17th July 2017
Of Beaches, Bouncy Castles and Love at First Sight – Zanna & Steve
Zanna Cali and Steve Mercieca share precious moments and photos from their fabulous and fun-filled beachside wedding.
Zanna Cali, 25, and Steve Mercieca, 31, first caught sight of each other at The Bubble festival, where they merely exchanged a few glances, but instantly developed a deep connection. “As time went by, our friends started hanging out, and we got to know each other as best friends, secrets and all,” says Zanna, who’s a full-time mummy to their daughter, India. “We kept meeting at Fra Ben reggae bar in Qawra, and eventually one thing led to another and we began dating. Sooner than imagined, we were blessed with a little angel, whom we named India, and after two and a half years of love and magical moments, Steve decided the time was right to pop the question.”
The romantic moment unfolded on 20th May, 2016. “The October before, during another edition of The Bubble Festival, the tower of Ghajn Tuffieha (Riviera) was open. We went to watch sunset from there, and Zanna had said back then that it would be a great place for a proposal,” says Steve, CEO of QLZH Group.
“Fast forward to May 2016 again – we booked a weekend at the Golden Sands and walked along the cliff to see sunset. Steve had arranged to get the keys of the tower and our friends set up a dinner table, candles and homemade sushi which Steve had made that day, which is worth mentioning gave me severe food poising,” says Zanna, who despite spending the following morning with her head in the loo, says the proposal made for a story to remember!
And so the couple planned their big day for 30th June 2017, with the ceremony held at Mtahleb chapel followed by a sand ceremony and reception at Palm Beach, Armier. The couple were set on a beach wedding in a shabby chic style, which ended up getting a vintage twist too.
“Zanna took care of the attention to detail to make sure it was perfect. She spoke to all the suppliers to make sure they all understood what we wanted. She's full of ideas and knew exactly what we wanted, while all Steve wanted was a white bouncy castle and a hog roast,” they explain. “Zanna wanted a lot of fairy lights, electro swing and vegetarian food, and we both really wanted fireworks.”
Steve wanted his groom party to include all those closest to him, and he ended up with a whopping 14 ushers and best men, while Zanna’s bridal party were escorted in two VW camper vans, that followed the bride in her classic Cadillac to the church.
“We wanted a very relaxed and comfortable beach chic setting, with no heels and ties, but we had to think of everything as we wanted to avoid a beach wedding turning into a beach party. Thankfully, we had a great team and a lot of support, as well as super suppliers that were excited to take on the challenge. We had to think of every detail, from removing deck chairs and laying decking to installing lights.”
The couple wanted an intimate church ceremony with their closest family and friends, which they celebrated at Mtahleb chapel, but they also wanted to share their own personal vows and a sand ceremony on the beach, to bring everyone together. “The reception on the beach was a little different to usual, and let’s not forget the white bouncy castle for adults, that was custom built and delivered from overseas.”
Zanna admits that, while their wedding was a mix of traditional and unusual, her choice of wedding dress was surprisingly traditional. “It was a dress I never thought I would go for, a proper princess dress, but the second I put it on I knew it was it! I loved the beading and the two tones that made it slightly different from the usual puffy princess dresses. I thought that my wedding night was the one night I can wear the biggest dress I’ll ever put on, which was outside of my comfort zone, but weirdly enough it felt perfect.”
The couple’s big day went pretty smoothly overall, albeit getting stuck in traffic on their way from the church to the reception, which delayed their arrival to the beach and caused them to miss their sunset vows. “Having said that, they were just as perfect exchanged in the well-lit gazebo. Besides our delay, the bar staff were involved in accident on the way up to the venue, so they arrived just before the guests. With some pressure from the fathers in law and the army of groom’s men, they managed to set up the bar within half an hour.”
Despite a few hiccups, they wouldn’t change a thing. “It all started off with seeing Zanna walking down the aisle,” says Steve, “followed by the amazing touching vows which left a heart-warming feeling among those that shared the day with us,” Zanna adds. “The energy of our hands connected was so strong, deep, real and emotional, it was mind blowing.”