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AN EVENING UNDER THE MALTESE STARS
A British-‐Dubai Couple; Phioro Jewellery Designer and Founder Clare Pardoe ties the knot with her handsome beau James Elliot-‐Square during a week-‐long destination wedding extravaganza in Malta.
The Bride & Groom James Elliot-Square & Clare Pardoe
Wedding Date & Location 23rd May 2013, Villa Arrigo, Malta
Contributors to the Day Wedding Planner: Martina Selvagi http://www.idoweddingsmalta.com Photography: Aleksey Leonov http://www.onespecialday.eu/ Jewellery: Phioro Jewellery http://www.phioro.com/ Makeup: Kathryn Pardoe http://kathrynpardoe.wix.com/makeupartistdubai Videography: First Sight Videos, Gary & Martin yhttp://www.firstsightvideos.co.uk/
Tell me about the original vision for the day? We both wanted to create a week-long celebration out of our wedding, with friends and family joining us from all over the world. We wanted an outdoor wedding, as we both feel very close to nature, so when we spotted this beautiful garden venue in Malta it seemed absolutely perfect. Malta is an incredibly friendly place, the Maltese people make you feel like you are family, so the atmosphere was so loving from the beginning.
What was it about your venue that made you choose it? Villa Arrigo had the perfect blend of beautiful landscaped gardens and yet not too big to drown our small wedding party. It also had a great interior, with windows viewing the garden from all sides, so it felt like you were outside, even when inside! We really loved the different sections of the venue and made the most of every part of it, separating each element of the day. We were warned by our wedding planner that we must have a Plan B that we loved, just in case it rained - this Plan B turned out to be absolutely necessary when a sandstorm blew in the day before.
How did you go about finding ‘the’ dress? Although I tried on a few dresses, being a designer I always knew I wanted to design my own. The only dresses that I really liked are designed by Inbal Dror - and way above my budget! So I took inspiration from her, and my wonderful mother offered to create the dress with me. The dress developed while we created it, the fabric, the fit and the overall look that I wanted to achieve affected many of these decisions. We added in a LOT more lace than originally planned, I wanted the lace detailing to compliment and enhance the curves of my body. But my favourite part of it was the long train - which I should warn other brides - was incredibly heavy!! Ever since I was a little girl I have only dreamed of one thing for my wedding day – and that was to have an incredibly long train – it was worth the weight of it though, because it made me feel like a true princess! I also designed jeweled clasps that connected the bust of the dress and belt around the lower back - these matched my Eternal Sunshine earrings.
Tell us about your jewellery choices for the day? I should start with my engagement ring, which James and I designed together. Inspired by the beautiful concept of being the Eternal Sunshine in each otherâ€™s lives, I created a ring that reminded me of rays of sunshine every time I look at it. Following that, I designed a wedding ring that fit around my engagement ring like two pieces of a puzzle. I then used this concept and aesthetic to design a spectacular bridal jewellery collection to match. I needed something delicate enough to not detract from the dress, yet bold enough to capture my personality and really make me shine on the day. The result was an intricate set of jewellery that has now been added to our Phioro collections,
How did you decide on the bridesmaidâ€™s look? I wanted a dress that flattered all the girls, as women we all have different shapes and sizes so it was important to consider everyone's best assets! We ended up having two different styles of dresses with the same colour fabric. I found the design ideas on Pinterest and tweaked them to suit our needs. I then matched their jewellery to the look, gifting them Phioro's Phi Drop Earrings in Ruby Red - they loved absolutely them!
Was the Groom dressed in his finery? Of course, James had his suit tailor-made for the occasion, in a dark navy-blue, he was wearing a Hugo Boss belt and Alpha cufflinks by Phioro, matched with a tie made in our main wedding colour â€“ peach.
How did you decide on the details - flowers, theme and dĂŠcor? The theme was Peaches and Cream, with a strong atmosphere of Positive Thinking. I went into a lot of detail, researching the exact flowers I was looking for, colours and style for the wedding.
On the tables we placed 'Happy Ever After' cards that I made individually, each of them had a positive thinking quote by an inspirational person - the idea was that whichever one our guest picked would be divine perfection for the message they needed to hear at that time in their life. I made a lot of things by hand for the wedding, including our Order of Service and confetti cones etc.
We also had two swans outside in the pond which was beautifully poignant because they are known as one of the rare animals that mate for life. I opted for English Roses and Peonies, as we’re both originally British and I felt that look really complimented my own personal style. I love the billowy beauty of Peonies and wanted my bouquet to be very ‘Natural, English countryside’ in its construction - nothing too regimented or perfected. To go with the peaches and cream theme, we had peach and cream balloons for the guests, each was released once we had spoken to our guests so that we knew we’d greeted everyone who’d made the trip to celebrate our marriage. We also served peach-inspired cocktails – which were so incredibly delicious!
What was your favourite part of the day and why? James and I had a private part of the ceremony, where we sat under the trees in the lower garden and exchanged personal vows we'd written for one another. I think that was my favourite part, as well as a couple of times when we went off on our own to take in the atmosphere - having time for one another on the day is so important!
Were there any particularly memorable moments (good or bad!) that made your day or the build up to the day unique? I think making the dress with my Mum was an extremely memorable experience and pretty unique. We had no idea what a mission we were taking on when we started the project but the outcome was absolutely worth every minute of it! I can now see why Bridal gowns cost so much - considering the time, skill and fabric that go into creating each one.
Do you have any advice for other couples? Definitely make 'You Two' the most important part of your day. Take time out for one another and try to make it as personal as possible. It is all too easy to get so caught up in being the perfect hosts that the day has gone in a flash and you've barely seen each other!