Wedding Dress Bustles: The Types and Tips To The Perfect Bustle

Your dress is gorgeous! The details, the fit and that long stunning train are all perfect and you can’t wait to wear it! You can see it now – walking down the aisle with that beautiful train behind you and oh, just think about the photos! But wait, what happens after the ceremony? Will the train drag behind you the whole night? Wedding dress bustles are just the answer and they can be quite stylish too!

Wedding Dress Bustles: The Types and Tips For The Perfect Bustle | Belly Lily Bridal

{Pinkerton Photography}

With an array of wedding dress bustles to choose from, the right one will largely depend on the type of dress you choose – more to come on this below. But first, what is a bustle?

What is a bustle?

A wedding dress bustle is a way of pinning up the train onto the dress itself so it doesn’t get stepped on or ruined. It is either “pinned up” by buttons, hooks or even ribboned ties. Using one of these methods and where the buttons etc. will go, will be decided when you’ve chosen your type of bustle.

Wedding Dress Bustles

An American Bustle:

One of the most common bustles is the American bustle or what could be called the over-bustle. Over-bustle describes this type of bustle very well as the train is pulled from the center of the train and pinned on top of the dress. A small clear button is placed in an inconspicuous spot, usually right under the booty in a fitted dress, and the center of the train will have a small little loop of thread. When it’s time to bustle the dress, just pull up the loop and hook it on the clear button. Voila! A bustle is created.

Wedding Dress Bustles: The Types and Tips For The Perfect Bustle | Belly Lily Bridal

{Gruber Photographers}

You can also do this bustle with an a-line gown (more flowy in style and shape) and with the American bustle, it should be done to wear the train kind of disappears into the skirt. This way it will look like the dress is one length all the way around.

Wedding Dress Bustles: The Types and Tips For The Perfect Bustle | Belly Lily Bridal

{Wedding Bee}

A French Bustle:

A French bustle, or an under-bustle, is done to where the hooks and buttons are hidden. This may seem a little more traditional to some, but the effect is still gorgeous! (This is another one of the things we love so much about bridal! You have options and that means you can make your look and style truly unique to you! – but we digress…) The train of the dress is still usually pulled from the same center spot of the train, but instead of laying on top of the gown, it goes up under the dress. This is where ribbon ties come in handy. Note: your bridesmaids will probably have to go up under your dress and train to tie the appropriate ribbons together (placed ahead of time by your seamstress in alterations).  Sometimes you can also have a few of these so-called “pick-ups” in order to keep the full train up off the ground. (This will depend on how long your train is.)

Wedding Dress Bustles: The Types and Tips For The Perfect Bustle | Belly Lily Bridal

{Style Me Pretty – Judy Pak Photography}

An Austrian Bustle:

One of the least used, but is gaining quite a bit of popularity, is the Austrian bustle. This bustle is a little more intricate for your seamstress, but is super easy for your bridesmaids! One string is pulled and hooked onto a button. As the string is pulled, it gathers the appropriate points of the train up in one swoop and creates a sort of layered ruffled look. Quite gorgeous, but we do feel it looks best with a train that is more simple in fabric texture like a silk crepe.


Some Bustle-y things to keep in mind:

*Depending on the dress, and especially for a fitted gown, you’ll want your train to stay under the booty. Low enough so that it doesn’t look like a tail on your behind. 😉

*If you have a wide train, we love the look at a “tiered look.” This means having a center American bustle with two shorter ones on either side. This works especially well with a train with really cool lace details.

*Wedding dress bustles can easily be decided with your seamstress. A well-versed seamstress will also make or break a bustle for you. Go in to your wedding dress fittings with this knowledge of bustles and feel free to ask as many questions as you need.

*Keep in mind that bustles can break. By either the weight of the train or sometimes it’s juusst long enough that someone steps on it while on the dance floor. Just know, that it’s ok, and if it’s really important, ask your seamstress to give you a back up plan. 😉


We hope these tips and explanations of wedding dress bustles helps you in choosing the perfect type of bustle for you and your dress. Any dress with a train can be bustled, it’s just a matter of deciding which you like best!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Everything Bridal. ON THE DAILY.


© 2020 Bella Lily Bridal   I   All rights reserved.