11th December 2017
From Poland to Malta with Love – Sarah & Alex
When Berlin-based couple Sarah Vella and Alex Kutzias decided to tie the knot, they chose Malta as the perfect location for their wedding. They take a look back and share some beautiful memories from their Maltese/Polish-themed wedding day.
There was a very international atmosphere at the beautiful wedding of Sarah Kutzias Vella and Alexander Kutzias on 12th August this year – as guests from 18 countries converged on our island to celebrate this special couple.
But let’s start at the beginning. The story of how this charming duo met is quite a romantic one – it’s an Erasmus love story. Back in 2008, Sarah and Alexander were both studying in Antwerp, Belgium, and they quickly embarked on a long-distance relationship before moving to London together and, later, Berlin.
Fast-forward eight years and the proposal story is equally sweet. “Apparently, Alex had asked my parents for permission to marry me when they were visiting Berlin,” Sarah says. “He then proposed to me on New Year’s Eve in Venice, eight years after we first got together. He went down on one knee to supposedly get a bottle of prosecco, while we were watching the fireworks at midnight at Piazza San Marco. While there, Alex asked me for my glove to help with opening the prosecco bottle. And then the ring appeared and he popped the question. It was very romantic and I was very emotional! Funnily enough, all I could say during the proposal was ‘get up, get up’ so that we didn’t draw a lot of attention towards ourselves. It was a very special, memorable evening.”
The couple quickly started to think about logistics, and whether they should get married in Malta (where Sarah is from), Poland (where Alex is from), or Germany (where they live now). In the end they decided on Malta, but also held a party in Berlin for anyone who couldn’t make it here.
They soon chose their local venues – the Santa Marija parish church in Mgarr and the Phoencia Hotel in Valletta, for an evening wedding that began at 5pm. “I grew up in Mgarr and my family is all from there, so the church has sentimental value and I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather get married,” Sarah continues. “I also fell in love with the Phoenicia Hotel as soon as I saw it, even though it was still being renovated – we could envisage how it would look when it was finished.”
Sarah says she was thrilled with the team at the hotel, who all worked hard to organise the ‘perfect day’. “We celebrated near the Rotunda and later near the Bastion Pool. It was the ideal setting. We had been a little worried about the crazy heatwave, especially as we had so many foreign guests, but we were extremely lucky that a lovely breeze prevailed that day,” she smiles.
Sarah explains how the couple wanted to bring something from both of their cultures to the wedding. “For instance, we chose to read out a Polish bidding prayer and a Maltese reading at the ceremony, while the rest of it was in English. As a surprise, Alex’s friends and family dressed up in Polish dress and prepared a song for us. We also symbolised our new start with Polish bread with salt and a shot of vodka, and had Maltese and Polish buffet tables at the reception.”
Already the couple looks back on a plethora of highlights from the day – although they especially loved having so many friends and family members with them from around the world – 18 nationalities to be precise! With this in mind, their celebrations actually started a couple of days before the big day, when they organised a beach barbecue for the guests who had travelled over in advance. They also created a website to help their guests plan their stay and to give them an idea of what to expect.
“There were so many special moments – one of which was walking into the church and seeing how beautiful it looked. That week was the Feast of St Mary, so everything looked extra special, and the flowers from Qronfla were dazzling,” Sarah says. Some other highlights came in the form of surprises. “Our parents were brilliant and so helpful throughout – and they even organised a Kombi bar outside the church and fireworks at the wedding reception. It was a very special day.”
And it was emotional too – Sarah even choked up during her vows. “I’m sure it happens to a lot of people, but I really couldn’t get the words out!” she says. “But I just looked out at the church full of people and made a funny face to break the ice – and it did. People later said they thought I had changed my mind, but I obviously hadn’t!”
Now, the couple look back on the day wistfully and wish they could experience it all again. “Alex and I had such fun, and spent most of the night on the dancefloor, having a great time with our loved ones from near and far. Really, what could be better than that?”