Pembrokeshire weddings are some of, if not the, best in the world. And sure, as a West Wales native I’m a tad biased, but they do have an undeniably magical quality to them that’s hard to find anywhere else! So whether a Pembrokeshire Wedding or a West Wales Elopement is currently one of a few options for you or you’re already pretty certain, here’s everything you need to know about Pembrokeshire weddings (and why they’re the best).
Since July 2021, you’ve been able to legally marry outside in Wales as long as the venue is registered – which is great news for couples who want to have a West Wales elopement. Traditionally, elopements meant running away from everyone you know and getting married in somewhat secret circumstances, but since then our understanding of elopement has (thankfully) changed a tad!.
Nowadays, elopements still often mean a smaller wedding, be it just the two of you or a couple of special guests. However, where the focus used to be on secrecy, the focus of elopements now is more on ditching any stress, unnecessary traditions, and expectations, and just going to celebrate you and your love and each other instead. I really love elopements for the freedom they allow, for you to be totally you and nothing else.
This is especially true of Welsh elopements and, in particular, Pembrokeshire elopements. That’s because just like the rest of the country, West Wales has some totally stunning, jaw-dropping scenery. And this in turn means we have a whole host of gorgeous spots for weddings and elopements on our doorstep!
First up, there’s perhaps the most famous scenery in the whole area: the Pembrokeshire coast. Voted the Second Best Coastline in the World by experts at National Geographic, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park stretches for hundreds of miles.
It’s a stunning mix of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches (over 50, in fact), woodland, wild hills, and more. Pretty much whatever landscape you want you’ll find here, with the exception perhaps of a tropical beach…though I happen to think West Wales can hold its own in that regard too!
The coast is the perfect backdrop for the portraits session of a West Wales elopement, as well as an excellent setting for a wild Welsh elopement.
The Preseli Hills – or the Preseli Mountains, or Mynyddoedd y Preseli – are a stretch of rugged, scenic hills in West Wales. While they’re not super high (just 536m tall at the highest point) they make up for it with the beauty, romance, and drama that they bring! Plus, dotted amongst the hills are mystical stone arrangements and prehistoric artifacts, making it a totally unique, atmospheric place to say I do and/or celebrate. Sometimes you even get to see the wild ponies that roam the hills, too!
Even if you don’t want to get married outside, you can still make the most of the scenery by picking one of the many venues registered to host Pembrokeshire weddings. Generally, these venues come with stunning views. Even the local registry office, situated in Haverfordwest, is picture-perfect, next to quaint rivers and greenery.
Another reason a Pembrokeshire wedding is so magical is that it presents an opportunity to truly embrace nature. People come here on holiday all the time, and either chill on the beaches or walk on the coastal path – so why not make an adventure of it?
Whether you’re eloping just the two of you or you’re bringing your whole family, West Wales has something for everything. I’m talking surfing, coasteering, boat trips, dolphin-watching…the list goes on!
Now, I know stunning weather might not be the first thing you associate with Wales – but believe me when I say it can be truly sensational. We do tend to have slightly warmer weather anyway thanks to our proximity to the Atlantic, but even in torrential rain a Pembrokeshire wedding can still be magical. It’s part of the charm of the place – the nature, the elements and you two, all coming together to make memories.
There’s a Welsh word you may have heard of that sums this up really well: hiraeth. Though it’s not directly translatable, it’s a feeling of longing for a place, but that feels bigger than just a spot on a map. Everyone who visits Pembrokeshire feels a sense of belonging; so many of my couples have told me that they feel a sense of feeling at home here, and that there is a place in their hearts always for West Wales.
And if you’re looking for someone to capture the magic of your Pembrokeshire wedding or west wales elopement on camera: hi, hello, it’s me! As a relaxed wedding photographer and a local with an intimate knowledge of the gorgeous landscape, I specialise in authentically capturing moments as they happen, in all of their natural beauty. If you’d like to get in touch about your wedding in West Wales, I’d love to hear from you – you can get in touch here.