Toni – Mail Order Bride

After Toni saw a book cover for a mail order bride romance, she suggested that for a costume. I’m sure she fancied a frontier version of a bridal gown. Little did she realize that I was plotting a prank. She had been rather demanding lately wanting her costumes to be more and more elaborate. This one was going to be easy to assemble.

I quizzed her on her concept of mail order brides, asking if she knew she would have to travel back to frontier times and live in a ranch house without electricity. Toni asked if there were other versions of this, so I told her about Russian mail order brides and said we could change her name to Svetlana or Anastasia and she could advertise on the Internet for a husband.

Most people are ordering everything from Amazon during the pandemic I told her, so I’ll fix you up as an Amazon mail order bride. She looked doubtful but I started making her costume.

First, we tried out some different lace for her hair. Not exactly a veil, more of a mantilla. Then I picked some miniature flowers for her bridal bouquet. It included shamrock flowers, some purple flowers that I don’t know the name of, and purple shamrock leaves (for good luck). I wrapped the stems in more lace to match.

Toni with her bouquet.

“What are you doing with that bag?” Toni asked, her voice sounding suddenly suspicious. I told her to slip her feet out the holes in the bottom of the bag and her arms through the two holes higher up. Since I’d turned various odd things into clothing before, she complied but with reluctance.

Toni in an Amazon Prime bag.

“This is how modern mail order brides are shipped from Amazon,” I told her. I pointed out that they leave the head outside the bag so the bride can breathe. “You think this is funny, don’t you?” she ranted, “Get me out of here!”

I took a few more photos for her scrapbook, before helping her escape from the bag. She went to her room to sulk.

Collage – Toni’s Mail Order Bride Outfit

Toni – The Bride

“Let’s go shopping for a wedding dress.” When Toni shops, we have to do it together as all her shopping is online at Etsy and eBay. Those are the only places she can find dresses in her size. It’s something we do together because I have to handle the computer part. She isn’t good with a mouse or the keyboard.

“Are you getting married?” I asked. I didn’t even know she was dating anyone. “I hope it isn’t Ken doll, he’s way too short for you.”

“Don’t be silly,” she said, “It’s for a Halloween costume.” I’m hoping she isn’t wanting to buy a perfectly good wedding dress and then ruin it to create a zombie bride or the bride of Frankenstein.

Toni bride doll on ebay (seller 1havanna)

She wanted the very first one she saw. It had lots of lace ruffles and being sleeveless would show off her shapely arms. I pointed out that the dress and doll came together. She didn’t like that and my guess is that another doll in the house would create a lot of friction and jealousy.

Quickly, I looked for dresses that did not include a doll. There were a number of dresses that were labeled “doll not included.”

Screenshot of Toni doll wedding dresses on eBay

Fortunately, there were a very nice selection and many of them came with shoes, hosiery, and undergarments. These all seemed to be in the $20 to $25 price range which seems modest for a wedding dress until you remember that it is only 18 inches long.

“Wait, you already have a wedding dress,” I reminded her. She got a sulky look on her face, “that old thing? I can’t wear that.” I remembered it as rumpled and somewhat vintage looking but it might look great after washing and pressing. It even had a full slip to wear underneath.

She still looked mutinous. I opted for delay, saying I’d give it a good cleaning up and then see how she felt about it. Perhaps it held unpleasant memories of her years of being in storage before she came to live at my house.

Toni and her dress — the day she arrived at my house.

I’ll surprise her with it in November when I’m not so busy. I have a rhinestone piece that would make a lovely headdress and will find some lace for a veil. She will need a bridal bouquet and I have some small silk flowers that might work for that.

W is for Wedding Gowns for Toni Dolls

Although it’s most common to see Toni dolls in little girl dresses of the 1950s era, sometimes you find one wearing a wedding dress. You can find patterns from that time for making a bridal gown for a Toni doll but I’m guessing some moms just concocted their own creations. In some cases, a collector in later years might have commissioned an elaborate wedding dress for a doll to display.

Here’s an example of a lovely bride’s dress.

Ideal P90 Beautiful Toni Bride Doll 14 eBay seller trsm86

The seller describes the doll this way:

Collector’s dream! Ideal Toni P90 vintage Toni bride doll with exquisitely detailed wedding clothing –

•Beautiful satin wedding gown trimmed with lace and adorned with faux flowers
•Linen bloomers with lace trim
•Knit socks
Mary Jane-style shoes with soles and snap buckle
•Satin and tulle veil
•Faux flowers in her hair

Ideal P90 Beautiful Toni Bride Doll 14 close up eBay seller trsm86
Close-up showing details of the bodice and hair styling.  The doll is available on eBay from trsm86

Here’s a few more from eBay. To find dolls like this on eBay, put Toni doll bride in the search box there.