7th November 2019
Elegant simplicity beside a waterfall – Michelle & Richard
The start of Michelle and Richard Vella’s relationship began in the most unexpected of places.
Michelle, 32, did not have to go far to meet the man who would eventually become her husband. In fact, she met him right in her home. Richard, 29, was tasked with some carpentry work at the house Michelle shared with her family when the two hit it off and got chatting about mutual friends and acquaintances. Three years later, Richard popped the question.
“We had never really spoken seriously about marriage, and whenever I mentioned it, Richard seemed to just shrug it off,” Michelle says. “So when he asked me to marry him, I was completely taken by surprise, since I had assumed it would happen sometime in the far future!” However, unbeknownst to Michelle, her partner had been thinking about it for some time – and had even bought the ring!
This low-key attitude extended to the proposal itself. “Richard knows I don’t like a lot of attention so he knew that the proposal would have to take place somewhere where no one would watch,” Michelle continues.
And true to form, Richard chose to create an intimate moment in a location which meant a lot to both of them: Michelle’s home, that same place where they had met three years previously. “He proposed on a weekday. He had prepared a box with numbered photos of us, with descriptions of our journey as a couple,” Michelle says. “I always thought going down on one knee was way too cheesy for me, and to my surprise, he remembered that wasn’t my style!”
Following the proposal, Michelle started to browse through as many social media platforms as she could, saving wedding gown images which inspired her. While she had no fixed idea as to what she wanted, she knew she wanted to be comfortable. To that end, the bride-to-be opted for a detachable skirt. “The idea was to have a skirt on for the church and the first dance, then take it off for the party and reception. And that was actually the best decision I made!” she says.
She found just what she was looking for at Eva Mariee, and Michelle only had to try it on one time to know it would be just right. “I am not someone who would say I just found the one dress, since there were actually two dresses I liked. However, as soon as I tried the gown I eventually chose, and I looked in the mirror, I knew it was for me. And I thought how dad would be proud if he were still with us,” Michelle remembers.
Elegant simplicity was also key to the style and form of the couple’s choices, which they took together. “In fact, we both took care of the prep work needed. We also attended all meetings together. We knew what we wanted but were open to any ideas we came across, though keeping it simple was always foremost in our minds,” Michelle explains.
This hands-on approach extended to every aspect, with Richard actually building a doughnut stand and items of décor such as “a mirror which he painted in rose gold”. He even assembled the couple’s handmade souvenirs, with Michelle on hand to help.
The overall look of their wedding integrated traditional wedding tropes with more modern touches – a “modern, yet classic, design” Michelle asserts – in line with the couple’s style. “We didn’t have a particular theme in mind, but we knew we wanted it to be simple, yet fun. I also knew I wanted touches of rose gold and geometric patterns,” Michelle says. In fact, this metallic tone and motif were included in the pair’s wedding invitations and the venue décor at Limestone Heritage.
On the day, the couple said their ‘I do’s’ in front of 550 family members and friends – some of whom flew over all the way from Australia, Canada and the UK – before heading to the venue to kick off the celebrations. There, the food chosen also merged modern and classical elements. The couple opted for doughnuts instead of the traditional petit fours, and a pizza station was set up instead of a traditional pasta one. “We served pastizzi, too, at the afterparty, to give it a Maltese feel since we thought our foreign guests would be delighted by that,” Michelle laughs.
But what was the couple’s favourite part of the day? “Definitely the ceremony and the exchanging of the vows, because of all the emotions and the promise for the future that represents. Nothing can top that!” Michelle smiles. Indeed, the new spouses wouldn’t change anything of their big day, she continues. “In our eyes, everything was perfect and the important thing for us is that we were surrounded by family and the people we love. The love we were showered with throughout the day was indescribable, and we wouldn’t have wanted it any other way,” Michelle smiles.