It's hard to believe, I know, but wedding season has kicked off! (Last I looked, it was just Christmas! ) If you're in the cookie biz, this means you're probably already burning the midnight oil, cranking out hundreds of wedding and bridal shower cookie favors - and cursing yourself for taking on so many orders! (But isn't that the way?! It's always feast or famine in this business.)
Anyone who's survived even one wedding season knows that high-volume cookie production work can often be repetitive and slow. Fortunately, this month's stencil release will make your wedding cookie decorating process both creative and fast! It not only offers the convenience and speed that's inherent to all stencils, but also a wealth of layering options - so many, in fact, that it might be hard to make the same cookie design twice! Instead of the usual two or three foreground elements, the background set has five foreground pieces. And the message and frame set contains four messages and four frames - the max we can typically fit on one 5x5-in (13x13-cm) sheet of Mylar!
So what do these stencils look like? Glad you asked! Here they are in a snapshot:
- Bridal Party Dynamic DuosTM Background Set (upper left),
- Bridal Party Dynamic DuosTM Message and Frame Set (combined with the DuosTM background set; upper right),
- My partner Confection Couture's She Said Yes Accent Stencil (lower right), and
- Take the Cake Dynamic DuosTM Set (last year's April release, also great for weddings and special celebrations).
If you're a Stencil of the Month Club member, this month you'll get both my Bridal Party Dynamic DuosTM Background Set and Confection Couture's She Said Yes Accent Stencil. This specially curated bundle is worth $22.99, but Club members get it for only $14.99! Plus, as long as you stay a member, you also get 15% off anything else on the Confection Couture site! In a picture, this is what Club members will get:
Are you in love yet? I thought so! Okay, so let's start by unbundling what's in this month's MASSIVE 8-piece background set. Here it all is at a glance:
Bridal Party Dynamic DuosTM Background Set (8 pieces)
What did I tell you?! SO many options! You could do one dress, or two or three, on a cookie. You could do a dress combined with shoes and shoe boxes, and even toss in a bridal bouquet!
As for colors, you could go all out with multiple colors, but to give my cookies a vintage feel, I stuck with mostly brown, applied to varying degrees and accented with soft pink and a bit of "something blue". In all of the cookie variations below, I used Chefmaster Harvest Brown, AmeriColor Deep Pink (lightened with Spectrum Flow Matte White), and AmeriColor Wedgwood Blue. Oh, and a bit of AmeriColor Electric Green topped with AmeriColor Avocado wherever you see small leaves!
First, an overview of just three of the many possible styles . . .
BTW, that is my mom as a bride pictured on top of the wedding guest book in the upper left. Also, my actual wedding bands are to the left, and an antique ivory-handled cake server (a wedding gift from my brother) is to the right. Tip: Use what you already have for photo styling; your things will lend a distinctive personal touch, and you'll avoid the hassle and expense of prop-shopping!
And, now, a couple of closer views . . .
To carefully coordinate the color palette, I tinted the royal icing for the roses with the same AmeriColor Deep Pink, but in soft-gel format. To highlight the petals and add some depth to the roses, I brushed on some dry compressed petal dust in a brown-cranberry reddish hue after the roses had dried.
Just one more comment about the airbrushing of the dresses . . . Too often, we think we must completely and very evenly fill stencil openings with a single color. In fact, I took exactly that approach when airbrushing the brown silhouettes in last month's Mother's Day release. (All the figures were the same dark, even tone of brown.) While that approach makes good sense for silhouettes, it needn't apply in other cases. As (I hope) you can see above, one can get quite a lot of interest with JUST ONE color, JUST by varying the amount of coloring applied in different areas. Here, I first applied a very light coating of Harvest Brown to all areas of the dress/dress form; then I came back with the same Harvest Brown and went over (and over) certain areas - like the waistbands, dress trims, and dress form stands - to draw attention to those details. I did NOT lighten the base brown with white. All of the airbrushing of the dresses was done with exactly the same coloring, just with fewer (or more) very light applications of it, done gradually in layers.
Now, let's move onto incorporating the complementary message and frame set! Here's what it contains:
Here's that same set of un-messaged cookies (shown above) now with a message plaque placed on the cookie on the pink plate.
The plaque was made by airbrushing the framed message on a thin sheet of fondant, cutting it out, and setting it aside to dry. I often use this "fondant appliqué" trick because it allows me more flexibility in placing framed messages. Don't like how that plaque looks on the cookie?! Then it's simple to swap it out before icing it down. See what I mean . . .
Oh, heck . . . I can't decide! I like the first plaque too . . .
I think I'll put "Bride to be" on this simpler, smaller cookie!
Or maybe "Will you be my Maid of Honor?" should go here instead?!
Okay, so I think I've made my point about flexibility. Of course, if you want a flatter, more streamlined look, the messages and frames can always be applied directly to cookies just by masking off an area for those elements first . . .
I'm a sucker for some dimensionality though, so I couldn't stop myself from adding a bridal bouquet fondant appliqué and a teeny piped royal icing rose!
Also, bigger is usually better in my book (more room for decorations!), so here's a 4 3/4-in (12-cm) heart that contains just about everything!
Lastly, some looks at many designs en masse . . .
Hopefully, I've left you with at least a few ideas of how to use this month's sets, but if you have any questions, never hesitate to ask.
Before I sign off 'til next month, here's my usual recap of key links:
- To purchase my Dynamic DuosTM sets, click here.
- To join my Stencil of the Month Club, click here.
- To see my entire stencil line, including my Prettier PlaquesTM sets, click here.
- To view my videos that show how to create layered looks with my stencil sets, click here.
Again, if you have any technical questions about these stencils, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. Please, however, direct all ordering and Club questions to my stencil partner, Confection Couture Stencils, at email@example.com. Thank you!