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WEDDINGDay ISSUE NO.

15

Candyland Springtime Bride Fun & Flirty


E

ditorial

WD’s editor Josanne Cassar

Welcome to our first issue for 2016. We have another great edition of WeddingDay this month, packed with some of the best weddings we could find. From a colourful 1950s theme, to a breathtaking venue on the historic St Andrew’s bastions in Valletta, to an elegant sit-down dinner, we love it when couples push the envelope and dare to dream up themes and location which are not run-of-the-mill. These are usually couples who have a definite idea what they want, and are not afraid to have their special day reflect their personalities. With the help of talented wedding planners, venue decorators and stylists, they see their dream wedding turn into a reality. And, as a magazine which actively promotes Malta as a wedding destination, it is always a pleasure to feature foreign weddings - in this issue a Canadian couple (originally from Russia) took one look at Palazzo Parisio and knew they wanted to get married here.

We are often asked how we go about choosing our weddings, and our answer is always the same: the photography! At WD we have always prided ourselves on choosing top notch wedding photographers who know how to not only get the most out of their wedding couple, but also come up with creative, original ways to shoot a wedding. It is the quality of these memorable photos which we feel has made WD one of the most sought-after bridal magazines on the island, in just over four years. Finally in this issue, we bring you news about Distant Horizons, a new company which organizes long-haul exotic honeymoons. Enjoy the read!

Josanne on the cover

Martina Caruana • design by Jessica C. Moritz • printed at Bestprint, Qrendi • published by Mojo Publishing

Disclaimer: MOJO Publishing cannot be held liable for any artwork which is provided by the client. The client will bear full responsibility for the accuracy of the text and for any possible breach of copyright in the photos, text, or fonts being used. Mojo Publishing • Flat 3, Il-Gardina, Constitution Street, Mosta, MST 9051 • M: +356 99 425985 • info@weddingdaymalta.com


Coliseum Arcades, Zachary Street, Valletta Tel: 2122 4234 • Email: weddingbells@sis.net.mt Website: WeddingBells.bridemalta.com • www.theweddingsite.com/weddingbells LIKE US ON www.facebook.com/weddingbells.valletta


contents - Spring Issue 2016 -

10 Candyland

10

06  Distant Horizons 30 Marina & Elliott

06

30

44

52

62

70

44  Marylyn & Mark 52  Maria & Kenneth

62  Lisa & Samuel 70  Silvianne & Marvic


Distant Horizons

WeddingDay talks to Louise Bailey Manduca who has recently set up her own travel company DISTANT HORIZONS LTD

There are times in one’s life when one needs to take stock and find a new sense of direction in order to feel fulfilled. “After 25 years working in travel, I felt it was time to work in an environment where I could develop my own ideas and take my own decisions. I wanted to set my own schedule and find my own work/life balance. I wanted to create something which was mine and which I could be proud of,” says Louise.   As an avid traveller herself, Louise says, “the world is beautiful in many different ways and travel teaches me this. I have had so many positive experiences which make me very enthusiastic whenever I am discussing travel with my clients.”  

When it comes to long haul honeymoons, Louise has some sound advice: “It may be stating the obvious but the earlier you book your honeymoon trip the better. Some other aspects of your honeymoon may also need to be taken care of well before your departure e.g. vaccinations and visas. Don’t try and cram in too much, leave time for unexpected things to happen. That’s what makes your honeymoon unique and interesting.”


“Celebrating life, one event at a time”

Favours, Accessories, Invitations, Rentals, Giftware & More

At Kudos we always offer the widest selection of unique and quality party favours and gifts for all of life’s special occasions.

Kudos, Vjal il-Qalbiena Mostin, St. Margherita, Mosta MST 2352 Call: (356) 2141 6139 or 7930 0023 | Email: info@kudos.com.mt | Website: www.kudos.com.mt Find Us on Facebook: facebook/kudosgifts

Aware of the trend for couples to book everything themselves online, Louise points out that there are several advantages to using a reputable, highly experienced travel agent. “Most couples don’t make their own wedding cake or design their own dress. Why not? Because these things require a considerable amount of expertise if the end result is to look professional. So why should they not leave their honeymoon in the hands of a professional too? Your honeymoon planner should be an expert in their field and will be aware of many underlying aspects of travel that only come with years of experience. The possibilities are literally endless and most couples are unaware of the amount of options they have. People who book online are in reality at a disadvantage because they are restricted by preconceived ideas. I enjoy organising a honeymoon which includes destinations my clients would not have thought of had they booked online. Finally couples are usually quite stressed by

the wedding preparations so why add to that stress by trying to make your own travel arrangements?” Louise has the impression that for some couples, the honeymoon is tagged on to the end of a wedding, almost as an afterthought. “So much effort is put into the other aspects such as the catering, invitations, wedding dress and the honeymoon is left until last. On the other hand some couples go to the other extreme and do too much research so then expectations become too high. Everyone wants to give advice on where to go and what to do. Although they mean well, listening to too many people can cause confusion. Your honeymoon planner should be your point of reference to advise you and answer your queries.”

Distant Horizons Ltd. T: +356 7999 9941 info@distant-horizons.com.mt www.distant-horizons.com.mt

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Coliseum Arcades, Zachary Street, Valletta Tel: 2122 4234 • Email: weddingbells@sis.net.mt Website: WeddingBells.bridemalta.com • www.theweddingsite.com/weddingbells LIKE US ON www.facebook.com/weddingbells.valletta


Candyland Our fun and flirty candy table and cocktail bar theme for this issue took us to Xara Lodge where the very helpful staff gave us the run of the venue, allowing us to set up wherever we wished and giving our photographer Katerina the opportunity to experiment with a lot of different ideas. Created and styled by Jessica Moritz our creative director and Elaine of Elegant Impressions, we wanted our spring issue to evoke the feeling of a fun-loving, carefree bride, to reflect the warm weather

we have been lucky to have this year. Martina Caruana looked simply lovely in a short dress provided by WeddingBells. The retroinspired dress in organza and chantilly lace details is worn buttoned up to the neck and was accessorised with a large pink bow made of silk shantung and a dainty cameo brooch. The short, fun veil completes the look. You can definitely dance the night away in this frock, without having to worry about stepping on your dress!


Candy Table We were very happy to have Dylan’s House of Candy join us for this photo shoot. As soon as we described what we had in mind, he was immediately on board and provided this lovely, colourful candy table filled to the brim with all sorts of goodies. From candy canes, to gummy bears, to ice cream cones, to all sorts of lollipops and jellybeans and lots of other delicious treats, it was a veritable explosion of sweets in various glass jars and containers. The imposing entrance at the Xara Lodge was the perfect frame where the candy table became the focal point of the room.

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venue

Hair

With its massive grounds and gardens, Xara Lodge provides the perfect setting for an outdoor wedding. There is a large tent just in case the weather acts up and everything has to be moved indoors, which allows the couple and the guests to still have the feel of an outdoor venue, yet safety protected from all the elements. Indoors is equally spacious and is very versatile; it can either be used for a standing reception or else a sit down lunch or dinner. Location plays a major part in making the Xara Lodge so popular. It is centrally located on an exceptional expanse of land surrounded by country views. From The Lodge one can see the countryside as well as a picturesque postcard view of Mdina and Rabat.

Martina’s naturally long hair was curled into thick waves, with added coloured extensions to add to the fun factor. Jo Briffa from Hairoscope styled the front into a pin-up style quiff which sets off Martina’s face. Many brides tend to opt for an up-style, but this is an alternative hairstyle for those who have very healthy long hair, and it is ideal for a spring bride when the weather is still not too warm. Obviously, we recommend that you always ask your hairstylist about what suits you best, and the style has to complement the choice of dress as well.


Cocktail bar As cocktail bars become more popular at weddings, we decided to include one in this shoot. Edward Bonello from Molecular Fusion tells WeddingDay that “We are all about presentation and the WOW effect. We use these techniques to present the cocktails in creative ways, surprise the guest, enhance the senses and bring out feelings and emotions to ultimately deliver a memorable and unique cocktail experience which is very hard to find.” Edward created four different cocktails specifically for this photo shoot, working on site as Katerina took the photos while his bubbling creations came to life: Cosmo Tea, Passion Brûlée, Sub-Zero Iceberg and Electric Daiquiri.


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Flowers

Make-up

The lovely bouquet created by Joseph Baldacchino of Flower Arts was a mixture of colourful ranunculus, roses, wax flowers and fillers. The fusion of hot pinks with canary yellow and deep lavender, make a bold contrast with Martina’s peaches and cream complexion and the very white dress. The green stems were long in keeping with the back-to-nature look, and the entire bouquet is just right for this picture perfect imagery which simply evokes springtime!

For the make-up Daniela Cassar opted for a “pin up girl look” but with a twist. Eyeshadow was made up of three shades of pink to complement her hazel eyes, with winged eyeliner. She kept the face really bare, with minimal foundation as Martina’s flawless skin did need much contouring. Bluish-green eyeliner on the lower lid and very natural false eyelashes enhanced her eyes. A touch of blusher on the cheeks to bring out her youthful, fresh features, and bubble gum pink lips finished off this look which is perfect for a young bride.

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Fi n e r Ho s p i ta l i t y, Cate r i ng a nd Ev e nt s

Show us your dream wedding and we will show you its realization.

+356 22567567 or 21450560

weddings@xarapalace.com.mt

xarapalace.com.mt


Wedding CONTRIBUTORS IN THIS ISSUE Creative Director Jessica C. Moritz www.jessmor.com Photographer Katerina Vella-Ryabkova photobykaterina@gmail.com • M: +356 99536694 www. katerinavellaphotography.com www.facebook.com/katerinavellaryabkova CONCEPT & SET StyliNG Elaine Zarb of Elegant Impressions www.elegantimpressions.eu • M: +356 99831213 Floral Design Joseph Baldacchino of Flower Arts www.flowerarts.net • M: +356 9926 0645 Bridal fashion styling Marquita Kemper of WeddingBells T: +356 21224234 • E: weddingbells@sis.net.mt MAKE-UP Daniela Cassar E: dan1305@go.net.mt • M: +356 99130575 hair Jo Briffa of Hairoscope E: jobriffa@gmail.com T: +356 21659442 • M: +356 99224750 CANDYBAR Dylan Bezzina of Dylan’s House of Candy & I DO Events www.dylanshouseofcandy.com • info@dylanshouseofcandy.com T: +356 27588227 www.idoevents.com.mt • info@idoevents.com.mt T: +356 79416064 COCKTAIL BAR Eddie Bonello of Molecular Fusion E: info@molecularfusion.com M: +356 99159357


styling•planning•rentals www.elegantimpressions.eu info@elegantimpressions.eu (+356) 9983 1213


M

E lliott Ambridge

arina Sonkina

&

21st July 2015

photos: Aleksey Leonov & Katerina Vella-Ryabkova

Elliott and Marina, who are both originally from Russia, met at the University of Toronto club for those of Russian nationality called “Hungry Students”. Elliott and Marina met at a social event called “guitar night”, where all the talented Russian guitar players play their favourite songs and have all the other students sing along with them. The proposal was very romantic with great attention paid to every little detail. Elliott booked a flight to Hawaii for the New Year holiday. For most of the trip Elliott and Marina chased lava, swam with manta rays and surfed. On one of the last few days on the island Maui, Elliott woke Marina up to a surprise. They would not be flying out from the island, but instead, were moving to a different hotel. Elliott didn’t tell Marina which hotel it was and when he lost his way, she suggested putting a Point of Interest of any big hotel in the region so that they could get to the beach area and then ask for directions. The GPS suggested the Ritz Carlton and, in fact, their destination was this famous hotel! Elliott then asked Marina to wear something black, because he was going to take her to a special place. After an hour’s drive Marina realized that Elliott was taking her to a helicopter launch pad. Elliott explained that the black attire was to make sure that nothing was reflected in the windows of the helicopter, which would prevent the passenger from viewing the amazing mountains, waterfalls, forests, ocean shores of Maui and the neighbouring island Molokai. But this was not the end of the surprise. Elliott had arranged a very nice private dinner on a

WD | 33


beautiful terrace with many candles and the view of the ocean. At the end of the meal, the waiter brought out a large covered silver serving plate, underneath which was the ring. Elliott proposed to Marina on one knee and even managed to set up his GoPro camera in time to capture this moment. Preparations for the wedding began shortly afterwards. Marina had always dreamt of a beautiful, unique wedding dress. After looking at as many pictures as possible of the most beautiful wedding dresses she would then seek out who their designers were. The wedding dress designs by Inbal Dror really impressed her with their innovation and the way the dress naturally emphasised the body’s curves. Martina found a store in Toronto, which carried Inbal Dror designs and after several visits with her friends, her mother and mother-in-law, she ordered the dress.

WD | 34

The bride really wanted to have lively and yet responsible bridesmaids to make sure that they would make the wedding lots of fun, while helping Marina with the stressful preparations of the wedding. When it came to their dresses she wanted them to feel unique, but still matching, so they chose their own dresses. Her main criteria was that


the dresses had to be long gowns, and after discussing the colour scheme with the bridesmaids, she decided on a light peach-pink colour. It was difficult for Elliott to decide on his groomsmen as he has about six very good friends and he and Marina had agreed that they would have only four groomsmen and four bridesmaids. Destiny played a part in Elliott’s favour as the other two friends were not able to fly out to Malta and, thus, no one’s feelings were hurt. His four friends Alon, Alexei, Yuri, and Gregory Dyma knew Elliott very well and he could rely on them for every detail of the wedding: from planning taxis for the guests and arranging for a pre-wedding party at a restaurant, to running a million errands during the wedding. The very elegant suits chosen for the groom and groomsmen came from Cefai Formal Wear. It may seem strange to us why a couple from Toronto would want to fly all the way to our island for a destination wedding, but this couple had their reasons: “We have already attended too many friends’ weddings in Toronto. We wanted our wedding to be different. Since we love to travel to foreign countries, and get out of the city as often as we can, we tried to think of an exotic place where we could celebrate our marriage.” Elliott had always dreamt of knights and imagined how romantic it would be to have a wedding in a country famous for its


knights. He first proposed Scotland and Ireland. However, Marina had always dreamt of a very warm place, where no rain could disturb the wedding plans. This is when she offered to visit Malta to check whether it was a good wedding destination. “After seeing pictures of Malta and Palazzo Parisio, we both were convinced that Malta was a perfect country that matched both of our dreams. Malta was also a place which most of the wedding guests had not yet visited, so it was easy to lure them to take a European vacation in Malta.” Most of the 43 guests were from Canada, but some were from Russia, USA and Germany. Another plus point for this couple is that Malta is an English speaking country. “It was very convenient for us to communicate with all the suppliers and the venue ourselves. However, we definitely could not have had such a beautiful and successful wedding without the help of Jayne Polidano, the wedding organizer at Palazzo Parisio. She helped us make the wedding according to our plans, as well as decide on the food and beverages for the wedding. She was also of utmost help during the actual wedding, always available to coordinate all the waiters and suppliers, if necessary. We wanted to have a wedding that would be both what our guests were expecting (i.e. a glamorous Russian wedding with a lot of good food and entertainment) as

WD | 38


well as something memorable, where they would really feel that it was worth coming all the way to Malta.� Elliot was responsible for researching and dealing with the suppliers, while the bride was responsible for the visual aspects of the wedding and the organization of the actual day. The bride also designed special money (a copy of the USSR ruble) with their faces on the bills. This money was given out to guests as prizes for contests and games. Guests later used that money to buy special prizes, consisting of antique items from the era of USSR during the wedding. Deciding on a civil ceremony, the couple spoke from the heart as they exchanged their wedding vows. “We made sure not to forget the rings, even though our wedding registrar, Marthese Turban, specifically wore several extra rings on her fingers in case something like that should happen. We also had the ceremony in the most beautiful room in Palazzo Parisio, the ballroom, with a classic string quartet playing live music.� It was an easy choice for the couple to decide to hold their wedding at the grand Palazzo Parisio. The bride was born in St. Petersburg and since her childhood


she has been fascinated by beautiful palaces. Palazzo Parisio and its ballroom greatly reminded her of the Czars’ and Queens’ palaces in St. Petersburg. “Also, from the very beginning we formed a great relationship with the Baroness and Jayne Polidano, who helped us with every request,” the couple said. “The wedding was a sit down dinner and, as is customary in Russia, we asked Palazzo Parisio to place all the alcoholic beverages on the tables rather than create a separate bar or a place for the drinks. Also, at our request, Palazzo Parisio gathered all the alcoholic beverages after 11pm and moved all of them to the underground room to create an open bar. “ All the guests were surprised when the couple tried to cut the cake and realized that it was made out of plastic. It is customary at Russian weddings for the groom and bride to cut the first piece of the cake and feed each other before the cake is cut for the guests. “However, we completely forgot to account for the very hot Maltese weather, which made the plastic cake the perfect solution and also made everyone laugh.” As always happens, it was very hectic during the preparations for the wedding. Elliott had to meet


the Master of Ceremonies and his groomsmen at a historic apartment in Valletta. However, Elliott’s GPS did not work correctly and it took him a very long time to find the apartment. It was even harder to find a parking space, so Elliott and his friend Gregory circled Valletta until they found a spot, but Elliott completely forgot where they left the car. The day after they spent hours searching for the correct street on Google Maps. “Furthermore, our videographers were invited from Moscow and it was their first time in Malta. Thus, on the way to film the preparation of the bride they got completely lost. My father-in-law had to jump in a car to help rescue them. The videographers were trying to explain to us that they were waiting beside a church, which of course did not make it easy to find them as there are so many churches in Malta!” There was also a slight hitch with the candles. “We purchased 1000 candles to make a beautiful design on the lawns of the Palazzo Parisio that the guests could see from the terrace. However, as we live in a cold country, we never realized that the grass could burn out from the heat. The day before the wedding, in order to camouflage the burned out spots of grass, we went to buy 50kg of new grass. Joseph from Flower Arts, our excellent florist, who created all the bouquets and table centrepieces, was extremely helpful in using this grass to camouflage the burnt out spots. It turned out really magical in the end.”


The couple agree that everything about the day was special. The friends and family members, who had travelled so far, the decorations, the beautiful unique design by the bride using 1000 candles on the grass and the catering all helped to make the day perfect. Then there was the entertainment which included a magician, an amazing Master of Ceremonies, a DJ from Moscow, and even the best local break dancers, as well the group song which was prepared and performed by the best friends of the couple. “However, the most special surprise was the one prepared by the groom. He recently started learning how to sing and to play the guitar. In complete confidence in front of everyone, he sang a special wedding song to me. He even disappeared for a few minutes during the wedding for the final rehearsal. When he came out with a guitar it was a great surprise for everyone. He sat me down on a chair right in front of him and sang the love song with all the guests surrounding us. It was unforgettable!� says Marina.


LIVE THE DREAM

LIVE THE MAGIC

MAKE IT REALITY

EVERY WEDDING DESERVES PALAZZO PARISIO

29, Victory Square, Naxxar - Malta • weddings@palazzoparisio.com www.palazzoparisio.com


M

arylyn Hili & 28th June 2015

photos: Katerina Vella-Ryabkova

Mark Farrugia Sant’Angelo

So many of our wedding couples are friends first, which we think is always a great way to start a romantic relationship. After all, who wouldn’t want to marry their best friend? “Mark and I had been in the same group of friends for over a year, and then when I turned 19 he offered to give me some driving lessons. Luckily enough my terrible driving skills at the time weren’t enough to scare him away and while watching the beautiful sunset at Ghajn Tuffieha, he asked me to be his girlfriend. Very corny indeed!” Marylyn says with a laugh. Around six years into their relationship Mark asked whether she would like to buy a house with him and even though there was no ring, Marylyn says, “that was the real proposal”. “I had warned him not to propose in any cliché manner so on my 26th birthday we were in Gozo and he just carried the ring all day until he felt it was the right moment to go down on one knee which happened to be in the rain in the middle of a pjazza!” Shopping for the dress, was obviously at the top of the list. When she saw her wedding dress in a catalogue, it wasn’t a ‘love at first sight’ kind of situation. “However, the second it was being pulled out of its cover, I realized the picture really didn’t do it any justice and when I tried it on I felt a little flutter in my belly and my sister and mother-in-law had waterworks going on. My mother wasn’t with me that day so I decided to leave and make another appointment when she could be present. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and we rushed to make the first next appointment available so that I could leave a deposit.”

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The bride was careful to consult with her bridesmaids on the design of their dresses, especially as one of them was eight months pregnant. The men’s stylish blue grey suits came from Cefai Formal Wear. The Mass was held at Santa Marija Parish Church Attard followed by a reception at a gorgeous villa venue. Because she is a vegetarian, Marylyn had some strict instructions about the catering. “The first time I told people that no mammals were to be served as food at our wedding reception, they thought I had gone mad. However, I do not eat meat and I wanted some of my principles to be reflected in our wedding reception. So with the input of Bernice Bugeja my organiser, a very mouthwatering menu was created which was tailor-made for us, which completely out did my expectations and left my guests hugely satisfied. The cake was decorated by the talented Joseph Baldacchino who inserted three tiers of beautiful flowers, it was simply spectacular. I also ordered a personalised cake topper which featured the silhouette of a bride and groom with two dogs which represented our two babies Hugo and Bailey.”

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White Weddings Whatever your dreams are for your special day, we can provide the perfect setting. From flooring & dĂŠcor, ambience lighting & sound, to chill-out sofas and light-up LED furniture, we have all your rental needs covered. info@whiteweddings.com.mt www.whiteweddings.com.mt +356 21380488/9


Joseph from Flower Arts excelled himself, as usual, in decorating the venue to the bride’s specifications, complementing the environmentally-friendly theme. The advantage of having a wedding planner such as Bernice from Love is... is that these little details which reflect the couple can all be incorporated in the most tasteful way possible. As both Mark and Marylyn are environmentalists they wanted everything done in a classy but sustainable manner. Even their souvenirs were little herbs planted in clay pots and decorated very simply. “These were made with enormous dedication, care and effort especially since we had to get someone to plant the seeds for us and months later transplant them from one pot to another. A lot of people gave a loving helping hand in this project, however my creative mother Josephine was the machine in assembling these souvenirs which were so irresistibly pretty that guests were actually asking whether they could take more than one! Apart from this, our invitations were made from algae paper and not a single tree was harmed in their making.”

The villa set up was done by White Weddings, a branch of Synergix Events which specializes in weddings. They provided three different types of seating & chill-out areas for the couple as well as some ambience lighting including fairy lights to enhance the atmosphere as well as additional lanterns to enhance the décor. Marylyn confesses that she is a terrible control freak so it is not surprising that the day before the wedding she could not resist going to the venue to see how the preparations were proceeding. “My father, who is as bad as me, was already there taking care of things so I could put my mind at rest which led me to being rather laid back even on the morning of the wedding. During the preparations before the ceremony there were several little mishaps revolving around my wedding dress, namely that tense moment when I fell off a chair while trying to get my wedding dress and that other horrifying moment when my entourage couldn’t get my wedding dress zipped up. I tell you the only thing that kept me from fainting was the fact that I had my final fitting just three days prior to the wedding day and had barely eaten since. At last, my super sister intervened and saved me


from having a heart attack. In addition to this incident, I arrived at the church only to discover that my shrug had gone missing! It was the first thing I said to the priest as I arrived at the alter. Luckily, he was very understanding. Aside from these little incidents which didn’t really affect the ceremony in any way, everything went very smoothly and our relatives also managed to fit in a little surprise for us without having me sniff it out as usual. As we entered the gardens at our venue, we were not only greeted by our guests but also by our two pets Hugo and Bailey. It was the most beautiful thing anyone could have ever done for us and we will always be grateful to our parents, siblings and friends for coordinating it and granting us such a special memory. They all know our two dogs are such an important part of our lives and we will treasure those moments forever.” Looking back with fondness on their special day the couple said that “Nothing will beat watching all our friends group dance to ‘Uptown Funk’ during the afterparty which was enjoyed by young and old alike, including grandparents. What really makes a wedding day special is that it brings everyone together. All our relatives and friends were there to celebrate with us and those are the memories we will cherish and that’s what really matters because otherwise everything else would simply be meaningless.”

Because your big day should be exactly like you’ve dreamt all your life… nothing short of perfection. Our fully personalised and bespoke approach to planning your wedding celebration ensures that your vision and taste are maintained throughout, your budgets strictly respected and your guests wowed. Mobile: +356 79595145 Email: bernice@weddingplannersmalta.com www.facebook.com/Loveis.WeddingPlannersMalta


M

aria Micallef & 27th June 2015

photos: Fran Stivala

Kenneth Deguara

Kenneth, an accountant and Maria, a lawyer, met at work when they joined the same firm. “Our relationship started as friendship and then blossomed into romance. Although I must admit that Kenneth’s determination and perseverance were the key to our getting together,” says Maria. They started living together in March 2013 and by the following year they started discussing marriage, “we both felt that becoming one family was our next step.” Maria admits that she placed quite some pressure on Kenneth to come up with the perfect proposal. “I was sure that he was getting my subtle (and not so subtle) hints on how the perfect proposal should be. Little did I realise that he was oblivious to it all.” “Last summer, we travelled to Bali and I was certain that he was going to propose while we were there. During our flight I was wondering where he had put the ring and hoped that he wouldn’t lose it. After the first three days had passed and he hadn’t proposed, I started having some doubts but kept thinking about all the “hints” which I assumed he had dropped, so I waited and hoped that it would happen the following day.” When it was time for them to come back to Malta. Maria couldn’t hide her disappointment. “I was so upset that he hadn’t proposed that I actually asked him why he hadn’t done it. He found my question very amusing and even more amusing how I managed to build up such expectations.” Then, on an ordinary evening in November of last year, the couple went out for dinner at Mdina. Afterwards they went for a walk and ended at the exact spot where they had exchanged their first kiss. Kenneth went down on one knee and asked Maria to marry him. “I couldn’t stop smiling and beaming at the ring. I can clearly remember him reminding me that he was still on one knee and urging me to give him an answer!”

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It may not have been Bali, but we feel that Mdina is equally romantic. Maria did a lot of shopping around for her dress, an event which she was pleased to share with her mother, mother-in-law and best friend. “I treasured their honest opinion and knew that I could not buy my wedding dress without them.” “I knew that I wanted French lace and a mermaid cut dress, preferably ivory, and strictly no ‘bling’. I also bought a cape in matt ivory with lace trimming which complemented the chosen dress perfectly. “Although people told me that I would know when I found THE dress, I couldn’t fathom how that was possible. That was until I tried this dress. I was so overwhelmed with emotions that I could barely speak. The reaction from my little audience confirmed that we had found what we were looking for.”

ment on, we were inseparable. We have been together through thick and thin and it was only natural that she would be my maid of honour. Only such a relationship could explain why we laugh off Liana’s total disregard of her duties (resulting in guests remaining without souvenirs, no sparklers and no rose petals during the cutting of the cake, so on and so forth)!” Although Maria had identified the dress she wanted for Liana, she immediately realized that she needed to work hard to get her to agree to that big bow at the back. “I used all my persuasion skills and added some bridezilla drama to succeed in my mission. I wanted a classic and elegant look so went for a flowing ivory dress with a golden sash tied into a nice big bow at the back. We went shopping for shoes during our trip to New York where I bought my shimmery Jimmy Choo wedding shoes and her platinum gold high heeled shoes.”

Maria’s maid of honour was Dr Liana Micallef, whom she met at the tender age of four. “From that moWD | 57


The couple’s little nephews and nieces all got to participate in the bridal party. Brothers and good friends were roped in to carry out the ushers’ duties, and to be best men. Planning a wedding is often a woman’s dream come true, but sometimes men just don’t quite get it. As Maria pointed out, “Kenneth could not understand, and I still believe he never actually quite understood, why you had to have a theme. “It is a wedding! That is the theme!” This is the reply that I would get when I discussed ideas on this subject. Early in the day, I realised that I was lucky enough to have carte blanche, without any reservation, to plan Project Wedding.” “I knew what I wanted, which was a romantic elegant wedding. Ivory, gold and blush were my colours. To my

mind those three colours emanate a sense of romance and elegance.” The souvenirs were also very original, as Keely Triganza prepared butter squash, apricot chutney, strawberry and kiwi jam and apple cinnamon butter. Understandably excited about their big day, the couple did worry about everything going to plan. “We spent the day before the wedding at the venue working on the setup. We left very late that night and I went to my parents’ house as we had decided that I would sleep at my parents’ home the night before our wedding. I remember waking up full of excitement yet feeling a sense of all of it being surreal. The morning passed in a rush, between the last visits to venue and church, then hair and makeup, and finally it was time to go to church.


Walking down the aisle was an overwhelming experience yet one which filled me with serenity and happiness.” The only slight mishap was two weeks prior to the wedding day, when Maria’s brother Malcolm, who was one of the witnesses, ruptured his Achilles tendon and turned up in a cast and on crutches. Maria and Kenneth chose the breathtaking St Andrew’s Bastions in Valletta for their wedding reception and their reason was simple: “The view! If you have never been to these bastions you must experience this place to fully comprehend what makes it so special. When planning the set-up, my brother, Karl (who was key in helping us to set up the venue) and I, discussed

the WOW factor that guests should experience when they walked in. Everything was planned to the minutest detail. Candles of different shapes and sizes were purchased to welcome guests as they arrived. The right lighting was selected to complement the atmosphere that we wanted to create. We were indeed very pleased with how the area was going to look and most importantly, feel.” Unfortunately, on the day, the weather had other ideas. “Our WOW factor had to fight severe wind gusts with a force 5 to 6 wind speed. Soon enough however, we realised that the WOW factor was staring at us in the face at a complete 180 degrees! Our guests were simply mesmerized by the spectacular view that was surrounding them.”


For their catering, the couple chose Busy Bee. “The caterers were fundamental in giving us that peace of mind that we were looking for. Organising a reception for 500 guests is no simple feat, especially when this is not your area of expertise. While you want to ensure that your guests enjoy the food, you also have to keep in mind that you must have sufficient and diverse food to keep everyone happy. Brian and Geoffrey Friggieri, together with their team, made sure that every aspect was seen to and that every detail, no matter how small, was addressed. They carefully explained the set up that would be necessary and made valuable recommendations (following on-site visits) on where the bars, the coffee table, the cake table and the live cooking stations should be set. The food was carefully chosen following long discussions. Surely enough, on our big day, the food was superb and the service was outstanding. My special request was to have small cupcakes covered in white sugar paste with little flowers made of blush sugar paste. Until I saw what had been prepared, I hadn’t fully comprehended the detail that these professionals had to go into to prepare such cupcakes. The result was impeccable.” The wedding cake was a traditional three tier almond cake covered in ivory sugar paste and sugar paste flowers on the top tier.


WD | 61


The wedding was everything that Maria and Kenneth had dreamed of. “In a few words, our wedding day was the day that Kenneth and I celebrated becoming a family. We wanted to share this day with our family and friends in an elegant yet relaxed atmosphere. We gave our photographer and videographer strict orders that we did not want any stiff photos but wanted them to capture the moment. Looking at the results, we are pleased to see that our guests enjoyed our Big Day as much as we did.�


L

S amuel Johnson

isa Carmela Vassallo

&

5th June 2015

photos: Kris Micallef

Lisa and Samuel met at work and things moved pretty quickly as they began to spend more and more time together. “We got engaged a year later and couldn’t wait to get married!” Lisa describes the proposal as “simply brilliant!” Not only was it brilliant, but we think it is probably the most unique wedding proposal we have come across here at WeddingDay. As a lover of films she has hundreds of DVDs. One day she came home and Sam had arranged a good number of DVD titles to spell out a message for her with the last one asking her to marry him. What girl could refuse something so romantic and thoughtful as that? Once they decided to get married, Lisa went into action, and since she is a wedding planner by profession, getting things organized came naturally to her. First on the list was the dress. “As a wedding planner I have helped hundreds of brides find their dream dress and so I knew I wanted something different. I couldn’t find what I needed anywhere and so had a dress designer make a one off for me. It was a 1950s short dress and I loved it! It fit with the whole feel of the wedding so well.” For her bridal party, she also did things a little differently. “Other than my sister, my other two bridesmaids were Sam’s best friends, who happen to be girls. They definitely had input but we all knew we were looking for bright polka dots and these Kitty & Dulcie dresses were perfect.” Sam chose his best friend as his best man and Lisa’s best friend Paulie (a woman) as his usher. This couple live in the UK, but there is a Maltese connection since Lisa’s Dad is Maltese and still lives in Malta. “As I organize weddings in Malta and the UK, I knew I wanted to get married in Malta for the sunshine and because half of my family are here, but I wanted to have a less

WD | 65


traditional Maltese wedding, drawing on some of the UK’s wedding trends instead. I didn’t use a planner as I knew most of the suppliers myself. I did however use a coordinator on the day, Helen from Jewel Weddings. She was great and we hope to work together on some weddings in the future. We had 40 of our family and friends in the UK travel over too – most made it their holiday and so it became a weekend wedding with celebrations at TwentyTwo bar the night before and a relaxing beach day for everyone at Gnejna the day after.”

WD | 66

Lisa is lucky since Sam actually assists her during most of the weddings she organises as part of her wedding planning business, Carmela Weddings. “He has an amazing eye for detail so he was involved in every decision. Some ideas were completely his, such as the Cigar Bar for instance. On the day of the wedding, Sam and his best man decorated the entire venue with all


of the little touches themselves with the help of Helen while I got my hair and make-up done and drank champagne.” As Lisa is also a trained celebrant she did not wish to have a civil ceremony where the words would not be very personal. “Basically, I wrote our whole wedding. At other weddings, I also perform the ceremony but as I couldn’t at my own, we asked one of our best friends Lois to perform it for us. It makes it so much more personal. We just went to the registry office the morning before we travelled to Malta to do the 10 minute legal ceremony with two witnesses and then saw our ceremony in Malta as our ‘proper’ one. It meant the whole ceremony was about us and how we felt and because even the person performing the ceremony was a friend, it was so intimate. I hope to write more ceremonies for other weddings in Malta as it cuts out the need for the paperwork too.”

WD | 67


“For our readings we had quotes from films we love and instead of a hymn, everyone sang “It Must Be Love” by Madness. We also spread around lyrics to songs we love around the venue as music is a huge part of Sam’s life as he plays guitar and sings in a band.

mdina glass Hire handmade glass hanging lights, lanterns, chandeliers and more to personalise your venue or get your personalised cake topper, gifts and favours from stock or made to order. Contact us now for assistance. Mdina Glass, Ta’ Qali Crafts Village T: +356 2141 5786 E: onlinesales@mdinaglass.com.mt

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Lisa fell in love with the venue from the second she saw it when looking around for possible wedding venues for a client. “I wanted a relaxed atmosphere with enough room to do quite a lot of different touches and so it was perfect. I knew I wanted the entire thing to be outside so we needed some shade and this fit the bill perfectly.” For their catering they had a UK/Maltese fusion menu with little Maltese touches in the evening for their guests to taste some real Maltese food. The cake was completely different to anything you would see at a traditional Maltese wedding. “It was red and blue with polka dots and our baker even made miniature versions of my red stiletto shoe and Sam’s trainers for the cake topper as everyone laughs at how different our dress sense is from each other!”


Speaking about how she came up with the ideas for her theme, Lisa says, “When you organize so many weddings yourself, you very quickly know what you like and don’t like. As a wedding planner and a stylist, I knew I had to have something different. It was fun for our Maltese guests as they see quite traditional weddings usually and I wanted a real mix. We had lots of unique elements to the wedding – we used a record player and records as our guests book, we used a handheld polaroid frame with props for fun pictures and even had a dance off in the evening with our guests choosing whose musical taste was better, mine or Sam’s (Sam won!).” There were some other quite original twists to the usual wedding traditions. “Instead of throwing the bouquet we handed it to the couple that had been married the longest, and instead of a slow first dance we had a first dance to “Mr Brightside” by The Killers and everyone had to dance to it – it really got the party started.”


As they wanted a wedding with a lot of colour they used balloons in the pool and lanterns everywhere with wild flowers in old 1950s tins and coca cola crates to set things off. “We even gave the guests Mr & Mrs Johnson coasters as favours – they were useful on the wedding day too. And, instead of buttonholes, the men had pinwheels.” These vintage details were provided by the talented Marie Choquet from Once Upon a Wedding, who is an expert at creating the right kind of look which every couple dreams of. Marie also took care of the professional lighting for the venue, and generally made sure that everything was quite right - a real challenge as the bride is in the business of weddings herself. But it is clear from the atmosphere which was created as can be seen from these photos, that with Once Upon a Wedding Lisa and Samuel had made the right choice. Lisa is a firm believer in creating the kind of wedding which reflects who the couple really are as people. “I truly believe every wedding should be as unique as the couple and if you use their personalities you will always get a really unique day. WD | 70


I’m really looking forward to bringing more of the new trends to my Maltese weddings in 2016 and 2017.” Because she plans weddings for a living, Lisa says she does not really get stressed but she admits that she got quite excited for her own special day. “The only mishap we had was Sam got changed at the venue after he had finished decorating it and he realized as he got changed, that he’d forgotten his shoes. I had to put them in a taxi very quickly!” The couple were very happy with how the day all turned out. “It was different, it was very ‘us’ and I loved that so many people on the day told us they’d never been to a wedding quite like it!”

CW_x0216.qxp_Layout 1 08/02/2016 10:14 Page 1

Wedding Planners

With a base in the UK and Malta, you can now choose to havetaa. stylish and unique wedding in Mal T: Lisa on 07837 389415 E: info@carmelaweddings.co.uk W: www.carmelaweddings.co.uk


S

ilvianne Buttigieg &

Marvic Cini 22nd August 2015 photos: Aleksey Leonov

Silvianne and Marvic were teenage sweethearts who have been together for the past 12 years, and have experienced some of life’s most important milestones together. “Before deciding to get married, we had plenty of time to learn who the other person really was, and then figure out and discuss what we wanted out of our lives. It was indeed one of the best decisions ever!” this couple says. Silvianne got her wedding dress from WeddingBells. “It was the only shop I visited since I had won a 1000 Euro voucher from this shop through WeddingDay Magazine. I was looking for something unique which reflected my personality. I always dreamt of a tightfitting, backless dress with a bulky long train, and thought it would take me ages to find it. However, as soon as I arrived at the shop, there was my dream dress in the shop’s display window! I immediately knew it was the one. It fitted me perfectly and I didn’t even bother to try on any other dresses. It was an exclusive Farage’ gown.” The bridal party and ushers were all members of the couple’s family while one of Marvic’s brothers was also the florist. “When we were young, both of us were involved in several family weddings. I was a flower girl twice, and a bridesmaid no less than four times! These were always memorable days, and I really wanted the same experience for my bridal party.”

WD | 73


The bridesmaids’ dresses were tailor made, and the choice of a bright colour perfectly reflected Silvianne’s personality. The groom and ushers all looked very smart and elegant in suits hired from Cefai’s Formal Wear, which has its main shop in Gozo, and which is probably THE go to place for men’s suits and tuxedos on our sister island. Asked whether WeddingDay magazine was helpful in planning their wedding, Silvianne said,”Yes, it is a source of information and ideas and not just a list of suppliers’ details. In our case, the magazine was very useful for finding hairstyle ideas for the bridal party.” “On the day, Elaine Zarb from Elegant Impressions was our wedding day organizer. Basically we decided to opt for her service to put our minds at peace and not have to worry about having overlooked something. We did a lot of things ourselves, such as invitations, souvenirs, decorations etc. so a wedding planner was vital for us to make the whole process less stressful. She also provided us with the contact details of various vendors.”


“Since all of our decorations were handcrafted by us, the groom’s involvement was vital. We wanted our wedding to be a reflection of who we are, and we think we managed to capture this in our decorations. “Marvic was the brain and hands behind some 150 small origami which were part of our table decorations,” says Silvianne. The couple were married at the Basilica of St. Peter & St. Paul in Nadur, Gozo. The music during the ceremony was by Schola Cantorum Jubilate. For their venue, they chose somewhere suitable for an indoor seated wedding. “We were allowed to decorate the suite to our liking, making it a dream come true for a fairytale wedding.”

WD | 77


“Our cake was made by a close friend of our’s, Roberta. She lives in Germany, however she was here for a month before our wedding, in which she dedicated most of her time to making our cake. We had no words when we saw the cake as she literally created exactly what we had imagined.” As someone who is very creative and loves anything to do with DIY projects, Sylvianne opted for a natural theme using burlap and lace. “For the decorations we created lace and burlap mason jars which served as candle holders while decorated natural branches were used as table centre pieces, and for souvenirs, we distributed home grown plants. We also prepared a surprise thank you song which we presented during the reception. We tried to include a touch of us in everything we did.” There were no jitters or nerves for this couple, as everything had been planned well in advance. “We couldn’t help but smile even during the wedding ceremony. It was an overwhelming feeling! Thank God everything went smoothly as we had planned and we had a blast together with our guests till the very early hours of the morning with music by DJ David Galea.”


Floreal

BB by Bjorn Borg

Weddings and Events

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WD no. 15 - CANDYLAND  

Explore our spring issue which is packed with a flirty and sweet cover photo shoot. In this issue: A glamorous Russian wedding, the most pic...

WD no. 15 - CANDYLAND  

Explore our spring issue which is packed with a flirty and sweet cover photo shoot. In this issue: A glamorous Russian wedding, the most pic...

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