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Getting married abroad is definitely a little more complicated than planning a day at home, so we're turning to the experts this month to get some tips and advice on planning a wedding in some of the most beautiful and popular destinations around the globe.
Today, we're talking to Tara from Planned by Tara about planning your dream destination wedding in Malta. Take it away, Tara!
Why should couples choose a destination wedding in Malta?
Malta enjoys approximately 300 days of sunshine per year making it the perfect European location for a destination wedding. The predictable Mediterranean climate means that outdoor weddings are possible almost year round. Malta is one of the most beautiful locations in Europe and for such a small island nation (to put it into perspective, it is only 1/3 the size of County Dublin), there are a huge range of incredible wedding venues and suppliers to choose from. There is excellent value for money to be obtained in Malta and it is the perfect location to host a truly unique and memorable wedding event without breaking the bank.
The incredible scenery and architecture evident throughout the island means that Irish couples can avail of stunning backdrops and their wedding guests can take advantage of unlimited tourist activities. This small nation continues to observe greater cultural acceptance of the LGBTIQ community with a rating of 94% compared to only 52% in Ireland, making Malta one of the most popular locations for gay marriage. Whether you want to immerse yourself in Maltese culture or take advantage of the stunning views of the Mediterranean, Malta is the perfect location for your destination wedding.
What kinds of venues are available to couples in Malta?
There are a huge range of different venues types that Irish couples can choose from. With such variety in Malta, there is a venue to suit every clients needs. Most properties offer full exclusivity. The most popular options for Irish couples are luxury Mediterranean villas, traditional Maltese farmhouses with mature gardens, stately palazzos, historic castellos, garden/vineyard style private properties, historic Baroque buildings, fine-dining and informal restaurants with views of Valletta, Spinola Bay and the Mediterranean, and luxury hotels and sea-side resorts.
How should couples find their dream wedding vendors in Malta?
It is of course possible to independently plan the wedding of your dreams in Malta. However, planning a wedding from abroad alone can be daunting as the word of mouth recommendations from family and friends that you are accustomed to at home are typically not available. Fear of the unknown can add stress to the planning process.
I always recommend enlisting the support of a professional planner. A wedding planner will have all of the best contacts and insights into the local wedding industry. An Irish wedding planner like me will work to source the best suppliers and negotiate the best rates on your behalf. As a been-there Malta bride, I also share my own personal experience with my clients
What kind of budget is required for a Malta wedding?
At Planned By Tara, I work on weddings of all shapes and sizes. On average, you can expect to pay from €10,000 for a wedding party of 50 guests. A budget of this size would offer you a selection of my preferred wedding venues and premium suppliers. I place a strong emphasis on quality led planning and design. With my full wedding planning option, I operate on a bespoke basis, so I aim to source the best quality suppliers to meet my clients' needs and budget.
Alternatively, I offer all-inclusive luxury elopements in Malta for €4,000. This option includes a civil ceremony at a 5* Venue, ceremony music, photography, bridal transport, hair, make-up and floristry. In addition, I offer consultancy and support regarding the paperwork process.
What are the legal requirements for getting married in Malta?
Thankfully, the paperwork process is relatively straight-forward in Malta and your marriage is legally binding. Therefore there is no requirement to perform a registry office ceremony at home before you leave.
The specific requirements for a civil ceremony vary per country of residence and marital status i.e. Single, Divorced, Widowed, Annulled. For Irish couples, the following paperwork should be submitted to the Registry Office in Valletta no earlier than 3 months and no later than 6 weeks before your wedding date:
- Certificate of No Impediment (Issued by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs)
- RZ1 (Request for the Publication of Banns)
- RZ2 (Declaration on Oath - Required for each applicant)
- Birth Certificates (Long Version)
- Copies of Passport (For applicants and 2 witnesses)
- Also, if applicable and depending on marital status, certificates in the case of Divorce, Bereavement or Annulment.
For church ceremonies, in addition to the paperwork outlined above, Irish couples will also be required to request the Publication of Banns from the Curia Office in Malta. They will require the same paperwork from your local parish priest as if you were getting married in Ireland.
Since 2017, the Maltese Parliament approved the Marriage Equality Bill legalising same-sex marriages in Malta.
You are required to present at the Valletta registry office at latest 2 business days before your wedding, so it is best to book your flights a few days in advance of your wedding to allow adequate time for an appointment.
A detailed description of the requirements can be found on the Public Registry Website.
If couples want to stay on after the wedding for their honeymoon, what are their options?
Most of my clients choose to stay on in Malta for a mini-moon after their weddings. Due to its small size, the island can be quickly explored and there is plenty to see and do. Skyscanner voted Malta as their number 1 travel hot spot for 2017. Valletta also hosted the European Capital of Culture for 2018, so you are guaranteed an incredible holiday.
For those that want to relax by the beach, Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha and Ramla Bay (Gozo) are some of my top recommendations. For couples that would like to immerse themselves in the history and culture of the island then a visit to Valletta and Mdina is a must. For the honeymooners that truly want to kick back and relax, there is huge selection of beautiful 5 star hotels and resorts to choose from across the islands.
The Malta Tourism Authority now has a dedicated website specifically aimed at Irish and UK tourists. See more at www.maltauk.com.
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SUMMER SUN // I know where I would rather be right now ❤ #Repost @jos_awad ・・・・・・・・・ The final shot in the Azure Malta series! This was taken from the Galaxy suite at the raddison golden sands! Truly one of the most incredible views this island has to offer! Thanks to @gwyneth_tanti @mikesaid and @azuremalta ・・・・・・・・・ #malta #goldenbay #jacuzzi #beautifulhotels #beautifuldestinations #5starhotelmalta #radissonblugoldensands #mediterranean #wanderlust #summer2019 #maltaphotography #seaview #maltawedding #maltaweddingvenue #plannedbytara #maltaweddingplanner #weddingplanner #destinationwedding #weddingabroad #elope #elopement #seaviewwedding #intimatewedding #luxuryhotel #potd
Anything else we should know about planning a destination wedding in Malta?
May to October are the most popular months for a destination wedding in Malta. June and September are the most popular months for Irish couples as the temperatures are warm but bearable, where July and August are much hotter. May and October are a little cooler, which is perfect for some couples.
You can fly direct to Malta from Ireland on Ryanair, with five flights per week during peak season from Dublin, and two flights per week from Cork. The flight take approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes.
English is recognised as an official language of Malta, so there are no language barriers.
There is a legal requirement for outdoor music in public and residential areas, to be turned off after 11pm, so make sure to check if your preferred venue has a licence to operate beyond this time.
Even though there are over 300 days of sunshine per year, there is still a risk of rainfall, so I always recommend that you choose a venue that has an indoor back-up.
If you looking into the option of selecting a private villa or residence for your wedding, you should ensure the property has been approved by the Malta Registry Office.
For more information about Planned by Tara, visit her website or her Confetti Recommended Supplier listing. You can also keep up with her - and get some destination wedding in Malta inspiration! - by following her on Facebook and Instagram.