7th February 2019
The laws of attraction – Valentina & Albert
From students in the same law course to husband and wife
For the first six years of their acquaintance, Valentina Lattughi and Albert Zerafa would not have considered themselves close friends. “We were reading law at the same time, but we ran in different circles,” Valentina says – something that wasn’t unusual at all, considering the number of students there were in the course. This all changed when they both chose to specialise in the same area – litigation. “We started court practice, and we would always end up sitting next to each other. We started talking, and well, that’s where it all started.”
The pair started going out in early 2012, and dated for four years until Albert proposed in May 2016, on Valentina’s birthday. “Valentina thinks I’m not very romantic, but this time I went all out,” Albert laughs. He surprised Valentina with a trip to Taormina, and made her take a separate security lane at the airport in case they made him open the luggage – “I didn’t want her to spot the ring, so I pretended it was a race!”
During their stay he took her down to Isola Bella to watch the sunset. “The setting was beautiful, the sea was calm, the sky was red and birds were flying over Isola Bella,” Valentina recalls. They sat down on the beach and Albert presented her with a hand-written birthday card, where he recalled all the times they used to talk about getting married – and then went on one knee and finally, popped the question. “I was relieved when she said ‘yes, yes, yes!’ As soon as we came back from Taormina, she started looking for the dress,” he laughs.
Valentina says the couple had almost everything planned about a year and a half before they were set to wed, but then, less than five months before the wedding, everything changed. The couple had always wanted to wed somewhere simple and beautiful – “somewhere that would take our guests’ breath away.”
“We wanted people to be curious to come, because they wouldn’t have seen the place before,” Albert concurs. “We wanted it to have the ‘wow’ factor.” Indeed, their original plan was to wed in a grand private residence – but then, they discovered the Sheer Bastion in Senglea. It had recently undergone a showstopping transformation, complete with an elite kitchen team and staff from Hammett’s Catering Co., and the couple fell head over heels in love with it.
“The views there are just spectacular,” Valentina says. “It’s a great shot from every angle.” They decided to host their wedding reception there instead, and of course, this meant that they had to completely flip their original wedding plans upside down. “People will make you fret and worry about booking things two years in advance, but we turned it around in the span of just a few months. We’re an example of how a last-minute wedding can still work!”
Speaking of last-minute, even the permit to wed in Our Lady of Victories Church was issued just in time, just a couple of months before the wedding. “We had been waiting for approval for months, but we remained hopeful, and didn’t look for alternatives!” Valentina says. “It’s a lovely church, so rich with history. We didn’t want the ceremony to be too big – we preferred something intimate. And Valletta’s where it all started, and where we work together, so it seemed like a fitting place to get married.”
A month before the wedding, Albert’s groomsmen spirited the groom away for a surprise stag weekend in Porto, Portugal. “I didn’t even know where we were going before we were in the queue at the airport. Valentina had packed my bag and gave them her blessing,” Albert smiles. And Valentina on the other hand, enjoyed a relaxing bachelorette weekend at the Corinthia Palace Hotel with her bridal troupe, followed by a beach day at Baia Beach with close friends.
As the day approached, both Albert and Valentina admit to feeling the typical pre-wedding jitters. “I just really wanted everything to go well,” Valentina says. “I was worried that I would be very emotional – but thankfully, I was okay.”
“You’ll have a few butterflies in the beginning, but as soon as the Mass starts, you relax,” Albert says. “I was so relieved as soon as the Ave Maria and the walk down the aisle were over. For me, it was the highlight of the day,” Valentina says. “Mine too,” agrees Albert. They smile at each other.
The weather was warm and beautiful on the day, immediately allaying any fears that the party of more than 500 guests would be exposed to bad weather on the open rooftop of the Macina. Valentina wore a dress from Eva Mariee, which also provided her accessories and bridesmaid dresses. Hers was a gown from the Viero collection, which Valentina herself customised with a magnificent princess skirt.
The skirt was detachable, allowing Valentina to easily exchange the classic style of the dress for a more form-fitting look to open up the dance floor. The couple shared their first dance to Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, performed by Versatile Brass, and the party kept going well into the night. “If I had to go back, I wouldn’t change a thing,” Albert says; “but I’d love to go back simply to re-live the experience and savour every moment,” Valentina adds.
Tired but exhilarated after such a long day, the newlyweds spent their first night together as husband and wife at the Cugó Gran Macina Grand Harbour hotel itself, and woke up to spectacular views of the marina. “It felt like we were on a cruise ship!” Valentina exclaims. The pair then spent their honeymoon on the Greek island of Santorini, which was just like their wedding – stylish, romantic, and best of all, boasting spectacular views and sunsets.