Countless brides dream of a long, lacy, detailed train on their wedding dress to follow them down the aisle. There's no dreamier touch for wedding day photos, after all! Some dresses have trains that could cover the length of Mount Everest (no exaggeration!) However, a typical chapel train will range from 12-18 inches, and for brides with a flare for the dramatic, a cathedral train will span up to 8 feet.
As romantic as they are, they're not the most dance-friendly. If you're looking to truly bust a move on the dance floor during your reception, you're going to need something called a bustle. Bustles are how a train will be pinned up to make your gorgeous dress a little more dance-friendly. Every dress bustles differently, although there are a few primary bustles that seamstresses love to use.
The American bustle picks up the train and layers it against the outside of the gown. This creates a stunning cascade illusion with the fabric. Some dresses just require one point, but longer and more dramatic trains may need multiple pins to hold up the train. This kind of bustle looks especially beautiful if you do have a more detailed train. This way, you don't lose much of the detail at all!
The French bustle is a distant cousin of the American bustle. The concept is the same, but rather than folding on the outside of the dress, it will pin underneath the dress. It's perfect for dresses with heavier fabrics, or shorter trains. If you're looking for a more voluminous look, this is the bustle for you!
(Photo: NK Bride)
The Austrian bustle will run on the pricier side, because it's much more difficult for a seamstress to insert. However, if convenience is your goal, it doesn't get much easier than the Austrian bustle! Inspired by Austrian theatre curtains, this method uses a drawstring to pull up any access fabric. Easy peasy!
Wristlet bustles have faded in popularity recently, but are always an easy go-to. If you're looking for a princess vibe during your first dance, attaching your bustle to your wrist using a simple loop is romantic and timeless. It's also very cost-effective, but can also get tiring on your wrist after a while.
(Photo: NK Bride)
Don't let the name fool you, it isn't just for ballgowns! This bustle actually looks beautiful on any number of silhouettes, because it seamlessly hides the train without altering the look of the dress. Using several points, the train folds up to create the illusion of a floor-length gown.
(Photo: Elite Bridal)
Never be afraid to ask your stylist how a dress will bustle while you're trying them on! One of our favorite seamstresses always tells us, "Listen to the dress, it will tell you what kind of bustle it wants." No two bustles are the same, and it's one more element that will make your dress completely unique and totally your own.