21st May 2019
Childhood sweethearts – Andrea & Shaun
From playing together as children to planning a wedding and exchanging vows as adults, Andrea Caruana and Shaun Spiteri share their charming journey.
Andrea and Shaun’s story started with their fathers’ friendship. “Our dads have been friends for years,” explains Andrea. “My father is a car enthusiast and at one point, he was helping Shaun’s father build a car.” That’s when Shaun and Andrea, then just nine and 11 years old, first got to know each other. With their parents spending months toiling away in the garage and having drinks and dinner together on the weekends, the two children, both shy at first, soon became friends.
A few years later, after the car-building project had been concluded and mutual visits were no longer quite so regular, Shaun’s cousin happened to mention Andrea in passing. Shaun, now a teenager and feeling suddenly bold, decided to start texting his childhood friend once again. “We met up that same Saturday, and spent the whole day together. The rest is history!” says Shaun. When they got married, on 4th August 2018, they had already been a couple for 10 years, and they had been living together in Marsascala for two years when Shaun popped the question.
“I came home from work early, set up some candles and flowers in the bedroom, and waited until Andrea was home to ask her to marry me,” Shaun recalls. The proposal was a success, but the couple couldn’t agree on which finger the ring should go on. “We went on arguing for so long that the GoPro he set up to record the proposal stopped running!” giggles Andrea.
They chose to marry at Chateau Buskett for its beautiful natural surroundings, as well as the fact that it would provide some much-needed shade on the balmy summer’s day when they would wed. “We wanted to get married within a year, so many of the dates had already been booked,” Andrea explains. “Our options included the World Cup final, which would have been inconvenient for our guests, and the end of September, when there’s a risk of thunderstorms. Early August was a good time of year for us, as we both prefer warmer weather.”
On the day itself, Andrea was as cool as a cucumber, and spent most of the day getting ready with her bridal troupe. Shaun, on the other hand, admits that he was nervous. “I had the shakes, big time! I almost started regretting organising this whole thing, because it involved so much work. But then Andrea’s father showed up, and he started crying and hugging me. It broke my heart – he’s like a father to me too. And of course, once Andrea arrived, I was fine.” The groom looked handsome in a sharp blue number provided by The Groom, who also supplied the groomsmen’s suits, while the bride glowed in a simple and beautiful two-piece outfit, which was designed locally. “I wanted something different, and for the after-party, I changed into a shorter version of the skirt I was wearing,” Andrea says.
“Once you see everything coming together and people enjoying themselves, you really start to relax,” Shaun says. For the couple, one of the best parts of the wedding was the first dance, which consisted of a medley of different songs, starting off slow and then going onto more high energy hits, culminating in the bride and groom’s families joining in on the dancefloor. “We came up with the choreography ourselves,” says Shaun. “We spent about six months working on it, and practising the dance. None of our guests knew about it except our parents, because they then had to join in at the end. Nobody in our family is an especially good dancer, so the time we spent learning to dance was hilarious!”
“I thought it would be really boring for our guests to have to stand and watch us sway back and forth for three minutes, so we decided to make it entertaining,” adds Andrea. “It was so much fun teaching our parents the steps!” And once the floor was open for dancing, the couple’s 400-strong crowd just didn’t want to stop. “The manager of Chateau Buskett said it was like a rave, and that he had never seen so many people dancing! We played a mix of old and new songs, so there was something for everyone.”
While both agree that the day simply flew by, and that they loved every second of their wedding, Shaun and Andrea say that having a wedding planner would have been very helpful to ensure that the day went off without a hitch. “I had to go up to Buskett five times myself before the wedding to make sure everything was perfect,” Shaun says. “Since we had nobody to guide us, time-wise, we ended up cutting the cake at around 1.30 in the morning!” Andrea adds. “And I forgot to throw the bouquet and the garter!”
Besides hiring a wedding planner, the best advice they can offer couples planning their own wedding is to make sure that the celebrations are meaningful to them, personally. “You have to make it your own and see that it makes sense to you. You shouldn’t spend too much time worrying about what other people have done during their reception!” Andrea says.
“My only other wish is that we had recorded the wedding on video,” Shaun adds. “People told us it would be a waste of money and that we would only watch it once, but I regret the fact that we don’t have it on tape – after all, they’re memories we’ll treasure forever.”