JUNE 2009
Featured Category
Here Comes The Bride
In Miniature Doll Scale
By Alice Bell
CDHM Asst Editor
CDHM category feature, wedding in miniature

CDHM category feature, wedding in miniature June wedding bells are ringing. How many brides wouldn't cherish a miniature bride portrait doll to celebrate their special day?

Or maybe a wedding scene is at the top of your creativity list? Either way, a miniature wedding is just as planning intensive as the real thing. Here at we have several artists who specialize in weddings - mini versions, that is!

Janine Crocker is an expert at the miniature nuptial creation, particularly the dollhouse trousseau.

"Depending on the era this would vary considerably but would usually include a bridal headdress and/or veil, a wedding dress, lingerie, shoes, jewelry, toiletries and wedding accessories such as a ring pillow. Traditionally a full trousseau would have also included travelling outfits, ball gowns and day dresses and a hope chest filled with linens and silks for the bride's new home," she explained.

Months can go into the careful stitching of a full scale wedding gown. A miniature version may not take that long, but requires even more labour intensive crafting. Plus great eyesight.

"Beading can be applied by stitching each tiny bead by hand which is time consuming but gives a beautiful result. You can also buy tiny pearl no-hole beads that can be carefully applied with glue and a cocktail stick. The folds of a wedding dress can be arranged and pinned using fine silk pins and then sprayed with hairspray and left to set to have the perfect drape," explained Janine.

"I use silk when dressing the brides so the fabric sort of drapes itself. And I like to let the doll itself suggest its own pose. I also use liquid starch or hairspray and a fan paintbrush to get the creases where I want them. The veil I use is silk, so very little draping is needed. I gather it with a needle and thread and use a plastic wedding ring with some silk ribbon to hold it," explained Dianne Collette of Collette's Creation's CDHM Gallery bride doll offering.CDHM category feature, wedding in miniature

"As for the beading I used some floral lace and cut out motifs which I glued pearls onto. The beading is very stunning on the back of the bride in my gallery, I was very pleased with it," added Dianne.

And the groom?

"Although the wedding day is considered to be the bride's special day, in most cultures the groom will be dressed in his finest as well, whether it be his national costume or perhaps a top hat and tails - also known as a morning suit. The latter consists of a black or grey jacket with cutaway sides and tails to the back, a waistcoat, formal shirt, trousers, cravat or long tie, gloves, braces, cufflinks and of course a white flower for the gentleman's buttonhole," said Janine.

Dianne intends to create a groom for her bride as soon as she has time to devote to him.

"Wearing a tux, of course!" she said.

Have either of these artists duplicated wedding finery in mini?

"I fell in love with a photo of my grandmother's wedding in the late 1920's and have reproduced both the headdress with veil and the dress as commission pieces," said Janine.

CDHM category feature, wedding in miniature "Not anyone personally, but this bride as well as another bride I dressed were taken from a photo I saw in a magazine," said Dianne.

With the finery taken care of, what about that special wedding cake?

"I would say the cake must match the overall theme of the dollhouse or vignette. If it is a more formal or Victorian setting, then a more intricately designed layer cake would be my pick," said Monica Shellabarger of Le Bon Sucre.

"I made a wedding cake for a friend's French Patisserie and kept it really simple and elegant, using a pale ivory 'fondant' and satin ribbons, with roses only on the top," said Shellabarger.

She likes to use pale pastel flowers and ribbons, with the occasional tiny pearls as decorations.

"As I roll the roses, they sometimes dictate where they will be placed. For less formal cakes I like to use daisies," she added.

Nor is the groom to be left out in the cake department. Especially with the Southern tradition of a rich chocolate Groom's Cake growing in popularity.

CDHM category feature, wedding in miniature "I'm a Southerner and we also make a Groom's Cake in addition to the wedding cake. I had a three layer chocolate cake for my husband with chocolate covered roses around each layer. I've not replicated it in miniature yet, but I'd like to! Another tradition we had at our wedding - which may be unique to New Orleans (a French tradition maybe) - is to have 'charms' attached to ribbons and iced into the trim at the base of the cake. All the single ladies in attendance pull a charm and see who gets the 'ring.' There's a horseshoe, fleur de lis, thimble, etc. each having different meanings," explained Shellabarger.

She has yet to replicate a wedding cake for a bride but would love the challenge.

"I would be SO nervous if asked to do that! It is such a special and memorable part of someone's wedding day, I'd be really concerned with making sure that I did the original justice!!!"

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