Karen Debattista and Mark Scicluna are long-time loves united by their passion for music that brought them together almost 10 years ago. The newlyweds got hitched in November and here they share their special journey with OurWedding.mt.

“Music brought us together. Mark, being a composer, was on the look-out for a singer to work on a song that he had composed to some lyrics written by our good friend and singer Daniel Muscat Caruana. After asking around, another good friend of ours, singer Marie Claire Attard Bason contacted me and asked me whether I would be interested in working on an original song. I said yes, and the rest is history. We’ve been together ever since – going on to our 10th year,” Karen explains.


A holiday proposal

Mark proposed in 2018, seven years into their relationship while on holiday in Bellagio, Italy. “We took a walk along the pier to the outermost part of Bellagio, overlooking Lake Como. While I was with my back turned, taking in the beauty of the lake and surrounding land, to my knowledge Mark was setting up our camera to take a photo,” she explains.

“I was waiting for him to come next to me so that we could take the photo together. Instead he asked me to turn around. I found him down on one knee and holding out a ring. I could not believe my eyes. It was so beautiful but so unexpected!”


Wedding bells

Karen and Mark shared it was a joint effort most of the time with the couple having similar ideas, saying it was “relatively easy” to settle upon their wedding details. “I was always fascinated by the beauty of Villa Bologna, so I was really set on having the wedding there. Of course, good music was always a priority for both of us, especially for the church celebration, so we gave this a lot of importance,” Karen shares.

“We consider ourselves very lucky to have been able to stick to our original set-up for the wedding, even though we had to postpone the celebration by seven months, due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” they admit. “Postponing the wedding was no easy feat, and it wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for Mark’s exceptional organizational skills,” Karen shares, crediting her husband.


It’s all in the details

“We wanted our wedding to be a representation of us. We went for a simple yet stylish and romantic setting. Both Mark and I are into design, so we were quite meticulous and attentive to all the little details.” Karen’s sister Claire also helped out, designing all the stationery for the wedding, such as the invitations, table plans and ceremony booklets. The couple also opted for the wording for their invitations to be in Maltese. “As for souvenirs we chose to have small bottles of olive oil. The olives from which the oil was made were home-grown and hand-picked by us and Mark’s family.”


“For the set-up of the venue, we discussed our ideas with Luana from Balistuff, and left it up to her to take care of flowers, table setting and general decoration of the venue. We couldn’t have trusted someone better to do the job as she executed it perfectly and exactly as we had hoped for. It took many hours of researching and planning, but it was all worth it in the end as it was simply perfect!”

Karen and Mark’s wedding was the epitome of unique yet simple, with music being at the forefront. “Since both Mark and I are into music, together we worked on an original song called ‘Biswitek’ which we danced to for our first dance as a married couple. I also surprised Mark with an original song which I composed myself, called ‘Fuq Kartolina Npingi’, which I sang on the day. It was only fitting that the thing that brought us together in the first place was given prominence on our big day!” Super personal and something they’ll remember forever!


The bride’s dress

“After countless hours of research for ideas, I decided to go for a sheath dress with full-length sleeves. The top part of the dress as well as the sleeves had a lace overlay, and the bottom of the dress was plain ivory. I consider myself lucky to have found my dress on my first visit to a bridal boutique!” Karen recalls.

“I remember walking into Camilleri Paris Mode and choosing six dresses to try on. The dress I ultimately chose was the second from the lot. I was set on it the moment I looked in the mirror! Thankfully I was still happy with my choice when I went for my fittings closer to the wedding date, as I bought my dress a year and a half early!”


Covid and re-planning

As previously mentioned, due to the pandemic Karen and Mark had to postpone their big day and due to health measures in place at the time, had to downsize their wedding. Originally, they were set on inviting 400 guests, however that list was slashed in half and close family and friends were in attendance for the wedding on 1st November 2020 which took place at the Parish Church of St Nicholas of Bari followed by a reception at Villa Bologna.

“We also had to change the format of the wedding from a standing to a seated wedding. Even though we were skeptical about this, it turned out extremely well – better than expected actually! Working on the table plan took a lot of thought and time. We wanted to ensure that our guests were seated with friends or acquaintances, so that each and every one would have a good time.”


And thankfully, everything went according to plan, however the couple does note that the “downside” was that they could not celebrate with all the people they initially hoped to invite.

“The hardest part of it all was not having my sister Denise present on the day. Given that she currently lives in London, she was not able to attend due to travelling restrictions related to the pandemic. Apart from that, the weather was perfect, the celebration was heavenly, and the reception was beautiful! We consider ourselves extremely lucky in this regard!”


As for their favourite part of the whole day? “It’s impossible to choose a favourite moment as the whole day was a dream come true! We worked so hard to create the perfect day to celebrate our love with our family and friends. We couldn’t be more thankful to have had everything turn out as planned, especially given the seven months of uncertainty after postponing our wedding from April to November due to the pandemic.”

Shane P. Watts

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