All names mentioned in this article are fictitious.
“Do you, soon-to-be matrimonially joined couples, take this selection of tacky flower arrangements and gaudy bridesmaid dresses to be part of your lawfully organised wedding-plan layout?”
You may now pay the bill and kiss your savings goodbye. There’s nothing quite like a Maltese wedding with all the bells and whistles … and resentfully invited cousins. Wedding season is just around the corner, and if you’ve got one or two wedding invitations, here’s a teaser of what to expect.
Half of the island is on the guest list and enough food to feed an entire mass meeting has been ordered. There’s more dress than bride, the mothers are reminding everyone who actually paid for the whole shebang and bets have been placed on how long it’s going to take for the bride to get pregnant. Oh, and Uncle Wenzu will soon be asking you why you haven’t got a boyfriend yet.
Before the big day, the groom and his distant relatives must be introduced to every single member of the bride’s extended family over a freshly slaughtered mammal on a spit roast. There will be some serious drama until the head of the house decides whether or not the fiancé is native enough to wed his daughter, and differences between the two families will be mustered until the ceremony is over.
On the actual day, there are about a dozen bridesmaids with more cleavage on show than the church would actually allow. Said bosoms are of course encased in ruching and frills. The biggest vehicle has been hired to drive the couple 500 yards down the road from the church to the venue. The wedding hall itself is a pimped up garage with faux-Greek statues scattered everywhere, and a neon-pink heart with ‘Shenizienne Loves Dazier‘ has been mounted on the gold-painted gates as a gentle reminder of their undying love.
The event is taken as an opportunity to pair off the above-mentioned bridesmaids with some of the groom’s male relatives, in preparation for the next big shindig. All the guests will charge like a herd of wildebeest towards the buffet table and anything that can be salvaged will be stowed away in many a handbag. The wine bar has also been opened. Most will ask for beer.
A cleverly devised wedding diet for the bride has also been arranged; all she has to do is wolf down most of the just gone-off seafood vols-au-vents combined with two gallons of cheap booze, chunder everything down the toilet and in less than three minutes, her ruffled corset won’t be so snug around the armpits.
The groom is, of course, suited-up in white, from head to plastic pointy-shoed toe. His best man is loyally flaunting his collection of gold and silver fraternity rings, to prove that the bromance is still going strong. Neither has the groom forgotten his gold medallion and this will be nestled in his hairy chest which will be on display by the time the DJ has got everyone on the dance floor.
A lot of Maltese weddings are loud, boisterous and ostentatious. It’s not quite clear what makes them so garish – the choice of food, attire and decoration, the actual guests themselves, or just a combination of the two. Despite the array of wedding-centred rom coms out there, none of them quite capture the spirit of a real kitsch Maltese wedding the way My Big Fat Greek Wedding does. So many similarities can be drawn between the two Mediterranean cultures in question. From the loud interfering family to the plastic-covered sofas, this movie gives a very near-accurate representation of how Mediterranean islanders celebrate the amalgamation of two households.
In spite of all this, we probably take weddings so seriously because our cultural roots are very much based on the family unit. It’s how we show love. It’s a reflection of how much we care about the future of our baby girl or baby boy. It’s ok if you’re guilty of any of the above wedding choices. As long as you’ve had, or will be having a great day, it doesn’t matter.
And on that note, we would like to wish our newly-wed readers all the happiness in the world.