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Peter & Chloe… Countryside winter wedding in Wales

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It all started with an unexpected phone call… with groom-to-be Peter Suddens on the other side of the line wanting to know if we would consider travelling to the Brecon Beacons in Wales to photograph their winter wedding!

My oh my, to photograph another wedding for this special family {this would be the THIRD} was not even something we had to think about. Quick calculations were made about visa processing times, flight schedules and luggage allowances. And just like that, before we knew it, on Christmas day we boarded a plane from South Africa to Cardiff, Wales!

Instead of trying to tell you how this wedding at Tall John’s House  made us feel we thought we would rather use Peter & Chloe’s own words accompanied by some of our favourite photographs from their Welsh winter wedding!

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We know you have an epic engagement story, one that includes some cereal bars, Alpine mountains & picturesque villages… Tell us more.

Peter: I had been carrying the engagement ring around with me for the past 8 months, waiting for “the right moment”. We were travelling in Italy at the time and sharing a single suitcase which made for some very anxious moments during packing/unpacking – Chloe couldn’t understand why I was being so particular about how I wanted the bag to be packed. We were staying in a little village called Esino Lario in the Alpine foothills around Lake Como and we decided to take a day and hike. I had the ring in my pocket, as usual, and was walking in front when we came upon the rock structure of Porta di Prada.

I knew this was the spot. After a quick photo, Chloe was keen to crack on with the hike and was frustrated when I asked her to stop and take a moment – the only thing I could think of to distract her was to ask for a snack…

“I have crackers, a peach or a cereal bar…”

“I don’t want any of those..”

“Well what do you want?!”

“For you to marry me..”

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Peter & Chloe carved some unexpected magic into their wedding ceremony with a reading of an “adapted” passage of Dr. Seuss during the ceremony.

Oh the places you will go – Dr Seuss

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy and footsy as you.
And then things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

On and on you will hike,
And I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

You’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So… get on your way!

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Why this intimate winter wedding such a joy to photograph:

Peter and Chloe’s wedding did not focus on elaborate details or over the top table arrangements; they chose simplicity and placed great emphasis on a celebration that would bring everyone they love together. From Peter’s family all the way from Zimbabwe to their beloved Border Collie; Skye who just made the trip across the Welsh countryside but who both agreed they would not have wanted to miss out on the day.

They wanted a winter wedding and planned it in only a couple of months so that they could stretch the celebrations by having all their family with them over Christmas time and have the wedding only a few days thereafter.

The beautiful Tall John’s House  were highlighted in all its old glory and Chloe chose an elegant, understated wedding gown, satin shoes and an updo to compliment the beaded lace at her shoulders.

As a touch of blue she tied a delicate pastel glove belonging to her late grandmother to her bouquet and of course had the traditional penny in her shoe.

Not wanting their guests to adhere to a strict black tie dressing code they opted for formal with Peter in a textured three piece suit and his grandfather’s watch {who could not make the journey to Llangasty for the big day.}

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WOW Factors:

Some of the other most noteworthy details include a marble three tier wedding cake which the bride; an avid baker baked and decorated herself the day before the wedding. She also made over 600 mini traditional Welsh cakes to serve as favours to their wedding dress.

Of course we also have to mention the above passage from Dr. Seuss that the bride’s mother read to them during the ceremony and steaming beef & stout pie served during the wedding reception {as this is both of their favourite!}

They chose to highlight their shared passion for the African bushveld by adding tales of their recent African adventures to each guest table, South African wine and a first dance to the acoustic sounds of Tylor Ward and Lisa Cimorelli’s “Africa”.

And of course these two veterinarians would not have just an ordinary honeymoon, instead they left on a mid-winter trip to Iceland; camping non the less!

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And lastly we had to ask these two adventurers themselves: What was it like camping on your honeymoon?

We went for a two week camping holiday in Iceland. In the middle of winter.

Unsurprisingly we had the whole countryside to ourselves and never had to share a campsite with temperatures dropping as low as minus 12! We hired a 4×4 and explored as much of the country as we physically could before an Arctic storm snowed us in for 3 days and we had to turn back to make our return flight. The highlight of our trip was definitely going inside a glacial cave in which, on a clear day, the ice turns an iridescent blue which is stark contrast to the black volcanic sand!

Iceland is the most beautiful and harsh country completely ruled by the weather, we could not recommend it higher.

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Vendors

Photographers | Dust and Dreams Photography

Venue, Catering, Decor & Florals | Tall John’s House, Wales

Hair & Makeup Stylists | Braid & Blush

Bride’s Dress | Coco Mio Bridal shop, Cardiff

Groom’s Suit| Moss Bros London

As featured on International Wedding Blog | Vivacious Wedding Blog

 

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