Chemistry classes usually feature test tubes and experiments. However, for Kris and Marie-Claire a chemistry class sparked their love story, leaving the two 16-year-old sixth formers with much more than knowledge on atoms and molecules. “Everything really started from our chemistry lectures,” Marie-Claire shares with Bliss Magazine. “We had gotten along really well right from the start, and there was instant chemistry – so to say – between us.”
The now-wedded couple started off as classmates, then became friends and after overcoming some hesitation, became a couple. “We were close friends for six months when Kris asked me to go out. But we had such a good relationship as friends that I thought it would better to leave everything as is,” Marie-Claire recalls. This quickly changed as before leaving college during a late-night MSN chat, Marie-Claire had second thoughts and her rejection for Kris’ offer and asked him out herself. Without hesitation, he agreed, and their first date was just the day after: a stroll through the Valletta Carnival.
Five years in the relationship Marie-Claire recalls how they had planned a Gozo weekend to celebrate the end-of-year exams with some of their fellow university friends. “I remember Kris chitchatting about marriage and married life throughout the trip to the farmhouse, but, honestly, I didn’t think he was up to anything! However, when we arrived at our accommodation, he wanted to go out alone, just the two of us, to buy some food for the next day. When we came back, the pool area was full of flower petals and candles, and there was a hand-crafted banner asking me to marry him,” she gushes.
Soon after, preparations began, and the couple were set on two main things: the date and venue. The lovebirds wanted to celebrate their big day on 13th July 2019, ten years after their first date, and to hold the reception at a private field in Kuncizzjoni, in Bahrija. “We had to do everything from scratch and turn an abandoned field in the middle of the countryside into a lovely area which we could share with everyone. At first, our loved ones thought we were nuts, especially our parents. But we had a dream and, together, we went all the way to make it happen,” Marie-Claire says.
The venue called for some major maintenance. The area had to be cleaned up,, a lawn had to be prepared and its rubble walls had to be rebuilt. They also came up with the idea of planting flowers and trees to create a stunning ambience. “Up until a couple of months before our wedding, my parents were still asking me if I had a back-up venue just in case things went wrong,” she shares, adding that it was a close call when it came to the final touches of the space. “Kris and his father were still fixing things in the field on the day of the wedding,” she recalls. However, with the wedding planner and their parents’ encouragement, everything was beautifully set up as the couple wanted. “It took us two years to get it done, but it was all worth it in the end,” she smiles.
The search for Marie-Claire’s wedding gown went down much more smoothly than their venue plans. She was lucky to have spotted a Pronovias dress she had fallen in love with when she was attending a medical conference in Paris. “I couldn’t take my eyes off it. It was even prettier when I saw it up close and the level of detail on it was astounding,” she describes. The gown – featuring an “elegant crepe skirt and a jewelled bodice decorated with hand embroidery and floral motifs” – was a winner. “I also always wanted to go for a mermaid-style dress, and this was all I ever dreamt about.”
On the big day Marie-Claire and Kris were accompanied by her twin cousins as bridesmaids, three flower girls, and a page boy, as well as six groomsmen. “It was a traditional wedding. However, we wanted something of our own, something which would make the day unique and which we could treasure for a lifetime.” The converted wedding venue hosted comfortably their 800 guests, with everything falling in to place perfectly except for one minor hitch whilst cutting the four-tier cake.
“While we were cutting the cake, the lights surrounding the table went off because of a technical issue. At first, I thought someone was playing a prank on me and we waited for the lights to come back on,” Marie-Claire remembers. But when they did not, the band stepped in with a bright idea. “We asked everyone to turn on their mobile flashlights for the pictures. It was then that I realised that this was no joke! It was a wonderful idea and the pictures came out adorable. And, funnily enough, the lights came back on right after we had cut the cake,” the bride says.
Despite this mishap, the couple say that they would not change anything that happened during that day. “It was magical. Everyone was having fun and both of us enjoyed seeing everyone dancing the night away. Everything went according to plan and the entertainment created by our band, DJ and fireworks were completely in sync with the atmosphere created by the picturesque countryside setting,” they describe