Bustling a wedding dress can be a bit tricky to master. You’ll want to designate someone you trust, such as your maid of honor or another responsible bridesmaid, to be in charge of the bustle. She can attend your final dress fitting to learn how to bustle and practice (and even take notes, if needed).
Properly bustling a wedding dress depends on the type of bustle and the type of dress that you have, so make sure that you check with your seamstress for guidance before your wedding day.
Here’s an overview of how to bustle a wedding dress, so that you’ll be well prepared on your big day.
Bustles are sewn into the wedding dress to pull the train off the ground, usually with buttons, loops, and/or ties. This allows you to dance and mingle post-ceremony to your heart’s content, without worrying about tripping over your dress.
There are different types of bustles that a seamstress can add to a dress, including an over bustle or under bustle, depending on how the train folds into the dress. Your seamstress may use multiple bustle points to add a more dramatic look to the back of your dress. Or, they may use a simple one-point system where the train is secured by one-point on the back of the bodice.
With the American, over, or traditional bustle, the train is simply lifted and hooked over the back of the dress along the zipper or waistline. This type of bustle adds a bit of lift or a cascade effect in the back of your dress that looks really fun in photos. It’s also usually a one to three-point bustle, so very easy to do.
The French bustle is sometimes called the under bustle because, as the name implies, the train folds underneath the silhouette of the dress. With this style, there may be multiple points where they attach to for a dramatic effect, making this type of bustle a bit tougher to get the hang of. But, if your seamstress attaches ribbons to the dress for your bridesmaid, it can be fairly simple to bustle.
For a single-point French bustle:
For a multiple-point French bustle:
The most seamless bustle is the hem, or sometimes called the ballroom or flip under bustle. With a hem bustle, the train is flipped over and secured along the hem of the dress. The dress will remain floor-length, too. With this type of bustle, there are multiple attachments sewn around the hem that the train will tie onto (or hook or button, depending on your dress.)
An Austrian bustle uses the excess fabric from the train to create a ruched look. This is usually really simple for bridesmaids to bustle, when it’s time.
Whatever style bustle your dress has, be sure to familiarize yourself with it before your big day.