5th December 2018
The celebration of a lifetime - Christabelle & Jordan
Christabelle Borg and Jordan Camilleri relive their remarkable, star-studded September wedding day.
Last September, Christabelle Borg and Jordan Camilleri were at the heart of a spectacular wedding that was on people’s lips for days. It was a celebration of love that left no stone unturned, but despite its grandeur, it was replete with meaningful details that reflect the couple’s personal tastes to a tee. But back to the beginning – how did these two lovebirds meet?
“We met 10 years ago at St Aloysius College sixth form. Jordan was studying sciences while I was studying maths and accounts, so our paths never really crossed. In the summer between first and second year, we started chatting and got to know each other, and started dating the following November. We never looked back since,” says Christabelle. “It wasn’t a case of love at first sight – Jordan is very reserved and I was dating somebody else in first year. I always thought he was very attractive but he barely used to speak to anyone at college outside his group of friends – we are polar opposites in that respect!”
After seven years dating, the couple got engaged, following a series of unexpected twists and turns. In September 2016, Christabelle and Jordan were due to go on holiday together, but she surprised him with a change in destination and booked a trip to New York for his birthday. “He was thrilled about it, and I later learned that he was planning to propose on his birthday, but he was sick on the day and had to change plans around,” says Christabelle. “Two days later, Jordan found a quiet spot on one of the top floors of the Empire State Building and popped the question!”
Wedding planning started soon after, although settling on a date was proving tough for the couple due to their respective hectic schedules. “We originally opted for May, but we didn’t want to rush things so we pushed the date to September,” says Christabelle. It was a good move seeing as she went on to win the Malta Eurovision song contest last year, and was heading to Portugal in May this year to perform on the international stage. In the end, they settled for 20th September, with a ceremony held at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Paul in Mdina, followed by a reception at The Reef Club at The Westin Dragonara Resort.
“The planning wasn’t gradual at all. I started planning the wedding properly after the Eurovision in May, less than four months before the big day; in fact, I bought my dress from Ivory & Co just two months before, ordered the bridal party dresses from Charles & Ron one month before, and collected them the day before the wedding,” she says. “The months running up to September were mad – we roped in Adrian J. Mizzi to help us with the logistics of the day and to set up the venue, and his help was invaluable.”
Christabelle settled for a white and gold colour scheme which was applied to various aspects of the wedding. “The theme we opted for was quite simple and the overall look of our wedding was traditional, but I wanted to personalise as many details as possible – we had our own monogram created, C&J, and used that on the gift box, on the napkins and on our invitations among other things, and on the day, everything looked perfect to me.”
Asked if anything about wedding planning stressed her out – her reply was swift: “the most stressful part, hands down, was the guest list. Not even the weather came close! There were over 2,000 people at our wedding, and even until the day before, I was remembering people who we forgot to invite. Additionally, we gave out over 1,000 invitations by hand – we split the job between 10 of us, but it was still rather stressful.”
And although the weather didn’t stress her out as much as the guest list, it was still a worrying factor on the day. “I didn’t sleep very well the night before the wedding because of the weather – there was a thunderstorm all night and I was secretly hoping it would stop. The following morning, although it was still raining, my father and Jordan went to the venue to assess the situation and everywhere was flooded. There was lots of clearing and cleaning to be done, but somehow they managed to do everything on time,” says Christabelle. “Otherwise, I wasn’t nervous at all – I was ready for the day!”
Christabelle arrived at the Mdina Cathedral in a vintage car owned and driven by her father, accompanied by a fleet of cars, among them from Meli Car Rentals. She also had a flock of photographers – Kris Micallef, Brian Grech and Stefan Varga – at the ready to capture every moment of the day.
“It was always my father’s dream to drive me to my wedding and I wasn’t going to take that away from him,” she says. “It was a special experience, and we were both extremely emotional before we entered the church.” However, because of the chaos that ensued that morning, Jordan didn’t make it to the church on time. “Mass was at 4pm, and my father and I arrived first. My mother was trying to get our attention by honking the horn from the car behind us to tell us not get out of the car, because Jordan wasn’t there yet, and so my father and I sat in the car, with no AC, me in a long-sleeved dress and seriously breaking a sweat – there was a very brief moment when I wanted to kill him!” she laughs.
The ceremony was celebrated by Fr Claude and Fr Blake, who hail from the couple’s respective parishes, and was Christabelle’s favourite part of the day. “The wedding could have started and ended with the mass – it was an incredible experience where we celebrated our love for each other, and the vows were extremely special and emotional.”
At the reception, guests were treated to entertainment by Brass House Unit, and feasted on an extensive selection of food, including different types of cuisines from no less than seven food stations, serving everything from sushi and pasta to candy. The wine and cheese table was a staggering 12 metres long, and there were plenty of options for a tipple, including cocktail, whisky and gin bars. At the after-party, which took place inside the Pavillion adjacent to the Reef Club, a pizza station was set up, serving hot slices freshly prepared by New York Best.
For her wedding day look, Christabelle had a clear idea of what she wanted, and she shared her idea with her dress supplier well-ahead of scheduled fittings to facilitate the process. “I only went to the shop for the first time in July, and tried on three dresses before I found the one. It was a Cinderella-style dress, and featured long lace sleeves and over 200 metres of tulle for the skirt,” she says.
The couple shared their first dance to a song written and performed by Winter Moods frontman Ivan Grech called My Neverland, against the backdrop of a fireworks display. “It’s a beautiful song and I knew it would be the song for my first dance from the moment I heard it. After the first dance, we opened the floor with Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, which is the song that Neptunes – Jordan’s water polo team – play each time they celebrate a victory. Just the week before the wedding, Jordan and his Neptunes teammates won the league, so it was a very fitting song. We even had the trophy present for the occasion!”