What is a wedding dress bustle?

Once you’ve found your dream wedding dress, you may think there are no more decisions to make in the wedding dress department.

Whether you’ve chosen a trendy wedding dress with pockets as your show-stopping piece or a classic but equally as mesmerising ball gown, ensuring your stunning gown is altered not just according to your body shape and measurements but with practicality in mind is vital.

Wedding gowns with dramatic trains aren’t the only dress style that benefits from the brilliance of a bustle.

Here, we take a closer look at exactly what a wedding dress bustle is, how it can benefit you on your big day and the bustle styles that you should consider.

Introducing the bridal bustle…

A bustle is formed by a collection of hidden hooks, ties or buttons, which are sewn into the wedding dress.

It’s there to ensure that any trailing fabric can be tied up off the ground to allow ease of movement after your ceremony is over.

Wedding dress trains of all styles and lengths look beautiful and provide the perfect bridal look for your walk down the aisle. However, they can be very impractical when it comes to partying down with your guests at the reception. Bustles create a uniformed hemline and a secure fix for any extra fabric to prevent it from dragging across the floor and inhibiting your dance moves.

Is a bustle right for me?

Contrary to popular belief, bustles work wonders for a vast range of wedding dresses, not just designs that have long, flowing trains.

Designs that have even the smallest amount of trailing fabric can benefit from a bustle, and as a result, there are a variety of bustle styles to choose from.

Only a select number of wedding dresses come with bustles. Most designs don’t feature bustles as the bride’s height influences the bustle arrangement.

Your preferred bustle style is therefore incorporated during wedding dress alterations. While bustles are convenient, it is important to acknowledge that adding a bustle to your wedding gown inflates the cost of alterations. It will also change how your wedding gown looks from behind. These are just two of the reasons why you should familiarise yourself with bustle styles before your fitting.

What bustle styles are available?

The American bustle is the most well-known style. Also known as the over-bustle, this style sees the outside of the train lifted and secured at the waistline on the back of the gown.

The style is also the simplest to incorporate, which may save you money on alterations. It uses one to five pick-up points to ensure an easy to attach yet dramatic arrangement.

The ballroom bustle is another flattering style. Unlike the American bustle, the extra fabric is secured under the dress to create a seamless, floor-length look.

The bow bustle, on the other hand, makes a statement by simulating a bow or sash at the back of the dress, unlike many other bustle types that hide the fabric.

The royal bustle offers another eye-catching look and better yet, it only requires a single hook and eyelet. This differs vastly from the French bustle or under-bustle – a.k.a. a bridesmaid’s worst nightmare – which uses a series of colour-coded ribbons or numbers underneath the gown to fold the extra fabric and create a dual-layered hem.

A little known bustle style that is making a big impact of late is the Austrian bustle, here Brides explains more:

“This unique bustle style is quickly gaining in popularity and creates an eye-catching shape. Using this technique, seamstresses gather the gown fabric centrally, down the middle of the gown through the back creating a vertical illusion similar to ruching. Another benefit of this style? It’s particularly easy for bridesmaids to help get into place for you.”

The bustle styles don’t end there. The bubble, side and tufted bustle all offer fantastic advantages for modern day brides. Your seamstress will be able to shed some light on the bustle style that’s right for you and your wedding gown.

If you have any questions relating to having your wedding at Leez Priory, please don't hesitate to call Gemma via the contact details below:


T: 01245 362 555
E: info@leez-priory.co.uk

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