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Dearly Beloved

July 25, 2014 - Amanda Gabeletto
Weddings, although beautiful and brimming with love, can also turn up the heat on the emotional pot of simmering family hardships or even create new ones.

That's the reason why the hub and I try to make it a point to do something extra nice just for the bride and groom in any wedding. My sister-in-law is getting married in September and she had mentioned casually in a text message about wanting but not getting a personalized cake topper.

I thought, "Aha! That would make a nice surprise for the lovely couple." Then I found out how expensive they are and thought, "Boo!" But then I thought, "Hey, we can totally make that!"

The hub and I vowed to not get upset if they didn't like it and promised to tell them there was no pressure to use it as their cake topper. As much as we wanted to do something nice is equal to how much we did not want to impose something we made on someone else's wedding.

I picked up a few key pieces at a local craft store --- a wooden male and female figure, a picket fence, a handful of paint markers, paper sunflowers and a wooden coaster.

We decided to use the Dremel rotary tool my dad got the hub one year for Christmas to carve a heart into the wooden coaster, the base of the piece. Inside the heart, he carved their initials and wedding date. I love that detail.

She's a nurse and he is a prison guard so we gave her a red cross and him a gold badge that I penciled on to the figures and he carved over. I penciled on the lace detail of her dress too and he went over it with the rotary tool. But then the white paint marker I applied made the carvings disappear, so I had to re-trace them and he had to re-carve them. No big deal, but it might have worked better to paint the main bodies of the figurines first.

To make details such as his eyeglasses and her lace dress stand out, I used pencil as a highlighter because the shine of the graphite added dimension, as the real artist in our family pointed out.

I painted the figurines and the great part about that was if I messed it up the hub could come back in with the rotary tool and I could try again. Those suckers were tiny to work on, but I only needed a couple assists.

We recently gave the bride and groom their obligation-free gift and I'm pleased to report that they both seemed to love it. She even set it out for her recent wedding shower. I was super proud to make the cookie table. I mean, come on, in southwestern PA there is no higher place of honor.

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