Can You Add a Bustle to a Wedding Dress

Can you add a bustle to a wedding dress? Many brides may wonder about this as they consider their options for their big day.

A bustle is a beautiful and practical addition to a wedding dress, allowing the train to be lifted and secured for ease of movement and dancing. In this article, we will explore the different types of bustles, how to determine if your dress can have a bustle, the process of adding one, cost considerations, finding a professional seamstress, and even provide some inspiration with real-life examples of stunning wedding dresses with added bustles.

A bustle is an accessory that is added to the back of a wedding dress to lift and secure the train, keeping it out of harm’s way and allowing the bride to move freely without dragging her gown behind her. This is especially important during the reception when dancing and socializing are top priorities.

Throughout this article, we will delve into the world of bridal fashion and provide helpful information for brides-to-be who are considering adding a bustle to their wedding gown. Whether you have already chosen your dress or are still in search of the perfect one, understanding the purpose and process of adding a bustle can be invaluable knowledge as you plan for your special day.

The Different Types of Bustles

Adding a bustle to a wedding dress can be a beautiful and practical solution for keeping the train out of the way during the reception. There are several different types of bustles, each offering its own unique look and functionality. Here are some popular styles and options for adding a bustle to your wedding dress:

  • French Bustle: This style features multiple points where the train is lifted and secured underneath the back of the dress, creating an elegant and seamless look.
  • American Bustle: Also known as an over bustle, this style involves lifting the train up and securing it on top of the back of the gown, creating a more dramatic and noticeable effect.
  • Ballroom Bustle: This option involves creating soft folds in the fabric that cascade down from the waistline of the gown, giving it a romantic and flowing appearance.

It’s important for brides to consider their personal style, as well as the design and fabric of their dress when choosing a bustle. For example, a sleek satin gown may work well with a French bustle, while a tulle or lace dress may be better suited for a ballroom-style bustle.

When determining which type of bustle will work best for your wedding dress, it’s essential to consult with a professional seamstress who has experience in adding bustles to gowns. They can provide valuable insight into what will complement your dress while also ensuring that it stays secure throughout your special day.

In addition to these traditional types of bustles, there are also modern alternatives such as ribbon ties or buttons that can be used to gather up the train. Brides should explore all their options before making a decision on how they want to add a bustle to their wedding dress.

How to Determine if Your Dress Can Have a Bustle

A bustle is a type of arrangement of fabric at the back of a wedding dress so that the train does not drag along the floor. Brides often choose to add a bustle to their wedding dress to make it easier to move around and dance after the ceremony. Whether or not a dress can have a bustle added largely depends on its style, fabric, and length.

When determining if your dress can have a bustle, consider the style of your gown. Generally, ball gown, A-line, or mermaid style dresses are more likely to accommodate a bustle due to their fullness and structure. On the other hand, sheath or slip-style dresses with minimal fabric may not be conducive to adding a bustle. Additionally, assess the length of your train – longer trains are typically easier to bustle than shorter ones.

Another factor to consider is the fabric of your dress. Sturdier fabrics like satin or taffeta can hold up better when bustling compared to delicate fabrics like lace or chiffon. The seamstress will need to inspect your dress thoroughly before determining if it can have a bustle added.

If you’re unsure if your dress can accommodate a bustle, consult with an experienced seamstress who specializes in wedding gowns. They will be able to provide valuable insight based on their expertise and experience working with various styles and fabrics.

Dress StyleAffects how easily the dress can be bustled
Fabric TypeDetermines how well the fabric holds up when bustling
Professional AssessmentImportant for expert opinion on whether a dress can have a bustle added
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By taking these tips into consideration, brides can determine if their wedding dress is suitable for adding a bustle. It’s essential for brides-to-be to communicate openly with their chosen seamstress regarding any concerns about adding a bustle and seek professional advice before making any decisions regarding alterations.

Can you add a bustle to a wedding dress? With careful consideration and expert consultation, many dresses can indeed be beautifully transformed with the addition of this practical and stylish feature.

The Process of Adding a Bustle

Adding a bustle to a wedding dress is a great way to ensure that the bride can easily move around and dance without tripping over her train. A bustle is essentially a series of hidden hooks, buttons, or ribbons that allow the train of the dress to be lifted up and secured, creating a beautiful and functional look for the reception. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how a bustle is added to a wedding dress:

1. Consultation: The process typically begins with a consultation with a professional seamstress or tailor. During this meeting, the bride can discuss her vision for the bustle and any specific requirements or concerns she may have.

2. Assessing the Dress: The next step involves assessing the specific design and fabric of the wedding dress to determine the best type of bustle to add. Different dresses may require different styles of bustling, such as an overbustle, underbustle, or French bustle.

3. Fabric Considerations: Once the type of bustle has been determined, the seamstress will carefully consider the fabric and embellishments on the dress to ensure that the added components blend seamlessly with the original design.

4. Adding the Bustle: The actual process of adding a bustle involves sewing hidden hooks, buttons, or ribbons onto strategic points on the gown where it can be lifted and fastened. This step requires precision and skill to ensure that the finished bustle looks elegant and complements the overall look of the dress.

5. Final Fitting: After adding the bustle, it’s important for the bride to schedule a final fitting to ensure that it functions properly and creates the desired effect when lifted.

6. Care Instructions: Lastly, before taking home her beautifully-bustled gown, it’s important for brides to receive care instructions from their seamstress on how to maintain and store their dress with its new addition.

Adding a bustle to your wedding dress can truly transform both its appearance and functionality for your special day. However, it’s crucial to find an experienced professional who understands your vision and can execute it flawlessly.

Cost Considerations

Adding a bustle to a wedding dress is an exciting and functional way to ensure that the bride can move freely and dance comfortably during her special day. However, it is important for brides to consider the potential expenses associated with this alteration. The cost of adding a bustle to a wedding dress can vary depending on several factors.

The first factor that can influence the cost of adding a bustle to a wedding dress is the style and complexity of the bustle itself. Different types of bustles, such as French or American, can require varying levels of skill and effort from a seamstress, which may impact the overall cost. Additionally, if the dress has intricate lace or beading, it may require more time and expertise to carefully add a bustle without damaging these delicate details.

Another cost consideration for adding a bustle to a wedding dress is the location and reputation of the professional seamstress performing the alteration. A highly skilled and experienced seamstress may charge more for their services, but this investment can provide peace of mind and ensure that the bustle is added seamlessly and securely.

Furthermore, brides should also budget for any additional fittings or adjustments that may be necessary after the initial bustle is added. It’s important to factor in unforeseen alterations or tweaks that may be needed to achieve the perfect fit and look for the wedding dress.

Overall, while adding a bustle to a wedding dress can incur additional expenses, it is crucial for brides to prioritize comfort and mobility on their special day. By carefully considering these potential costs and consulting with reputable seamstresses, brides can make informed decisions about whether adding a bustle is right for their wedding gown.

Finding a Professional Seamstress

When it comes to adding a bustle to your wedding dress, finding the right seamstress is crucial. Not all seamstresses are experienced in working with wedding gowns, so it’s essential to do your research and find someone who specializes in bridal alterations.

Ask for Recommendations

Start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, or even bridal boutiques. If you know someone who recently got married and had a bustle added to their dress, inquire about their experience with the seamstress they used. Personal recommendations can often lead you to skilled professionals who have a proven track record of quality work.

Research Online

In addition to personal recommendations, take the time to research online. Look for seamstresses or alteration shops in your area that specialize in wedding dresses. Read reviews and look at before and after photos of their work to get an idea of the quality they can provide. Websites like Yelp or Google Reviews can be helpful resources for gathering information about potential seamstresses.

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Schedule Consultations

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, schedule consultations with a few different seamstresses. This will give you the opportunity to discuss your dress and get a feel for how experienced and knowledgeable each one is. Pay attention to how well they communicate with you and whether they seem confident in their ability to add a bustle to your specific gown.

By taking the time to find a skilled and reliable seamstress, you can ensure that the process of adding a bustle to your wedding dress goes smoothly and that you are thrilled with the end result. A professional with expertise in working with bridal gowns can make all the difference in achieving the perfect bustle for your special day.

Bustle Inspiration

Elegant and Timeless

Many brides-to-be wonder if adding a bustle to their wedding dress will take away from the overall look and feel of their gown. However, real-life examples prove that a well-executed bustle can actually enhance the elegance and timelessness of a wedding dress. Whether it’s a classic A-line silhouette or a sleek mermaid style, a carefully added bustle can seamlessly blend with the dress, allowing brides to move comfortably while still looking picture-perfect.

Versatile Styles

From cascading French bustles to intricate ballroom bustles, there are endless options for brides who are considering adding a bustle to their wedding dress. Real-life examples showcase how different types of bustles can complement various dress styles and designs. The versatility of bustles means that brides can choose the option that best suits their personal taste and the overall look they want to achieve on their special day.

Personalized Touch

One of the most inspiring aspects of real-life examples of wedding dresses with added bustles is how this simple alteration can add a personalized touch to each gown. Some brides opt for delicate lace or beaded trimmings on their bustles, while others prefer a minimalist approach with an invisible or tucked-style bustle.

These examples show that adding a bustle can be an opportunity for brides to infuse their unique style into their wedding attire while ensuring practicality during the ceremony and reception festivities.


In conclusion, adding a bustle to a wedding dress can truly transform the look and feel of the gown. Not only does it provide practicality by allowing the bride to move freely and comfortably during the reception, but it also adds an elegant touch to the overall appearance. The different types of bustles offer brides a variety of options to choose from, ensuring that they can find the perfect style to complement their dress.

It’s important for brides to assess whether their dress can accommodate a bustle, as not all designs are suitable for this alteration. However, with the help of a professional seamstress, most wedding dresses can be successfully tailored to include a bustle. While there are costs associated with this modification, the investment is well worth it for the added convenience and aesthetics it provides.

For those who are considering adding a bustle to their wedding dress, it’s essential to find a skilled and reliable seamstress who has experience in this specific alteration. By doing so, brides can ensure that their gown will be handled with care and expertise, resulting in a beautifully executed bustle that enhances the overall look of the dress.

Ultimately, adding a bustle is an option that brides should seriously consider when preparing for their special day. Not only can it improve the functionality of their gown, but it also adds an extra element of sophistication and charm that will undoubtedly elevate their bridal ensemble.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Add a Bustle to Any Wedding Dress?

Adding a bustle to a wedding dress is possible for many styles, but it ultimately depends on the construction and design of the dress. Some dresses may not be suitable for adding a bustle due to their silhouette or fabric.

What Do You Do if Your Dress Doesn’t Have a Bustle?

If your wedding dress doesn’t have a bustle, you can explore options such as using a decorative pin or hooking the train over your wrist when dancing. Another alternative is to consider having a professional seamstress add a bustle to the dress.

How Long Does It Take to Add a Bustle to a Dress?

The time it takes to add a bustle to a wedding dress can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the design, the fabric, and the skill level of the seamstress. Typically, altering and adding a bustle can take several hours or even multiple fittings to ensure it’s done correctly.

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