- Most wedding collectibles sought today date to the early to mid-20th century. Items from the second half of the 19th century also hold appeal, but are markedly harder to find these days.
- The brand or mark on a piece of wedding memorabilia is not as important to avid collectors as the style and quality of the object.
- Among the most expensive wedding collectibles is the globe de mariee, or marriage globe, which can sell for $500-$1,000. Collectible wedding photos, on the other end of the spectrum, usually sell for $3-10 each.
- There are relatively few reproductions of wedding memorabilia on the market, although some newer vintage styled cake toppers can be confusing to accurately date.
The Top of the Wedding Memorabilia World
It was just a matter of time until vintage wedding cake toppers became popular with sentimental collectors. After all, there aren't many events that stir more sentiment and emotion than the joining of two hearts as one. Some of these vintage toppers can actually be quite expensive these days.
Magazine spreads featuring wonderful displays of vintage toppers have spurred this trend. Among these are some very special and valuable bisque porcelain cuties from the 1920s resembling miniature Kewpie dolls. When found in the original boxes, an older bisque bride and groom set most always retails for more than $100 through an informed seller.
Most wedding toppers, however, aren't quite as unique and charming or highly priced. In fact, many of the plastic pieces produced during the '40s and '50s look a lot alike with brides wearing white gowns and grooms dressed in black tuxedos. All this repetition leads collectors to hunt down versions featuring bridal gowns of varying colors and grooms in military duds.
Other toppers popular with collectors exhibit some type of personalization. Whether they're adorned with a lace canopy or elaborately decorated with flowers and bells, an ordinary figurine is transformed into a clever keepsake.
Going Beyond the Toppers Affordably
While cake toppers have certainly come into their own with collectors during the past few years, adding a few other related wedding items to a collection can make it complete.
Bridal and wedding party photos, for instance, offer an affordable glimpse at the past. It's not uncommon to find black and white photographs dating back to the early 1900s offered for sale in antique shops for $3-10 and many of these take on wedding party themes.
If you'd prefer to collect family wedding photos, now might be the time to ask a mother, grandmother or great-grandmother to share some of the encapsulated memories they've got tucked away in a family photo album. There's a good chance they'll be delighted to accommodate you and thrilled to see that you're preserving memories by incorporating their marriage memories into a clever display of wedding memorabilia.
Vintage postcards featuring wedding themes aren't as common as other types of cards, but very attractive examples can be found for $25 or less if you search online. These also enhance a collection of wedding memorabilia when tucked among cake toppers and other three-dimensional items.
While you're at it, why not add a doll or two dressed in wedding attire to the ensemble? From vintage Barbie and Ken dolls dressed in vintage wedding regalia to Madame Alexander's vast collection of cute-as-can-be brides, there's a wedding doll on the secondary market to suit every budget and taste.
For Those with a Penchant for the Unusual
If you’ve got deep pockets, adding a French globe de mariee, or marriage globe, to your collection can add a touch of antique elegance. Marriage globes were popular keepsakes around the turn of the last century. Under a glass dome, a bride’s wedding coronet, flowers and other family mementos were artfully arranged. These beautiful collectibles sell easily for $500-1,000 these days when you can find them.
Of course, collectors with a penchant for the unusual will also consider wedding cups to round out a collection. When compared to the modern custom of couples toasting from flutes of equal shape and size, adding a wedding cup to a collection can represent a time when the union of man and wife reflected an entirely different mindset.
Some of the most popular wedding cups are styled in the European fashion where both the bride and groom can drink a toast from the same cup. These attractive metal goblets are often shaped like a bride with her flowing skirt forming the larger of the two cups to hold the groom's drink. Over her head she holds a smaller cup for the bride’s sip of beverage.
Although most wedding collectibles don't have the deep associations of the wedding cup, every vintage remembrance of a couple's exchange of vows is rich with nostalgia. What was once a part of a bride's perfect day can now serve as the perfect find for an eager collector.