The groom wore PINK in this elegant white wedding in Malta

15 Sep 2021

Maryam Hassan and David Atkinson tied the knot in Malta, with their daughter Sadia by their side and a baby on the way 

Where did you meet?

I was studying for my Masters and attended a conference where David was a key speaker on 'Safety in the Film Industry'. I slid in his Linkedin DMs but it wasn’t until a year after (during which I had to watch him on an episode of First Dates) that we started dating.

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Tell us about the proposal

David proposed to me on Charles Bridge in Prague. We had come out to visit him while he was working on a movie there. He told only our daughter, Sadia, who was four at the time. She kept asking: “When are you going to do it?” as we were taking in the scenery, and I thought she meant taking a picture, but when I turned around he was down on one knee. 

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Was your wedding affected by Covid-19?

We planned our wedding throughout the entire pandemic. David spent some time working on Spiderman in the USA, so when schools closed we went over to join him. I kept liaising with my wedding planner. The only thing we did to be cautious, because we always believed our wedding would go ahead as planned, was just pay all the deposits and then we waited until the last minute to pay off final balances.

When Malta announced they would only accept travellers who were vaccinated a few months before the wedding, there was a mad rush for our guests to make sure they were vaxxed before the date - September 1st 2021.

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What did you choose for your colour scheme?

David wore a pink suit made bespoke by Solomon Browne Bespoke. Because the venue is so striking and stunning with its waterfall cascading down the limestone walls, and all this lush greenery growing amongst it, we gave our florist, Alistair Floral in Malta, for a specific request. We asked for deep greens and crisp whites to allow the pop of colour to be David's suit, and let our surroundings speak for themselves.

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Tell us about the venue

The Limestone Heritage Gardens is a magnificent old limestone quarry in Malta with a striking waterfall tumbling down. The second I saw it I knew I wanted to say my vows before it. We always wanted a destination wedding and I have a lot of family in Malta, who could help with planning, so it was an easy decision.

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How did you know when you'd found the dress?

I liked the first dress I tried on. I knew exacty what I wanted so didn’t even waste my time trying alternative options. I wanted slinky, white and simple to accentuate my curves, although I hadn’t planned to be five months pregnant on the day. Enzoani creates dresses which were exactly along the lines of what I wanted, so I made a beeline for the designer.

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What did the mother of the bride wear?

My mum wore a jade green Ted Baker dress, which she fell in love with on a random shopping trip.

Tell us about the ceremony

Sadia was my flower girl cum bridesmaid, and I walked down the aisle with her and my father, and then away with her and David. I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I regret walking so quickly down the aisle, I just wanted to be David's wife. My dad kept telling me to slow down, but I couldn’t get to David quick enough.

David always liked Kishi Bashi’s rendition of This Must Be The Place, so I got our string quartet to play it as I walked down the aisle to him as a surprise.

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Did you use a wedding planner?

Yes, I used Helen Falzon of Jewel Weddings in Malta as my wedding planner. Although I had chosen my venue and vendors, it was such a relief to have to do nothing on the day and in the run up to the wedding. Having Helen communicate with everyone so I didn’t have to was a godsend.

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Tell us about the reception

For favours we used leather luggage tags, which also served as name places at the dining tables, ornate brocade fans (it was 38 degrees) and mini bottles of Bailey's as a nod to David’s Irish heritage.

At dinner, we had a DJ spinning the tunes and later a saxophonist joined the DJ to get guests up on their feet dancing.

My most memorable moment was sharing our first dance with Sadia. We’d had a dance lesson prior, but surprised the guests by inviting her in half way with our choreography. We danced to Jordan MacKampa's Love at First Sight.

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What was the most challenging part of planning this wedding?

Helping our guests who were travelling from USA, Canada, France, Netherlands and England to have their health documentation in order so they would receive seamless entry into Malta.

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What was the most important investment?

The most important investment was making sure our guests were wined and dined all day and night. They spent their hard earned money, and took time out of their lives, to travel to Malta to celebrate us. A destination wedding is costly on guests as well as the couple, and they deserve to be treated like royalty for making us feel like royalty.

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What did you choose for your wedding cake?

Like my dress, the cake was super simple – a two tiered Victoria sponge, we are English after all. The florist decorated the cake with med-style leaves and petals in keeping with the floral arrangements throughout the veue.

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Did you go on honeymoon? 

We went home for a few days to get Sadia ready for school, then flew to Santorini for four days and on to Mykonos for four days. The honeymoon was idyllic.

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What advice would you give to couples planning a wedding?

If it's in your budget, I would advise anyone to get a wedding planner. Anything that makes your life easier is a good thing. 

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Steal their style: 

Photography: Hush Studios
Venue: Limestone Heritage Gardens
Wedding planning: Helen Falzon, Jewel Weddings
Dress: Alice Elizabeth
Flowers: Alistair Floral 
Catering: Corinthia Caterers
String quartet: Cordia String Quartet 
DJ: Thomas Cruz

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