Malta’s first LGBT wedding fair brought together international media and over 40 exhibitors
The Stylish Civil Unions and Honeymoons Fair was a first for Malta, allowing over 40 exhibitors and the many visitors to focus on a new part of the local wedding market. Glorious weather contributed to a solid turnout over the two days, including leading international specialist media from Gay Times, QX Magazine, The Gay UK, Boyz, Gay Star News and Bon Voyage, among others.
Joining into this landmark event were some of the best professionals in the wedding market such as gown and suits specialists, planners, caterers, florists, cake companies, jewellers, venues, invitations, photographers, entertainers, financial and legal consultants, transport, honeymoon destinations and other professional wedding services.
Edward Bonello's Molecular Fusion stand was packed with visitors enjoying a wide range of exciting molecular cocktails. Molecular Gastronomy is a sub-discipline of food science that seeks to investigate the physical and chemical transformations of ingredients that occur in the preparation of food and drink. Surrounded by customers, clamouring for one of the amazing cocktails, with glasses emitting ghostly vapours, Edward says: “I keep it organic, fresh, authentic and unique, we can more or less give people anything that they want.”
Another interesting stand attracting a lot of attention was Desiree Design Works, sporting an array of hand-painted shoes and an amazing pair of rainbow stilettos adorned with colourful buttons, and a second pair with latticed gold heels. Desiree is a bundle of energy and clearly has a deep passion for art and design, as well as an unbridled love for unique shoes, fashion and all things beautiful.
Desiree says: "My aim is to create shoes which are unique from anything mass-produced and sold in large quantities. On the contrary, each shoe is treated as a new art canvas painstakingly hand-painted with a concept in mind, while taking into consideration the shape of the shoe and the style of the owner. I sign my name onto every pair so they have to be absolutely perfect."
Harpist Esmeralda Galea Camilleri said: "Music is one of the intangibles at a wedding which can really add so much to the experience and memories of the couples and guests alike. I appreciate that being a first, Stylish can only build on from now on. I could easily see how much time and effort Chrystelle and the rest of Hotel Phoenicia's team put into this event, so it didn't go unnoticed on my part. I was delighted to be able to showcase my harp, so thank you for that."
Stylish has attracted extensive coverage in Ireland, Italy, Germany, France and the UK, and it was evident walking around the fair that there were as many expats and international visitors as well as locals, including many couples who were enjoying the atmosphere and thinking about what to add to their big day. David and Colin, from Malta said: "Style and panache are important, especially on the biggest day of your life. The stands are great, people have given us a lot of advice and we’ve got so much to think about. We're very excited."
Another couple intrigued by Stylish were Tracy and Annabel who said: "You can touch the gowns, taste the wedding cakes by Joanne of Sweet Desires which are simply amazing, smell the flowers and taste creative food and drinks. It's been fantastic going around and meeting so many friendly and knowledgeable people."
Chrystelle Doublesin, Hotel Phoenicia’s Weddings Executive, said, "We wanted to give couples an amazing weekend at Stylish full of ideas and inspiration for their big day. We had an amazing time planning this special event knowing the importance of finding the right professionals to be part of the planning process for a day to remember. As well as to showcase some of the top suppliers this industry has to offer in Malta. I am delighted that we have managed to pull it off, a big thanks to all the exhibitors for taking part in this inaugural event."
Rob Bruno, director of Sales and Marketing at Hotel Phoenicia, said: "This is an idea whose time has come and Stylish Civil Unions and Honeymoons Fair has been an invaluable resource in making that special day a memorable celebration for a lifetime. Stylish Civil Unions and Honeymoons Fair has showcased some of the top professionals this creative industry has to offer in a safe and welcoming place for couples to meet vendors who are committed to marriage equality and excited to serve the LGBT community. The international response to the fair has been very positive and we are thrilled that so many journalists from overseas attended. We are delighted Hotel Phoenicia has been the venue for Malta's first LGBT wedding fair."