Picture this. You get hitched. Hooray! Then comes the party, right? Obviously your next thought is a Great Gatsby themed wedding in Malta, well… maybe if you’re half Maltese AKA our Groom. Invite in hand, we were off to the wedding of the year. Actually, century.
Malta by all accounts is a relatively small island, although it’s credibility has rapidly grown in recent years. I must admit after visiting as a child I wasn’t sold and it definitely wasn’t on my must see list. How times have changed.
Malta is a MUST. And what better way to experience the island once again than with a wedding. Our Bride and Groom currently reside in New York. Having gotten married with their closest friends and family, us rif raf felt short-changed and demanded a party. Little did we know quite how great this particular party would be.
Where to stay?
Together with 10 of our friends, we rented a villa for 7 days. We arrived at a private holiday let hidden away in the Maltese rural landscape, in a small town called L-Iklin. The villa was idyllic, complete with an outside pool and bbq area perfect for the week to relax, have friends over, swim and sunbathe. L-Iklin is around a 10-15 minute drive from Malta airport or an equally doable bus journey lasting approx. 26 minutes for around £2-3.
Tips on how to keep your guests occupied.
Malta’s got masses to offer. First on our agenda was a visit to the picture perfect St Peters Pool. A stunning, natural swimming pool surrounded by cliffs. Ideal for sunbathing or like us and the famous Jack Russell that lives on the island, diving off! The crystal clear waters are truly beautiful, a definite must see whilst in Malta. Whether you swim, dive in or enjoy a beer from the cliff side shack, this hidden cove is pure fun in the sun.
The island has an interesting mix of prehistoric and futuristic architecture, food and culture. When you roam around the island you will see first hand how well old and new has merged to create the unique country you see today. Made up of an array of quaint towns such as Valletta (the Capital), Sliema, St Julians, Mdina and Gozo reached by a short boat trip. Valletta famously known as the ‘city built by gentlemen for gentlemen’. It is a compact capital but one oozing with sights. Come here to see the Parliament buildings, the Opera House and the beautiful city gates. Sliema is Malta’s most sought-after neighbourhood. A melange of golden stone houses that melt into the golden sandy shoreline. The beaches are public yet some require payment for a sun lounger. After a day spent in Sliema head to the adjacent town, St Julians for the best of Maltas’ nightlife. Mdina is often referred to as the ‘Silent city’ a place where the Romans and more recently the Arabs built a walled settlement. Medina in arabic means ‘walled city’ and this is definitely that. Perched on the top of the hill, it is a town worlds away from modern Malta but one where you can get lost in the winding passages. Come to seek some shade and time away from more touristic towns. Malta is a wonderful island that is packed with interesting towns, endless beaches and working fishing villages. Combined with sightseeing, sun seeking and sailing around the coastline, what else could you wish for.
Twas the night before C…rai. Life of #CRAI to be exact. A hashtag to unite the wedding with social media, a modern way to publicly instil envy into the uninvited. Or just to wonderfully remember your big day! Crai cleverly symbolises the Groom, Carl and Bride, Rai.
Their next surprise for us was a night spent enjoying cocktails at a beautiful bar situated on the Sliema seafront. A perfect place to watch the sunset, sample the sushi on offer or simply settle those pre-wedding nerves. The evening drinks at MedAsia were delicious and what an excellent way to meet other friends and family that were also attending the wedding. Before we drank too much to enjoy the following day we resorted back to our villa, what we didn’t tell you was our villa was stocked with booze and a private pool. We all went straight to bed…
THE WEDDING DAY.
Now, not every wedding party that takes place in Malta has to follow suit and be Gatsby themed. However if, like our Bride and Groom you choose to hire out the Palazzo Villa Rosa it, well it makes sense. The most stunning, audacious yet romantic wedding venue I have ever seen. It truly took our breath away. It was just glorious, basking in the late afternoon sunshine as we arrived to a champagne reception complete with a game of croquet.
#LifeOfCrai was in full swing, joined by the beautiful Bride and Groom as they made their entrance down the sweeping staircase that led in Great Gatsby style to the lawn. A loving speech was made not to mentioned a few tears shed and the party was officially declared open. Absolutely everything was great, the drinks were flowing, music gave a fitting atmosphere, sun setting over the villa and fairy lights coming into their own. Dinner was a delight. A tasty barbecued selection of salads, vegetables, breads and perfectly pink Tuna and steaks. Melt. In. Your. Mouth. Magnificent.
The night was just beautiful, filled with love, friends and family. As the party continued into the early hours of the morning, there was one final surprise, this time from us! What better way to end the party than in the pool!
The morning after the night before
Sore heads, bruised dancing feet, stories and laughter to last a lifetime i’d say make a wedding a success. And we weren’t done there.
We had the opportunity to head back to the venue to the pool, but this time in the summer sun. To top up our tan, eat, finish off any remaining booze if you could stomach it and lazily reminisce. What a night.
Leaving the Bride and Groom to enjoy their first sober (ish) night as Husband and Wife. The 12 of us that were sharing the villa opted to explore more of the island and we couldn’t resist visiting a fishing market village for dinner. We got a taxi, I recommend keeping the name and number of a taxi on you. Perhaps keep the business card from your taxi from the airport. Ensure you always affirm a set price before setting off.
We headed to the harbour village of Marsaxlokk. A small yet picturesque fishing village that offers a selection of the finest fish restaurants the island has to offer. If not for dinner, head here on Sundays to see the locals buy the daily catch at the Marsaxlokk fish market.
And finally, a Catamaran
Before we all departed this magical island we had one last surprise courtesy of Team Crai. A day for us all to jump aboard and head out to the deep blue sea. We hired a catamaran for approximately €60 each (price dependant on no. of people and choice of hospitality on board) For this price we enjoyed a full day out at sea and a superb lunch buffet. Anchoring at numerous caves, cliffs and clear water stops giving us plenty of opportunities to venture off and explore the wanders Malta’s mediterranean coastline has to offer.
Well, it could have been the wedding, could have been the weather or could just be the fact that we all had a life enhancing week together in magical Malta. All that leaves us to say is, CRAI when’s the reunion?