BANGOR, Maine — The bride wore a bustier over her white dress. Her purple hair cascaded over her bare shoulders
The groom wore black. His face was awash in metal, and silver spikes ringed his top hat.
The man who officiated the ceremony, his face covered in white makeup, looked like he’d just crawled out of one of the nearby graves.
Bronwyn Gauvin and Zack Bridgham’s wedding Saturday afternoon looked more like an episode from a television show about people who come back from the dead than what it was — a legal marriage ceremony performed on a hill in Mount Hope Cemetery.
“I’d have been surprised if she’d wanted a traditional wedding,” the father of the bride, Gary Gauvin, of Winterport said. He wore a suit, maroon shirt and traditional tie with painted skulls. Lori McDunnah Gauvin, the bride’s mother, wore a full-length maroon dress.
“From the very beginning, we knew Zack was the one,” Gary Gauvin said.
Bronwyn and Zack met about seven years ago at a Battle of the Bands show at Bucksport High School. On one of their first dates, they explored the cemetery.
“It’s beautiful here and peaceful,” she said after the ceremony.
The couple were given permission to get married at Mount Hope, she said.
Brownyn, 23, and Zack, 26, now live in Santa Rosa, California, where he is a metal sculptor and she trains service dogs. She grew up in Winterport. He’s from Bucksport.
“Zombie” David Brown of Orono got his ministry degree online just so he could perform the ceremony for his friends, he said. The ghoulish makeup was his idea and went along with how Bronwyn and Zack wanted to have fun but also commit themselves to each other before friends and family.
“Their vows were a little bit traditional,” Brown said.
While the style of the wedding party’s attire may look “goth” to uninformed eyes, it is really steampunk, Lori Gauvin said.
Steampunk is a Neo-Victorian look that has grown in the past five years, according to an article published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
As a cultural movement it is “much more than just an aesthetic,” Ann VanderMeer, co-editor with her husband Jeff of “Steampunk,” an anthology of Victorian-inspired fiction told the newspaper.
“It’s also about being more closely connected to what you create,” she told the Chronicle.
That is part of the reason maid of honor Hillary Hoyt made the bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids to look like scepters.
“They’re made of styrofoam balls stuck on dowels and covered in fabric,” Hillary, who has been Bronwyn’s best friend since seventh grade, said Saturday. “They are dotted with buttons, old brooches and feathers.
“I tried to find brooches that were meaningful, so on [the bride’s scepter] there’s one with a bird in a cage,” the maid of honor said. “That matches one of her tattoos.”
The newlyweds did not plan to take a honeymoon trip immediately, but it’s doubtful they’ll be heading for Niagara Falls.