The Liechtenstein wedding ceremony is traditionally a two day extravaganza of endurance. I think the idea is that anyone who survives it will find married life a breeze in comparison! Of course, after two weeks of unrelenting sunlight, the clouds rolled in and it was rainy and cold. This caused a collective fashion crisis, as everyone had planned for extreme heat and most of the travellers had not packed anything warm. Well, I do have a thermal, but I don't think it would 'go' with the dress. Even the bride had to dig out an emergency cardy.
Luckily, the first day is the less formal legal ceremony, a relatively low key occasion where the couple become man and wife in the eyes of the law (rather than in the eyes of God, which comes on day 2). Naturally, 'low key' is a relative term which involves the 'Vaterland' press photographer and many curious and vocal onlookers. The hardworking bridesmaid (hello, that's me) and best man (the lovely and very capable Alex) were fully occupied with essential activities like holding up the slightly-too-long expensive dress and collecting up the unending influx of flowers, presents and various official documents.
Once inside, the celebrant, Hansjoerg, kept the mood very upbeat, with stories and jokes which had to be told in both German and English. These included the classic 'what are the four most important words in a marriage?'question (answer: 'you are right, dear'). He did incredibly well, only once slipping up on the W/V problem, referring to something like the 'prowision of mutual support'. The only part of the ceremony which was not bi-lingual was the marriage vows, which, amusingly were entirely in German. My sister was prompted to 'say ja', and did so, although none of the English speakers, including her, are exactly sure what she has agreed to!
After the ceremony, we piled onto the 'Citytrain Vaduz' which is owned by the grooms Godfather. It's a cute little sightseeing train which passes by the most interesting sights, including historic houses, the princes vineyards and the Castle - Schloss Vaduz. I was sitting right behind all the kids and found their commentary to be more amusing than the official track. For example, as we passed the Schloss there was a 'WOWWWW' from all the kids and they crowded to the other side of the train to admire a 'super cute car' (Smart Car, in bright green). When the commentary pointed out an old house, Miss J informed her companions that her Great-Grandparents live in a really old house. I'm not sure that my Grandmother's house is pre-1500's, but.. I'm willing to be proven wrong. As we passed the famous Rotthouse vineyard, the littlies collectively agreed that it was both 'weird' and 'super ugly'. These children are a mix of German and English speakers, but this didn't seem to stop the flow of words (and squeals) for even a second.
Our destination was a gorgeously atmospheric bar where we were confronted by what can only be described as an intensive array of exquisite quality snacks and drinks, provided in a seamlessly continuous manner by the friendliest bar staff in the world. It was my solemn responsibility to ensure that the bride made it home in a state which would ensure fitness for the more formal and exhaustive day 2 - the church wedding. Puh. I know that several of my blog readers actually know my sister personally and therefore may rightly sympathise with the near impossibility of dragging her away from a pumping par-tay. About 11 p.m. I made a trip home to change into more functional clothes and shoes and then quite literally manhandled her out of there on some pretext *insert evil giggle here*.
That was Friday. Come Saturday morning there seemed to be a LOT of groaning emanating from the various rooms of the house, but the bride, mother-of-the-bride and grandmother-of-the-bride made it to the hairdresser and the rest of us started our at-home preps.
Next blog: Curls, Cab Sav, Cadillacs and Kidnapping.