This past weekend Clare & I were lucky enough to fly to the beautiful Malta to photograph the wedding of Maria & Bert!

We spent 4 days at the 5* Radisson Blu Golden Sands Hotel, where Maria & Bert hosted their wedding reception.  We had such a brilliant time in the radiant sunshine and around the various sandstone towns around Malta.  The wedding itself was simply wonderful and everyone had such a brilliant, relaxing time.

On the flight home I started putting together a slideshow of the highlights for the blog and there were just so many images I loved that I couldn’t trim it down to the usual one-song slideshow.  I think it’s because everything in another country & culture is so visually fresh to the eye, as well as the light having a different golden quality – and I ended up with quite the stash of faves.  So I’ve decided to split the wedding into 2 parts, pre-ceremony & post ceremony, and this blog shows the big day build up!

I hope you enjoy this story of a very special day!

I’d visited Malta once before, in ’81 – when I was 1 – so my memories aren’t particularly vibrant!  It was great to explore the different cities around the wedding locations and soak in the beautiful sights.  In the cities everyone lives so tightly packed in, generally in tall, thin apartments – and apparently Malta is the 4th most densely populated island in the world!

Because of the blistering heat (often poking up above 40°C!), Maltese weddings generally don’t start till late in the day, after the heat has subsided.  Today’s ceremony was at 6pm, and Maria’s Maltese pals thought their this was too early!

But after a lazy morning, Bert dropped me at Patrick’s hair salon for the girls (thankfully air conditioned!) hair & makeup preps…

Here’s our happy bride having her hair finished off by Patrick, with mum looking on happily!Maria’s brother Franco, a professional make-up artist working in TV & film, was on makeup duties; here dolling up his sister Roberta.There’s a real art to applying makeup when time’s going to be spent out in the blazing heat!

Franco’s more used to applying scars & wounds, but definitely had the skills, making the girls look beautiful!  

Maria’s lovely mum had unfortunately had a nasty slip at the rehearsal the day before the wedding, and had bruised her chin and had to have a few stitches put in in Hospital; so Franco’s stage skill’s were put to the test, though the opposite way round to usual!

A little while later the flower girls joined us to have their hair put up & flowered!AwwBridesmaid Sophie was absolutely perfect at keeping these little ones entertained, having her A-level French put to the test by the little french speaking flower girl!

Flowers in!

Last but not least, Maria went under Franco’s brush!

Beautiful.

I loved the aged, golden surroundings around Maria’s parent’s house, deep in old colonial Malta.

It’s amazing driving around, passing old castles and hospitals built by the Knights Templar!  

The girls arrived back to neighbourly kisses and an introduction to all the cats. 

I like this one of Maria’s dad pottering away in the kitchen

I thought this well used little date cube would make a nice date to remember!

Upstairs in Mum & Dad’s room I found a few key items of the day!

One beautiful gown!

And Maria’s shoes, borrowed from her sister Roberta as part of the old, new, borrowed & blue!

They were also customised with a bit of blue, making them both borrowed & blue!

Meanwhile, Clare joined Bert at his best man Harold’s villa, and between running wedding errands…

…spent time doing bombs…

…eating baby food…

…and generally having a great laugh with all around him!He even found time to pop into Patrick’s for a coiffer.

I’ve known Belgian Bert since we studied Psychology at University together back in ’99 and if there’s a more entertaining gent out there, with a bigger zeal for life and it’s finer things, I’ve yet to meet him!

It was an absolute honour & a privilege to join him & Maria to both enjoy & document their special day.

After having his hair done, Bert headed to another villa…

…for yet another swim!  This time though, without getting his new hair wet!

Linen was the order of the day!

Having always rocked a true English gent’s wardrobe (wax jackets, Burberry scarves, boat shoes & starched Polo shirts is Bert’s usual uniform), he was always gonna look the gent at his wedding!

I love this one Clare caught.  It’s so Bert.

Got the rings?  Check

And off they headed to the church in Mellieha

The town around Mellieha is stunning, abound with baking sunhine, peeling paint and century’s of old & new, squashed together.

Their church was the famous Sanctuary of Our Lady of Mellieha, dating back to the late 16th century!It’s just so picturesque!

As the crowds arrived…

Clare took a few relaxed portraits of Bert.

I’m not sure which I like most out of these two!

It was good to see a few of Berts old Uni mates he was in halls with at Nottingham.

The best man looked cool in his aviators

Inside the church it was only slightly cooler than outside!

Here’s Berts mum, ready for the ceremony!Meanwhile, back with the girls…

Lots of fun was being had getting Maria into her dress!

Bridesmaids maiding!

Maria looked stunning!

A few final details being applied by mum

…and the veil inserted…

…and extended!

Brilliant

Team bride, good to go!
Dad quietly fixed himself up

as Maria & team bride came down the stairs

Even inside, the light had a magical quality to it!

Maria’s Auntie had come to wish her well

and help her on with her old bracelet, to complete the old, new, borrowed & blue!

The flora looked fab

And our team were ready to roll

Outside, up pulled the Daimler

One proud father & his daughter about to leave the house.

How cool do these guys look?!

We had time for one last teamshot…

…before the top was dropped

and we hit the road!

Whoop!

Hope you enjoyed part one!  Click here to see part 2 of their big day – from the ceremony through to the beach-side revelry!

Then if you’re good, I’ll also blog the boat trip we all took around the sights of Malta the day after that!

Party on,

B

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