The Maltese islands have been promoted as an ideal wedding and honeymoon location for overseas couples for quite some time. In fact, weddings in Malta seem to have become a defined niche tourism sector. This is not surprising given our own local affinity to the wedding business; island dwellers know just how big an affair some Maltese weddings can be. The Maltese seem to have gathered a lot of expertise when it comes to putting on a show for the big day.
Every village has its ‘wedding hall’ and at some point we locals have all been to villa this or villa that for the larger, more sumptuous weddings running into the hundreds of guests. To flesh out our hunches on why Malta seems to be so popular with overseas couples, we asked Owen of BrideMalta.com to jot down Malta’s credentials when it comes to tying the knot.
1. Culture, heritage and scenery
Malta, Gozo and Comino have that age-old tourism puller of sun and crystal-clear Mediterranean sea. So, couples can enjoy a wedding and honeymoon experience that blends relaxation with the chance to discover cultural, historical and artistic treasures, many of which are unique to the islands. The islands’ cultural heritage seems to lend itself to the wedding business, creating automatically the right romantic atmosphere for the day.
2. Wide range of ceremonial and reception venues
The islands have a vast choice of venue and settings, ranging from private beach weddings against the backdrop of a setting sun to an open-air event right next to a medieval castle or an elegant affair in an 18th century palace or five-star hotel.
3. Wedding transport
There no shortage of luxury options – couples can opt for cars ranging from original Beaufords to the latest BMWs and Mercedes Benz or stylish and comfortable limousines. But then Malta offers more unusual, and often more romantic transport, such as the “karrozzin” (traditional flower-decorated, Maltese horse-drawn carriages), or arrival at waterfront receptions by Maltese “luzzu” fishing boats.
4. Ceremonies & the practicalities
Beauty aside, Malta can be a highly practical choice. Religious and civil ceremonies are available here and legally recognised in Europe and North America. A Malta wedding probably costs less than one in many couples’ home countries, or in other Mediterranean destinations. There is a notable lack of red tape – all couples need do is complete at home some simple paperwork giving proof that they are single and entitled to marry. English is a national language, so no official document or certificate translations are required and of course the ceremony itself can easily be in English.
The Maltese islands offer a wide range of accommodation for honeymooners and their wedding guests, varying from hotels and apartments to designer villas and fully-converted farmhouses with pools.
Bridemalta.com is a helpful wedding planning website for Malta and Gozo, offering a comprehensive directory of wedding services and suppliers.