We will always embrace weddings of bright and beautiful colour around these parts, but the wedding of Taylor and Silva is one that is truly special. The couple, who in Taylor’s words, planned a day that was a “Mix of culture, Arabic and Australian, purple and gold,” wanted to “transport our guests to a unique cultural destination.” Captured by Marnie Photography, Taylor & Silva chose a beautiful garden setting and brought in plenty of glam details to celebrate. But the interesting thing? They did it in a way that challenged traditions while honouring them. They married in the round, they both walked down the aisle and celebrated under fireworks, but they also made sure that every single moment of the day was fun and inclusive. Today, Taylor shares the story of the day.
Silva and I are an online dating success story!
We met in March 2013. Having just come out of a horrible relationship myself I was very reluctant to jump straight back in again… this resulted in (and much to my regret), cancelling on Silva 5 times before actually meeting him. Some time had gone by… another fling happened however all I could think about was Silva! After a few months I mustered up the courage to message him asking for one… more… date (this time I would show up). Having only just deleted me from Facebook that same day Silva took this as a sign and reluctantly said yes.
It was love at first sight, plus I took him to sushi which just so happened to be his favourite food, that definitely scored me some brownie points. I was moved into his little house within three weeks.
Silva adds of the proposal: So my sister was getting married in Malta, at the time I was out to my sister and my mum – only when the invitation arrived, Taylor’s name wasn’t on the invite… I wasn’t happy about that of course, so I called my mother (who wasn’t and still isn’t supportive of our relationship) and told her that I will not be coming to the wedding if Taylor is not invited, my sister at the time had quite a fight with my mother over the situation and insisted that Taylor gets invited.
Whilst we were in Malts for my sister’s wedding, on the 11/07/2016 it was the “Tnejn Festa San Sebastjan” (Saint Sebastian’s birthday fiesta) a parade of music and floats lining the coast of Sliema. Cheer and joy were infectious, and so was the Mediterranean heat! We walked alongside the parade landing in a classic gypsy style theme park. On our way back Taylor took me to a rocky beach with the view of the ancient city of Valletta lighting up the water (which was the old capital of Malta and where the Game of Thrones was filmed) and the moon was in a waxing crescent phase. Taylor went down on one knee and proposed in Arabic.
The expression on my face was of course undeniable shock that I was being proposed to, especially after everything my parents have put him through. We of course couldn’t get married until it was legal. However, when equal marriage became legal, we weren’t in a financial position to have a wedding until now.
Keeping with the purple theme, I knew I wanted a dark look with blacks, greys and a deep purple. I definitely found the perfect outfit with a textured black velvet jacket, deep purple shirt and the most stunning shoes! I did leave my outfit to the last minute, you know, needed to be as slim as possible before committing to a suit!
Silva’s look was that of an Arabian prince (well in my opinion). He also chose a darker look with a black velvet jacket and black shirt and pants. Remaining close to his cultural traditions he chose to wear a black turban featuring rose gold baby’s breath. He had idea after idea about how he wanted to look on the day. He has a few failed attempts also with purchasing a ‘gold sequence blaze’ from Wish… that did not turn out well. He looked absolutely incredible!
We had the entire day in one venue. We could not have picked a more perfect venue. Lagoon View Nursery was on board with every suggestion and idea we had… this started with having two camels at the ceremony which we then decided to not go ahead with.
It had everything, and the owners and events manager Cara were an absolute pleasure to work with right from the first phone call. We couldn’t recommend them enough. We also hired Bisous Wedding and Event Planning to take care of everything – Nadia had literally everything covered.
We had a very different / outside the box ceremony style. We wanted to break away from the gender traditions of one groom walking down (more feminine) the aisle and one waiting at the altar (more masculine). We also decided to include my mother and father in the ceremony to walk down the aisle before us. They have been a constant support and rock for Silva and me. They needed their special moment as well, theirs is the relationship we look up to most. I walked down the aisle alone and Silva walked down the aisle with Grizzly dog (the most important creature on this planet to him).
We both have a spiritual side to us and did not want to go down a religious route when it came to ceremonial traditions. We decided to include a smoking ceremony (no, not cigars haha) before the vows. This was to energetically cleanse us both and centre us at the moment before we made the commitment. It meant a real lot to us.
Both Silva and I decided we want all our closest family and friends surrounding us… literally. We chose to have a ‘wedding in the round’. We had all our guests sitting in a large circle around Silva and me with the aisle cutting through the middle. This means we could both walk-in from opposite sides together and we would be able to walk towards each other, meet in the middle of a complete circle of love and support.
We wanted the whole wedding party to not only look good but feel stunning. We had the girls in deep almost eggplant purple and matching gold jewellery. We had the boys meeting us and the girls in the middle with a purple jacket with a black shirt and pants, just to link the whole wedding party look together.
We wanted the wedding to be a magical experience for not only Silva and I but the whole wedding party. We chose to have a pre-wedding henna night so all the girls and Silva and I were done up with henna tattoo’s on our hands and arms. This was another special way we wanted to create a link between cultures.
Our photographer Marnie of Marnie Photography was fantastic! We didn’t have an overly complicated brief but one that it seemed a lot of photographers lacked in their work… colour! She completely not only understood the wedding but embraced the culture and worked with us to capture every special moment of the day. Marie was fantastic! She got everything! More importantly, our wedding album is bright and vibrant just like our relationship.
It’s about the two of you, nobody else! Your day should reflect every part of your relationship – colour, sight and sound. I personally couldn’t imagine being given ‘wedding packages’ to flick through and choose a wedding from a template of colours and decorations. The joy for us came in creating a day to remember which would allow us to creatively express our love for one another.
It should be fun and joyful, not stressful and crazy. If something isn’t working or stressing you both out, make changes to ensure your happiness comes first… including the planning.
Walking into the reception (wedding party and us) needed to be the most energetic, insanely exciting moment so we needed a pump-up song to get everyone going. One of the first things Silva and I agreed on is our reception entrance song which was ‘Smack My B*tch Up’ by The Prodigy.
Our dinner was by One World Food Truck. They were unbelievable. The food was original and culturally appropriate for the wedding… When we first met with them we said, “This is not a normal wedding, no chicken or fish alternative plate drop, what can you offer us?”
They came up with a 5-star menu you would see in a fine dining restaurant, all original and some recipes even created exclusively for our event. My favourite part was choosing the music for the important parts of the day. For me, music is very important and I needed each song to reflect Silva and me in the right way. For Silva I think it was the food; working with the caterers and choosing the menu.
Silva’s sister lives in Vancouver and due to the world we live in today, she was unable to be here for the day. I secretly organised to have them record a speech to play at the wedding as a part of the speech lineup. Silva is surrounded by love here by friends and chosen family however not so much in his actual family, apart from his supportive sister. As you can imagine this was a very emotional part of the night and something I am so proud to have been able to give him.
Our first dance was to a once again very non-traditional choice, “Bombay Dreams” by KSHMR. The wedding overall was incredible every second of the day. I have to say there was a moment where after our first dance we invited every guest at the wedding on the dance floor to celebrate with us. Never have I seen a wedding where every person there was on the dance floor at the same time, jumping dancing and celebrating us. It was a special moment.
My favourite memories included having a day that was one of a kind and completely ours. The generosity of our family and friends. My Father’s heartwarming speech. Silva’s fireworks display and saying ‘I do’ finally after one cancelled COVID wedding already.
I’m a shiny things kind of person and Silva kept the firework display a complete surprise until the moment the first one shot up into the air. You can see from the photos, I was in complete shock.
A big thank you to you both Taylor & Silva, we loved the opportunity to tell your story. Thank you both and to Marnie Photography for sharing the images today.