Wedding Dress Bustles 101

June 11, 2020
Wedding Dress Bustles 101

Congratulations, you’ve found your dream dress! Now the question is how can you take it from ceremony to reception without taking away from its gorgeous design. Not to mention, you’ll, of course, want to be able to dance the night away in it. In addition to altering your dress to your body, you’re going to want to figure out what type of bustle is best for your dress and you.

The purpose of a bustle is to hold your train during your reception, whether it be hooks, buttons, or ribbons the bustle will create more movement and freedom to move and dance. You’ll also want a bustle to avoid guests stepping on your gorgeous gown all night and to help prevent you from tripping on it while you dance the night away. Rocky Mountain Bride is sharing a guide to the best type of bustle for every dress and every bride. 


A bustle we see frequently is the American bustle, also known as an over-bustle. This look is made when the outside of the train is lifted and secured with a hook or button over the back of the gown to the wedding dress’s waistline. This option bustle is super simple for a seamstress to create and is extremely easy to attach on the day of your wedding. Your maid-of-honor will appreciate a bustle that is quick and easy.

This Boulder bride, featured in our Boulder Wedding Guide, did an American bustle with her Rue de Seine gown for her farm wedding. This bustle complimented the simplicity of her gown and created a nice flair down the back of her wedding dress.

Photos by: Sarah Joy Photo


If you’re rocking a wedding gown with a more natural waistline, consider opting for a French bustle. This type of bustle is the opposite of an American Bustle.  With a French bustle, the dress is tucked under the silhouette itself to almost make the bustle disappear and let you break out those dance moves.

This was the perfect bustle selection for this Moab bride, featured in our Moab Wedding Guide. The bride, wearing a Morilee gown, added a romantic and charming feel by choosing the French Bustle.

Photos by: Haley Nord Photography


The Ballroom bustle gives a completely transformed illusion from gown to bustled. The Ballroom bustle helps the gown’s train disappear by sewing multiple bustle points along the bodice as the fabric folds into itself. Keep in mind this bustle option can be more pricey as more bustle points are needed depending on the length and weight of your gown. This bustle may be a little trickier for your maid-of-honor, so we recommend whoever will be bustling your dress attend the final fitting for practice.

This bride, featured in our 2020 Colorado Spring/Summer Magazine, rocked a Ballroom bustle on her W Too gown. We’re loving the WOW factor that the Ballroom bustle created for this beautiful bride.

Photos by: Julia & Ken Photography

Train Flip 

Want the illusion of no bustle at all? It’s totally possible!

The Train Flip bustle creates a look that the dress was always floor-length while not compromising movement. How does it work? They simply fold your train inside of your dress which also gives the illusion of a fuller bottom if you like that look. This Train Flip bustle looks fabulous in photos, too!

We love the classic look it gave this Santa Fe bride, wearing Sareh Nouri, featured in our V5 Regional issue.

Photos by: Tim Willoughby Photography

Wrist Loop

Don’t want to fuss with having someone or sometimes multiple people bustle your dress? Opt-out by choosing a wrist loop like this bride, featured in our Santa Fe Wedding Guide, wearing a Maggie Soterro gown. A seamstress can simply attach a loop to your train so that you can put the loop around your wrist to prevent guests or you from stepping on the train. And, you can choose to let the train flow and move as you wish! The Wrist Loop bustle looks so fun on the dance floor!

Photos by: JoAnna Robertson

Remember, bustling a dress isn’t always the easiest task, especially if you are doing it alone. Plan ahead by ensuring your mom, mother-in-law, or one of your bridesmaids knows how to bustle your dress properly so you don’t have to worry about it.

Still unsure which bustle is right for you? Your seamstress and bridal boutique can assist in showing you how to bustle your gown and what options may look best with your gown and body type!

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