Wedding Bustles 101

With a long history dating back to the 1800s bustles were originally worn by stylish women who wore a frame underneath their dress to support the back of their full skirts. Today brides bustle their dresses in order to lift the long trains of their gown off the floor (not to mention staying clean), making walking and dancing on the big day much easier!! Most bridal dresses don’t come with bustles and are instead added during the alteration process. There are many types of bustles:

  • Over Bustle (Ballroom)

Is the simplest and most inexpensive type of bustle. However this type of bustle is prone to breaking during the reception, so brides with long trains or particularly heavy gowns should take this into consideration.

  • Under Bustle (French or Victorian Bustle)

This type of bustle is very popular and great for brides who plan to be very active during their wedding. The under bustle is secured in place by tied ribbon.

  • Tufted Bustle

This type of bustle utilizes jeweled appliqués at the gathering spots in order to highlight the tufts on the skirt of the gown.

  • Pick up Bustle

This bustle is best for wedding dresses with shorter trains. There is only one pick up point selected and anchored much lower on the dress then on other bustles.

When deciding which bustle style to use for your wedding dress, keep in mind the fabric of your dress. If the fabric on your gown is delicate, like organza for example, make sure to choose a bustle style that reduces the weight on each bustle to avoid tearing. Also keep in mind your alterations budget, as bustles range in price depending on the type of bustle, length of train and fabric being used.

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