Kristina Casolani needs little introduction. The 34-year-old singer, songwriter and performer has been active on the local music scene since her teens, with hit songs including Traces, Get Out and The One.
And Kristina met ‘the one’ eight years ago, when she was performing at a private party. “JK and I got chatting and just kept on chatting,” Kristina smiles. “And we’re still chatting all these years later! I’d never met someone I hadn’t got bored of, but JK changed all that; he always manages to keep me entertained.”
After a romantic proposal in Santorini, the couple started planning their wedding. They knew they wanted an intimate day with close family and friends, so they quickly opted for a destination wedding. “We also wanted to experience three days enjoying the best people in our lives.”
When it came to choosing the right location, Kristina and JK started their search at a weddings fair in Italy. “It was there that I saw this incredible picture of a tree overlooking a lake and I fell in love with it,” Kristina says. Despite not knowing where it was, Kristina ran a search, and eventually hunted it down: “it turned out to be Castello Odescalchi in Lake Bracciano, 30 minutes from Rome, where Tom Cruise, Eros Ramazzotti and Martin Scorsese tied the knot.” They travelled to see it and sealed the deal. “The challenge was that the location was the only thing included, which meant we had to organise everything else. As an event organiser myself, I was excited to get stuck in.”
So, from the invites to the caterers, Kristina started to plan the whole celebration. “There were so many things to think about,” she smiles, adding, “it was a test, and JK helped with the communication and legal aspects as his Italian is better than mine, but we managed!”
A few weeks before heading off on their Italian dream, the couple tied the knot legally in a small ceremony at Barracuda Restaurant, followed by dinner there. “That was just for close family, and it was a lovely experience as it eased us into our celebrations nicely,” she says.
As the big day approached, the couple drove to Italy a few days in advance to relax with friends on the Amalfi Coast. They arrived in Bracciano on the same day as their guests, some of whom had brought important elements of the wedding with them. “My dress arrived in a friend’s Range Rover,” Kristina giggles. “Boy was I glad to see it!”
Other important elements also came from Malta – including the suits by Bortex, souvenirs by Stephen Cordina, and Kristina’s hair and make-up team, Leanne Mallia and Ritianne Borg from Sleek Hair Salon, as well as singer Cecilia Zammit Endrich, who Kristina chose because of her angelic voice.
Celebrations started the night before the wedding, with a dinner for friends and family. “That’s when we started to zone out and relax,” Kristina says. “And we had a great time. In fact, I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning and woke up praying I wouldn’t have bags under my eyes for the whole day! Thankfully the adrenaline kicked in.”
The bride walked into the church to the sound of Everybody’s Free, “a song I always dreamt would feature in my future wedding when I was a child.” The ceremony was beautiful, officiated by a lovely Italian priest who made everyone laugh and even spoke some English to entertain the guests.
Looking back on the day, both Kristina and JK say they wouldn’t have changed a thing, and they especially loved the evening celebration, which started with a reception in the Secret Garden, followed by a sit-down dinner and a lively after-party in the Corte D’Onore.
Among the many highlights, Kristina looks back on an impromptu performance as one of her favourite moments. “Our DJ Tony Tony and JK planned that without my knowing. They played a song I loved and I went on stage to dance, and they handed me a microphone. It was funny, fun and completely spontaneous, which I absolutely adored.”
Completing the experience, the couple and their guests danced the night away until 4:30 in the morning. “Our lovely priest was dancing too, which was another moment I will never forget,” Kristina grins. “I think it’s everyone’s dream to see their wedding take off, and we loved watching our guests have a good time. So much so that some of us ended up in the lake for a late night swim! It was a bit different but very us, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.”
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