First, to clarify: steampunk began as a sub-genre of science fiction, but has evolved into an romantic, Victorian-esque aesthetic that appeals to Jules Verne readers and corset-lovers alike. As any Pinterest wedding enthusiast will attest, more people have decided the poofy skirts, sleek top hats, shiny goggles, and neat bow ties make for a beautiful escapist non-traditional wedding theme (for more about the culture, see Steampunk District). If you’re thinking about throwing a steampunk themed wedding, we put together some ideas to inspire you!
Your Invitations Are World’s Fair Posters
Steampunk invitations use graphic text to make the invites and save-the-dates set the mood: check out examples from Royal Steamline, “Purveyors of curious invitations,” or My Lady Dye. Consider extravagant phrasing, like “one-night-only wedding sensation” or “join us for a resplendent ceremony.”
Think Like Clockwork
Steampunk-themed weddings often incorporate clock gears and antique clock hands into their designs, drawing on the industrialism of the turn of last century. Bits of clockwork make great cake accents, like in the picture above, and clock hands look very pretty on luxe hats. We’re also fans of these simple place cards from Stacy and Eric’s wedding — and their cake, pictured above.
Let Your Guests Escape Into Another Era
Many steampunk weddings invite their guests to dress up in Victorian-era costume to complete the entire experience. Of course, you should probably make this optional (“costumes are encouraged”), so your guests don’t have to spend cash on a costume.
Remember the Details
Most steampunk weddings create an alternate, sci-fi-ish universe exclusive to that event. Find elements that reflect you as a couple: for example, Kate says she and her husband Jacob “scoured junkyards, flea markets and strange stores to find everything.” You can go casual, like they did, with an outdoor ceremony with hay bales for seating, or dress it up a little like Stacy and Eric did.
Big Swishy Skirts
Like in any wedding, the day’s about you and your groom. Because steampunk is so heavy on the artistic, visual qualities of its world, you both should look the part. Morgan hit the steampunk wedding aesthetic head-on with her ensemble, which mimicked a turn-of-the-century cut, and paired it with lacy Victorian boots and a top hat.
Like Morgan, you can have a steampunk wedding without forsaking the white wedding dress, but the aesthetic does give you freedom to choose a colorful dress, too. Etsy’s a great resource for steampunk wedding dresses, but the genre’s becoming popular enough that local wedding studios may be able to accommodate you, as well.