When this Irish bride and English groom settled on the island of Malta for their destination wedding, a week-long string of celebration led up to the Big Day. Blending both their cultures with a mix of Maltese tradition, they created a completely bespoke affair planned by Jayne Pollidano, and captured through the lens of Paula O’Hara. Settle in for more photo goodness right this way.
From Paula O’Hara… Leigh is originally from Ireland and Steven is from England so they chose Malta as the perfect destination to bring both their families together to celebrate their gorgeous wedding. The architecture, the food, the landscape, the culture, the Mediterranean climate were everything that Steven and Leigh dreamed of. Even better, they managed to celebrate their wedding for a whole week in Malta with their families over a series of evening parties and barbecues, blending a mix of both Irish, Indian and Maltese traditions in elegant style! Leigh prepared for her wedding in the beautiful Xara Palace in the medieval town of Mdina, then travelled to the very decadent Palazzo Parisio for the ceremony and evening celebrations.
As a self-diagnosed control freak, I think couples who plan destinations are really, really brave. There is so much that must be left, in the words of this couple, to fate. So much must be planned from afar and most of the details can’t even be seen until you arrive. Of course, when your wedding destination is the breathtakingly beautiful country of Malta and your venue is absolutely exquisite you don’t really have much to worry about. This stunning wedding by Marianne Taylor Photography is an elegant destination wedding done oh-so-right, full of romance and classic details. I am smitten with each and every one and you can see them all in the full gallery!
From the Bride…So, when we broke the news to our friends and family that we were getting married in Malta, everyone asked, “Where is that?” Given that our wedding would be nearly a 15 hour flight and over 6000 miles away, we had to promise everyone that it would be worth the trip. For months we tossed around the idea, and regardless of the downsides, we still could not have imagined our wedding in any other place. Oh, and no, it’s not in Italy… or Spain.
So, why Malta? In 2006, we very coincidentally met studying abroad on this tiny island in the Mediterranean. Of all places, we both located a study broad program for law students that posed to be a great vacation as well. We were not from the same schools or even the same state, but somehow wound up in the same program half-way across the world. We had both traveled a bit; however, nothing compared to the memories Malta gave us. This was where we found friends for life and fell in love. The kindness of the people and incredible scenery is something we have never experienced in any other country.
It was not until 2008 that we were finally able to live in the same state and relive Malta. I moved to Florida to finish up law school with Sean and we decided to see if Malta was a thing of the past. In late 2008, while visiting my family in Houston, Texas, Sean proposed in a hidden art gallery of one of my favorite artists, Mark Rothko.
Planning a wedding abroad left so many questions and details to fate. Our only modes of communication were emails sent to all the vendors who were 6 hours ahead in time. EVERYTHING was planned with emails, images, descriptions and various blog postings. We never saw anything with our own eyes until we arrived, including the actual venue. We hopped on our 15 hour flight with a huge wedding dress sitting next to us and hoped for the best.
Upon arrival, we immediately went to the our venue, Palazzo Parisio, to check everything out. We were speechless. Our wedding planner, Jayne Polidano, was spectacular and created a wedding that was more than we could have every imagined. Every detail was five star and she was by far the most sophisticated host we have ever met. She took special care of our guests and bent over backwards to add additional details. The food was phenomenal and was easily deserving of a Michelin Star. Our florist, Alistair Fenech, created arrangements that were identical to the images I had in my mind, despite the fact that we had never spoken. We flew the photographer, Marianne Taylor, in from London after seeing her work on Style Me Pretty. She was able to capture the intimacy of the wedding without losing the elegance of the venue. She was such a delight to work with. Everything was truly perfect, minus the priest that the groom forgot to call. No worries though, he eventually made it.
For those who attended, they now share our love of Malta and its culture too. The most amazing thing about Malta is that things didn’t change. Restaurants, towns, hotels and bars were updated, but they are all still the same places we shared 5 years ago. Our guest flew from Texas, Florida, Virginia, New York, Canada and even China. Regardless of the distance, everyone is now family.
There are so many places and things about Malta that a picture would never fully capture. We hope our wedding pictures will do it some justice.