When my husband and I got engaged, my parents treated us to a holiday in Malta. I know! Amazing treat!! I fell in love with the place the minute we got there, and I even declared that I would live there one day. Especially true now it’s been used for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones!!
We packed so much into those seven days: a boat trip over from Sliema to Valletta; a trip to the silent city, Mdina, where we saw the glassblowers making magical ornaments; taking those amazing yellow buses around the place; and the market at Marsaxlokk. We watched the jetskis from our balcony, and we had cocktails while making up tales about the abandoned casino that was in our view. I think it was the best holiday I’ve ever had.
When I got chatting with Lisa Carmela Vassallo, who runs the wedding planning company Carmela Weddings, I saw that she organises Malta weddings. I thought, well who better to write a piece about cool venues over there!
So, here is Lisa with five fabulous venues around the islands of Malta…
At Carmela Weddings, we like to do things a little differently; we don’t believe in wedding rules, and we think you should have the wedding you want, where you want. I love a relaxed and fun celebration, and I especially love them in the sunshine! Being half-Maltese, I always knew I’d end up combining my love of weddings with my passion for the beautiful island of Malta. My family still lives there, and so I’m over there a lot – it was only a matter of time before I started specialising in helping couples to get married there. I’m so in love with the place that I’m even getting married there myself in June! Most of the big fiestas happen during June, July and August too, so if you’re lucky you’ll even get a display during your wedding.
There are so many picture-perfect venues from the very grand to the cute and quirky. Here are my top five civil wedding venues (but there are plenty of amazing churches, too!). If you have any questions on any of these venues, or are looking for something a little different, just email me at email@example.com.
1. Ir-Razzett L’Abjad
This gorgeous 200-year-old, traditional farmhouse is so pretty! It can hold 500, but there are plenty of ways to use the space for smaller, more intimate weddings, too. You can say your vows under the vines and then party by the pool or for larger parties, head inside and use their stunning marquee.
2. The Phoenicia Hotel
Who says you can’t do a city wedding on a small island? The Phoenicia is smack bang in the centre of Malta’s capital, Valletta, so it’s also a great base for all your guests and can cater for weddings with up to 1,000 guests. I particularly love The Rotunda for smaller weddings of up to 120 – it’s set around an original art deco fountain and gardens so feels traditional but with a modern twist because of where it is. The food is amazing here, too.
This is the only hotel in the ‘silent city’ of Mdina. No cars are allowed in the medieval walled town (other than a few residents’ and wedding cars), which makes it such a peaceful, calm place. There’s so much history around you – legend has it that it was here, in around 60 CE, that St Paul lived after his shipwreck on the islands. The hotel itself is a 17th century palace and a celebrity haunt – if it’s good enough for Brangelina! There’s a little piazza right outside the hotel where you can hold your wedding, which looks just like a film set, or for more privacy, their stunning atrium holds up to 150.
4. The Westin Dragonara Resort
For a relaxed, sunset wedding at the water’s edge, I like the 5 star Westin resort. The hotel has the space to cater for different sized parties so that if you only have a few guests, they won’t look lost in the venue. Think twinkly lights, gazebos and cool white sofas for the right vibe. They have over ten different venues to get married in at the hotel, but for something fun and quirky I’d go for the Bedouin Bar.
If you want something unique, how about having your reception on the Black Pearl? It’s a huge ship that was used for films like Popeye and Pirates of the Caribbean. It has a few locations, dependent on numbers – the terrace is fun and is used a lot for fashion shoots these days. You could go to town on theming your wedding here!
Thank you, Lisa! So, which of these do you fancy getting married in? Do you know of any other gems? Let me know!