16th April 2018
As fate would have it – Rachel & Darren
Rachel and Darren’s first encounter wasn’t the most romantic, but well over a decade later, the couple exchanged vows in a wonderful wedding ceremony.
Some enduring relationships begin with love at first sight, but the same cannot be said for accountant Rachel Damato, 28, and marine engineer Darren Cauchi, 29, who first met around 13 years ago as they practiced laser sailing together.
“In those days, I couldn’t stand the sight of him, and he says he didn’t like me either, so it definitely wasn’t a case of love at first sight for either of us,” says Rachel. “Around six years later, our paths crossed again, this time through a common friend who is now one of my best friends, and who was also my witness – a role I would say suited her perfectly!”
A few years into their relationship, Rachel says they both felt ready to take things to the next level, and while on a trip to Sicily, Darren made sure to do just that. “The proposal was an incredibly special moment, one of the best in my life so far. We were in Sicily, and one morning while in Taormina, Darren woke me up at the crack of dawn to watch the sunrise… in the rain,” she recounts. “As we stood in the cold piazza under a grey sky, I turned to find him on one knee, asking if I would marry him. Darren often joked about it in the past, so my first reaction was to ask him if it was another joke! With the rush of emotions, before I managed to say ‘yes’, Darren told me ‘answer me because my jeans are getting wet!’”
Soon after their engagement, the couple set the date for 11th November 2017. Rachel was in charge of the wedding preparations, while Darren took care of the honeymoon. “He was happy to leave the planning in my hands. Darren would have probably preferred a beach barbecue to celebrate our marriage, but I made it clear long ago that he could give up on that idea!” she quips.
For the ceremony, the couple chose Ta’ Giezu church in Valletta. “We felt it had a peaceful feel to it, located just off the hustle and bustle of Valletta’s busy streets, and the steps leading down to the church overlooking the Grand Harbour make it particularly special. As for the venue, we chose Villa Arrigo because it offers excellent food, as well as good indoor and outdoor space, and it definitely ticked all the boxes.”
On the day, Rachel’s initial feeling upon waking up was relief – when she realised that it wasn’t raining. “What followed was the typical ‘Oh my God, I’m getting married today!’,” she says. The bride went on to get ready with her bridal party, and had a great time getting pampered. Make-up artist Schevon Camilleri kept their make-up soft and simple for the day, with stunning results.
The ceremony, conducted by Fr Michael Bugeja, was one of the highlights. “We didn’t know Fr Michael before, but we got to know each other really well in the run-up to the wedding. The ceremony was amazing. Fr Michael really personalised the celebration – he made it funny, and made us feel comfortable and calm, so it’s definitely a part of the day we will always remember.”
Having given due importance to the catering while scouting locations for their wedding day, it’s fair to say that good food was up there on the list for Rachel and Darren, and the catering at their wedding exceeded their expectations, handled from start to finish by Osborne Caterers. “We were happy to leave everything in their good hands. In our opinion, their food is second to none and always consistent. The staff were professional and passionate, and the management gave us excellent advice during the planning stage.”
Looking stunning on her wedding day, Rachel was pretty clear about what dress she wanted from the get go, and she most certainly found it. “When I started visiting shops to try on dresses, I had two things in mind: I didn’t want a strapless gown as it doesn’t suit my figure, and I wanted something plain and simple. My mother and sister always accompanied me to fittings, but when I finally put on THE dress, I knew it was the one. It was a plain, boat-neck dress made with Mikado fabric, and featured a V-shaped back and detachable train.”
Rachel and Darren’s wedding went off without a hitch, and while the day was full of incredible highlights, she recalls a few special moments in the run-up to the ceremony that she’ll never forget. “From the moment my father, bridesmaids and I climbed into the bridal car outside my parents’ house till the moment we reached the entrance of the church, was really special. We were all dressed and made-up, beaming with excitement, and we giggled and smiled all the way to the church. The few moments I had alone with my father outside the church before walking down the aisle were also touching – although I was extremely excited, it was also an emotional moment.”