Who doesn’t love to reminisce about how they looked on their wedding day? There’s a reason that those stunning photos are printed and framed—and pored over for years after. But photography isn’t the only way to capture your wedding day look, something that cake-topper designer Tiffany Mouritsen knows all too well. Specialising in hand-painted toppers that recreate those wedding day ensembles right down to your hairstyle or wedding ring colour, Tiffany sees her work as “taking a snapshot of a day that hasn’t even happened yet”. We were lucky enough to catch up with Tiffany about the creative process involved in designing her dolls.
It’s all in the detail
Tiffany’s colourful, friendly style is in part inspired by her experience in hand-painting Japanese kokeshi, a variety of traditional wooden peg doll hailing from Northern Japan. It’s a painstaking art that requires a steady hand and plenty of attention to detail. Fortunately, the detailed nature of her work is a challenge Tiffany relishes. In fact, she spends a good deal of time chatting with her couples about every imaginable element of their wedding garb or those all-important aspects such as earrings, shoe colour, and even stubble!
“Even though it’s only a tiny dot of paint, I think it’s important to know whether your ring is yellow gold or white,” says Tiffany. “It helps when couples are willing to share all the details of their wedding.”
Tiffany implores couples to be sure that they’ve decided their attire and styling right down to the something borrowed and the something blue before asking her to begin a commission. “How will you wear your hair? Make sure you know before I paint you!”
“You’re going to have a yellow bouquet? I want to know the shape and size of the bouquet—and even the shade of yellow! How sheer is the lace of that dress? Are you opting for drop earrings or diamond studs?” Photos are a great help, notes Tiffany, who always appreciates a few high-res images being sent her way.
Worth a thousand words
As an example, Tiffany points to a stunning topper of a bride dressed in an ornate sari. “The bride sent me photos of the fabric so that I could recreate the texture of the dress,” she says—and the results speak for themselves.
Tiffany makes sure that the groom is given just as much attention as, after all, it’s his day, too. The style of his attire, the colour of his tie and boutonniere, and even his hair style will be captured—right down the part of his hair. Tiffany enjoys adding extras that reflect the background or passions of a groom. “If you’re marrying an Italian, for example,” she says, “it’s fun to have an Italian flag included.”
Tiffany is also happy to indulge your flights of fancy in order to provide you with the cake topper that reflects your dream wedding. “One client wanted to be a fairytale bride,” she says, “so I gave her wings!”
Tiffany’s attention to detail is evident throughout the entire design process, and she does everything she can to ensure that her pieces will last through the years. “When I’ve completed decorating the toppers, I add the name and wedding date of the couple to the bottom, and then finish the dolls with at least three coats of very good varnish.” After this, a wax finish is applied. “This ensures that they’re very tactile and soft to touch—but that they’re made to last forever.”
Weddings, parties, anything
If you’re not quite at the wedding cake-topper stage, don’t despair. Tiffany offers dolls for all sorts of occasions, including engagement parties, anniversaries, birthdays, and bridal and baby showers.
Your turn: did you opt for a cake topper for your wedding? We’d love to hear about it!