As featured on Irish Wedding Journal.
Destination weddings are quickly becoming first choice for couples keen to steer away from the traditional black tie wedding. So much so, in fact, that the number of destination weddings has risen by 60 per cent in the past two years alone, the largest market being Ireland. Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular as they offer couples the adventure of escaping to a new location with an intimate group of carefully chosen guests to create unforgettable memories.
With its unique location at the heart of the Mediterranean, surrounded by deep blue waters and bathed in over 300 days of sunshine each year, Malta is quickly becoming one of Europe’s most popular wedding and honeymoon destinations. The island is easy to get to with direct flights from Dublin, Cork and Belfast, which accounts for its rising popularity with Irish couples.
But it is more than just its location that makes Malta a chosen destination for weddings.
True to its Catholic identity, the island is dotted with churches from Baroque beauties to wayside chapels and magnificent cathedrals, each one unique in shape and interior décor.
Malta has an impeccable selection of wedding venues to choose from, from the luxurious to the more remote. There is truly something here for everyone: from gorgeous limestone palazzos and rustic farmhouses to all-inclusive luxury resorts and wedding halls that take care of everything down to the last detail.
In Malta, the sea is a prominent feature that is rarely far from sight and makes a glittering backdrop to some of its most picturesque locations. Many wedding venues offer a view of the sea, adding a sense of glamour and romance to every occasion.
With its expansive 7.5-acre garden overlooking the Marsamxett Harbour and the Island’s skyline, the Phoenicia stands out as one of Malta’s most stunning wedding venues. The hotel itself is an architectural icon, steeped in a history that makes it part of the very fabric of the old city of Valletta. It has a combination of both indoor and outdoor venues that vary from the intimate to the more grandiose.
Inside is the Grand Ballroom where Her Majesty the Queen and Prince Philip once spent their evenings dancing together – the perfect setting to a fairytale romance. With its more understated grandeur is the Rotunda, set around an original art deco fountain among acres of landscaped gardens. A walk through the Phoenicia’s gardens leads to the secluded Gazebo located against Valletta’s medieval fortified walls with stunning sea views over Marsamxett Harbour. Cross the little stone bridge at the edge of the gardens and happen upon the Bastion Pool, with the most spectacular sea views from across the large pool deck.
The Phoenicia also offers a range of wedding packages, providing couples the option of a professional wedding team to take care of all the details, including flowers, catering and music. Resident wedding expert Chrystelle Doublesin is something of a star in this arena, “We are so pleased that Malta is getting positive coverage for weddings and honeymoons,” she says. “It’s lovely to see such joy during these fantastic weddings and for Malta to be a platform for a couple spending their life together.”
There is also plenty to do and see in the days before and after the big day, which makes it an ideal destination for friends and family of the couple too: charter a boat to take a dip in the crystalline waters of the Blue Lagoon, watch the sun set over the city’s magical capital or explore the island’s rich historical past.
Malta – with its Mediterranean charm, endless blue skies and bluer waters – is the perfect backdrop to the perfect wedding. Make it your destination.