Craigville Beach Schultz wedding

Writer Cassie Shortsleeve marries Christo Schultz on Craigville Beach.

Family, memories and tradition lead to a laid-back venue

Grandpa Joe always loved CBA.

In the summer of 1938, when he was a freshman at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, he piled into an old car with a group of friends, crossed the Sagamore Bridge for the first time, and pulled up to the Craigville Beach Association.

As my uncle—Grandpa Joe’s youngest son—Kevin put it while he married my husband Christo and me at CBA this past September, since that day, “we’ve never left.”

When Joe arrived at CBA that day in 1938, I imagine it looked much like it does today—a sandy spot off of a long beach drag in Centerville, protected from the road by tall, wooden bathhouses and boardwalks flanking a large pavilion lined with rocking chairs. On most days, you’re greeted by a warm southwest breeze and a view of the open Atlantic. In the sand, beach chairs face out toward Martha’s Vineyard and, farther in the distance, Nantucket—the island my husband Christo and I met on six years ago this summer.

It is, in many ways, the perfect wedding venue.

And CBA has indeed been the site of many wedding ceremonies. But before our wedding on September 16, 2017, the club had never hosted both a ceremony and a tented reception on the beach—for just about 190 people, no less.

After all, our wedding would be filled with family. Everyone has their own CBA story: Family members have been lifeguards and parking attendants. My cousins and I took swim lessons and swam to the rafts. There were jellyfish stings and sunburns but also cookouts and sunsets.

What I didn’t know is that Christo’s grandfather, Bill Schultz, had too been a lifeguard at the beach in the summer of 1949. He gave diving lessons off of the raft and dragged the beach every morning with a wire net.

For us, a CBA wedding just felt right. So, with approval from the board of directors, wedding planning began.

In the months leading up to our wedding, there were a lot of “knowns.” I knew, for one, that I wanted our wedding to be just like all of my favorite CBA memories—many of which involved pizza from Craigville Pizza. John Mahoney, the co-owner of Craigville Pizza, agreed to cater our wedding—51 pizzas, plus Caesar salads, Craigville chicken dishes, meatballs and more for 190. A CBA visit also wouldn’t have been complete without Four Seas, which provided tubs of homemade black raspberry and coffee ice cream for dessert. Roche Brothers provided the makings for a full raw bar—oysters, little necks and sushi—that we set up in an old rowboat filled with ice.

I also knew I wanted the décor to match the laid-back yet elegant ambiance we had in mind—a white, oversized sailcloth tent, big wooden farm tables, copper silverware, string lights, an old-school trolley, and natural florals. After researching many suppliers, I came across Boston Rustic Wedding Rentals, which provided most of our furniture, and Cape Destinations, which provided transportation to and from the beach to a private home in Cotuit, where we stayed.