Patricia Arribas and Rishabh Dhawan, The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta
Fusing Spanish and Indian wedding rituals seamlessly, this couple’s destination wedding was a vibrant celebration of love.
Patricia Arribas and Rishabh Dhawan’s destination wedding in Malta was a heady mix of Spanish and Indian cultures. Paying homage to their roots while having loads of fun, the couple’s destination wedding was planned and designed by WeddingSutra Favorite – The Serendipity Co. And, photographing the couple’s adorable moments was WeddingSutra Favorite – Hiraaya by Aayushi who used their expertise to capture some truly memorable shots.
How They Met
Rishabh shares, “We met at university via a mutual friend. For us, it was a breeze as it began with easy conversation and transitioned seamlessly into dating. After a while, we also managed a long-distance relationship for three years and held strong. Soon, Patricia moved back to Ghana where I was based. Then onwards, there was no looking back as I proposed and she accepted.”
For their fusion Hindu and Spanish wedding, the couple chose the scenic landscape of Malta to host a destination wedding. The couple shares, “The wedding had the framework of an Indian Wedding – Haldi, Mehendi, Sangeet and a traditional Indian Wedding. However, we also had a complete Spanish Wedding ceremony at the Saluting Battery (an artillery battery heritage site) with vows in Spanish (translated into English) and traditional Spanish food! In addition, we had a welcome dinner with a Ghanaian theme to represent our strong connections to Ghana. This included Afrobeats music, fireshows, and Ghanaian-based prints called Kente.”
Helming their wedding squad as planner was The Serendipity Co. who with their expertise ensured the couple enjoyed each moment of their wedding. Impressed by the dedicated team, the couple shares, “We couldn’t recommend The Serendipity Co. team enough. Their planning was immaculate, their coordination was great, and they made the event easy to enjoy for us. This was no easy task, but they made it look like a cakewalk. They were extremely understating and considerate of all our needs while ensuring both our cultures got equal time under the spotlight.”
On the photography front, Hiraaya by Aayushi captured the couple at their stylish best. The couple shares, “Right from our initial call, it felt like the right vibe with Hiraay by Aayushi. We took some amazing photos with heavenly backgrounds, and the team took amazing pictures of our guests. The team was more excited about the shots than we were and that’s when we knew we had the perfect team capturing these most special moments. What we loved the most about the team was that they were not intrusive. They clicked pictures from spots that would cause the least disturbance. They are beyond committed to their work, and they are extremely good at it. By the end of the week, we’d gained a few more friends!”
Mehendi Welcome Lunch
Rhea Dewan from The Serendipity Co. shares, “The three-day wedding festivities commenced with a heartfelt welcome lunch and mehendi ceremony for the guests. The ambience was set with delectable cuisines and exquisite cocktails which everyone enjoyed immensely.” Rishabh adds, “It was a casual welcome lunch served at The Terrace Restaurant within the hotel. His was a free flow of guests who were arriving from the airport. Along with the welcome lunch was the Mehendi ceremony where Patricia did her Mehendi along with 25-30 other guests of which many were non-Indians who applied Mehendi for the first time!”
Rishabh shares, “This was the first function with everyone. It was Ghanaian-themed decor to represent our ties to Ghana. There were some amazing fire shows and dancers as entertainment. It was an outdoor restaurant located at the hotel named Palio’s Trattoria.” Rhea goes on to add, “The occasion was adorned with woody tones, red wildflowers, greens, and amber mood lighting. And the night came alive with some extremely engaging entertainment.”
Rishabh shares, “It was a beautiful setup at a historic artillery battery site. The event started with all the guests coming into the venue and enjoying the views for the first hour after which they were directed to their seats facing the altar. This was followed by the bridesmaids and groomsmen entering while dancing. The introduction was done in Spanish by Patricia’s dad and translated into English by Rishabh’s dad. The ceremony then moved to the official part where the officiant, who was Patricia’s uncle, did all the formal procedures. We then moved to do some toasts by the other bridesmaids and groomsmen, each of them followed by a cannon firing! No one was expecting this and it was amazing to see their surprised faces!”
Describing the decor Rhea shares, “The couple exchanged vows in a cloud-like white setup at the UNESCO heritage site. The ethereal décor, featuring white gypsophila, handmade butterflies, and delicate lace textiles, complemented the heartfelt ceremony, leaving guests moved and touched.”
Rishabh shares, “This was at the Ballroom, Westin Dragonara. Patricia’s friends and family were introduced to this event with the dance practices and they were able to put on a show… the Sangeet performance was so wholesome with all our closest friends and cousins dancing to the songs we love the most – Bollywood, Reggaeton, Afrobeats and English. This was followed by a visual hologram show which went on for about two hours and then everyone kept going until the sun came out. We also had a tequila bar at this event given it’s our favorite spirit!”
The couple shares, “The Haldi was meant to be relatively casual but it turned out to be quite the party. While many people preferred to sleep in and rest for the later part of the day, those who were there made sure to come with all their energy. Instead of coffee, there was beer. Instead of light music, it was a party all over again. Some continued from the previous night into this event!”
Rishabh shares, “We had organized Baraat t-shirts for all the guests to wear. We had a few snacks, and some drinks, took some nice picturesque photos and then made our way towards the vintage car, moving bar, and moving sound truck with DJ Maddy playing some tunes. The original aim was to reach the Jai Mala stage by 5:30 pm but we ended up getting there at 8:30 pm. It was impossible to get the car moving so much that our Maltese driver left and went for a walk! A very close friend had surprised us all by bringing masks of my face for everyone to wear. It was an absolutely strange and funny moment to see everyone wearing masks of me. I had no idea who I was looking at and who I was dancing with!
We did get to the Jai Mala at 8:30 pm and in about 10 minutes Patricia made a stunning entry down a walkway with some of her closest friends. After the pheras were done, there was a fireworks show for about 2 minutes and our close ones came on stage to congratulate us. This was a rollercoaster of happiness. We oscillated between laughter and tears. The wedding rituals ended on a very happy note after which everyone went back to change for the after-party.”
Advice For Couples
The couple shares, “Just go with the flow. And get a wedding planner! Ideally, The Serendipity Co. has wedding planning experience all around the world and makes the months building up to the wedding fun and exciting, very different from couples and families who feel stressed. Also, enjoy every moment. You plan for months and the days fly by so quickly. Don’t complain about being tired or sleepy since you would have created memories of a lifetime. Lastly, some things may not go exactly according to plan and that’s ok. If you have a good wedding planning team, they know just how to go with the flow.”
The Wedding Makers
Venues: The Westin Dragonara Resort, Malta (Mehndi Welcome Lunch, Sangeet, Haldi, Hindu Wedding); Saluting Battery (Spanish Wedding)
Wedding Planning, Décor and Entertainment: The Serendipity Co.
Caterers: Corinthia Caterers (Spanish Wedding)
Groom’s Outfits: Tarun Tahiliani (Welcome Dinner), Manish Malhotra (Spanish Wedding, Hindu Wedding), Kunal Rawal (Sangeet)
Bride’s Outfits: Pronovias (Spanish Wedding), Amit Aggarwal (Sangeet), Manish Malhotra (Hindu Wedding)
Entertainment: VJ Tarang (Sangeet)
DJ: DJ AJ (Welcome Dinner, Sangeet), DJ Maddy (Wedding)
Wedding Stationery: Limoncello Tales
Bartenders: The Wedding Bartenders
Photography and Videography: Hiraaya By Aayushi