14th June 2017
A Picnic-Style Affair – Teri & Mark
Last April, Mark Spiteri and Teri Camilleri celebrated their love with a beautiful garden wedding which was chock full of personal touches and unique details.
It was 10 years to the day that Mark Spiteri, 29, and Teri Camilleri, 26, first met, back when Teri, at just 16, was busy studying for her O’Levels. “I took a short break from studying to head to a party at a friend’s house, and there he was,” Teri recalls. “A few days later, he officially asked me out after giving me a lift home (he had a car you see, very exciting stuff!)”
After seven years of dating, marriage was the natural next step, and the proposal came during a family trip to Lyon for Teri’s cousin’s wedding. “As everyone settled down for dinner under the stars, I had no idea that my dad had already given Mark his blessing to pop the question. He took me aside for a short walk after dessert, and got down on one knee under a bright summer moon. I said yes, of course, and not a moment too soon – his knee was soaking wet from the dewy lawn,” she laughs.
They set the date – 29th April 2017 – exactly 10 years to the day that Mark asked Teri out. The choice of venue came next, and with a garden wedding in mind, the couple found the beautiful Villa Bologna to be the perfect fit. As for the church, Attard Parish was close enough to the venue to save guests from parking twice, and was the perfect size to accommodate their families. Meanwhile, the fact that the church and venue were so close gave the couple the idea to incorporate the short walk after the ceremony into the celebrations too, because, in their words, “why wait any longer to get the party started?”
They chose a morning wedding in order to spend as much of the day with their guests as possible, and their top priority was for it to be happy, relaxed and fun – much like a family picnic. Teri took care of the majority of the planning, with the invaluable help of her mother when it came to project management. She explains, “my mother kept things in order and happening on time, while I came up with all the ideas. Also, I think Pinterest deserves a mention. Because seriously, what would I have done without it?” she laughs.
While Mark chose four best men for the big day, Teri admits not being able to pick among her 11 closest friends, so decided to forgo bridesmaids entirely. Instead, her friends were each given small jobs to handle throughout the day.
The ceremony was celebrated by Teri’s uncle, giving the mass and sermon a personal touch. The music was also carefully chosen, she explains, having grown up around movie music and classical music thanks to her father and brother. “My absolute favourite piece, Clair de Lune, played as we said our vows. The Glasgow Love Theme from Love Actually and the Love Theme from Cinema Paradiso accompanied the offertory and communion, and the mass was bookended by some personal favourites sung by the talented Tezara.”
The bride wore a beautiful flowing gown from Ivory and Co. – the very first one she tried on. Looking back on dress shopping, she recalls, “I tried on a few different shapes and styles from different outlets, but I always knew that I wanted to have something I can move in comfortably. The comfort test was whether or not I could do the chicken dance easily – the look on the faces of those poor shop assistants was priceless! That first one I tried on was by far the most comfortable, so that was that,” she laughs.
Once the ceremony was over, it was time for the walk to the venue, accompanied by their guests and band – a moment the couple looks back on among their fondest memories of the day. The jovial atmosphere created by their band, Vitamine, was exactly what they wanted – so much so that they actually brought them over from France for the big day.
Looking back, the couple enjoyed every minute, but point to two moments that really stood out. Apart from the walk from the church to the venue, Teri considers their send-off under a tunnel of sparklers as a definite favourite, explaining, “both were full of music and surrounded by everyone we love the most, and we really felt the love.” Meanwhile, there were also some waterworks when it came to cutting the cake – “family members got emotional and whispered a few very touching words in our ears, and we couldn't hold back.”
Offering a few words of advice to couples planning their own big day, Teri’s recommendation is simple: just do you. “Identify exactly what you want out of your day and do just that. Eyebrows will be raised, questions will be asked and everyone will have their own opinion, but at the end of the day, everyone will have the time of their lives and these little details will make all the difference. Do you, and it'll be the best day of your lives.”