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WEDDINGDAY SUMMER ISSUE No. 019

summer breeze White Flowers against an azure sea


Love at first Sight

The Phoenicia has been planning Malta’s exclusive weddings for seven decades. The Phoenicia, a proud member of The Leading Hotels of the World, an establishment loved and celebrated by Maltese society through the decades has recently re-opened its doors following an extensive restoration,

taking The Phoenicia back to its days of glory. Stunning views and garden settings as well as the majestic Grand Ballroom are what makes The Phoenicia a memorable venue for couples to celebrate their love.

You, your family & friends will fall in love with this stunning new wedding venue. weddings@phoeniciamalta.com

www.phoeniciamalta.com


E

ditorial

WD’s editor Josanne Cassar Every issue has its own unique challenges, and this one had more than its share, especially as it was put together during the intense election campaign. On a personal level I was dealing with major renovation works being carried out at home at the same time. But the final cherry on the cake was the one thing our team always dreads: that very unpredictable variable known as the weather. In the six years of publishing this magazine, we have never had to take the drastic decision to cancel our scheduled photo shoot because of the logistics involved in co-ordinating the availability of our large team of people. However, when we woke up to gale force winds and after many frantic phone calls, we regretfully decided to postpone our shoot. Thankfully, a week later, the weather improved and the obliging Radisson Golden Sands Hotel came to our rescue by providing their venue at the Essence restaurant terrace overlooking Malta’s most beautiful beach. Our wonderful team shifted all their commitments and we managed to do the photo shoot as planned. I am sure you will agree with me that the stunning photos are a credit to our team, especially considering the frazzled nerves and stress of putting it all together!

We have another great issue for you, packed with weddings that take us throughout the various seasons: one which was held just before New Year’s Eve complete with a Christmas tree, another in Spring based on a 50s theme, the early summer wedding of a British couple who had to deal with rain, and two Autumn weddings which show how getting married during the off-season can be a perfect time of year as well. Each so very different, and each reflecting the personalities of the couple, we are sure that the beautiful and always stylish weddings featured in WD will continue to inspire you as you plan your own wedding. And don’t forget that the many advertisers you see here who support WD help to keep our magazine absolutely FREE for our readers, so we would appreciate your supporting them as well! Enjoy our summer issue and make sure to take it with you as you relax at the beach. We will be back in October/ November for our popular Autumn issue which is also distributed at the Weddings Fair.

Josanne on the cover Rebecca Pace • 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 • josannecassar@icloud.com


contents - Summer Issue 2017 -

10  Summer Breeze

10

04  Party Tips by Loft 06  Launch of Monsoon Ladies

30  Sara & Terence 42 Kelly & Darryl

04

06

30

42

50

58

66

74

50  Mateja & Daniel 58  Emily & Andrew

66  Andy & Debbie 74  Aaron & Michelle


6 great & easy tips by LOFT how to create the perfect dinner party!

Christmas as so many people do, and make Setting a table is not as difficult as it seems. your guests feel truly welcome by using your The basic rule is: Utensils are placed in the order of use; that is, from the outside in. A best dinner set. second rule, with only a few exceptions, is: Most people only have dinner sets for Forks go to the left of the plate, and knives around 8 people, so if you are hosting a din- and spoons go to the right. ner party for more than that, you might not have enough in one dinner set to go round. Some other things to know: However, you can still create an interesting set up by mixing up two dinner sets result- • Knife blades always face the plate. So, here are our tips for an evening your ing in an eclectic set-up, which can be just as • The napkin goes to the left of the fork, stylish. or on the plate. guests will never forget! • The bread and butter knife are optional It looks wonderful when you use fresh We all love entertaining, but the difference between just having friends over and creating a beautiful atmosphere which everyone will remember for weeks to come, all comes down to the table setting. As any experienced host or hostess will tell you, by putting in some extra effort into the table setting, you can make your guests feel as special as they are.

1. Use real cloth napkins and not paper

napkins. There is something about a thick, linen or cotton table napkin which automatically signals ‘elegance’. It makes the difference between just an ordinary restaurant and one which is considered ‘fine dining’, and the same goes for when you entertain at home. Dinner parties and special occasions are made that much nicer with cloth napkins.

3.

4.

flowers and some candles – but never use scented candles at the dinner table. Flowers and candles add that extra allure to a table Now that you have all the basics, just relax setting, taking it from just the ordinary to the and enjoy your dinner party! amazing.

5.

If you don’t really want to have flowers on the table, and you have fresh herbs in the garden, they would be a nice alternative especially for a lunch, instead of the usual flowers. An interesting centre-piece is always great to Disposable plates are not acceptable at get the conversation flowing. the dining table although they will do for a The table should be set according to the stand up BBQ which tends to be less formal. menu – so the first thing you should think of Alternatively, you can also invest in formica is, what are you serving? Bring out the necesplates which will not break. But to really pull sary plates and cutlery as necessary, dependout all the stops, you need to bring out your ing on whether you are having a soup or salad special China, perhaps the dinner set which first, followed by the main course and then you received as a wedding present. Stop sav- dessert. If you are not serving soup, then ing it for that ‘special occasion’, or just for don’t put a soup spoon.

2.

6.

VISIT LOFT: 21, Triq San Pawl, Naxxar, Monday to Friday 10am – 7pm Saturday 10am – 5pm The new website at www.loft.com.mt will be online shortly. You can also find LOFT on Facebook. EMAIL: info@loft.com.mt Telephone: +356 20 9999 66


Contact LOFT today to nd out more about our gift registry 21, Triq San Pawl, Naxxar NXR 4018 Telephone: 2099 9966 loft.com.mt

Opening Hours: Monday to Friday. 10am – 7pm Saturday. 10am – 5pm


Introducing….Monsoon Ladies! WD speaks to Theresa Bartolo Parnis

“Monsoon Ladies is currently part of the dual Monsoon-Accessorize store in Bisazza Street and is located over two floors. This results in a shop area with many nooks and crannies, and we are constantly being told that people find it difficult to shop due to the store layout. The fact that it is a dual store with Accessorize does not make this any easier as Accessorize sees a high influx of customers every day and there is always the sense of a ‘bustling’ store when we would much rather have a more exclusive, personalised atmosphere for Monsoon.  We wanted to create a space for the Monsoon customer separate from the Accessorize customer, a store where one can shop with a feeling of space, clarity and serenity, all on one floor with lovely windows and frontage and its own entrance. A place where a customer can take their time trying on the fabulous pieces uninterrupted, being assisted by specialised staff and enjoying the excellent customer service that we are well known for. “Our shop has changed very little since we opened back in 1998. Bridal/occasion wear has always been an integral part of the Monsoon collection and range, and customers are always looking for bridesmaid dresses, mother of the bride outfits, or a dress to wear for a wedding.  Monsoon is wellknown for special dresses which are great value for money, and we are very careful to keep the quantities to a minimum.  “How did it all begin? Well, Jackie and I have always loved Monsoon and its heritage, and used to dream about representing it here in Malta…. the vibrant colours and attention to detail like beading and embroidery makes it so unique while the emphasis on beautiful fabrics in both the casual and occasion ranges made it ideal for the

Maltese weather and way of life. We love the fact always love a maxi dress, as it is an exceptionally that the brand has always been associated with versatile piece to have in your wardrobe. The bosocial awareness and ethical trading, often work- hemian look is also sought after and is very much ing with small communities of crafts people in a Monsoon look.  The military trend is strong this faraway places to help generate incomes, sustain season, with jackets and waistcoats being worn in livelihoods and preserve age-old hand-craft tech- various ways, and even paired with evening dressniques. We approached the parent company in es to create an edgy, eclectic look. 1995 but didn’t have a large enough retail space to  “We strongly believe that trying on an item gives also house Monsoon. So we started at the Plaza it a new lease of life, as something may look totally with just Accessorize, and then in 1998, we found different when it is worn, from how it looked on the ideal site and relocated to the current Mon- the hanger.  It is a great idea to push your boundaries once you’re going into a fitting room and take soon-Accessorize store in Bisazza Street. We still get people walking into the store today in a couple of things which you normally wouldn’t and telling us that they bought a Monsoon dress choose as well as your usual favourites.  At Monten years ago (or even longer!) which is still pris- soon, we love the whole trying on experience as tine, always stands out in a crowd and gets them there is nothing more rewarding than listening to compliments every time they wear it.  The com- a customer’s needs and expectations and helping bination of functionality and beauty at a great her to look and feel great.  We are certain that the price makes the brand very accessible.  The range layout of the new store in Tigne Street, with its covers everything from the most special occasion spacious fitting rooms, will encourage people to dress, through to relaxed dressy pieces, workwear, enjoy a fantastic shopping experience where they handy casuals and beachwear, and caters to all life- can freely experiment with new looks as well as their tried and tested outfits that work over and styles and sizes which go from size 8 – 22.”  “We believe that people will always look for cloth- over again and are absolutely essential to own.”  ing that complements their lifestyle, and since it is summer for a good three quarters of the year in Malta, the emphasis is often on breathable fabVISIT MONSOON: rics, beachwear and signature pieces that make an impact and can be dressed up or down according Grand opening on the to the occasion.  The jumpsuit is a great wardrobe 23rd and 24th June, staple as it is very versatile and cool for summer, Enjoy prosecco, delicious nibbles, and is something that Monsoon does very well.  and a goody bag with your purchases. One could opt for a cotton, short sleeved number 85 Tigne Street, in denim or a funky print, or a plainer version in  a (opposite Union Club) dressy fabric which exudes relaxed elegance durSLIEMA ing the day and can easily be worn to a party when paired with the right jewellery and shoes.  People


Tigne Street Sliema T. 21 34 60 80


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


Summer breeze

s WD’ r me m u s ot o h s r cove . 19 No

Photography by Katerina Vella-Rykabkova

When you have a view like Golden Sands beach as your backdrop, you would think that nothing could possible improve it. But the brilliant set up created by our artistic photo shoot team simply served to enhance what was already a stunning view. The venue is the terrace at the Essence restaurant at Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands. Something magical happens when the perfect balance of flavour, sophistication and ambience is achieved. You can definitely experience this flawless blend at Essence, one of the hotel’s stunning wedding venues. You can watch the sun set over the picturesque Golden Bay while you celebrate with great company and the most delicious food. With breathtaking scenery and an exceptional climate, Essence is the perfect venue for a romantic sit down dinner, reception or waterfront ceremony. This venue is able to accommodate up to 90 guests for an intimate seated reception or 250 guests for a stand-up event. You can focus on enjoying this special time, while all other important details like your menu, decorations and entertainment will be taken care of by our experienced team. A dedicated wedding executive will also be present on the day of your wedding to ensure everything runs smoothly. For our shoot, the staff at the Radisson went out of their way to accommodate all our needs on the day, giving access to all areas which we wanted, for which we are truly grateful especially as they were in the middle of preparing the Essence restaurant prior to its official seasonal opening. For this issue Romano Cassar Florists participated in our shoot and kindly provided us with white cherry blossom trees and white hydrangeas. The staff from Romano Cassar also helped to set up the trees at the venue, forming a natural arch in contrast to the vivid blue sky. The flowers and their green foliage in clear vases on either side provided even more whiteness and freshness for this cool summer look. For the couple that wants to walk down the aisle in a natural setting this is just the place. Rows of garlands of more white flowers were strewn alongside the white carpet, and the decor was completed with the use of white lanterns, raisers and block stands from Bali Stuff.

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add a fresh flair to your summer wedding with blue, white & sea shells


The SETTING & Decor Johanna Zammit from Balistuff has a very sharp eye for detail, and that is what makes or breaks a beautiful theme such as this, such as the mason jars filled with beach pebbles, with twine wrapped around the neck of the jars. In the second set-up, she uses strands of crystals, hanging chandeliers, and billowing sheer material draped around poles to create a Boho tent-like effect. The result was magical: just the right theme for a bride who loves a touch of wistful romance, stunning sunsets and the enchanting vibe of getting married next to a beach. THE DRESS Our petite model Rebecca Pace, with her typical Mediterranean looks, carried off this lovely dress by Wedding Bells to perfection. This is a beautiful A line gown in lace and floral 3D effect on bodice and skirt. It is a big dress but very lightweight which is ideal for a summer wedding. Her hairpiece is a wreath of ivory fabric flowers and crystals.

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THE CAKE Our talented cake decorator Michelle Decelis conjured up this beautiful allwhite cake, which matches the whole look just beautifully. It is a simply perfect concoction of delicate flowers all made from sugar paste which looks almost too beautiful to eat!


THE MODEL Rebecca Pace is a University student and has been eagerly looking forward to taking part in one of our shoots, as she says she has always been an avid reader of WeddingDay. We were delighted with her charming personality and her patience on what turned out to be a long day of shooting. Rebecca was also very versatile and a pleasure to work with, proving herself to be an excellent model.

WD | 21


WD | 23


ON THE BEACH STYLING

MAKE-UP

Katerina, our photographer, made full use of the unique location, and took some breathtaking shots down at Pebbles beach, where Rebecca posed in a pretty white bikini sponsored by Monsoon. Marquita from Wedding Bells provided the lacey cover-up, which once again evoked a very romantic touch, with just the right amount of understated sexiness. The lace and tulle sheer tunic can be worn on a simple bridal gown or on its own over underwear or swimwear as shown here. The dainty bridal beach sandals are embellished with Swarovski crystals, while all jewellery and accessories seen here are available from Zsa Zsa, which is located next door to Wedding Bells.

Daniela, our make-up artist tells us that a perfect foundation is the best basis for a flawless sun-kissed complexion. Heat and humidity during  summer do not help when it comes to foundation and we all know that as the day goes on, the foundation starts to wear out.  Airbrush makeup is the perfect solution, which Daniela has now added on to her repertoire of skills. Airbrush foundation is sprayed on the skin producing tiny particles of makeup which are much smaller than when conventionally applied.  The main benefits are that it is lightweight - giving a luxurious look, it is less visible, resulting in a flawless finish, it lasts longer than cream foundation ( up to 13 hours ), it is heat and water resistant and most importantly there is NO need for touch ups! The look for this shoot was achieved by applying brown, bronze and copper eyeshadow together with a black eyeliner that was smudged towards the outer corner of the eye, blended in the dark brown shadow. Lips were kept as natural as possible using a nude colour lip stain. Airbrush foundation was sprayed on the face. Bronzer and highlighter were applied to contour the face. This makeup application stood up to the test as after hours of shooting in the sun, Rebecca’s complexion remained flawless!

HAIR Joe Briffa from Hairoscope expertly styled Rebecca’s hair into what looks like an effortlessly casual pulled back upstyle, but which is really a work of art when seen up close. The soft tendrils around her face prevent the style from being too “styled” and severe, which is in tune with the relaxed feel of a summer wedding.

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THE BOUQUET & ACCESSORIES The white bouquet made of hydrangeas, roses, berries and fillershad pops of red and purple to give it a dash of colour. The aqua stone earrings were provided by Zsa Zsa.


AvAilABlE fOr rENT whiTE rATTAN SOfAS, lEAThEr ChillOuT SOfAS, TABlES, ChAirS ANd umBrEllAS

CONTACT: JOhANNA ZAmmiT @ BAli STuff NAxxAr rOAd, NAxxAr T: +356 21574913 • M: +356 79596209 • E: JAyZEd@mAlTANET.NET www.BAliSTuffmAlTA.COm • fACEBOOk: BAliSTuff wEddiNgS


WeddingDay

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 fb: katerinavellaryabkova SET StyliNG Johanna Zammit of Bali Stuff www.balistuffmalta.com • M: +356 79596209 Flowers & CHERRY BLOSSOM TREES Romano Cassar Florists E: sales@romanocassar.com • fb: romano cassar florist T: +35621441264/+35621486307 Bridal fashion styling Marquita Kemper of WeddingBells T: +356 21224234 • E: weddingbells@sis.net.mt MAKE-UP Daniela Cassar E: dannicassar@gmail.com • M: +356 99130575 hair Joe Briffa of Hairoscope E: joebriffa16@gmail.com T: +356 21659442 • M: +356 99224750 CAKE Michelle Decelis T: +356 77359929 • fb: MCreativeCakes VENUE RADISSON BLU RESORT & SPA, MALTA GOLDEN SANDS E: info.goldensands@radissonblu.com • T: +356 2356 1000


Something New, Something Old, Something Bloom & Something Borrowed At Romano Cassar we are passionate about our work. With a particular enthusiasm for wedding arrangements, the team approaches each bridal bouquet with the aim of creating the ultimate romantic statement. Whether it is a bold assortment of cascading blooms or a delicate ensemble of tiny classic buds, each element is tailored to the celebration at hand.

romanocassar.com Romano Cassar Ltd. 24, Hammieri Road, Qormi. QRM1509 Tel: +356 21441264 / Mob: +356 79373100

find us on facebook


SARA CAUCHI & TERENCE MICALLEF 10th September 2016 photos: Aleksey Leonov

Terence and Sara met at their place of work back in 2008, where their work brought them into regular contact with each other. “We became very close friends, and at the office everyone used to joke about us two being together. Our friendship became a very special one and we starting dating each other. We never thought it would lead to all these loving years together. Naturally, we then decided to get married, since we realized that it was time to start a new chapter in our life as we could not live without each other.” The proposal happened during a short holiday in Turkey where Terence had booked a lovely top floor romantic restaurant with panoramic views of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul. Sara recalls, “Since the location was a surprise, and I tend to be very curious, I started thinking that maybe something else was planned. On our way, I looked curiously if Terence was carrying a gift or bag, and when I realized he had nothing extra apart from his usual stuff, I thought maybe it’s just a normal dinner. Knowing how curious I am, Terence managed to keep everything discreet; in fact he removed the ring from the box and put it in a small envelope. He then proposed at the restaurant presenting me with custom-made card with the big question, and I immediately said yes.” “When it came to my wedding dress I always had in mind a style which is fashion forward, but at the same time sophisticated and classical. My inspirations came from the bridal couture designers Galia Lahav & Berta. After researching and browsing through their styles, I concluded that my favourite style was a backless delicate lace gown in a mermaid fit, with long sleeves. The combination of different styles wasn’t that easy to find, since most gowns didn’t come in a very low back, or else gowns are mostly sleeveless. However, when I saw my dress, I knew that with some alterations, it could easily be turned into the dress I was looking for.” In fact, with the help of two dedicated seamstresses, this dress was transformed into my dream wedding dress.”

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Sara had always wanted a small bridal party, since she feels it makes the wedding more intimate and romantic. “On my big day I wanted the closest persons by my side, whom I feel totally comfortable with. I chose to only have a Maid of Honour, and asked my very best friend Maria, who is practically a sister to me. Our flower girl, Lana, is the daughter of Terence’s cousin as we knew she would be a charming flower girl at our wedding. We purchased her dress from Wedding Bells.” Although Wedding Bells is mostly renowned for its bridal gowns, those looking for dresses for their bridal party can find everything they need for bridesmaids and flower girls here as well. “The best man Matthew, is a very close friend. He is a very responsible person so I knew I had a person to rely on. The usher Joseph, apart from being a good friend of mine for ages, is a person who is experienced when it comes to weddings. He was in charge of coordinating the catering and beverages and liaising with the head waiter and barmen throughout.


Being a perfectionist, Sara had everything well in hand, but as Terance is a very well-organised person, he organized and co-ordinated everything with the suppliers, best man and usher. “In fact I also organized our wedding day program and listed all the timings and duties of each person during the wedding day, which served as a guide in order for our wedding day to run smoothly.” The Mass was held at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary at San Pawl tat-Targa followed by a reception at Xara Lodge. “We chose this venue as we we have always wanted a glamorous wedding at a modern style venue. Apart from that Xara Lodge offered us a good back up plan should the weather not permit. We also chose this venue because we knew that the catering was very good and would not let us down. Terence was also lucky to know the manager Mr David Spiteri (who was his best friend at school), who helped us a lot in organizing venue, catering and beverages, and assisting us throughout our specific requests.” “We made sure to provide a good assortment of food items, so everyone would enjoy something to their liking. Apart from that, we had a BBQ table with a


wide selection of meat and fish, and also an ice-cream Carrello, where an assortment of ice-cream and sorbet was served during the wedding.” For this couple, the cake had to be the main focus of the wedding. The wedding cake was placed on a suspended glass table in the centre of the hall, and decorated with fresh white flowers. “To create this effect, we also had a white carpet with candles in glass vases throughout the hall and also soft blue lighting directing attention towards the cake. It was the highlight of the wedding!” Florist Bjorn Borg from Floreal outdid himself for this wedding by creating the gorgeous floating table. The effect of the whole table being suspended in mid-air was simply an ingenious work of art. The floral design throughout Xara Lodge was likewise elegant and timeless, with flowers scattered throughout in clear vases, continuing the theme from the luscious bridal bouquet. As a theme, Sara wanted something modern, but at the same time glamorous and sophisticated. “I always wanted an all white wedding, featuring white flowers, glass vases and white fairy lights. Complementing this style, Terence wore a blue shawl collar tuxedo, where-


as the groomsmen wore black tuxedos. The Maid of Honour’s dress was in a neutral blush pink. Obviously this theme was also incorporated for our invitations, souvenirs and other accessories. “ The day before the wedding, Sara was very stressed, coordinating the final touches that came up. “As the day went on, especially in the evening I started panicking even more, thinking about everything concerned with wedding preparations, and checking the various weather forecasts, worrying how the weather would be. I have to thank my maid of honour, Maria, who was with me the night before the wedding, and managed to keep me a bit calm and made me laugh as usual. When the day arrived, the first thing I did was look through my bedroom windows, to confirm that the weather was fine, and it was a such a huge relief! The day was very hectic, but everything was progressing as planned. Time flew by so fast, and when they told us it’s time to dress up and leave, I couldn’t believe the time had come. I was very nervous and excited. However, once we were all set in the car and drove


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Floreal

BB by Bjorn Borg

Weddings and Events

Flowers for any Occasion. Being Weddings, Anniversaries, Birthdays or any other occasion Floreal 75/77, Labour Avenue Naxxar, Malta NXR 9023 Contact us on: (+356) 2747 0744/5 E-mail us on : bjorn_floreal@melita.com & florealhome@melita.com

www.florealmalta.com Follow us on Facebook Floreal & Floreal Home

designing something unique and making it unforgettable

away, together with my father and Maria, we were all laughing away taking pictures and enjoying the ride.” In contrast, Terence was very relaxed as he had everything planned in advance. In the morning he went with the best man and usher to check that all was OK at the venue. “Then we stopped for lunch and arrived home late to find the videographer and photographer all waiting for us to get started… otherwise they would be running late to arrive at Sara’s house. But still we did not panic as we had everything organised and prepared from the previous day: we all had our suits, bows, shoes, belts, shirts etc.. prepared with our names inside the pockets, so there was no panic to get ready. In fact we were on time and stuck to the original plan and timings.” Sara said that while they did their best to try and coordinate every single detail, some minor mishaps did occur. One of these was forgetting the Swarovski signing pen at home. “I realized this when we were called to sign the documents after the ceremony. The church assistant told me not to worry, he would bring one himself.


I really laughed when I saw that the pen handed to me was just a regular branded pen. Then after all the hassle of preparing another dress, to change into a more comfortable one to enjoy after party, I realized I had brought everything with me apart from the underwear I needed for this dress and also for the morning after, since we were staying at the Xara Palace Hotel for the night. Obviously I had to remain with my wedding dress, which didn’t stop me from having fun and dancing the night away.” Then, after seeing all of the hard work and planning come together, and seeing all of their friends and family having a great time, Sara and Terence were happy with the results. “After the wedding we received very positive comments and for us this was the result of good planning and preparation. We would definitely do it again without changing anything as it was a very wonderful journey especially during the preparation stages and of course the wedding day itself!”


F

H

, C

E

Let your fairy tale begin... Contact weddings@xaracollection.com tel: +356 22567567


Kelly Mifsud & Darryl Cutajar 11th December 2016

photos: Tonio Lombardi

Kim and Darryl met at Lenten talks for youths organized by the Youth Fellowship. They used to hang around with the same group of friends and friendship gradually turned to romance. Kelly tells us that the proposal was quite funny, thoughtful and sweet: “On Christmas Eve, after attending Mass and going for an early breakfast on Christmas morning, Darryl wanted to go to Mdina at all costs. I wasn’t too keen on going as it was very cold and I only had a shawl. To cut a long story short we went but I asked him to turn back as soon as we reached the Cathedral as I was shivering with cold. On turning back he started speaking to me, went down on his knees, got up almost immediately and pulled out the ring... which I

didn’t see at first as he was covering it with his hand. So I started laughing as I thought it was another one of his jokes. But then he removed his hand and gave me the ring. It was a very sweet gesture as Mdina is a place we both love and Christmas is my favourite season.” For her bridal gown Kelly was looking for a dress with a lacey bodice and plain skirt. “I liked the dress the moment I put it, it had what I was looking for and it was within budget also.” The cap sleeves are ideal for a winter wedding while the flow of the gown fitted Kelly’s figure perfectly. The pulled back hair style is a soft version of the traditional chignon, with the lace attached to the bun so that it flows naturally.

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The dresses for the bridal party, all of whom are Kelly’s closest friends, were made by seamstress Anna Caruana. The four bridesmaids were all dressed in shades of pale lavender and all had a slightly different cut to their dress to suit their different figures and personal tastes. “I asked them for their input, as at the end of the day they needed to be comfortable in a dress they all liked.” This is always an ideal way to dress your bridal party to ensure that everyone is co-ordinated without looking exactly alike while making sure that they are very comfortable and happy with their dresses. Contrary to ceremonies which are held at very large parish churches, Kelly and Darryl chose the Oratory MSSP in B’Kara, a place close to their hearts, where the priest concelebrated their very special Mass. “Our ceremony was different because both of us form part of a prayer community and attend Mass at the Oratory on Saturdays. In fact, both of us take our faith very seriously (or at least we try to) and so we wanted it to be as prayerful as possible because we truly believe that is how Mass should be celebrated.


The church set up is also different from those of the churches one finds in Malta. The photo showing the people present holding the prayer shawl over us is because they and the priest were saying a prayer while the guests raised their hands as a sign that they’re also blessing us. In fact the prayer shawl is a symbol, symbolizing the shawl which the Jews used to use.” This meaningful ceremony was followed by a reception at the Xara Lodge, which is very popular among couples who choose to get married in the winter season. They chose delicate pastel coloured flowers to decorate the venue, placed in elegant glass vases. “We wanted a venue either in Mdina or else very close to Mdina, apart from the fact that we always admired the venue from the outside. Their catering was excellent and they saw to our every need including the provision of gluten free items. The cake was a baci and almond cake with fresh flowers.”


“The wedding was very much what we wanted and prayed for, what we both experienced during Mass will remain with us for a very long time and it is something that even the people experienced. The reception was a lot of fun and we enjoyed spending time with each other, family and close friends. I must say the Big Band Brothers did a great job and it was amazing how much people were enjoying it also.�


Mateja Camilleri & Daniel Camilleri 27th November 2016

photos: Katerina Vella-Ryabkova

Mateja met Daniel at a club and they got together when their friends introduced them. After dating for 10 years, marriage was their natural next step. She tells us that although the proposal was far from romantic, on looking back she realizes that it was very special anyway. “I had been passing comments about the ring for years but Daniel would just tease me about it. One day I mentioned the wedding to Daniel but he just ignored me and he finally made me get angry and disappointed (he loves to tease me). He then left and came back and in his hand he had a wooden box and told me I think this will make you happy. I thought he was still teasing me but when I opened the box I found a beautiful solitaire and I couldn’t stop crying.”

Mateja is lucky that her father is a tailor so obviously he made her dress, which is something that not many brides can say. He also designed the beading and had it hand-made abroad. “I wanted something simple and chic and he understood just what I wanted.” As there are a lot of children in their respective families, Mateja decided to just have flower girls and pageboys. Once again, it was her Dad who made all the dresses, while the boys’ cute outfits were rented from the excellent supplier renowned for wedding attire, Cefai Formal Wear. As if sewing all the dresses was not enough, Mateja’s father even made Daniel’s suit.

WD | 53


Keeping it all in the family, the three best men were Mateja’s brothers-in-law. As everyone knows, Mateja is a renowned make-up artist not just for weddings but television and fashion shows. She has also won several awards for excelling at her profession. So it was not surprising that she did her own make-up on the day. After a ceremony at the lovely Mgarr parish church, at Mateja’s home town, the wedding reception was held at Xara Lodge. “I really like Xara Lodge and the catering is fantastic. I also wanted a big indoor venue and Xara fitted all my requirements. We had a simple cake but I had a custom-made cake topper with the same logo I had embossed on the invitations on which were written our names and one common surname as I have remained a Camilleri.” Asked whether her wedding had a theme, Mateja says that if she had sum it all up it would be “simple and


chic but also a huge family affair”. She could not have used a better description since she had a lot of family members involved in her wedding: Apart from the dresses made by her father, the florist was her mother, there were handmade invitations by her sister, her cousin was the DJ and one of the priests who celebrated their wedding Mass was her uncle. The driver was her cousin who also refurbished her Dad’s classic Audi which before that was owned by her grandfather. “It was finished just in time for our wedding.” Mateja says with a smile. “We had plenty to do but I think inside I was quite relaxed and I was over the moon with happiness. Being surrounded by our family and friends was what made our day special AND we enjoyed every minute of the preparations and the day itself. Daniel also loved his little surprise when the flower girls and page boys drove a little landrover to the entrance of the venue. We truly celebrated our love on our wedding day.”


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Emily Visanich & Andrew Pisani 22nd May 2016

photos: Keith Darmanin at Kitz Klikz

“Andrew and I met at the tender age of 17, while I was out celebrating a friend’s birthday. Since I was out to have fun, finding my husband-to-be was definitely the last thing on my mind on that night! We hit it off immediately and that day we sparked something so strong that we ended up meeting at the altar 11 years later. From then on we were inseparable, sharing even the same university courses; partially because we wanted to be together but mainly because we have so many similar interests. We knew from the very start that we were meant to be together, and despite our very young age we knew we had found our soulmates.” “A few years before we said “I do” our relationship was tested with a long distance because I moved to work overseas; it was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss and we both agreed that it was best to seize it. After two years Andrew decided to join me, since the pain of being apart was becoming unbearable. Although we would never repeat it, thanks to this difficult time, our bond grew stronger. Marriage was always on the books for us, and it was a decision which came naturally, but we felt we needed to wait until the time was right until we tied the knot, which

is why we waited so long.” Since there was no surprise proposal, this couple decided to celebrate it in their own way. “We opted out of the traditional engagement party and decided to plan a holiday to mark the occasion instead. We had been dreaming of Paris for a while and this seemed like the perfect time to visit the most romantic city of them all. We picked out our own rings ourselves, since we wanted to be sure that they were exactly as we always imagined them. We then exchanged them on top of the Eiffel Tower, drank a glass of champagne and had a quiet dinner. I remember we were quite afraid in case we dropped the rings since we were 300 metres above ground! When we flew back home we immediately kicked off the wedding planning.” Emily had a very clear idea of how she wanted her wedding dress to look. “I was inspired by a timeless elegance which was simple yet sophisticated, something classic but different at the same time. Although I enjoyed wedding dress hunting, it ended up in a futile quest since my dream dress couldn’t be found in the shops. However, thanks to all the different styles WD | 61


I tried, I discovered which one looked best on my body type. I finally sought the help of a very talented seamstress, Catherine Conti, with many years of wedding dress experience. We designed the dress together, which was made up of French lace and pure raw silk, featuring a long detachable train. Sleeves were a must for me so I opted for three quarter length ones, given it was Spring. The creation of the dress was a process which saw my dream dress come true; with every fitting that passed the smile on my face kept getting bigger. In fact, during one of the final fittings I remember getting all excited and teary eyed, knowing that it was definitely “the one”. “Since I have no siblings the choice of bridesmaids automatically fell on my two closest friends who ended up being the most thoughtful ever. My matron of honour even took the task of literally feeding me breakfast on the day! I didn’t have time to grab something to eat between my hair appointment and my make-up and she didn’t want me to faint in the middle of saying ”I do”! Although their dresses were basically my design I always sought their approval as I didn’t want them to wear a dress in which they didn’t feel comfortable. I incorporated some small details which reflected their personal tastes in both the dresses and the headpieces and


thankfully they loved the ideas I had in mind. These exquisite dresses were created by the same seamstress who made my dress.” “Our ushers were all our cousins who went out of their way to carry out their duties and they exceeded our expectations on the day. The best man was a family member as well who has some experience in the wedding industry so he was an awesome guide and right-hand man to Andrew.” Although Andrew and Emily now live in Luxembourg, choosing Malta as their wedding destination was an easy and obvious choice. “We knew it could have been difficult for some family and friends to come over to celebrate our wedding overseas and we didn’t want anyone to miss out. Apart from this we love our country so much that exchanging vows in another country just wouldn’t have cut it. Organizing a wedding from abroad isn’t always an easy task, especially for a control freak like me! Since I always like to plan ahead, with the help of our families it became an achievable feat, ticking off to-do lists every time we visited Malta. On the day we were joined by many of our friends and colleagues from Luxembourg, serving as an opportunity to visit our lovely island for those who had never seen it and a trip back home for the Maltese.”


Helping them to ensure everything went smoothly was wedding expert Bernice Bugeja from Love is… “Choosing to have a wedding coordinator for the day came after my matron of honour recommended Bernice Bugeja, whom she had booked for her own wedding. Thanks to Bernice, the day was a breeze as she was so organised and helpful, which helped us relax and enjoy our special day more. We didn’t need to worry about timing because there she was, reminding us of what was next. Her help wasn’t limited to just the wedding day as during the build up to the day we had various meetings with her, filled with tips, reassurances and planning. Andrew and Emily had quite a lot on our hands in the run up to the wedding. “We had the responsibility of organizing a wedding as well as over-seeing the works going on in their home, all this while living abroad. So we had to split responsibilities; while I took care of the wedding, Andrew took our home under his charge. Although I was more hands-on in the wedding preparations, Andrew still took an active participation. In fact, he surprised me by showing interest even in the domains which are traditionally more up to the bride, like the flowers for instance. I never took a decision on my own and I can say that the only aspect in which he didn’t have a say was my dress, obviously!”


This couple chose the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, in Mdina for their ceremony, followed by a reception at Xara Lodge. “We chose the Xara Lodge for a number of reasons: we loved the way natural light flooded this venue and being a morning wedding, this trait was optimal for us. From the venue there is a good view of Mdina Cathedral, which was even more special once we exchanged wedding vows there. Logistically, it was ideal because it is very close to the church. So our guests could join us for both the ceremony and the reception, without much hassle. In fact, we made our guests’ parking easier by offering them a shuttle service which ran from Xara to Mdina and back, while having their cars parked with ease at the venue. Andrew and I have a love for Maltese food, a love which grew mainly from the fact that we go a long time without it abroad! This was channelled through the inclusion of a traditional Maltese food table, together with sweets like imqaret and kannoli. We also thought of keeping our guests refreshed with a cocktail bar. Our cake was a classic five-tier almond and bacio cake with ivory sugar flowers cascading from all tiers. These came in all shapes and sizes and varied from tiny flowers to large blooming roses - a true work of art and craftsmanship. The idea came from a photo we saw online and

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


straight away we agreed that this style of cake was the one for us. Since we are both fans of anything that’s classic, vintage and old-school, we both knew that this cake was an epitome of times gone by. I must admit we were quite nervous about the result, hoping that it would live up to our expectations, but thankfully the professional team at the Xara Lodge lived up to their reputation and more.” “For the church we kept an all white colour scheme for the flowers and the Mass was animated by a choir and a string quartet, which reveals our love for classical music. My Mum lovingly created our ring cushion made out of Maltese lace and all our souvenirs were made out of crochet doilies filled with sugared almonds. She also helped to make the tulle pompoms to hang on the trees at Xara Lodge. At the venue we wanted to make the most of the greenery around the patio so we enhanced it as much as we could with white cages filled with flowers. I believe that flowers are the most beautiful thing one can use to decorate, so we made sure to include them wherever we could.

My bridesmaids wore 1905s-inspired tea-length dresses made out of old-rose silk, accessorized with t-bar sandals, wrist-length net gloves and bird cage head-pieces. My “something blue” was an idea I found on Pinterest and immediately thought that it was so pretty and original; my husband’s and my own initials together with the wedding date cross-stitched onto my underskirt.” Looking back on their wedding day, Emily says, “First and foremost it was special to us because we fulfilled an 11year dream. It was very surreal to have finally arrived at the moment we always used to talk about. In fact, we feel that the ceremony was the most important and emotional part since we were joined in Holy Matrimony and vowed to be together through thick and thin. It was all the more special because we celebrated it surrounded by our friends and families, with some of them even going through the hassle of coming from abroad. Our guests’ enjoyment was very special to us, so seeing them celebrating with us and having fun was a complete satisfaction. All the tips and advice we were receiving from our married friends didn’t prepare us for the overload of emotions we felt on that day. It was truly a precious day we will cherish all our lives!”


Debbie Crockford & Andy Warby 30th December 2016 photos: Fran Stivala

We have heard some interesting stories about how people met, but this has to be one of the most unique encounters. “We met on a professional course about mould and humidity”, Gavin and Debbie tell us, adding that “love finds a way!” Debbie is Maltese, Andy is “exotic and daft”. They are qualities that initially piqued Debbie’s interest towards him and made her fall in love with him. They were two islanders from opposite ends of the world who were thrown together – and they believe that it was inevitable. Andy once filled Debbie’s parents’ pool with millions of tiny polystyrene balls, (jablo) after bursting a floating bean bag so needless to say, that incident made it to the wedding speeches. The proposal is also one of the most original we have ever heard. “It was early morning at a family winery in Napa Valley (Tudal winery), when Andy started to recite a poem he had written for me at the beginning of our relationship. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a morning person, so this was very brave of Andy,” says Debbie.

The wedding dress was made by Wendy Makin which Debbie sourced from Joyce Young, London. “I was looking for something timeless, elegant and understated which I could dance the night away in. When I tried it on, I became very emotional and so did my sister-in-law, Mum and Andy’s Mum. Even the shop assistant shed a tear!” The veil was from the same shop (‘something new)’. The outfit was topped with a vintage 1940s rabbit fur stole from Annie’s, Camden Passage (‘something old’). Debbie’s ‘something borrowed’ were her earrings which were loaned to her by her grandmother. The earrings were a present to her grandmother from her grandfather on their wedding day 60 years before. She also wore her mum’s loaned pendant, which was a present from her parents on her wedding day and was worn by her and Debbie’s sister-inlaw on their wedding days, and this was her ‘something blue’. Her parents also gave her a ring that was her great great aunt’s from the 1920s that finished off the look perfectly. WD | 69


Debbie’s bridesmaids consisted of Andy’s niece from the US, her cousin and oldest friend from Malta and her sister-in-law from the UK. Understandably, bridesmaid fittings were a logistical nightmare. Debbie’s youngest cousin was the flower girl, who performed her duties like a pro. There were five groomsmen chosen to reflect different points in Andy’s life, who were a mix of family and close friends. Although they didn’t have a wedding planner as such, they did have the “two Johannas” who were brilliant ( Johanna Ward, Events Manager at Corinthia, Attard and Johanna Zammit from Bali Stuff who took care of the décor.) Given the time year, they also had a 16 foot Christmas tree, which was part and parcel of the chosen wedding venue. They both fell in love with the venue as they share a love for historic buildings. About 35 people travelled from the mainland of Spain and the Canary Islands, US, Russia, England, Wales and Scotland. While the rest, around 100 or so, were Maltese.


Andy’s project management skills came in handy and he contributed with creative ideas when it came to music, wine and whiskey. To fit in with the Christmas theme, the bridesmaids carried festive lanterns instead of flowers, a harpist played Coldplay’s Paradise while Debbie walked down the aisle, which holds a special meaning for the couple. There were fairy lights hanging from the ceiling, and the large Christmas tree as a backdrop – so it truly felt like a fairytale. “Besides the period features of the building, internally the space was flexible, allowing the various rooms to have different themes – including a chill out room, bar area and entertainment space. The fact that there was a hotel and spa on site, made it all the more appealing to our foreign guests.” The look and feel of the venue called for a theme befitting of that era. The villa was built in the 1920s, and there is a family connection as well, since one of the first wedding receptions to be held there was actually that of Debbie’s late great uncle.


“The catering included a midnight feast of Maltese pastizzi, to keep our guests fuelled. Following the ceremony and canapés, we had a three-course seated dinner. The food was exquisite, especially the desserts. That was important to us as we both have a sweet tooth. For the cake, we went for a mix of red velvet and hazelnut - flavours that we thought would appeal to our guests more than an almond or fruitcake.” Debbie recalls feeling pretty calm and happy, deciding upon her hairstyle only a few hours before the ceremony commenced. Debbie wanted her hair down, as she felt more natural and comfortable like this but her Mum thought it should be up for the occasion. The wonderful hair stylist Angela Mallia de Leonardo from Leonard’s Hairdressers, who has styled their hair for decades, came up with a compromise which they were both happy with which instantly put both of them at ease. This style perfectly suits Debbie’s low-key personality and is ideal for the bride who is not really looking for a very ‘styled’ or elaborate look. The side parting and ponytail to one side, allows Debbie’s long hair


to flow naturally, with just a hint of a curl, and embellished with a hair accessory to add that final, elegant touch. All went smoothly, except for when Debbie almost got to the venue without her bouquet as her mother had put it in some obscure place in order to protect it. The only other minor hiccup was that the confetti bazookas didn’t go off as planned, which was unfortunate as that was the one shot which the couple had hoped to capture. “Instead, we’ve got plenty of video footage of the groomsman and bridesmaid struggling with them, which finally went off after we were long gone. That makes us chuckle every time!” “We really loved that it was a small and intimate wedding, consisting only of close friends and family. Some of our guests said that it was like going back in time one said it was like being in a movie. Such comments make us feel like all our hard work and efforts had paid off!” For their honeymoon the couple spent 10 days in New Zealand (South Island), a weekend in Sydney, Australia and 6 days in Bali. WD | 75


Michelle Bye & Aaron Gannon 1st June 2016

photos: Shane P Watts

This couple met in July 2009, aged 21, when they both started working for the same manufacturing company in their local town of Bedford. The pair realized early on that they were madly in love and bought a house together within a year, shortly followed by the addition of two dogs, two cats, a pond full of fish and a horse to complete the family. For one of their vacations, Aaron planned a surprise ‘Lemur Feeding’ experience at West Midlands Safari Park in Shropshire. Michelle thought a photographer was present to capture the lemur feeding for the Safari Park’s website, however, little did she know that it was actually to capture the proposal. Once Aaron had popped the question, Michelle burst into joyful tears and the zoo keepers brought out a bottle of champagne and a bouquet of red roses which Aaron had left in their care in order to celebrate the occasion. The photographer also gave the couple a lovely disc full of images of their lemur feeding experience and the proposal itself.

For her wedding gown, Michelle chose an elegant, traditional, ivory, lace dress fitted at the waist with a large train. Being very slim and petite, she loves wearing sophisticated, feminine dresses. “I had a clear idea in my mind of the exact dress I desired and when I put “the” dress on, it brought tears to my eyes as I could envision myself walking down the aisle toward Aaron in it. Turning to my mother I could tell she agreed as she welled up with tears and gushed, “that’s the one!” I even managed to have a bespoke matching veil made using lace offcuts from the dress where it was turned up and tailored in at the waist. Packing such a large, expensive dress into carry-on luggage for the flight was an experience in itself. In fact my mother and I watched numerous YouTube videos to learn how to best fold the dress.” Michelle’s older sister, Davina Bye, was her bridesmaid. The dress was navy to match the male’s suits and included a detachable beaded cape that could differentiate the look from ceremony to reception. WD | 77


As the flower girl, Aaron’s little sister, lives in Washington D.C. her outfit was more complicated to organize. Michelle and Aaron found different images of navy and white flower girl dresses which they liked and emailed them to allow the little girl to choose her own dress. The dress was first seen by Aaron and Michelle on their wedding day and was a lovely surprise as it was white with navy petals in the skirt and a large navy bow. Aaron, his best man, Matt and Michelle’s father, Derek, wore bespoke suits by Marks and Spencers and brown leather shoes from Clarks. Aaron opted for Mediterranean-style attire to fit the venue: beige trousers, navy jackets, grey waistcoats, navy silk ties, brown leather belts and brown leather shoes. Aaron sent photos to his father in Washington DC so that he could source a similar outfit from there. Michelle and Aaron selected Jonathon Bye and Jamie Bradshaw, their cousin and best friend respectively, to perform poetry readings during the ceremony. Aaron’s little brother was the obvious choice for page boy and his outfit matched in with Aaron perfectly. The obvious question we ask foreign couples is, what made you choose Malta for your destination wedding?


As it happens the first holiday which Michelle and Aaron took abroad together was in Malta. Staying in St Julian’s, the pair had an amazing week touring the island and neighboring Comino and Gozo, and fell in love with the destination (and the Prickly Pear liquor!) Since then the island has always had a special place in their hearts. The couple’s second visit took them to Mellieha and they co-ordinated this holiday with their search for a destination wedding venue. Being hyper organized, Michelle took care of most of the wedding herself from the UK using Maltese wedding forums and magazines, as well as Maltese contacts, to select exceptional vendors. Having said that, the couple both reckon Shane P Watts, their photographer, would make a fabulous wedding planner as he spent much of the day carrying Michelle’s dress, holding their drinks, ushering guests to the correct location and organizing where the couple needed to be. “Shane is also the funniest, flirtiest Irishman you could come across in Malta and reflected Michelle’s Irish heritage on her mother’s side! He knew the venue perfect-


ly and even stayed late to capture the perfect first dance images.”says Aaron. When it came to the theme: “We wanted to incorporate Maltese traditions with British and American traditions so we opted for a carrot cake wedding cake, a 5pm ceremony time, fire dancers as evening performers and for Maltese favours we chose our favourite Prickly Pear liquor! Aaron and Michelle wanted an intimate wedding, so they limited the guest list to 30 of their nearest and dearest family and friends to join them in Malta. Aaron’s parents and siblings flew in from Washington DC, while some of Michelle’s friends flew in from her mother’s native Ireland. The remaining guests all arrived from neighboring Sicily or England. Aaron and Michelle have always loved live music so knew they wanted a live band, however, choosing one from afar was a difficult process. The couple could not have been happier with their choice of the Raymond Zammit band. They were even lucky enough to be invited by the band to see them perform live in Valletta’s


open air theatre a few days before the wedding for free; this was the moment they truly witnessed the power of Ms Zammit’s voice and knew it would be the best choice of band possible for their wedding day. The couple opted for a vintage car to take them to the venue, which proved a lucky choice on the day as it rained. The next day, because they both love horses, they went horse riding on a sunset ride across Golden Bay (something they recommend to all newlyweds!) Michelle surprised Aaron and their guests by organizing an evening fire dancing performance by two dancers using a combination of flames and pyrotechnics to produce a breath-taking show. Guests watched from the palace’s balcony while the dancers gave a thirty-minute performance using traditional Maltese music. Aaron loved the surprise and the children present were captivated by the flames. Michelle also had a vintage pocket watch engraved with a sweet message for her groom as a surprise gift. Aaron surprised Michelle on the day with some very impressive gifts: a diamond and sapphire white gold bracelet, with matching earrings and a diamond and


necklace to match her engagement and wedding rings, as well as a champagne hot air balloon flight. “For our vows, we selected two poems that represented how we felt about each other and what marriage meant to us to be read by our ushers who also mean the world to us.” “Our amazing vocalist, Ms Zammit, sung hit songs from 2009 (the year the couple met) as they walked down the aisle; her voice was beautiful and filled the room with mellow tones. We really couldn’t recommend her and her pianist highly enough; her voice is so soothing and impressive.” During their second visit to Malta, they had visited several possible venues in the glorious sunshine that were all beautiful and unique in their own right. However, walking through Naxxar they were suddenly hit by a torrential downpour that soaked their clothes through followed by an accidental car splash that covered Michelle’s white summer dress in muddy water. “By the time we reached the Palazzo we felt rather bedraggled. Thankfully there was not only a warm welcome and a large slice of delicious carrot cake awaiting us, but a venue that took our


breath away and was, without a doubt, the ‘one’. As avid travellers, we enjoy exploring the history and culture of every country we visit, including castles, stately homes and palaces. Therefore, Palazzo Parisio was a choice close to our hearts. We particularly enjoyed the accessibility to a vast choice of rooms and spaces for the different aspects of the day, which is a stark contrast to weddings in similar venues in the UK which limit guests to a marque in the grounds or a disused building. The ability to experience fine dining in a grand gold-gilded ballroom and enjoy a first dance under the stars in an Italian-style walled garden were truly opportunities not to be missed. “We requested that our canapes, served after the ceremony in the garden alongside an open bar, include representations of our passion for international travel by having international delicacies such as Italian cannoli and Chinese vegetable spring rolls served. “Having attended many British weddings where we were not seated together as a couple, we both disliked the idea of separating guests across numerous tables. Therefore, we requested one long table with antique silver candelabra, antique silverware and gold ballroom chairs in the grand ballroom where we could seat families, couples and travel

companions together. It also meant we could see everyone and every guest could hear the speeches. The presentation of the table looked like the dining scene out of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, it truly was beautiful.” The guests filled out humorous ‘Wedding Advice’ sheets for the happy couple. Michelle’s talented father, Derek Bye, provided hand drawn, personalized name places featuring cartoon lemurs stealing Michelle’s wedding ring. Favours for the children were boxes of traditional Maltese nougat with Alice in Wonderland ‘Eat Me’ labels and for the adults bottles of Prickly Pear liquor with Alice in Wonderland ‘Drink Me’ labels. The cake, of course, had to be carrot cake! “As an intimate destination wedding, we knew that we required a cake that guests could consume before departure from the island so we requested a smaller, richer wedding cake. We also had a bespoke cake topper made that included silhouettes of us, our two dogs and two cats.” “Instead of any particular theme, we wanted the day to reflect ‘us’; this saw an infusion of literature, culture and travel during a loving, relaxed occasion. In fact, we are the first of our friends and family to choose a destination wedding


(which has inspired a few people since). We always knew there would be some form of travel required as Michelle’s family are in the UK and Aaron’s family are in America. So as travel lovers, we wanted to introduce our friends and family to the joys of travel for our special day. Consequently, the wedding party based themselves in Saint Julian’s for over a week and facilitated guests on sightseeing boat trips, horse riding adventures, speed boat trips, brunches, lunches, dinners, drinks and more. We can guarantee that every guest left the island as dedicated fans of Malta.” “We are so happy we selected a traditional 5pm start time as it meant we could enjoy breakfast together before Aaron left the penthouse apartment to travel to his father’s hotel to get ready. Aaron surprised Michelle with her favourite ricotta-filled Italian cannoli for breakfast before the pair exchanged gifts to open when they began their wedding preparations. “We both felt very excited as we had been together for almost seven years and had a running joke that where other couples separated due to the notorious ‘seven year itch’ we were getting married!” “As fate would have it, by midday it was raining just like on our

first date and our first visit to Palazzo Parisio as fiancées. Fate? Who knows! While our contacts at the Palazzo were panicking that the garden wasn’t dry enough for our intended outdoor ceremony and that the fire dancers would have to be cancelled for the evening, we were laughing over the phone to one another that only we could choose a rainy summer’s day abroad in Malta to get married.” Concerned family and friends were messaging condolences for the weather while the laid-back couple were happily confirming that the Palazzo could ‘surprise’ them with a choice of palace room for the ceremony. Meanwhile, Michelle was labelled the most chilled out bride her friends and family had ever seen as she was completely unfazed. Ultimately, the couple wed in the Red Drawing Room, a lavish and stunning venue and the rain cleared up in time for canapés in the garden. And, of course, the fire dancers went ahead as planned. Another funny scenario involved a coach load of elderly tourists that accidentally stumbled into the exclusive use venue and required herding back to their coach by the


groom, best man and photographer which meant the photographer unintentionally missed capturing the bride’s arrival in the vintage car. But it also meant that the bride arrived in true ‘celebrity’ style to a chorus of cheers, clapping and photographs by the group of wayward travelers, and led to the venue temporarily ‘losing’ the bride when they whisked her aside into a downstairs parlour to avoid being spotted by her guests, then forgot where they left her. “We both got to marry our best friend and soul mate in a ceremony that represented who we are, and what we enjoy, as a couple in an intimate gathering in a country that we love. Malta is the only country we have returned to more than once!” The travel-loving couple spent three weeks on a luxurious 5 star guided tour of China that included visits to the Great Wall of China in Beijing, a Yangzte River Cruise, the Xi’an Terracotta Warriors and the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu.


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Public Registry,Victoria Bookworm, Victoria Stationery and More, Ghajnsielem Terence Stationery, Nadur Kempinski Hotel, San Lawrenz Ta’ Cenc Hotel, Sannat Ta’ Haqqu stationery, Xaghra Cefai Formal Wear, Xewkija


This could be the start to your happily ever after‌

Our different seaside venues give you a variety of backdrops for your dream wedding. If you like the sound of celebrating the start of your married life together in a beautiful seaside setting get in touch with us. Our wedding specialist will guide you in planning an unforgettable day.

westinmalta.com/weddings | facebook.com/WestinMaltaWeddings | events.dragonara@westin.com


WEDDINGDAY MOJO Publishing www.issuu.com/WEDDINGDAY info@weddingdaymalta.com

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Wd 19 summerbreeze  

Our summery bridal issue will take you straight to the beach. Enjoy this summer with an inspiring read and have fun planning your own weddin...

Wd 19 summerbreeze  

Our summery bridal issue will take you straight to the beach. Enjoy this summer with an inspiring read and have fun planning your own weddin...

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