malta has snuck it’s way onto my ‘favourite countries ever’ list, snugly fitting between cambodia and spain. it’s the perfect blend of the two, boasting mediterranean lifestyle at it’s best but with a humble and laid-back attitude about it. great food and a warm smile. the maltese are too busy genuinely enjoying their country than to bother too much trying to convince you that it’s the best.
oh, but it is.
luke and i spent 4 glorious days having a second honeymoon before shooting a wedding there. luke’s natural environment is underwater so we spent time snorkelling in it’s warm crystal-clear waters. my happy place is over a plate of pasta, so we savoured food that blends the finest flavours of greece, france and spain. we roared around the tiny island of gozo on a scooter and marvelled at the majesty of some of the oldest cathedrals in the world. we were greeted with genuine interest and welcomed warmly by every person we met which is a far cry from the usual attitude one encounters in the bigger med countries. the trip ended with what will go down as one of my favourite weddings ever.
i met marilu by complete surprise when she showed up at the airport unannounced to welcome us to malta, and invite us to a traditional maltese feast at her father’s farm. i was floored by the gesture considering many brides neglect to even feed us photographers, here she was spending the day trying to track us down to deliver a hand-written invite!
her wedding day showed me what a lifetime of similar gestures will do as it culminated in 600 people celebrating wildly and joyously the union of someone they love so dearly to the equally awesome sean.
every moment was a unique and truly awesome experience. the immaculate, ancient church that held their ceremony. the maltese bus filled with a marching band led by a megaphone that weaved it’s way across the arid landscape, swelling with song and laughter and airhorns. their reception venue was a film set of the 80’s movie ‘popeye’, perched in a little bay. the live band that got all 600 guests jumping simultaneously until i was sure we would break the patio and go tumbling into the sea. and just when things got wilder than i have ever seen, out came the balloons, confetti and somehow the entire marching band squished itself onto the dance-floor. then the fireworks and the after party and the FOOD.
internet, i’m at a loss for what and how to explain this amazing event, so the images will have to do.
and after that you’ll just have to go to malta for yourself and find a people as warm and inviting as their sea.