Rebecca Vella and Warren Griscti met when they were still on the cusp of adulthood, and, as time went by, their deep bonds matured, with the couple tying the knot nine years after they first set eyes on each other. They tell Bliss Magazine all about their love and big day.
More than nine years ago, Rebecca, 26, and Warren, 30, were set up on a date by a mutual friend – and the attraction was immediate. “My first impressions were that he was very good looking and had a sort of smile in his eyes,” Rebecca says, recalling those initial moments together, and their evening out at the movies. Warren was likewise smitten. “My first impressions were that she was beautiful,” he laughs. “We also both liked the fact that we were quite shy and reserved – and this was something we both noticed in each other,” he adds.
Even in those early days of their relationship, the young couple realised they were a great fit. “We felt very comfortable together, and as the years went by, we developed similar tastes,” Rebecca explains. These tightly knit bonds pointed to many years together, and marriage always seemed to be on the horizon.
Five years after their first date, Warren decided to pop the question. “I was still completing my studies and we were together in New York,” Rebecca recalls. “He proposed to me after a lovely dinner, while we were admiring a beautiful view of the city at night. I have probably never seen him that nervous,” she laughs. Their families in Malta knew what was going to happen on that trip, since Warren asked Rebecca’s parents for their blessing. “I said yes instantly and burst into tears,” Rebecca reveals.
Wedding preparations immediately kicked into gear, with both Rebecca and Warren equally involved in the process. From the get-go, they decided they wanted “a romantic outdoor garden setting” the bride says, settling on Hastings Garden as their venue. She underlined that simplicity was key, though they were also keen to enrich the day with striking details which would reflect their personalities.
The dress was also tailor-made, Rebecca says, as she fondly explains how her mother took the time to make her a bespoke piece. “I had been researching styles that I like for quite a while and knew that I wanted something different. I was inspired by a dress my grandma had – it was intricately beaded, and I remember looking at photos of it and thinking how elegant it looked. I wanted something which was timeless, just like that,” she says.
Rebecca bought the fabric from the UK – after “asking for way too many samples” – and gave it to her mother to work her magic. “It was extra special that my mum got to do it,” she smiles saying that this also proved of great benefit in helping her decide on the details of the dress.
The big day
Finally, in June of last year, all the preparations were ready for the couple’s ‘I dos’. The 300-guest wedding was a traditional one, the bride recounts, with family at centre stage. “I had two bridesmaids: my sister was my maid of honour and I also had my best friend right beside me, with two flower girls – both my cousins. Warren’s best man was his brother, with his sister as witness,” Rebecca continues.
Rebecca will forever remember her favourite moment of the day, when she walked into the Zurrieq parish church, and saw Warren waiting for her in front of the altar. “I was trembling as I made my way up the aisle, but I fixed my eyes on him to try and keep my cool. Later, people told us that it was very emotional,” she recalls.
Warren also looks back fondly at that moment, saying he can still picture “the moment Rebecca walked towards me and then I lifted her veil so I could look her in the eyes.” The excitement felt by the couple was also punctuated by some laughter, as the pair came to exchange their wedding bands. “Warren’s ring couldn’t fit even though we had practised just the day before! And the priest actually passed a comment about it, making everyone laugh,” Rebecca says.
Later on, the moved to Hastings Garden in Valletta, which had been festooned with hundreds of fairy lights that lit up as the sun went down. “We wanted to make best use of the trees, to create a romantic setting, particularly as it got dark,” Rebecca explains. “Looking back, we risked a lot since we didn’t really have a back-up plan in case of bad weather, and our families were rather worried. But we persevered and held on to positive thoughts,” she smiles.
This sense of determination and practicality is central to a successful – and stress-free – occasion, according to Rebecca, who advises engaged couples “not to focus on stuff that cannot really be controlled, and try to enjoy the process as much as possible since you will only get to do it once.” Indeed, not a drop of rain fell on that special day, and the couple – together with their guests – were able to eat, drink and dance for hours. “The day was dreamy for the both of us,” Rebecca smiles. “The only pity is it went by really quickly!”
Photos: Carolina Segre