Pros: High quality dolls, impressive detail to the wedding accessories, plays music
Cons: Veil is tricky to put back on, easy to lose
My 3 1/2 year old daughter has a rather unique view of marriage.
She doesn't think of just a man and a woman getting married to each other. She thinks of a FAMILY getting married to itself. I guess that's because in all of our wedding pictures, she and her older brother were present. Even though she was only 5 months old at the time, she claims to remember everything about the event.
"Remember when WE got married, Mommy?
"Yes, honey, I remember it. It wasn't that long ago."
"Well, can we get married again?"
I started to explain to her that a wedding is something you generally do just once in your life, but then I realized that probably wasn't true for many people. How did getting married become such a complex concept?
Thankfully, we've found a toy that my daughter loves and that lets her relish the simple joy of a wedding without all the added baggage.
Meet the Loving Family Bride & Groom
As many of you know, my daughter owns just about every Fisher Price Loving Family doll or accessory in existence. One of the few glaring omissions was the Bride & Groom set until about a month ago when I finally caved into the pleading and bought her this toy.
~ First, you have to set the scene
In order to get you in the wedding mood, this toy comes with an ornate white arching trellis, complete with lattice-covered roses on the side and a pink and green rose floral pattern across both sides of the arch. Everything is made out of durable molded plastic.
The wedding arch is 4 3/4" wide and 61/4" high on the inside - just big enough to allow the bride and groom to stand underneath it side by side. Two small tables, decorated with the pink and green floral pattern, are attached to both outer sides of the arch.
On the front of the right table is a heart-shaped button that, when pushed, plays either "Here Comes the Bride" or the wedding recessional song. It comes with batteries included.
By the way, the floral pink rose and green leaf pattern throughout this toy matches exactly with the floral pattern on the Loving Family Horse & Carriage set (sold separately).
~ Then along comes the happy couple
The bride and groom are dressed very traditionally. The bride is all in white with a satiny removable skirt and a removable veil. She is adorned with a permanently attached gold necklace, earrings, and a wedding ring. Her blond hair is tied back in a bun, her blue eyes sparkle, and she has a small knowing smile on her lips. She holds a removable bouquet of flowers that match the rest of the floral pattern - of course. As a nice extra touch, the bride has a pink garter high on her left thigh - permanently attached so there's no danger of it being tossed to the crowd.
The groom is dressed in a gray tux and slacks with a white shirt, maroon vest, and a black bow tie and shoes. He has neatly combed red hair, a vacant looking grin on his face, and a wedding ring on his left hand.
Both the bride and groom are exactly the same size as the other Loving Family women and men dolls (slightly under 6" with the woman a smidge shorter than the man). All of the Loving Family dolls are articulated, meaning that they bend at the waist and the knee and their arms rotate at the shoulder. They can easily be placed in either a sitting or standing position without tumbling over.
~ Time to party!
This toy set comes with a couple of party accessories, including a four-tiered wedding cake (yes, you guessed it - same floral pattern) and a bundle of three gold and white wrapped wedding presents. The side tables are just the right size for holding each of these wedding party accessories.
Now We Can Get Married Every Day!
It's funny, but the first thing my daughter said when she saw this doll set (besides "Isn't she beautiful?") was "Where are their kids?" She didn't really think it was nice for them to get married without having their kids there! Fortunately, she has decided that the flower girl that comes with her Horse & Carriage set is their little girl and now she feels like the family is ready to get married - which they do several times every day.
She positions the bride and groom under the arch and has them both holding hands with the flower girl/daughter doll. After about a dozen renditions of the wedding songs, they all eat cake, open presents, and then get in the carriage from the Horse & Carriage and ride away - with the girl on their laps.
Sometimes, for a change of pace, she packs all three into the Loving Family Camper instead and takes them for a trip around the house. In fact, sometimes she leaves the groom at home in the doll house and just takes the bride, flower girl, and ALL the female dolls on a road trip.
There isn't much for my daughter not to love about the Loving Family Bride & Groom set. The only frustrations she's had are putting on the veil and getting the floral bouquet to stay in the bride's hand. She also asks frequently if the presents open and is always a bit disappointed that they don't. Other than that, the toy has just been pure wedding bliss for her.
I must admit that I was a bit hesitant to buy this toy because I wasn't sure if the wedding theme was appropriate for a three year old girl. However, I see that she thoroughly enjoys it and doesn't get at all hung up on the complexities of the traditional wedding. In fact, right now she has the bride and the Hispanic mom doll dancing to the "Here Comes the Bride" song. Who knows where the groom is - probably back in the doll house changing diapers.
My husband and I have a hard time not laughing when she gets the bride and groom together for a wedding and says "Look, they're just like you, Mommy and Daddy!" Well, sure. Besides the fact that we were married in a casual ceremony in the backyard with our two children and that these dolls look at least 20 years younger than us, we're practically identical. It doesn't matter - to her we're all the same and now she can get married with us any time she wants!