Wedding Gown Bustles Inspiration

What is a bustle, and why am I just hearing about this?

I know what you are thinking, here it comes, more expenses for the wedding.

Which is the reason I’m writing this post today, just as we are heading towards all of those final alterations appointments leading into summer wedding dates.

Let me give you one big reason you should check out today’s post: DANCING.

That’s right, dancing.

Without a solid, good bustle, dancing the night away is going to be more work than it is fun.

Your bustle should hold up your skirt train, not you!


Train - the excess fabric that pools on the floor from the skirt and trails behind the wedding gown. Trains come in many lengths, from short ones that kiss the ground to cathedral trains that put on a huge show as you walk down the aisle.

Bustle - the alteration made to the gown so that after the ceremony, the train is picked up off the floor and buttoned neatly to your skirt.

Now that we are on the same page, let’s look at some really beautiful bustles that you can show your seamstress for as inspiration.

Image by Dawn Sparks Photography

Image by Dawn Sparks Photography


This is the most inexpensive and easiest bustle to use. A single button is sewn to the back of the gown, with a loop about half-way down that can be attached to the button.

This simple bustle works for simple gowns, especially those that are made of a lighter fabric.

Take note, however. If that one button breaks (and they often do under the weight of the train and dancing), it’s done for the night. (Fret not, I keep safety pins for this very reason!).


This is a sturdier version of the pickup bustle listed above.

The American or over bustle is a series of loops and buttons that are set where the skirt meets the bodice, usually three altogether.

The skirt is lifted and bustled in place at these exterior connection points. It works beautifully on any shape of gown, including ballgowns.

Some heavier skirts may require more than 3 buttons.


This kind of bustle is perfect for full ballgowns that have lots of texture and ruffles.

Done correctly, once the gown is bustled following the ceremony, you may not even be able to tell that a train is even on the dress!

This is down with a series of buttons and loops or ties under the lining of the dress. They are usually coded by color or letters.

A bustle like this will cost quite a bit more, but it’s absolutely beautiful and will not break while you are dancing!


This bustle is perfect for gowns that have multiple layers (tulle and chiffon over satin, for example) and large, heavy skirts.

The heavy bottom layer is lifted with a series of ties under the lining of the skirt, while the lace and tulle layers on top are lifted to the bodice line with buttons and loops.

A bustle like this takes time to do up, so make sure to set aside 10 minutes for this after your romantic photos have been taken, before the reception starts to secure your train.

Image by Elevate Photography

Image by Elevate Photography


This traditional bustle is accommodating to a wide range of skirts, from simple sheath gowns to ballroom skirts.

This is sometimes called the ‘under-bustle’ because it brings the fabric up underneath the skirt, rather than over it.

A French bustle brings the fabric up using a series of ties under the lining of the skirt. There can be a single tie, or as many as 15! French bustles can be done in one row, or several if you want to get fancy.

Find more bustle inspiration on Pinterest!

I found this fantastic wedding gown bustles Pinterest board.

A good bustle should enhance your gown and become a part of it, not just be an afterthought. Chat with your seamstress and feel free to ask me for an opinion as well!

Wanda Bonner