We previously blogged about a wedding we did in Malta, and we’ve been working with two more couples who are getting married in the next few years. We’ve picked up a lot of valuable information about weddings in Malta and wanted to share with you all the tips and tricks we’ve found in our dealing with wedding planners in Malta, Wedding photographers in Malta, a recent bride in Malta whom we interviewed, as well as the normal research we conduct in the course of organising a destination wedding photography package for our clients.
Getting Married in Malta – A Quick Guide
Malta is a small island just south of Sicily enjoying beautiful year-round sunshine (the Maltese boast of 300+ sunny days a year!) with an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius October-March and an average temperature of 25 degrees Celsius April-September. The weather alone makes Malta an ideal wedding and honeymoon destination. But that’s not all, it’s stunning architecture, rolling landscape, and beautiful sea-views make it an ideal location for wonderful wedding photos and as a backdrop to your wedding reception. Whether it’s the sun setting over the Mediterranean sea at the Golden Bay Hotel, the beautiful gardens of the Palazzo Parisio, the fantastic interior of the Castello Dei Baroni, or the rolling landscapes from the Red Tower Malta, there are a multitude of choices for any kind of wedding you may want in the sun!
Add to that for UK, Irish, American or Canadian brides, almost everyone you meet speaks English (in over a week we never met anyone who didn’t speak English as well as a native) – making that destination wedding a lot easier to plan. For our English, Scottish, Welsh brides, two more bonuses – the electric sockets are the same as the UK, as is the side of the road they drive on (the left/correct side 😉 ).
Malta Wedding Venues – The Basics
Malta has wide selection of Churches and Wedding Venues to choose from: There are over 300 churches in Malta and Gozo, ranging from fabulous ornate cathedrals to quiet little chapels. In Mellieha you’ll find the Sanctuary of Our Lady where part of the Church is formed from a natural cave! It also offers spectacular views over Mellieha Bay, Gozo and Comino for fabulous wedding photos. In St Julian’s the Balluta Parish Church dominates the skyline of Balluta Bay and has striking neo-gothic architecture. The Cathedral of Mdina (pictured below) sits inside the ‘quiet city’ of Mdina, with beautiful streets for wedding photos afterwards. And on Gozo your choices include Gozo Cathedral which is a 17th century baroque church, whilst Xaghra Basilicais covered in beautiful Marble.
When it comes to Reception Venues in Malta there are so many choices it is impossible not to find your dream wedding location! The Castello Zamitello is a 17th century castle set in beautiful gardens and only 5 minutes walk from the wonderful Golden Bay Tower & Gnjena Beach where some dramatic and wonderful sunset wedding photos are possible (pictured below)! The Grand Hotel in Gozo, located at the gateway to the Mgarr Harbour, boasts amazing views of the Mediterranean sea as well as the idyllic island of Comino. Le Meridien in St. Julian’s is a four star hotel Catering for any size of wedding- whether you want a large ceremony or a small service with friends, the food at Le Meridien is to die for!
Planning A Wedding in Malta – Working With Maltese Suppliers
E-Mails & Contact: Maltese lifestyle is a real mash-up between English, Italian, and Arabic influences. When it comes to availability and contact, we’ve experienced first hand that the Maltese are very similar to the Italians in both their time-keeping and their promptness in replying. Unlike in the U.K., in Malta many businesses simply do not answer e-mails promptly, if at all! Face-to-face and phone conversations are much more the norm, so if you’re hoping to plan your destination wedding from overseas by e-mail alone, we’re sure you’re going to run into difficulty and frustration! This is in no way a criticism of the Maltese, it’s just a different approach to business (and life) – and one we’ve seen our English and American clients run into this with frustration time and time again.
Answering Questions: Further to the point above, as many of our clients getting married in Italy have also found, in Malta the general mediterranean attitude of ‘mañana, mañana’ can often prevail. Our English clients often expect straight-forward answers to straight-forward questions, but unfortunately there is a level of vagueness and “it’ll be alight on the day, trust me” that can pervade some Maltese Wedding Supplier attitudes when responding to queries. Meeting in person can often allay these problems, but if you’re still worried, make sure to deal with a Maltese wedding supplier who regularly works with couples from the U.K. and the US who will understand this culture difference.
Wedding Photography in Malta – What’s Normal vs. What’s Not
There are a massive selection of choices for wedding photographers in Malta, dealing with the huge wedding market (both domestic and destination) on the island. There is, however, a certain sense of a ‘captive market’ by Maltese wedding photographers in their approach to their pricing and client service/satisfaction. Unlike in the rest of Europe where it’s pretty much a buyers’ market (there are lots of good wedding photographers to choose from at various prices), in Malta the few good wedding photographers (and many ‘average’ ones) have a bit of a monopoly over the island – and we find their working practices don’t favour their clients for this reason, in the following ways:
Number of images (edited and non-edited): It’s pretty common practice in Malta to only edit and deliver the images that appear in the album (approximately 50-100) and the rest are delivered unedited and small in size. This means they may take over 600 photos of your wedding day, but only 70 of them will be of any use to you, and you will have to pay more for the rest to be edited.
This is a business trend that died out in the U.K. many years ago when savvy clients cottoned on to this fact – and only a very few of the older photographers still try this outdated (and mean) business tactic. However in Malta, this way of doing business still remains prevalent – to the disadvantage of the consumer…
Turnaround Time of Images & Albums: We were also shocked to hear stories from multiple Maltese, that the average time from the wedding to delivery of images was over six months. We heard from one bride who is still waiting for her album design two years after the wedding. To her, as a Maltese, this was normal, but to English and American brides, this would be shocking. If anything the Maltese were as shocked to hear that wedding photographers could do it quicker! (And we made a booking out of this fact alone for 2019!)
Price-Range: Perhaps due to the ‘monopoly’ effect (discussed above) we found the average price of photographers in Malta to be very high. Even average photography studios are charging what top-range photographers in the UK are charging. This has two effects: 1) Obviously the prices are just much higher all round, and 2) you may be fooled by a high-price into thinking your Maltese Wedding Photographer is on a par with the equivalently priced UK Wedding Photographer, when in fact they are nowhere near as good, but the (below) average photographers can get away with charging more due to their captive market…
Wedding Planners in Malta – Planning Your Maltese Wedding
Malta has more Wedding Planners on the island than you can shake a stick at, and it’s a bit of a joke on the island that everyone has at least four friends who are wedding planners, however almost all of them are complete novices masquerading as professionals. This is something we confirmed when speaking with Jon & Natalia about their experiences planning their wedding in Malta, as well as with many locals about their own weddings on the island. We had tried reaching out to lots of wedding planners in Malta both to hire them in helping with this wedding, and also requesting basic information about their services for this article. Less than 5% of the those contacted replied (see above) – but of those who did reply, the vast majority were worse than useless.
Whilst there were some amazing wedding planners in Malta we eventually got to meet, the vast majority were not anywhere near a standard where we would advise anyone to hire them, so please do contact us for recommendations if you’re looking for wedding planner recommendations when getting married in Malta.
Wedding Flowers and Floristry – Making Your Maltese Wedding Come True
Malta has many wedding floristry shops and providers – most of which centre around high-street fronted shops and stores. This is not so common in the UK anymore but is very common in Malta, where wedding floristry businesses are sub-branches (pardon the pun) of regular floristry services. Usually we always recommend ‘wedding specialists’ when organising your wedding, but in Malta we were pleasantly surprised to find with floristry that almost every wedding flower shop contacted offered a brilliant service and at great prices. So this is one (and possible the only one) case where we would recommend against the ‘specialists’ who seemed to be over-priced and offer less competitive services than the high-street florists.
Engagement Photography in Malta
If you’re looking for an engagement session in Malta then please feel free to look through our galleries for examples of real couples having their photos in Malta:
International & Malta Wedding Photographer Mykey Day
Your Wedding Day will never be as important to anyone else as it is to you, but trust us when we say – your wedding will be crucially important to us as well! Please browse our website for examples of our work, and we look forward to making your wedding photographs special too.