore a kilt he already owned which his grandparents had given him – although he did invest in a new jacket and new shoes!

Your photos are making us smile! 

Fern were recommended by a friend of mine. From our first Zoom meeting we were excited to work with Dan – he was the first person who really helped us visualise the wedding day and make it feel real. We also LOVED that he was not only excited about our plan to swim in the morning before the ceremony, he offered to come in!

We loved the natural look of his photography. We had a great time properly meeting him on our pre-wedding shoot on Arthur’s Seat, where he kept us laughing and took photos we absolutely loved during a pretty special sunset.

On the day Dan and Matt were incredible – from their morning sea dip to helping with tech issues so I could speak to my sister in NZ! The pictures they took of the day were so special and captured so many moments and interactions between our guests. They knew we didn’t want to spend ages on couple shots so were really efficient and we really enjoyed that time to pause and chat during the busy day.

What was your first dance song?

We had a Gay Gordons – we knew we didn’t want to dance on our own in front of everyone for long! So we chose something we knew and had the band call in the wedding party to join us pretty quickly!

The band were brilliant and the dance floor was full all evening – I think people had really missed ceilidhs! We had a good mix of ceilidh tunes and covers and it was so nice seeing all ages on the dance floor having a brilliant time.

Were there any challenges along the way?

We postponed our wedding for a year, but so did so many people plus others who are still waiting, so we feel so lucky to have had our day.

I tend to stress about everything and there were minor panics in the run-up, but we had such amazing support from friends and family who just solved all our problems and made sure I had a glass in my hand by Friday evening to relax and start enjoying!

cambo estate gardens bouquet bride groom portrait freja fashion bespoke bridal two piece cambo estate gardens button hole bride groom portrait freja fashion bridal halter neck cambo estate woodland wedding bride groom portrait freja fashion bespoke bridal two piece traditional kilt and sporran cambo estate woodland wedding bride groom portrait freja fashion bespoke bridal two piece traditional kilt and sporran

Did you manage to stick to your budget?

I mean… no. But we did have an extra year to save I suppose, and we weren’t too far over.

Any advice?

It’s a cliché, but definitely think about what you want and do that. I think a lot of people would have told us we didn’t have time to swim on the morning of the wedding – but when we worked out none of us actually wanted our hair and make-up done, we realised we didn’t actually have to do it that way!

Having the lesson with Colette gave us confidence to do it ourselves and it meant the morning was totally our own to do what we wanted in.

Similarly, some people thought we were mad for inviting all the children – but we loved it! You can’t be stressed about timings when chatting to a five year old and we wanted our wedding to be fun and inclusive to everyone.

Honeymoon or minimoon?

We honeymooned in Scotland – on our third fancy meal we decided we couldn’t really justify calling that a minimoon! We had an amazing time travelling up the west coast of Argyll and staying in lovely hotels. It was so relaxing and just perfect for us.

We then spent a week with family and friends in the north-west reminiscing about the wedding! We were so pleased not to have to worry about airports and paperwork and to just take things at our own pace. Autumn in Scotland is so beautiful anyway and we got really lucky with the weather – only 2-3 days of torrential rain!

What’s the one moment you will always remember?

Oooft, that is hard…. I will cheat and pick three. When we were in the sea and could see how many people had come in with us and all the others on the shore watching, chatting and laughing – that was really special.

Walking into the ceremony and just feeling the wave of love and support will stay with me forever.

And then I had a moment during the party, when I was taking a breather from dancing and stood with two of my best friends watching the dancing. Seeing everyone have so much fun and everyone mixing, just like I’d hoped – I cried some happy tears then.

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Ah, we felt all the feels seeing these photos and hearing about Julia’s top three moments. Thank you for sharing your incredible day with us! x


VenueCambo Estate
PhotographerFern Photography
FloristCambo Gardens
VideographerNext Scene Films
Make-up lesson – Colette Casher 
CelebrantKathleen Hood – Humanist
Julia’s Outfit – Freja Designer Dressmaking & Rene Walrus
Wedding party outfitsDesigns by CJ
Stationery Etsy
MusiciansThe Jets
CateringWild Rover Food & A Case Of Wine