All you need is love – and Maltese sunshine! It took just over 12 months to plan this marvellous 3-day wedding abroad, made even more brilliant with Joanna’s expertise as a wedding planner, and Jayke’s experience in the food and hospitality industry. The ideas were simple – an outdoor wedding with seaside views, heaps of atmosphere in the evening, a bespoke menu, and flowers galore, with a boat cruise the next day. Joanna and Jayke created an absolutely unforgettable getaway for their 40 friends and family – here’s their real wedding in Malta!
Bride & Groom: Joanna, events manager and wedding planner, and Jayke, director of own company operating bars and restaurants in London
Wedding date: 25th May 2013
Wedding ceremony: St Paul’s Cathedral, Mdina, Malta
Wedding reception: Cavalieri Hotel, St Julians Bay, Malta
Photographer: Julia Michalczewska
Wedding planner: Sarah Young
Wedding theme: Classic white elegance
Wedding dress: Pronovias from Mia Sposa, London
Maid of honour: Alicia Figiel
Best man: Paul Williamson
Bridesmaids: Edyta Persaud, Karina Skulska
Pageboy: Noah Mangion, Joanna & Jayke’s 2 year old son
We met 7 years ago. I was working as a waitress at a cocktail bar and Jayke was managing the bar a few doors down. We used to go to her bar for drinks after work. He was a real gentleman, walking me home everyday for two months until he got his first kiss.
I really liked him from day one! We dated a few times and fell in love quickly. Jayke asked me to move in with him after 2 months of meeting each other and have lived together ever since. Love, passion and commitment was there from the very beginning!
I did have a good feeling about Jayke from day one. We had the same morals and found we wanted similar things out of life. We had very similar pasts and upbringings and this was interesting as we were from other sides of the world.
My beautiful shoes were by Freya Rose, the famous British designer, handmade with fine materials from Italy. Broach on the shoes was made of freshwater pearls and a couture Parisian lace. I absolutely loved them! So beautiful and comfortable too! I wore them for 12hrs straight.
It felt right to get married as we wanted to seal our love officially after being together for 7 years and most importantly having a child together. It was a few days before Christmas 2011 while we were on holiday travelling around Australia.
Jayke proposed on Daydream Island on the Whitsundays, Australia. We got up early to watch the sunrise and were surrounded by wild kangaroos on a secluded beach. It was very romantic, and totally unexpected. I didn’t have a clue! If I knew, I would at least put some make up on knowing there will be photos taken! Jayke blew me away by proposing in Polish which made it even more special.
My dress was a classic mermaid shape made of very delicate lace in Spain, bought from Mia Sposa in London, made by Pronovias.
I wore a bespoke made lace bolero that looked like is a part of the dress for the church and a long laced veil with the same detail as the dress. For the reception I took of both veil and a bolero, to give it more of a party look.
What made us choose Malta? We’ve always wanted to have a wedding where we were guaranteed sunshine and sea views. For me ideal scenery was that of the mamma Mia and it was pretty close!
It was also a great location as we had many guests from all over the world. Very few of them had been to Malta and we wanted to make it a mini holiday. Malta is an ideal location for a wedding, not to mention Jayke is Maltese by blood, so we had a connection there also. The ceremony was held in Mdina, St Paul’s Cathedral.
Why did we choose this church? It was very difficult to book that church but our wedding planner Sarah Young pulled some strings and made it possible for us. It is a vast beautiful church but also has the added environment being in the silent city which added much charm, mystic and history.
Jayke: Seeing my wife come down the isle was also a highlight and I was really thankful our 2 year old son was able to share our day.
Joanna: yes for me the same, walking down the aisle and the moment when Jayke lifted my vail and saw me for the first time, I will never forget this moment.
Funny moment from the wedding: our son Noah managed to sneak out from our parents’ arms, hid under the table near altar whilst the ceremony was taking place, and started singing as he found a spare microphone somewhere. It was a real ice breaker, everyone was laughing, including the priest!
We chose the Cavalieri Hotel in St Julians Bay because of its stunning views on its rooftop overlooking the Spinola Bay and Portomaso. We think it has one of the best views in Malta and we fell in love with it from the moment we saw it. We also liked that it was a blank canvas and we could create the environment and atmosphere we had in mind.
Two days before we arrived there was a terrible sand storm and the entire island was engulfed in a big brown haze. We were really worried as we had been to Malta four times and never seen anything like it. Waking up on the day of our wedding to a perfect 27 degree Maltese day without a cloud in the sky was a great feeling. Walking through the silent city to the church was also an amazing and the reception was great fun.
The decor was traditional white with a twist, with many small and personal touches. Avalanche roses and hydrangeas were our main flowers, imported straight from Holland. We had vases full of flowers and candles set up inside and outside to create an intimate and cosy atmosphere.
We started with fresh fruit cocktails like mango daiquiris, fresh watermelon bellinis and canapés like burger sliders, foie gras, chilli jam, brioche etc. Reception followed with a seated 2 course meal. Our cake was designed by a Michelin starred chef in London. We cut it outside as the sun was going down and later in the evening a dessert table with over 10 classic and Maltese mini desserts was offered. We then had a midnight feast table with mini pastizzi, fish and chips, croquettes and wudys which really hit the spot and was a fun crowd pleaser. All food items had Polish, Maltese and English or Aussie origins.
There were 40 guests in total, friends and family came from Australia, UK, Poland, USA and other places. It was a 3-day wedding – starting with a welcome reception at the Villa Le Meridien on day one, then the ceremony and reception the next day, and on the third day we chartered a boat taking all our guests on a cruise around the island to Comino and the Blue Lagoon, with swimming and snorkelling.
Men’s favours were custom made USB sticks and ladies had silver heart shaped purse make-up mirrors. They were given in hand made pouches with hand stitched initials. On top of it we offered bespoke made sandalwood fans engraved with details of the wedding. We also had a basket of white flip flops for the ladies to kick there heels off and dance the night away.
We created our own menu, sent pictures and recipes to the hotel and they were kind enough and flexible to cater for our specific requirements.
The day after…
Wedding dress: Mia Sposa Central London
Hair: Alfie’s Salon , Malta. London: Andrew Barton Salon
Make-up: Alfie’s Salon , Malta. London: MAC Selfridges+ Jo Reid Makeup Artist
Nails: London Tip to Toe Nail Bar
Shoes: Freya Rose
Other accessories: Victoria’s Secret
Wedding planner: Sarah Young, Malta
Photographer: Julia Michalczewska
Souvenirs: Notonthehighstreet, fans from USA wedding website, mirrors from USA, Etsy. Pouches for favours hand-made by my friend.
Decorations: Etsy, Notonthehighstreet
Transport: Islander, Malta
Rings: Hatton Gardens Jewellers, London
Reception venue: Cavalieri Hotel, St Julian’s Bay, Malta
Florist: Bjorn from Floreal, Malta
Caterers: Cavalieri Hotel
Music at church: Mandy Tabone/ Orville Josef Balzan
Music at venue: Orville Josef Balzan
Wedding cake: Vanessa Antoli at Cavalieri Hotel
Boat cruise: Barbarossa Excursions, Chris Magro