Sunday, February 3, 2013

Wedding Anniversary Gift Idea: Custom Bobbleheads

 The first anniversary is the Bobblehead Anniversary, right?

I've always been a plan-ahead kind of girl. I keep lists on my Google drive of potential gifts for all of my closest friends, so that when a birthday or holiday comes up, I am never caught without the perfect present.

When we were planning our wedding, Nick forwarded me a website he found that did custom bobblehead cake-toppers. Now because it's nearly impossible to find an Indian-styled wedding cake topper (a bride in a white wedding dress was not exactly appropriate on top of our cake!), it was a tempting proposition to get a custom one of a bride in a red sari. However, I was already overwhelmed by all of the many little details that had to be taken into account, and I didn't want to spend an extra $300 on a cake-topper, especially one that might well disappear in the bustle of a crowded wedding reception and a quick cleaning crew. So I opted for some chocolate-covered strawberries to top off the cake, and I filed away the bobblehead idea for later.

About a month and a half before our first anniversary, I pulled up my file of potential presents for Nick and there it was: the custom bobblehead. Even though it wasn't the traditional "paper" gift, I knew it would be perfect.

I ordered it from There's a lot of options for bobbleheads online, but I went with this site because it let me customize the entire bobblehead -- head to toe. Other sites I saw only let you customize the face, but that didn't address my desire to have a bobblehead in full-on Indian wedding garb. (Yes, I paid $10 extra each for the hats!)

The proof-and-tweak process was a bit time-consuming, but for a creative type like me, it was also fun. To start, I had to upload photos of the two of us from many different angles, including front, back, side, and three-quarters face. Plus, I had to upload a photo of the pose and of the clothes. Then the sculptors do their first draft of the heads. The likeness between Nick and his bobblehead is impressive!

Each step of the way -- heads, bodies, and coloring -- the sculptors e-mailed me proofs. I'd mark them up -- as you can see, I decided my eyes needed to be bigger in this version -- then give them the OK to move on to the next step. The entire process took a little over a month from order to receipt (I'd give yourself two months to be safe) and cost just under $300.

It was so worth it. Nick's a huge Los Angeles Dodgers fan, so we have several Dodgers bobbleheads on our fireplace mantle. Now, Bobblehead Nick and Bobblehead Sree are hanging out with the likes of Bobblehead Matt Kemp and Bobblehead Manny Ramirez. And I have to say, this is the only time Nick and I will ever get more attention than the Dodgers -- guests always stop and exclaim when they see our likenesses on the fireplace.

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