{Travel Tales: Malta & Italy, Part Seven – A Wedding Story}

The morning of the wedding offered us the opportunity to sleep in.  It was very quiet.  Sarah and her parents needed to go to Victoria to check on the jewelry that they were waiting for, but I opted out of the excursion so I could get some writing done.  And though I had been having a blast so far on the trip, I knew that a few hours on my own would do me good, since my introverted self needs recharging time every now and then.  I took the opportunity to sit out on the balcony and read for a little while, and spent a fair amount of time updating my journal with the previous day’s activities.

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When they returned, it was time to get ready for the wedding.  We still had a few hours, but we were also four people with one bathroom, so the showers and preparations began.  I was crazy excited to wear my dress, which was from bhldn and which I had found on ebay for cheaper than the original price on the website.  It got it at the last possible minute, tried it on to make sure it fit, and into the suitcase it went and I couldn’t wait to wear it.

I generally don’t take a crazy long time to get ready to go out, but I wanted to attempt to curl my hair which meant a semi-production.  You see, my stick straight hair has to practically be beaten into submission when I want it to do something more than “be straight” but I think I’ve gotten the hang of it the last couple of years.  In any case, it actually didn’t take a ton of time and I actually managed to have curly hair for this occasion.  I even taught myself to put lipstick on properly (okay, so I sort of already knew how to do this, I just never wear lipstick unless it’s for a Halloween costume so I wanted to make sure it was actually a nice shade and all that).

Once we were all dressed and ready, we headed out to pick up Sarah’s grandmother and made our way to the church in San Lawrenz.  We wanted to make sure we were at the church on time to see Mikayla act as the flower girl.

We got to the church and settled ourselves down.  Danny and the groomsmen were already situated in the front of the church as we all waited Ruth’s arrival.  Mikayla was adorable coming down the aisle as the flower girl.  Ruth’s dress was beautiful; it was so nice to see it on a person after seeing it get the final touches a few days before.  Beatrice also made the flower girl dress Mikayla was wearing, and the mother-of-the-groom dress that Rose was wearing.

The ceremony was crazy long.  It was a full mass, and it was all in Maltese so unfortunately I didn’t have any idea what the priest was saying that made other people in the church laugh.  Having been to weddings before, however, I was able to more or less follow the gist of it.  Most of the important moments – the vows, the pronunciation that they were married – were clear.

Once the ceremony was over we waited outside the church for the newlyweds to exist (it took a little while since they were inside taking pictures), and everyone threw petals and sparkly confetti as they walked out of the church.  I have no idea why Americans throw rice… I realize that this tradition must have it’s roots in something, but flower petals are so much prettier and don’t kill birds.

The reception was at the Ta-Frenc Restaurant, which we had passed a few times in our travels around Gozo but hadn’t visited until today.  As soon as we walked in, a server handed us glasses on champagne and there was an appetizer ready to try right away.  Already this was my kind of party: on demand champagne and food available immediately.  Those are pretty much the only two things I require from a party.

We had heard in advance that there were not going to be assigned tables, but we got there early enough to commandeer a seating area for the family, and we spent most of the night there.  Appetizers were passed and the food and drinks were plentiful.  In addition to the open bar there was also a station with specialty tropical cocktails – in pretty colors and in tall glasses.

A live band started performing a variety of older and newer songs.  We had fun watching Mikayla run around with the ring bearer and joking that we could show them the pictures of themselves dancing at their wedding.  They really were cute together though, running around the other guests in their little formal attire and trying to sneak candy from the table with the cake.

We continued to eat and drink.  Once the appetizers were finished, they started on the food stations: sandwiches, pastas and then a main course with different meats and vegetables.  It was tons of food and I just kept eating with no abandon and taking tons of pictures for Sarah and her family.

I loved the ambiance of the whole wedding.  It’s incredibly difficult to describe an ambiance, however.  It definitely didn’t fell like the typical over-the-top American wedding that I’m used to attending.  It seemed more civilized, even though there was definitely as much drinking going on in Malta as they do at American weddings.  Perhaps it had something to do with the energy of the music.  The live band was mellow and so the guests were mellow.

It wasn’t until after the cake cutting that things started getting rowdier, and even then it wasn’t insanely so.  After the cake, a DJ took over with the music and the dancing began.  Even I danced – that’s kind of the fun of being somewhere where you don’t really know anyone.  No one knows what your “normal” is, and therefore can’t point out when you’re doing something you don’t normally do, so it makes it easier.

During the dancing – specifically during the song “Hit the Road Jack” – fireworks from a neighboring wedding started going off and it added to the magic of the moment.  It was one of those traveling moments where all the elements come together into this perfect few minutes that you know you’ll always remember.  Normally that particular song and fireworks would not necessarily go together but there was just something about the moment that made it work.  It as the same feeling I had when I was sitting in the green school bus last year in Iceland with the group of strangers I would never see again playing “20 Questions.”  Kind of like this unique moment was happening and nothing can every quite be exactly like that again.

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We continued to dance and eat and drink the night away – at one point I discovered the whiskey bar and the wedding officially became one of the top five weddings I have ever been to.  Even the desserts were plentiful and passed around appetizer style so you could try a bunch of little things rather than commit to a large piece of cake.

It was 1:30 in the morning by the time we got back to the apartment, and I could hardly believe that it had someone gotten that late.  The last time I had that much fun at a wedding was when my sister got married (not to impede on the other weddings I’ve been to since my sister’s, but this one had a very similar vibe to that one).  The whole thing made me want to have a destination wedding in Malta – or at the very least, make sure Sarah does when she gets married!


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