31st January 2019
Magic and emotion in a fairy tale wedding – Amber & Salvatore
From meeting in an online chatroom to forever after, this couple had what it took to go the distance
Amber Micallef, 28, and Salvatore Milioto, 30, met ten years ago in an online chatroom, and they hit it off right away. “He had just moved to Switzerland from his native Sicily, and after some time he asked to come visit me in Malta,” Amber remembers. He flew over to the island where they spent a blissful few days, after which Salvatore did a very gentlemanly thing! “He wanted to meet my parents and tell them that he was serious. He wanted their approval so we could start dating each other. It was a beautiful gesture – nowadays, you never find guys asking permission to date a girl.”
After a few months commuting between Malta and Geneva, where Salvatore was based, the couple decided to take their relationship a step further. “Summer came and Salvatore wanted to introduce me to his family in Sicily. It was very exciting since I was the first girlfriend his family had ever met and that was a very big thing for him,” Amber recalls. Indeed, this became the trip which further deepened their love and made them realise they were made for each other.
And, three months later, Salvatore moved to Malta. “Our relationship grew stronger every day, after he moved, and even now – though 10 years have since passed – he still makes me feel as if I’m the most special and loved woman on earth,” Amber gushes. Those feelings of appreciation came to the fore on 14th February 2016, when Salvatore popped the question. “The day before Valentine’s, he bought me some chocolates and told me – with a smile on his face – that he had booked a table for dinner that evening. I thought nothing of it. But I suspected something special may have been going on since I received a bouquet of different coloured roses from him and my sister wanted to do my make-up to help me get ready for the evening. Later, during the meal, Salvatore kept asking me serious questions and, when the dessert came, I jokingly said ‘Mmmm…maybe I’ll find something in the dessert.’”
That didn’t happen. But, after the couple had taken their last bite, and sipped their last drink, Salvatore announced he was not taking Amber home. “Instead we pulled up outside the Grand Excelsior Hotel in Floriana, and, when I walked into the room, I noticed petals of red roses and candle light everywhere. He gave me a card – with romantic music playing in the background – and then went down on one knee!”
The sense of joy extended to the entire family and the wedding preparations were a team effort: the couple, together with their parents and Amber’s sister, all pitched in to plan the big day. “It was a very difficult task since we wanted a typical Italian wedding!” Amber says. The first task was to choose the wedding dress. “Josef Gauci at Ivory & Co is an amazing fashionista and he helped me – together with a special friend – select a knock-out dress by Atelier Pronovias,” Amber says. “I still remember his text message when he caught sight of the gown at a fair he was attending! As soon as the dress arrived on the island, a couple of months later, I went to have a look at it and that was it. I was speechless. My mother and sister were so emotional!” The dress – a fitted design consisting of four styles of French lace, a wide skirt and a long train – made Amber “feel like a princess.”
The fairy tale theme was further implemented in all the details of the big day. The wedding invitations, designed and printed by Polidano Press Ltd, were also imbued with a classic beauty. “The cover was made in white gold, with gold foil lettering, and wrapped in a white ribbon boasting a Swarovski buckle, which was custom made,” Amber explains.
This sense of style extended to the décor. “The church – the Holy Trinity Church in Marsa – was decorated in white roses and hydrangea, courtesy of Floreal; there were amphora on the columns and outside the church, as well as an ivory balloon, filled with smaller balloons, all waiting for us as we left the chapel, as per Italian tradition.” The venue echoed these touches, and also featured vases in bright pink, the same colour as the bridesmaid’s dresses. “There were also three massive tree structures set up with candle glass, crystals and twinkle lights by Ruben from Sign-It; ten halogen stands around the pool; and a stage filled with more fairy lights,” Amber smiles.
The intricate work that went into the big day paid off in dividends, worthy of the couple’s love, and the wedding became a grand affair, hosting approximately 450 guests at the Grand Excelsior Hotel. After the ceremony, a standing reception kicked off the celebrations with George Curmi ‘il-Puse’ entertaining the crowd, after which a sit-down dinner – serving up a full 4-course meal – satiated all the guests, while music was performed by the entire ensemble of popular band, Versatile. A whiskey bar and an after-party truly made the event one to remember.
“Everything exceeded my expectations! When booking and choosing everything, we were so focused on the details – and so careful not to miss out on anything – but it all went off perfectly! My parents even surprised me with fireworks during our first dance. I had no idea they had arranged that!” Amber describes.
And, what is the one thing she will never forget about the day? “Every part of our wedding was simply amazing. I can’t even describe how happy I felt. But, the most emotional parts were walking down the aisle with my father; seeing the look of love on Salvatore’s face and dancing with my dad at the reception. We had so many special moments – I would need a book to describe them all,” Amber laughs.