17th December 2018
Love in the garden – Janice & Karl
Their elegant June nuptials were the perfect culmination of their love story
Before Janice and Karl Pulo met and eventually started dating, the pair kept being mistaken for siblings. “We actually got to know each other as people used to tell us that we really look alike! I’d have people come up to me and tell me that they know my brother, referring to Karl,” Janice laughs, looking back on when the couple first met, over 11 years ago.
Janice, 27, who works in her family’s marble business, was friends with Karl, 29, a hostel owner, before the pair started going out a couple of years later. And it was on their 10 year anniversary that Karl popped the question during a short trip to Sicily. “Well, I can’t say I wasn’t waiting for it after 10 years!” Janice jokes when asked if it was a surprise, “but it was really nice.”
From then on, the bride-to-be took charge of wedding preparations with the help of a wedding planner, and admits she wasn’t immune to the stress that came with it. “It’s funny, while planning, you always have this constant feeling that you’re missing something, but nothing was actually missing,” she smiles. As for Karl, his main task was choosing his suit, which he insisted on being a surprise, as Janice explains, “he said, ‘you’re choosing your outfit and I’m choosing mine!’”
The most important elements for the bride were securing the reception venue she wanted – the beautiful Villa Bologna – and getting her dress and photographer sorted, which the groom also had a say in. “Karl chose Brian Grech to be our photographer. I was looking at different photographers’ work, and Karl wanted more natural, candid shots rather than anything too posed, which Brian is great at,” she says.
And while the pair didn’t have a specific theme in mind, Janice describes the style of their wedding as soft and natural, with a vintage Spanish vibe, particularly when it came to her choice of dress and veil. “I really love natural, soft colours when it comes to flowers and foliage, and I wasn’t looking for something too modern. Even when it came to my dress – I wanted something classic so avoided going for anything too trendy.”
Still, she admits, finding the perfect dress wasn’t quite smooth sailing! “I thought it would be easier than it actually was,” she laments, looking back on her dress shopping experience. “I was looking around local shops, and because I have quite a petite figure, a lot of the dresses were too large and didn’t look good on me. I saw the one I eventually chose at the second shop I went to, but wasn’t sure about it at first. After looking around some more, I kept going back to it and eventually decided to go for it.”
And even though she had decided it was the one, Janice still admits not being fully convinced until the big day. “Usually, the final yes is from Karl, so it was really hard choosing my dress without him! I remember joking with my maid of honour about it and asking her, ‘what if he doesn’t like it?’ Thankfully, he loved it,” she smiles. “I was actually a lot surer about my veil!”
After months of planning, their big day – 16th June – finally arrived, and while the bride woke up feeling relaxed, the overcast sky outside threatened to put a damper on the mood. “The only thing that bothered me was the weather as it was a bit grey and cloudy,” she admits, before the photographer came to the rescue. “Brian made me feel better by telling me that the photos actually turn out better when the sky is cloudy,” she laughs, recalling her relief.
And while the groom was also generally relaxed, Janice reveals that Karl did get a bit nervous later on, when the time came for Janice to walk down the aisle at the majestic parish church in her hometown, Mgarr. “He could only manage a peek, but couldn’t look properly for fear of bursting into tears,” she says playfully. Janice goes on to describe walking down the aisle as the most touching part of the day, recalling, “walking down the aisle and seeing Karl, and everyone gathered together – it’s the moment you realise it’s actually happening!”
After the newlyweds had said their ‘I dos’, it was time to party with their 550 guests. They opened the dance floor with a song that means a lot to them – Iris by Goo Goo Dolls – before going on to party the night away to tunes spun by DJ Nicky Camilleri. With a background in dance, I can’t help but ask Janice, did the pair practice their first dance? “Not at all,” she laughs, “I didn’t want it to look planned, so it was just really relaxed.” She goes on to describe the party as her favourite part of the day, explaining, “it’s the time to have fun, when you know that everything’s gone well.”
Finally, giving her advice to couples who are planning their own big day, Janice suggests that once you’ve gone through your entire to-do list and double checked that everything is settled, it’s time to sit back and let it all happen. “Just relax and enjoy the day! Weddings are a big deal, but once you have everything settled, there’s no need to worry any more. In my case, the only aspect that I worried about was making sure that everything was sorted and in place before the day, and after that, it was all good.”