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Steampunk Weddings: The Decor, Jewelry and Fashion

Design D88A Bib-Style Necklace
by Leslie Anger, Marketing Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

Steampunk weddings are not for the timid--they're full of industrial decor, Victorian fashions and sometimes even cephalopods. Plan the details for your steampunk wedding with these ideas that are sure to get your creative gears going.

Steampunk Palette

Base Colors:

The overall steampunk wedding palette is quite earthy and spans the hue spectrum from dark to light. Metallics are key in steampunk decor and are predominantly brass (shiny, antiqued and rusted) or copper, then gold and finally silver used more as accent. As a generality, whites tend to be creamier than bright, stark white.

Sunshine

Easel

Michelangelo

Dark Horse

Esquire

Accent Colors:

The rest of the steampunk wedding accent colors--well, those vary greatly. Light pastel pink, soft baby blue and muted orangey coral offer more feminine vibes, while robust burgundies, blood reds and various purples offer a more decadent appearance. Patina or tarnish greens work great as well, riffing on the idea of very vintage metals.

Salmon Run

Sail

Dolly

Szabadsag

Fresco

Courage

Smoking Jacket

Nightfall

Breathless

Overall Steampunk Motifs

Machine Machinations
Gears, cogs, wheels and other machinery are THE basis of steampunk, including watch faces and parts. These components should be used everywhere in the bouquet and jewelry, escort cards, table numbers, toasting flutes, serving set, on the cake and more. Pipe assemblages and other industrial-looking parts are also welcome to achieve steampunk wedding bliss, especially in centerpieces. Some personal favorite details are large white clock faces beneath clear plates for place settings, pocket watches or large keys as escort cards and favors, clocks indicating the hour as table numbers, bike gears as coasters and a plethora of Edison bulbs (filament lights) hanging over tables from black or bronze-colored cord at various lengths.

Actual machines and forms of vintage transportation are welcome, too, including mini zeppelins, hot air balloons and I've even seen a vintage flying machine hanging above the reception area. Paper lanterns or regular helium balloons are great for creating mini hot air balloons. Plus, how cool would it be to leave your wedding in an actual hot air balloon with "Just Married" bunting draped from the basket?!

Victoriana
The majority of steampunk subculture is based on the Victorian Era, which is why you see plenty of bustles, ruffles, lace and corsetry for the ladies. Especially popular for steampunk brides is wearing a full, or underbust corset (or waist cincher) over the wedding dress itself. Headbands and much smaller versions of extravagant women's Victorian hats (sometimes called fascinators) in the form of tiny top hats or mini riding hats adorned with feathers, florals (fake or real), bunched silk and/or tulle as well as beaded fringe are popular for replacing or pairing with small veils. Leather boots with lacy cuffs, ribbon and spats are also not uncommon. Leather pouches and bags have also been seen on steampunk brides, including one of my favorite additions: a parasol holster.

The Victorian Era was marked with important improvements of travel, communication and sanitation, making it a time period when scientific and technological progress was all the rage. The attire of grooms and groomsmen in steampunk weddings reflects this combination of proper with progress by way of tailored suits, double-breasted vests, cravats and tucked-in ascots, pocket watches with chain, leather belts and holster (for a faux steam-powered gun to participate in duels of course), bowler or top hats and goggles.
Design Idea D875 Top Hat

Design Idea A975 Necklace Cephalopods
Don't ask us why the octopus seems to be the animal most commonly depicted in steampunk motifs, they just are! It may actually have something to do with Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea or because their bodies are reminiscent of complex machines, but regardless of where the idea came from, these fascinating creatures have shown up in plenty of steampunk weddings--not all, but enough for us to mention it. Mostly commonly, octopuses have shown up in steampunk wedding jewelry and accessories, cake toppers and serveware.

The Steamy Details

Steampunk Bridal Jewelry
Cold connections dominate steampunk wedding jewelry. Everything from extravagant watches and leather cuff bracelets to chokers and bib necklaces, steampunk jewelry is held together by buckles, mini hardware, rivets, chain, nuts, bolts and more. Predominant adornments include keys, locks, gears and watch faces alongside elegant Victorian elements such as pearls, crystals, ribbon over lace, cameos and crystal beads. Whole octopuses or just some tentacles have also been seen incorporated into the steampunk bride's jewelry.

You can view all the steampunk bridal jewelry in the Gallery of Designs, but you'll definitely want to specifically see these stunning customer pieces for elaborate ideas:

Iulia Oprea's The Punk in Steampunk necklace
Liz Reed's Bride of Steampunk necklace
Stacy Farnsworth's A Knight to Remember necklace
Starsha Battrick's Jade Kraken Bouquet set

Or, view these more subdued steampunk jewelry designs by Maria Sparks, which would work for the bride or bridesmaids. My personal favorite is her A Flicker of Time Necklace.
Design Idea A93Q Multi-Strand Necklace

Steampunk Bouquet
The most common steampunk bouquets are various flower and brooch bouquets with added watch parts, dangling chain, wire spirals, bunched tulle, feathers and even flowers made from metal. Throw in some cameos, pearls and crystals to get a Victorian vibe. Variations on this theme include wrapping the entire base of floral bouquets with wire rather than floral tape or replacing the bouquet with a large, old-fashioned key ring adorned with dangling flowers, locks and keys from various long lengths of chain.

Steampunk Weddings: The Décor, Jewelry and Fashion Men's Steampunk Jewelry
For the steampunk groom accessories, it's more watch faces and gears. Men's necklaces often incorporate wire, chain or pendants with cogs such as in Jude's Difference Engine set. For boutonnieres, we're seeing additions of wire spirals, feathers, picture lockets and keys with ribbon in a bow. Other steampunk accessories for the groom include cuff links, a tie clip or bar and leather cuff bracelets or watches embellished with various hardware.

The Cake
While on the subject of jewelry supplies, we have to talk about steampunk wedding cakes. On the actual cake itself we've noticed plenty of gears as well as pearl strands around each tier, cameos on corset designs, damask patterns and ruffled layers of icing. For steampunk wedding cake toppers, creating Mr. and Mrs. robots (he, of course, is wearing a top hat) is an incredibly popular choice. Other steampunk cake toppers include two clay octopuses (again, the male usually wearing a top hat and the female a tiny veil) with their tentacles intertwined as well as wire formed into a heart with the names of the bride and groom--the date is also sometimes included.

And there you have a steampunk wedding--well, maybe not all of it, but most of it with plenty of springboard ideas to finish your steam-powered nuptials. If you do have a steampunk wedding, be sure to share your jewelry creations with us!

Design with ... Additional Resources ... If you have a question or feedback on this Pearls of Wisdom article, or would like to share your own wedding project idea, please contact us here.

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