The remarkable wedding day of Tiziana and Christian Spiteri Gauci was as unique as the couple at the centre of it all – beginning with the inspiration behind the aesthetic of their day, right down to the acute attention to detail in every aspect of the planning process. This lovely couple shared their magical spring wedding with the Bliss Magazine team and was featured in the March 2020 issue.
Long before their stunning spring wedding last year, however, the pair first laid eyes on each other in their teens and were introduced through Tiziana’s cousin, who is friends with Christian. After years of dating, things took a serious turn when they began house-hunting together, leading to an incredibly well-thought out and touching proposal.
In August 2017, on the couple’s 10-year anniversary, Christian took Tiziana to the place they met, a youth centre in Zabbar, the town they’re both from. This initiated a day-long event whizzing around on his Vespa which ended in the best way imaginable. At each of the four stops, which included the public library in Floriana and a spiritual centre in Dingli, Christian handed Tiziana an envelope, each addressed with one word from that all-important question, ‘will you marry me?’.
“Each envelope contained a message that reflected the word written on it. The last stop was our new home in Zabbar, which at the time, around three years ago, was still in the early stages of renovation,” says Tiziana. “He decorated the stairs leading to the roof with photos of our journey together, and by the end of it, we were both so happy and emotional – there were lots of tears!” An utterly swoon-worthy proposal, Christian!
With a specific venue in mind, the couple began by booking that first. “We knew that we wanted our wedding to be at Villa Bologna in springtime, so we checked for available dates and settled on 8th June 2019,” she says. A graphic designer by profession, Tiziana was the creative force behind their wedding day, while Christian, an engineer, had his hands full working on their new home.
Rather than adopting a rigid theme, Tiziana explains that the couple drew on their love for art, history and heritage for the overall look and feel of their wedding. She says her inspiration came from Botticelli’s famous Primavera painting and Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream. These tied in with the Medieval to Renaissance feel they wanted to achieve.
Tiziana’s precision and attention to detail are perfectly encapsulated in their invitations, where they chose letterpress on handmade paper, part of which featured an outlined map of Malta, and, within it, illustrations of places that have defined their relationship, such as their hometown and wedding venue. “The invites were a lovely, although sometimes stressful, process. I believe invites set the tone for the wedding and are an opportunity to showcase who you are as a couple.” A calligraphy enthusiast, Tiziana penned the invitations, while family members sorted and sealed them, and Christian put the finishing touch on with a personalised wax seal.
The palette of muted tones also complemented the old-world feel of their wedding day. Tiziana says that although she didn’t have a clear set of colours in mind, she was sure of muted tones. “Although we were planning a spring wedding, I didn’t want the usual pastel colours. This also came through in the bridal party’s dresses. They were designed by Luke Azzopardi in a range of colours I liked, such as mustard, sage green and greyish blue,” she explains. “We then used the fabric scraps from their dresses to tie the mass booklets, which I designed and featured a Renaissance monogram inspired by illuminated manuscripts. I enjoyed putting these together with my Nanna Katie, days before the wedding!”
For her wedding dress, the bride didn’t have a clear vision in mind, but she did know she wanted to collaborate with couturier Luke Azzopardi. “I didn’t know him personally, but I liked his approach and I know he values history and art, and I wanted that to be part of the creative process,” she explains. “I went with a lot of ideas, but more of a feel than a silhouette. I knew I wanted velvet in my dress, but I didn’t want it to be too heavy for a June wedding, so we used velvet for the top and an elegant moiré fabric for the skirt. The look was complete with long flowy sleeves in crepe silk.”
On the day, Tiziana felt completely calm, contrary to the day before, which was filled with last-minute preparations. “I think I was fighting the butterflies and had my head in the clouds most of the time. When we got to the church and started walking up the aisle, my husband was crying and emotional, and I was in a daze!” she jokes – and thanks to expert videographer Mauro D’Amato who captured all the best bits, the newlyweds could revisit the emotional memories of the day time and again.
Tiziana and Christian exchanged vows at the church of St Gregory in Zejtun, with mass celebrated by Fr Louis Grech, who has known the couple since they were young. “He’s seen us grow up, so to have him celebrate our marriage, while surrounded by so many people we love, meant a lot to us.”
Every detail, no matter how big or small, was meticulously chosen or created to reflect Tiziana and Christian, and they left no stone unturned. The groom completed his look with a vintage pocket square and a vest made of the same velvet fabric as the bride’s bodice. For souvenirs, they gave out Italian antique, post-war pen nibs, reflecting her passion for calligraphy, as well as packets of herb and flower seeds, reflecting his love for gardening and cooking. Their reception was plastic-free, and the caterers used reusable bamboo cups and paper straws for cocktails.
“All in all, the wedding was a celebration of us and what brings us together; exploring new places, spending afternoons playing boardgames, thrift shopping (more like treasure hunting), reading a book or two, and Maltese heritage and literature,” says Tiziana. “Although many would suggest spending the day before relaxing, it was not the case for us. We were busy finishing off last minute details – painting our welcome sign, filling the confetti basket, practising our first dance in my under skirt and heels! It was stressful, but I wouldn’t change a thing. In a way, even the worrying is fun. It’s a run up to a day that we’ll never experience anything like, so I would really encourage other couples to enjoy it and follow their own rules.”
Their wedding day flew by without a hitch, and Tiziana is quick to admit that choosing a favourite part of the day is tough – “a day is too short! When the mass ended, we both wished it could start all over again – it was magical. At the reception, my favourite moment was towards the end. The reception was winding down and we were basically on cloud nine, enjoying an ice-cream together. It was a moment in which we could really relax, just the two of us.”
Kris Micallef, Stefan Varga, Tizian Spiteri Gauci