If you know what the title of this article means, you’ve probably already been busily punching grommet holes into your bodice all afternoon and are just taking a break to let your leather aviator hat air out. If not, you’ve got some reading to do.
Steampunk is a genre of literature and film that uses alternate timelines. As a rule, stories take place in a Victorian world with some extremely cool accessories, like steam-powered robots and Jules Verne submarines and anything awesome that’s made out of wood and brass Steampunk Corset. (If that sounds intriguing, check out the Japanese animé movie Steamboy or Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen graphic novels.)
So what does all this have to do with your wedding? Quite possibly everything. Steampunk fashion is refreshingly different, very personal, oddly beautiful, and always elegant. Sound like something you’d like your wedding to be?
Best of all, since you both will look like you’re about to have tea with the Queen and then maybe hunt down Jack the Ripper, your groom should be an enthusiastic participant.
Steampunk fashion starts with Victoriana, which means you can save some serious cash by buying a vintage dress. If you want to go with white, that’s great (after all, Queen Victoria started the tradition), but don’t feel tied to it. Common steampunk colors are rich browns and bronzes and deep blues, purples, burgundies, and forest greens. Don’t sweat it too much, though: You’ll be striking in any color.
A full skirt is de rigeur, but it shouldn’t fully sweep the ground. For one thing, you’ll want your terrific mid-calf lace-up boots to show, and for another, you want to look like you just might be fighting vampires or joining a Himalayan expedition after your reception. If you’ve ever wanted to experiment with the fun rustliness of petticoats or a bustle, now is the time.
You have a lot of leeway with your bodice, anything from a sweetheart neckline to the androgyny of a collar and tie. Don’t worry about looking too masculine – a cinched waist or even a corset in a different color will show off your feminine curves.
Most steampunks take pride in modifying their clothes. Adding military notes makes for a smashing look, and can be as simple as sewing a newspaper-sized square of fabric onto your top and decking out the edges with buttons. If you’re feeling a little more daring, you (or a tailor – there’s no need to get crazy) can modify your dress for an asymmetrical look and even add a few modern or futuristic touches.
Once you have your dress tricked out to make you feel like the most beautiful creature to ever strap on a steam-powered jet pack, it’s time to accessorize. Let your dress and your face be the main points of focus, but don’t be afraid to have a little fun! A smart Victorian hat and veil nicely top off a demure steampunk bridal gown, while the more daring may prefer a generous updo topped with a properly aged pair of aviator goggles.