19th June 2017
A Soft and Splendid Celebration – Diandra & Andrew
From the intimate choice of venue with a stunning view to their upbeat first dance, newlyweds Diandra and Andrew Barberi tell us about their perfect autumn wedding.
Diandra and Andrew Barberi first met around 14 years ago, while both of them were queueing for an audition that they can barely remember anything about. What they do remember, however, is the long time they spent chatting while waiting in line, where they instantly hit it off. Then, six years ago, Andrew, 33, a social worker who manages a children’s residential home, re-connected with Diandra, 31, a physics teacher, through Facebook, out of the conviction that her face looked somewhat familiar. “We talked online for some time, but we couldn’t place how or where we knew each other. Eventually, it clicked, and we recalled meeting at this audition many years earlier,” says Andrew.
On Christmas Day of 2014, Andrew had a plan laid out to propose to Diandra. Knowing the curious creature she is, he wanted to ensure that she wouldn’t guess what her gift was – a game she often likes to tease him with. “I put the ring box in a big box, wrapped it and hid it from her so that she wouldn’t play the guessing game and find out what it was. I hoped that, once she unwrapped the box, she’d open it and find the small box inside, at which point I’d get down on one knee and propose. But instead, she opened the ring box and put the ring on – I didn’t even get the chance to ask her to marry me!” Diandra chuckles, saying Andrew had the cheesier version in mind and, although it didn’t go according to his plan, it was still an emotional and memorable moment.
The couple went on to set the date for 30th October 2016, with the ceremony celebrated at the Parish Church of Bahar ic-Caghaq, Santa Marija ta’ l-Angli, followed by a reception at The Chophouse. “I handled most of the preparations,” says Diandra, “but Andrew was involved in every decision as ultimately, it was our wedding day and we both had to be happy. I would narrow down the selection and present the choices within our budget, and we would then discuss and decide.”
Both were adamant about keeping the wedding small and personal, which was reflected in the venue and overall feel of their wedding. They also wanted to avoid the summer heat and had to work around Diandra’s available time off, which is why they opted for October, when the weather is mild and schools have mid-term holidays.
While they didn’t have an official theme for their wedding day, they knew exactly what they wanted and simply combined their tastes to deliver a soft and elegant celebration, without being too stiff. Andrew opted for a blue suit with a pale pink tie and pocket square coupled with brown shoes, while the bridesmaids donned floaty, pale pink dresses that were perfect for an autumn wedding, and complemented the bride’s particular yet beautiful choice of dress.
“I had tried on a dress similar to what I wanted at one of the first shops I visited, but was told that it was promised to someone else, so I thought of getting my dress made at a seamstress, in line with what I had tried on and liked. However, it proved impossible to set up an appointment,” says Diandra. “In the meantime, my mother told me about an open day at Camilleri Paris Mode, so we went. I explained what I wanted and they showed me this dress which was a short, satin strapless dress with a detachable skirt made of layers of organza frills. My mother and I fell in love with it, and though it was slightly over budget, it was just what I wanted: simple yet particular. I added an applique belt around the waist to add a touch of glamour, and the final look had my name written all over it!”
On the day, Andrew explains that he was pretty calm overall. “I only got emotional during the exchanging of the vows, and a little stressed when taking photos before the reception because I just wanted us to go and enjoy ourselves.” Diandra, on the other hand, says she was pretty anxious in the days leading up to the wedding, particularly the night before when a terrible storm flooded hotels in the Sliema area. “Since the reception was going to be close to the sea, I was quite concerned, but then, on the day itself I calmed myself and thought, I’ve done everything I could, and anything that may crop up is beyond me. Luckily, nothing did and we had good weather.”
The reception went off without a hitch, and the couple shared their first dance to an upbeat number – Walk The Moon’s Shut Up and Dance. “We didn’t want to dance to a romantic song because we weren’t particularly comfortable about it. We choreographed a small part of it and fooled around for the rest, but we had lots of fun and it got our guests going,” they explain.
“The entire day was just as we wanted, from getting ready in the morning and the emotional ceremony to the fun reception and getting our hotel room upgraded at the end of the night. The only downside is that it all passed so quickly – but as the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun.”