Wedding dresses come in all shapes and sizes. Some styles are airy, some are full, some are full of lace and so much more. There are so many more styles that we just can’t list them all here!

But we do know a thing or two about bustles. We often see brides opt for adding bustles to their dresses because it makes their reception so much easier and more enjoyable (and they can walk around SO much easier!)

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So what is a bustle, and what’s the big deal?

A bustle gathers up extra fabric (generally from the train of a dress) with buttons, hooks, or ties. This is particularly helpful for receptions since brides will walk around to greet guests, dance, and sit. The bustle makes the dress appear to skim the floor regardless of what the dress and train originally looked like.

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Why would I choose to bustle my dress?

Likely because it makes walking and dancing so much easier. It is also a good way to make sure your dress doesn’t drag the whole night and get ruined. This way you can preserve it later to enjoy for years to come. It’s also a fun way to make your look a little different as the party starts!

What are the different types of bustles?

There are three main bustles we see more often than not. The first is the American Bustle. The American bustle has 1-5 hooks or buttons and lifts the fabric on top of the dress and lifts the overall length to hem length. This is great for ballgowns or gowns with trains that have more detail that would still want to be showed off.

(thanks to for this photo!)

(thanks to for this photo!)

The next bustle type we generally see is the French bustle. A French bustle tucks under the dress with anywhere from 1-3 hooks or ties so that the fabric tucks under the dress. This is the opposite of the American bustle. If you add more than one spot for the fabric to gather under the dress you can create a fluffy and cascading look without changing dresses.

(thanks to Pinterest for this example)

(thanks to Pinterest for this example)

The last example of a bustle that we see often is the Ballroom bustle. This bustle essentially makes the train of the dress disappear and makes the gown appear to be floor length all around. This is an elegant look that works best on ballroom gowns. This is a very elegant look but can become costly for the ballroom dresses with a lot of fabric.

(thanks to Pinterest for this one again!)

(thanks to Pinterest for this one again!)

Bustles are great for receptions- this allows you to move and dance freely while still maintaining the integrity of your dress so you can preserve it later.

When you decide to opt for a bustle it’s important to remember these two factors: consider your fabric and consider the budget for a bustle.

What we mean by this is make sure you know how much care and attention are going to be required of your dress due to your fabric choice and make sure to budget for the cost of the bustle. Dresses don’t come with the price of the bustle included so being prepared at the beginning makes your life go a lot smoother later on!

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Informed brides make better brides- coming in knowing what you want and need helps make the whole process (from buying to wearing) a whole lot easier!

If the question is, “to bustle or not to bustle"?”- we’ll always say bustle!