Saturday, February 16, 2013

Andorra Wedding #1 - Country Themed (Yellow) Wedding

Andorra is known for having the most unusually form of government in the world. It is the only country that has two heads of states; even stranger still neither head of states is a citizen or residents of Andorra. In fact, one co-head of state is the person elected as the President of France, while the other is a Bishop of the Catholic Church appointed by the Pope. Andorra has never been at war with another country so for over 1,000 years the country has know peace. Also, the country has no national bank and until recently there were no taxes of any kind, because there is no national bank, the country also has no national debt. Food and goods for the citizens of Andorra come from other countries, except for one cash crop, tobacco. The large volume of tourists going to Andorra, go to enjoy the duty free shopping and the tax-free cigarettes (Andorra). But there is so much more to Andorra then meets the eye.

The national flower of Andorra is the Grandalla Narcissus. The grandalla flowers in May and June and has a sweet smell to it. The six petals represent the six parishes of the Principality and at the hearts of the six petals a two coloured crown can be seen, reminiscent of the two co prices (Andorra's National Flower).

The Dress:
Andorra's population is 90% Roman Catholic, so there is no need to worry about offending the majority of the people by showing off the shoulders, wearing a strapless dress, or not wearing something to cover the hair. Taking into account the Roman Catholic religion, traditional dresses are white and long, not showing off much leg, generally Andorra is not know as being a very hot place the temperature never goes higher than 30 degrees Celsius ( 86 degrees Farenheit), so a long dress would be a perfect fit. 

The Shoes:
For a summer wedding, a sandal is always the best way to go. But that doesn't always mean flip-flops. Some sandals come with a heel and open toe and a stylish band, this would be perfect for this wedding dress. The length would not be as long with the heel so the band may be visible as the bride walks. 

Make up, hair, nails and accessories: 
The straps with this dress and the length all call for an up do of some kind. But because of the open and exposed shoulders, it could also work well with the hair being down. So, why not have a little bit of both. Make up in the summer especially is best to keep neutrals or light browns, or clean and shimmery that would stand out in the sun. Considering the nice weather in Andorra and the beautiful landscape it isn't hard to assume most summer weddings would be held out doors.

The Groom:
In this wedding, the theme colour is yellow to match the center of the flowers and the yellow in the flag. For that reason, the groom (and his men, father of the bride/groom) should be wearing a yellow tie (and vest). Tuxedos can come either in a set or can be individually assembled. Either way Nordstroms has a number of options to choose from. And it can easily match ties and vests for any suit. The perfect boutonniere would be a grandalla that matches the bride's bouquet. Some themed can't always be matched, especially with cufflinks sometimes the best way to go is just getting personalized cufflinks for the groom and his men.

The Invitations:
The first thing to get ordered and sent out are the Save the Date Cards. Naturally not every guest will be local to Andorra or to the specific place the couple is getting married, a couple can never go wrong with Save the Date Cards. Little Lamb Design, has some sets of invitations that can only be bought individually but searching the site is easy to find all the matching things needed. This set also includes, stickers for the envelopes, direction cards and RSVP cards.

Photographer and Videographer:
If Andorra is not the home country of the bride or groom or anyone they know, finding a photographer and videographer will be a tricky task. Asking a local company really isn't the best way to go because a couple that isn't local has no idea who to get and who has a track record of taking great pictures. Asking a person to travel around the world just to shoot pictures and/or video would cost a small fortune. The best thing to do is to ask friends and family if they have any experience with taking pictures (beyond the point and shoot that everyone can master), it would be a lot cheaper if an already invited guest could take pictures for the big day. But just because they are there anyways, offering to pay them a small fee, or asking them do to it as a wedding present could go along way to getting someone to agree to do it. However if that is not an option or the bride and groom would rather try and find a professional there is always listings on the internet. The best way to find a photographer on the internet is to see a portfolio of the photographers work.

The traditional way to have a Roman Catholic ceremony is in a church, some priests will not do ceremonies outside of the church, but there are some that will, and their are ways around it. A possibility, if it means that much to the couple, they can get married in the church and than have the reception outside. However the majority of the things that happen in the church can happen outside. Readings can be read based on what the couple wants, music can be played depending on the the venue and where the couple chose to get married. Most ceremonies, religious or not, offer vows saying and the exchange of rings so the couple can incorporated any part they want into their own wedding. Also, for long ceremonies, programs help and it informs everyone what they should expect and who is who. 

Having a reception outside is a lot easier if its out in the garden somewhere close enough to the building (hotel or whatever building the couple has chosen). Getting electricity would be much easier that way, having more lighting would be easier, and music would be easier to set up that way too.

Guest books are great keepsakes, and what makes the one above so great is that the same design can make a scrapbook (which would make a great guest book, adding pictures of the couple on the pages and guests can sign around them) and it can be made as a photo album also. The colours in the album match the wedding theme and is easy to match for the money box and place cards.

Due to the fact that Andorra is situated between France and Spain, Andorran cuisine is mainly Catalan and it also combines with French and Italian cuisine but in a small proportion. Pasta, meat, fish and vegetables are the main ingredients for every meal. In the northern region of Andorra the French and Italian cuisine is prevailing and its main characteristics are the daily use of pasta, cheese, bread and fish; while in the southern region Catalan cuisine influences were adapted. Local dishes include: trinxat made of bacon, cabbage and potatoes; cunillo which is rabbit stewed in tomato sauce; xai which is actually roasted lamb; coques are flavored flat cakes and truites de carreroles which is actually an omelet made with mushrooms. Andorran local dishes also include sausages, cheese and a large variety of pork and ham dishes and a vast variety of vegetables (Andorran Cuisine). These dishes can be expected, however most venues should have alternative meals in place should the couple wish to offer more familiar options.

The Cake:
Sometimes the hardest part of a cake is getting the colours right. The best way to make sure a wedding cake comes out the right shade to match the wedding colours is by leaving an example (an extra invitation, a picture of the guest books, etc). 

The grandalla is a hard flower theme to match but taking the theme abstractly helps and is a better way to match cake serving sets or just getting regular items like the champagne flutes and making them specially engraved or adding ribbons of the wedding colours, and getting a normal couple for the cake topper. As for the garter, any yellow and white garter will do, to make it more special it could have a flower on it or a saying but no one really sees the garter anyways, and most brides choose the garter to be there ''something blue''.

Guest Favours:

Always a great idea is homemade wedding favours. Above is an example for limoncello, but it can easily be adapted to lemonade or anything that matches the wedding colours. The bottles can be found at any dollar store, Target, craft store or a general store like WalMart etc. And decorative string or ribbon can be used to hold a tag or labels would work well also.   
Gifts for the wedding part can follow the same theme as the guest favours, littlethingsfavors offers a Lemon Drop Mix Gift set, lemon drop candies would be great for someone that doesn't drink or the ring bearer and flower girl.

For this wedding, a flower centerpiece or a floating candle centerpiece would work well. Either way a great way to tie the colour yellow in would be with lemons. Slicing lemons and having them in the water of the flowers, or having lemons in the vase or bowl with the candles would be beautiful. The example below is with oranges but the concept is the same. (To make sure they don't float up, they have to be very tight in the container or glued together and down.)

Thank You Cards:
Lil Duck Duck has a beautiful Thank You card that would fit well with the yellow theme that has slightly taken over this wedding. It is a beautiful card, with a picture of the couple and a Thank You note as a border frame. 

Places to See:
Andorra is known for skiing and shopping but there is also many sights to see. Casa de la Vall was constructed in 1580 as a home for a wealthy family, it has served as Andorra's parliament building since 1702. Esglesia de Santa Coloma is mentioned in documents from the 9th century, the pre-Romanesque form of the Church of Santa Coloma is Andorra's oldest. Placa del Poble, "People's Square," just south of Placa de Rebes occupies the roof of a modern government office building; it gives splendid views of the valley and mountains, it is a popular local gathering place, especially in the evening. Barri Antic is a small intrusively and artificially bisected place by Avinguda Princep Benlloch, which was the heart of Andorra la Vella when the principality's capital was little more than a village. Museu Nacional de l'Automobil is a National Car museu and will leave the classier revheads in vintage car heaven (Andorra Sights).

(Incles Valley; Picture by: Alfredo Maiquez For: LonelyPlanet)