Real Weddings

A Baroque Inspired Wedding at a Palace in Malta

Photography by Clive Xuereb.

Amy and Fergus’ wedding embraced the ornate allure of the Baroque era inside Napoleon’s former palace outside Valletta, Malta. Stepping into the majestic Palazzo Parisio, they wed beneath the magnificent gilded ceilings and bronze chandeliers of the grand ballroom. The ornamental and dramatic interiors, crafted by architect Carlo Sada, served as an intricate backdrop for the serene reception dinner, where lush greenery intertwined with the architecture. As the seasons transitioned from spring to summer, the 18th-century palace’s stone-walled gardens surrounded the celebration, amongst decorative fountains, manicured hedges, and vine-covered canopies. Live jazz played at the timeless destination wedding, which was cinematically captured by photographer Clive Xuereb.

Baroque Inspired Wedding at a Palace in Malta

Baroque Inspired Wedding at a Palace in Malta

Our Story

Names / Amy O’Flaherty & Fergus Kerrigan

Location / Naxxar, Malta

Wedding Date / April 29th, 2023

Guest Numbers / 140

Amy & Fergus Wedding

How We Met

We met in 2014 at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin where we both studied our master’s in strategic management. We were friends for several months, until the annual Smurfit ball which happens about six months into the college year. Fergus planted a kiss on me (Amy) and it was the very beginning of our now seven-year relationship.

 

Our Engagement Story

On July 17th, 2021 it was the hottest day of the year in Ireland and we planned a glamping trip in Wicklow. We started the day with a walk and a picnic to the beautiful Lough Dan. As we made our way onto the sand at the lake, we got ready for a dip in the water. Amy set up her tripod to shoot content for our wellness brand Ethos, unbeknownst to her that she was about to capture her own engagement. We walked into the water for a swim and in the water, Fergus popped the question. We celebrated that evening with champagne back at our campsite and partied the following day with friends and family at Johnny Fox’s pub.

 

What we love most about each other…

Amy: I love Fergus’ zest for life, his graft, his confidence, and playfulness. I love his commitment to supporting my needs and holding space for me when I need it.

Fergus: Amy’s energy is like a fire in her that I hope she keeps forever. She’s competitive, devious, she’s always seeking out new or cool experiences. She’s incredibly intelligent, emotionally aware and has a genuine empathy for everyone she comes across.

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Amy & Fergus Wedding

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

We got married on April  29th, 2023 at Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar, Malta. Amy’s grandmother Madeline was Maltese, and Amy has family there now, so when we were planning our wedding and knew we wanted to get married abroad, Malta was the obvious choice for us. Palazzo Parisio is an 18th century, Baroque palace once resided in by Napoleon. The first time we laid eyes on the interior we knew immediately it was our venue. No other venue compared.

 

Aesthetic

Palazzo Parisio was pure opulence and totally allowed Amy to play into her obsession with Bridgerton. The beauty about the palace is of course the breathtaking interior. On arrival you walk up the grand marble sweeping staircase before entering the Rococo style ballroom with bronze chandeliers – a homage to Versailles decorated in 24 carat gold leaf. The beauty of this venue is that it requires very little decorative effort. Every style decision we made was to compliment the palace’s Baroque interior.

 

Preparation

Amy: For me, the morning of the wedding was super chill. I kissed Fergus goodbye at 8 am, played Maribou State on Spotify and smiled my way through the morning.

Fergus: After leaving Amy that morning I went for a run in Valletta City with my groomsmen which was great for clearing my head and getting the endorphins pumping for the day ahead. My groomsmen and I then went to Gary Byrne an Irish barber in Valletta who sorted us out with fresh cuts and styling on the day. We had a few whiskeys at Gary’s and then headed back to the hotel to get ready.

Amy & Fergus Wedding

“It was Derek’s first time in Malta, so it was great to show him around prior to the wedding – he fell in love with the island and with Amy’s Maltese side of the family!”

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Photography

Clive Xuereb was the first supplier we booked after booking Palazzo Parisio. We found him on Instagram and were immediately obsessed with his use of natural light and cinematic style. As a bonus he was so lovely both in the lead up to the wedding and on the wedding day. He has great energy and made us both feel really relaxed while managing to give us both really great direction – he is super creative!

 

Videography

Ernest Vella captured our day so well. Not seen in our wedding trailer but in our full-length video is a montage of phone footage from our friends and family of our after party down in the dungeon at Palazzo Parisio. This is accompanied by closing credits which I highly recommend adding into your video for some added personality and fun! You can’t forget the great content your friends and family capture on their phones too so we were delighted Ernest carried this through into our video. He was very adaptable and open to our ideas. We were so lucky that Clive and Ernest had an existing friendship which really showed on the day – they were a great duo, working in collaboration. We knew our day was in good hands with these two.

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Baroque Inspired Wedding at a Palace in Malta

Baroque Inspired Wedding at a Palace in Malta

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

The ballroom totally did all the hard work which meant minimal décor was required. We displayed a French Baroque gold leaf column at either side of the top of the room with flower displays. The ceremony table was decorated with candles and a beautiful photo of Fergus’ late mum Helen.

 

Reception Décor

For the reception we moved into the perfectly manicured Italianette walled garden. As the seasons transitioned from spring to summer the gardens’ leafy trees and lush foliage were in full bloom and the ornamental fountains flowed. Similar to inside the palace, the gardens did a lot of the talking so our intention with the décor was simply to compliment the already present beauty. We displayed candelabras with whimsical floral arrangements to compliment the garden flowers and maintained the traditional Palazzo Parisio tablescape aesthetic. We added wood-cut name placements to our top table. Every detail including the menus, table plans, and all other décor was intentionally selected to complement the 18th century style of the palace.

“Palazzo Parisio is an 18th century, Baroque palace once resided in by Napoleon. The first time we laid eyes on the interior we knew immediately it was our venue.”

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Wedding Planner & Stylist

Amy planned and designed the wedding with the assistance of our wonderful planner Nikky Borg of Icing on the Cake Weddings and decorated by Luana Zammit of Bali Stuff Weddings. Luana was instrumental in converting ‘La Taverna’ or the dungeon in Palazzo Parisio into our dream 70’s disco inspired after-party. She adorned the dungeon in disco balls and pink lights including a feature backdrop light which read ‘Crazy in Love’.

 

Flowers

Amy: For my bouquet I wanted something classic and simple as my dress was quite busy, so we opted for a large bouquet of white peonies. I fell totally in love with anemones this year so chose them for the buttonholes for Fergus, his groomsmen, and our dads’. We carried the anemones through into the bridesmaid bouquets which were a classic blend of white peonies, roses, lots of green foliage and of course beautiful anemones.

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Stationery

Amy designed all stationary which was printed onto deckled-edge paper to tie in with the aesthetic of this historical venue.

 

Cake

Our cake was a delicious pistachio and lemon cake made by Palazzo Parisio. Our chef David Giacomelli hand-filled chocolate and ricotta cannolis after dinner live at our cannoli station – heaven on earth for a groom with a big sweet tooth!

 

Food & Beverages

Palazzo Parisio is renowned for its quality food using locally sourced ingredients, some of which are grown on the palace grounds. We treated our guests to an Italian-Maltese fusion feast served buffet style. Maltese weddings are traditionally more relaxed often without formal seating. We wanted to seat our guests, but the buffet style allowed us to maintain a relaxed dining experience of the typical Maltese wedding. Our buffet consisted of enjoying an array of pastas, meats and fresh local fish. We selected our wines to pair with our food, serving Sicilian and Italian red, white and rose wines, champagne, and an open bar for the night with various cocktails including our favourite limoncello spritz.

Baroque Inspired Wedding

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

I wore ‘The Enchanted Set’ by Helen O’Connor. After spotting it on The Lane in late 2021 and then again in Vogue, I knew it was the dress for me so I had it sourced by the incredible Sinead Corcoran at The One in Dublin. The Enchanted Bodice and Skirt was made with custom designed lace and featured hand cut 3D daisies embellished with glass beads. I loved the opulence of the set as it totally complimented the venue, while also maintaining a contemporary feel amongst all the detail – true to my personal style. The skirt and top can be styled together or separately too which I loved. I so look forward to wearing the top again with white jeans or linen shorts.

For the afterparty I changed into a custom, mini white silk dress with a high wrap neck and ostrich feather cuff sleeves by Ann Flavin in Dublin. It is the ultimate party dress and aligned so well with our 70’s disco themed afterparty.

I wore a custom Roisin Dockry design silk ‘hang on your wrist’ handbag. Roisin is a dear friend of mine and designer, and she surprised me with the bag the day before the wedding which was so special. I’ll wear this so much post-wedding too and it’s such a beautiful keepsake that I will cherish.

 

Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories

Amy’s engagement ring is an antique ring with a 3-carat rare natural Ceylon Sapphire surrounded with 1-carat old European cut diamonds set in platinum, sourced in Delphi Antiques, Dublin. Her wedding band is of significant sentimental value as it is Fergus’ late mother, Helen’s ring – a platinum diamond baguette ring handmade by Michael Perry in Dublin and gifted to Amy by Fergus’ dad, Derek. Fergus’ wedding ring is a rose gold 5mm band also handmade by Michael Perry in Dublin.

Amy wore diamond stud earrings – a gift to her from Fergus the morning of the wedding. Amy also wore a diamond tennis bracelet as her ‘something borrowed’ from her mum, Michelle. Fergus wore a Tag Heuer Aquaracer timepiece gifted to him by Amy the morning of the wedding. Fergus also wore a custom memorial pin with a photo of his late mum, Helen. He wore this inside his suit pocket.

 

Groomsmen Attire

Fergus wore a bespoke double-breasted Italian silk suit from Paul Henry Tailoring in Dublin. The groomsmen wore made-to-measure navy silk suits by Abrahams Dublin, all with matching olive-green ties from John Henric.

 

Hair & Makeup

Amy’s hair, styled by Emma Camilleri at Dean Gera, was a soft curl parted slightly off center, “I really wanted my hair to feel relaxed and natural to my personal style. I styled it up into a high ponytail for the afterparty.” Helena Ausra was the make-up artist on the day and wow is she is a magician, “Helena was able to elevate my usual make-up look while ensuring I still looked like me.” We opted for a bronzed look focusing on dewy bronzed skin, a bushy brow and a natural brown lip.

Baroque Inspired Wedding at a Palace in Malta

“Every style decision we made was to compliment the palace’s Baroque interior.”

Baroque Inspired Wedding at a Palace in Malta

Baroque Inspired Wedding at a Palace in Malta

The Details

 

Transport

Amy travelled to the venue from Valetta with her family and bridesmaids in a beautifully restored old Maltese bus. It was so fun! We laughed the whole way to the venue.

 

Honeymoon

We spent 10 days in Malta over the course of the wedding and sadly had to head home to Dublin a couple of days after. As business owners it’s hard to take any more than two weeks off. However, we’re buzzing to be moving to Chamonix in the French Alps next February for a month as our official honeymoon. We’re both totally obsessed with skiing and have always regretted never doing a ski season in our youth, so we thought this was the perfect opportunity to live in a resort for a while and run our business remotely. We’re so excited!

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Wedding Songs

Music was hugely important to us on the day.

Amy: I’ve always been a fan of contemporary classical music and so Max Richer’s Spring 1 has been sitting in my ‘Wedding Playlist’ for many years – even before I met Fergus! When it was featured in my favourite TV show Bridgerton it totally solidified my choice. My family and bridesmaids walked down the aisle to Ocean Eyes by Billie Eilish on string quartet and it took our breath away. A stand out song for us is Believe by Cher which played down in the dungeon at the afterparty as we danced on friends’ shoulders under the hanging disco balls – another highlight of our day that was totally unplanned!

 

Entertainment

As we mentioned, music was a big part of our day and something we really committed time and investment into. We opted for live music for the entirety of the day and we’re so glad we did. Cordia String Quartet played beautifully throughout our welcome drinks, ceremony, and aperitif. They were the perfect accent to the palace and created such a magical atmosphere teleporting us all back in time. Fergus’ favourite music genre is jazz, so we had Swing Nuages serenade our guests throughout dinner and after. Late into the evening guests moved down to ‘La Taverna’ or ‘The Dungeon’ as we called it where our dear friend and renowned festival DJ Burlie Mac played until the early hours of the morning.

 

Celebrant

Our ceremony was hosted by Fergus’ brother Emmett. Emmett is incredibly thoughtful, deep and gives so much love to those in his life. As a result, the ceremony was highly personal which was so important to both of us as it brought so much meaning and emotion to our day. It was without a doubt one of our favourite moments to have someone we both love so much marry us.

Baroque Inspired Wedding

Baroque Inspired Wedding

Our Advice

 

A memorable moment…

We travelled to Malta in January prior to the wedding with Amy’s parents Michelle and Gary, and Fergus’ dad Derek. We stayed for four days, had our food tasting, wine tasting, viewed the venue, and planned some last-minute details. It was Derek’s first time in Malta, so it was great to show him around prior to the wedding – he fell in love with the island and with Amy’s Maltese side of the family! It was such a special couple of days in our journey – we laughed a lot and we’re both so grateful for that time we shared with our parents, together.

 

One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…

I totally forgot at times how insanely beautiful the venue already was, so those countless nights spent scrolling Pinterest looking at flower arrangements were for the most part a total waste of time – it was always going to be beautiful!

If you can I would involve friends and family in your wedding as much as possible. I don’t mean the obvious ways like bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc. But consider the idea of having someone close to you both marry you – it was truly magic to have Emmett do this for us and the best decision we ever made. Having our friends DJ at the afterparty and at our day two beach party, our friend Roisin Dockry design Emmett’s stole, and my handbag, as well as having friends and family share words throughout the day it, made everything feel very personal and connected. Amongst your guest list there is bound to be several creative folks – get them involved!

 

Sources of inspiration…

The usual spots like Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok. Publications like The Lane and Vogue. We followed weddings of other couples who got married in our venue too and reached out to them with lots of questions. And of course… Bridgerton!

Amy & Fergus Wedding

Our Contacts

 

Wedding Venue / Palazzo Parisio

Wedding Stylist & Planner / Bali Stuff Weddings

Photography / Clive Xuereb

Videography / Ernest Vella

Bride’s Dress / Helen O’Connor & Ann Flavin 

Bride’s Shoes / Aldo

Wedding Rings / Delphi Antiques and Michael Perry

Hair / Emma Camilleri at Dean Gera

Makeup / Helena Ausra

Stationery / Impact Design Printing Ireland

Florist / Flower Arts

Cake / Palazzo Parisio

Catering / Palazzo Parisio

Celebrant / Emmett Kerrigan

Entertainment / Cordia String Quartet, Swing Nuages & Burlie Mac

Transport / Koptaco Malta

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