Ideas for a corpse bride costume

Written by halley wilson
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Ideas for a corpse bride costume
The corpse bride should be dressed like a Victorian-era bride but made to look like she is dead. (Image by J Aaron Farr; Flickr.)

"Corpse Bride" is a film about a dead woman and a man who accidentally proposes marriage to her when he gets nervous and runs away from the woman he actually intends to marry. The corpse bride, Emily, is a complicated costume involving a wedding dress and exposed bones. You can, however, still create the look of the character -- or any other corpse bride conjured from your worst nightmares -- with basic altered pieces of clothing and dulling effects to make them look old and tattered.

Strapless white gown

As the corpse bride, Emily, wear a strapless white wedding gown with a slightly tattered skirt. For the top of the gown, you may want to get a corset to create the tiny-waisted look of the character. The corset should have lace as the top layer of fabric and have a lacy edge over the bust. The base of the corset should be cut at an angle to the left. To create the look of a tattered skirt, use a tutu made from tulle, and cut a triangle of fabric out of the front slightly to the left. Using an off-white or light grey fabric would make the wedding dress look old and worn.

Fingerless lace gloves

Emily wears a pair of gloves with the fingers missing, the one on her intact arm being higher than the one on the arm that is just bones. Presumably, they were originally full, elbow-length lace gloves, so you may want to start with a pair of lace gloves and remove the fingers by cutting or ripping the fabric. For the shorter glove, rip a few centimetres off the top and let the fabric bunch at your wrist. To create the dusty-grey effect that makes her gloves look like they have been in the dirt for years, dust black eyeshadow onto the gloves with a large round make-up brush.

Wreath veil

The veil that Emily wears is attached to a wreath of flowers that sit on top of her head. You can make your own flowered wreath with fake gypsophila and flower buds. Wrap a circle of wire with ribbon and stick the fake flower stems under the ribbon. You may also want to use dried flowers instead of fake flowers so they look dead. Sew a tulle veil to the wreath in the back and dust the entire thing with black eyeshadow using a round brushing to make it look dull and old.


Because Emily is dead, your make-up for a corpse bride costume should be as close to white as possible. Use white face paint or extremely pale foundation on all exposed skin. Create the look of a dead person with grey eyeshadow for around your eyes and for blush. Use just a little bit of baby pink for lipstick. The corpse bride is also missing the flesh on her right arm. You can mimic this by drawing the shape of bones on your arm or wearing one sleeve of a skeleton costume.

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