Monday, February 18, 2013

Andorra Wedding #2 - Skiing Theme (Snow) Wedding

Once in Andorra people fall in love. It is in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains (Thank You Dan!); due to the elevations and clean air, many tourists who originally went for duty free shopping find great enjoyment in the natural environment of Andorra. Andorra is known for the best family skiing in Europe, even though Andorra is one of the hardest countries to get to because the country itself has no airport. To get to Andorra, one must fly into either Spain or France and than drive the rest of the way (Andorra).

(Pas De La Casa; Photo by: Richard Nebesky For: LonelyPlanet)

The best flowers to match the white, pure, sparkling theme of this wedding would be white roses coupled with sparkling diamond accents. The colour and the glistening will match the snow and white is always considered pure.

The Dress:
The dress, like the flowers, needs to be white and sparkling. A dress like that is not hard to find, a lot of bride's choose to go with beading accents or a shimmering aspect to a dress. RainingBlossoms has a beautiful selection and this Lace Sweetheart Strapless Neckline Ball Gown Dress with Beading Accents would look perfect for a winter wedding in Andorra. And as a final touch to the dress, a garter with snowflakes on them would complete the bride's look.

The Shoes:
Any show would be fine for this dress, because of its length the shoe won't be noticed by that many people. But like the snow, in the right moment, under the right light, they should sparkle. A nice white shoe or sandal with anything that twinkles and catches the eye would be beautiful. 

Make up, hair, nails and accessories:
With a strapless dress, a necklace is always nice to have so that it doesn't leave the upper chest area completely bare. In this case a beautiful diamond snowflake necklace would be a great choice. And to match it but not take always from its beautiful, natural or clear make up with a little shimmer to it would also be perfect. With the strapless gown, a down hair do would be best for it, long flowing curls.

The Groom:
For the groom there are a few options that would work well here also. The groom can choose to go with a traditional black suit, white shirt and black tie; a black jacket, black shirt and white tie, or a white suit, black shirt and white tie or Ivory is always an option and a great substitution for white. The ivory is a little warmer than the white but one may look better than the other depending on which options the groom chooses. Great cuff-links for this wedding would be anything shinny, Advantagebridal has a pair of Silver Plated Engraveable Oval Cuff Links that would be a great addition to the suit and a great present for the groomsmen. 

The Invitations:
Save the Date Cards are always the first things that need to be sent. They don't need to be sent to every guest, but for a wedding outside of the country, or a long enough distance away, Save the Date Cards are always a great little heads up for guests. And they give the guests their first glimpse at what the theme for the wedding is. If a guest gets a Save the Date Card with snowflakes on it, hopefully they would assume its a winter wedding and to dress warmly and bring warm clothes. Save the Date Cards can help a couple when trying to get invitations, sometimes the cards are part of a set where the invitations, labels, stickers, and RSVP cards, but sometimes they're not and mixing set has to be done, as long as they are all relatively the same theme and/or colour it works. 

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. But, with the cold of winter it may not be an option to get married outside, depending on the time of year. February will be warmer than December so playing it by day and having a back up plan is always best. If the couple does decided to get married outside, they may want to make it a short wedding so no one gets frost bite, hypothermia or catches any colds, also the bride would want to find a jacket that matches her dress. But there are ways to incorporated the out doors without actually being outside. The couple could get married in front of a great view to the mountains whether it be in front of a huge window, or glass doors. Also, where they get married would decided if they have a flower girl and ring bearer. If they choose to do it inside it would be nice to have the two, and there are beautiful flower girl baskets and ring bearer pillows that would match the theme. Also, instead of the flower girl throwing petals, or holding flowers, she could be throwing snowflakes for the bride to walk on.
 Programs are always a nice addition to any ceremony especially if its not always close relatives that know everyone, and it also helps the guest keep track of what's going on if the couple chooses to do certain ceremonies or have certain poems/readings said.  

The beautiful platinum and diamond Cartier ring is perfect to for this wedding because its sparkles and the whole ring will shimmer in the light. Cartier rings are all uni-sex so they can be made for the bride and the groom and they will match perfectly. 

The Reception:
Having a reception outside in the winter is never a good idea. But if it is a nice day, a great addition to the ceremony would be a little balcony close to the reception were guests can go and look out at the beautiful scenery, take pictures and just get a breather. Depending on the number of people and the size of the room it could get quite warm at the reception and the breath taking view would be a great treat. 

This guest book is beautiful. What the guest do, is they stamp the tree, or background, anywhere they like, and than sign their name on it. Its an amazing keepsake and its so different from a traditional book for the guests to sign. It would also match the money box well, the money box can be made in any colour to match the colours in the picture and the silver snowflakes match the theme perfectly as well and would match the frame if the couple chooses to frame their guest tree in silver. The table cards and place cards would also match the silver and blue well. And to complete the look, and add a little twinkle and sparkle, snowflake place card holders would look wonder when they catch in the light of any venue. 

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.
A great option for the dessert would be an angel food cake, so light have a heavy meal with whip cream and a drizzle of whatever flavour the couple chooses (cherry, strawberry, blueberry, etc.) even adding ice cream would pull the theme in nicely. Another great idea would be a Snowball Cake, it is basically an angel food cake with whip cream and coconut. 
Most weddings have a late lunch around eleven or midnight, usually it's just basic things like sandwiches, salads, little finger food type snacks. There is also usually a dessert table and what better way to end the evening than with desserts that compliment the theme. Snowflake chocolate cupcakes, snowflake cookies, coconut snowballs, ginger bread cookies in the shape of snowflakes, and Chocolate Crinkles that look like they've been rolled in snow are all great little finger food type desserts for the guests and they are all delicious. 

(Snowflake Cupcakes)

The Cake:
Naturally, for a winter wedding, the cake would have to be white, and with the added snowflakes on the cake and going up the side, the cake below would be gorgeous by itself but the added light to the snowflakes makes it an even more magnificent cake. Great flavours for this cake would be a lemon grass cake, it gives a little taste of lemon without taking over the whole cake, and a mascarpone frosting, mascarpone is much creamier than cream cheese and would be fluffier which would be a great pairing with the snow theme.

The snowflake on top of the cake isn't as personal as a wedding cake topper usually is. If the couple wants something more specific to them, they could easily substitute it for a figure of a bride and groom, or something with their names on it that makes it more special for them. Also adding a little colour into the cake, either by adding blue ribbons around each layer or different colour snowflakes, would make a colourful cake topper seem more at home with the whole cake. And it would make matching the cake serving set easier also. 

Guest Favours:
After a long day of skiing, snowboarding, or just being out in the cold, what better way than to grab a hot chocolate. Hot chocolate for a winter wedding is a perfect guest favour, it comes in a personalized envelope with the bride and groom's name on it and their wedding date, and with snowflakes on it, it fits this wedding. A great accompaniment to the hot chocolate would be a home made treat. Home made guest favours are easy and can often be cheaper if however is making it knows what they are doing. A great favour for this wedding would naturally be Snowballs. By simply taking one package of cream cheese, a can of crushed pineapple and combining it together you get the base of a snowball, after it sits in the fridge and cools for 30 minutes the mixture will form balls easily and then can be rolled into coconut flakes or shredded coconut. Like in the picture below, the Snowballs can be given in a glass dish, or by simply adding wax paper to a favour box, they can be given like that also. 

For some couples, buying the wedding party's outfits is what they decided to give as gifts. Sometimes the couple chooses to buy the jewlery (like necklaces for the bride's maids, and mothers; cuff links for the groom's men and the fathers) or they decided to get them a gift to say thank you. Mother of the bride/groom dresses can often be expensive and sometimes just splitting the cost is a great enough gift, same with bridal party dresses. But even if the couple chooses to buy the dresses/tux or the accessories, a little something is always nice. For this wedding cute snowshoes with the couples name and date of their wedding would be a nice little thank you gift for the parents and wedding party to keep and display.

Centerpieces are often the easiest part of the wedding because the couple can do it themselves and usually at a lower cost. Snow would naturally melt in doors, but ice will stay solid longer so why not use ice cubes as part of the centerpiece. In a glass bowl, adding sparkles or glitter to the bottom and than filling it with water about three quarters of the way up would give a sparkling almost snow-globe look to the centerpiece would would be beautiful by itself with a floating candle. But to add a little something else, finding ice cube trays in all different shapes and sizes isn't hard and it isn't expensive. The couple could make ''Rose Ice'', this is often used in drink, rose petals crushed or sometimes whole frozen in an ice cube, the same can also be done for a floating candle. In a muffin tray, adding water all the way to the top and placing a floating candle in each section than freezing would cause the candle to get stuck in the ice. Adding one ''Candle Cube'' and a few ''Rose Cubes'' to the centerpiece will look good all night. Even after the ice melts, the rose petals will still be in the water and the candle will still float. (For this wedding the rose petals would be white naturally and the candles would either be white also or blues to match the other wedding items.)

For more light and more sparkle, adding snowflake shape tea-light candle holders around the table would be a great idea the light for the candles would reflect off the water in the centerpiece, and by adding glitter covered snowflakes, the light will glisten off of them during the night. 

Thank You Cards:
Thank You Cards don't always have to match the theme of the wedding, some couples choose to send a card with a picture of themselves, or from their wedding day. It all depends on the couple, some chose to send a picture in the card. Either way a couple can never go wrong with a beautiful card, so if it matches the theme or colour scheme doesn't really matter in the end. 

Things to do:
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).

(Arinsal Village Photo by: Alfredo Maiquez For: LonelyPlanet)

The next country alphabetically is the Republic of Angola, in Africa!