On Stephanie’s first date with Kyle seven years ago, she felt as if she had met someone she knew her whole life. “I never expected during that time that I would meet the love of my life!” she says. 

A few years later, the couple set their sights on buying their first home, and decided to get married two years later. “We decided together to get married, after we bought our house. There was no grand, romantic proposal.”

Eager to dig into the planning process, Stephanie wasted no time to start organising the wedding she had been picturing since she was a girl. “From a young age, my dream was to get married, wear a beautiful white dress and organise a magnificent celebration of love. It actually came true!” she says.

The couple set the date for 13th July 2019, and Stephanie immediately checked with the parish priest of her hometown, Qrendi, whether St Matthew’s chapel was available. “The chapel is breath-taking and the surroundings so picturesque, and I wanted to get married in my hometown. Thankfully, it was available. After booking the chapel, we visited a few venues and decided to have our reception at The Xara Lodge in Rabat. We were impressed with the venue and its setting, and the service we received.”

After that, Stephanie spent the months leading up to the big day poring over every aspect to make her dream a reality. “Planning my wedding was an experience I'll never forget. It was frustrating, exhilarating and stressful at times, especially when you don’t find things you’re looking for, but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done.”

In line with their wishes to have a classic, romantic and traditional wedding, Stephanie opted for a gold colour scheme, as well as delicate lighting, lots of florals and calligraphic details.

These included a prosecco bar to enjoy after the ceremony, a gin bar and chill-out area at the reception, a guest book table with a Polaroid camera, a personalised wedding card box, fans and flip-flops for guests for the church and after-party, heart tube bubbles for all the children invited, a backdrop for guests’ photos and lots of decorations.

Did Stephanie consider engaging a wedding planner at any point? “I wanted the day to run as smoothly as I planned it, so we opted for a wedding organiser for the day. I can’t thank Twanny Sacco enough for his hard work. His attention to detail made the whole day a perfect one for us and all our guests.”

That morning, the bride enjoyed getting dolled up by talented make-up artist Jennifer Dimech, who expertly accentuated the bride’s natural beauty. Nerves reached their peak before entering the chapel with her father, but they all went away the moment she started walking down the aisle. “As I was walking with my dad, tears were flowing and I had butterflies in my stomach. I was walking down the red carpet towards my future husband,” says Stephanie. “He was standing there looking so handsome in his navy suit, tears flowing down his face and so much love in his eyes. It was a pure moment I will never forget.”

Stephanie too looked stunning in her wedding gown, designed by Millanova – a classy fitted dress in nude satin and tulle with a large, detachable organza skirt and long train which she bought from Wedding Bells in Valletta. She completed her look with a gorgeous gold Jennifer Behr headpiece.

The couple’s wedding mass was celebrated by Rev. Dr Marcello Ghirlando, a relative of Kyle’s father, who delivered an emotional ceremony. “He made our ceremony an amazing one – it was so full of love and thought, and personal to us.”  

At the reception, guests tucked into delicious fare that the couple chose and discussed with Martina Abela from The Xara Lodge, and included both finger food items and a BBQ buffet – a perfect choice for a summer wedding. The cake too exceeded Stephanie’s expectations. “I wanted a five-tier nude dotted cake with fresh flowers in between tiers, hanging in the middle of the hall. All the suppliers managed to create a spectacular work of art and our guests were blown away by it.”

Later in the evening, the newlyweds shared their first dance to ‘Perfect’, by Ed Sheeran featuring Andrea Bocelli. “Our first dance took place beneath sparkling lights and accompanied by fireworks – it was a truly unforgettable experience.”

Stephanie says the whole day ran as smoothly as they wanted it to, and all their suppliers, family members and friends played a big part in making it unforgettable. “Everyone knew where they needed to be and when, and what to do during the day. Planning in detail beforehand made it less likely for things to go wrong on the day.”

Looking back, Stephanie wishes she could relive the day, and if she could, she wouldn’t change a thing. “Our wedding day was everything we had dreamt of. The entire day was surreal, magnificent, and I would do it all over again. Everyone tells you that it all works out in the end, and it’s true, everything really does come together!”

Tonio Lombardi

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