When Ingrid and Beppe Antignolo bumped into each other at a local establishment for the first time, they both knew that they had found something special in one another. “Although neither of us are the soppy type, I think we both agree it was like at first sight, because I think love is quite a strong word,” says Beppe, 34, who manages an insurance branch.
“After meeting Ingrid I remember telling a close friend that I’ll either end up marrying her or no one,” he adds. “I had my fair share of relationships and the single life, so when I found someone who supported me in all the things I do, who made me happy and whom I could enjoy my life with, I knew she was the one.”
Ingrid, 31, who works at a bank, says that just like Beppe, she was never the kind to settle for the sake of it, and in time, he proved to be the right person for her, making the surprise proposal a happy and exciting new chapter for both of them when the time came. For the occasion, Beppe headed to Gozo a day before to decorate their apartment for the proposal and, together with his friends, invented an excuse to visit Gozo with Ingrid.
“I must admit I was in a bad mood that day, having to go up to Gozo for a ridiculous reason, which to be fair made perfect sense at the time,” says Ingrid. “But in the end, all went as Beppe planned – I was surprised and obviously happy too.”
The couple soon began preparations for their wedding day, and set the date for 23rd March 2019, with nuptial mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St Paul in Mdina, followed by a reception at Villa Arrigo in Naxxar. Ingrid handled most of the preparations, except for the men’s suits and vintage bus from Supreme Travel for the groomsmen, due to Beppe’s demanding work hours and football commitments. “I wasn’t really stressed throughout the preparations. I’m a very calm person and work well under pressure. On the contrary, Beppe was the one stressing most times!” says Ingrid.
The couple’s main focus throughout the wedding preparations, they explain, was the mass – it was the most important part of the day for both of them, which is why they chose the Mdina Cathedral. “For the reception, we opted for Villa Arrigo as both of us attended weddings and events there, and the service, environment and food by Osborne Caterers were always of the highest level.”
The wedding mass was celebrated by the Archbishop of Malta, Mgr Charles J. Scicluna, who the couple were honoured to have as their celebrant. “We met His Grace at his Mdina residence a few weeks before the wedding day, and both of us were struck by how humble, intelligent and friendly he is. Having such a strong leader at the helm of your wedding is a good foundation for a marriage,” says Beppe.
Beppe and Ingrid say the mass was personal and beautiful, and at times innocently interrupted by the flower girls and page boy who felt the need to copy the maid of honour and bridesmaid, and arrange the bride’s dress. “During the mass, we also noticed a few tourists enter the cathedral to get a glimpse of what they thought was a Maltese royal wedding, which is what some of my very bright groomsmen were telling tourists outside the church!”
Adding to the celebratory mood on the cathedral’s parvis was a local banda, which recreated the scene of a Maltese feast, kicking up the fun and festive mood a few notches upon the couple’s exit from the church. It was also a complete surprise to Ingrid, and a part of the wedding that both of them absolutely loved.
As for the bride’s dress, Ingrid designed it herself together with the assistance of talented dressmaker Simona Mamo. “The dress had to be ‘me’, and I had to be comfortable in it all night as it was going to be a very long day and night, so I had a dress made with a detachable train that I could remove later on in the evening,” she explains. “I wanted something simple yet regal – and that is exactly what I had made. The dress turned out exactly as I wanted it to, without needing to alter anything along the way.”
The couple shared their first dance to a slightly different version of the classic Xemx, which never fails to get people singing along to it. “It’s an old song that never gets old, and it will remind us of our first dance each time we hear it.”
Photos by Kitz Klikz