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Different Types of Wedding Bustles | How To Bustle A Wedding Gown

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The history of a wedding bustle began in the 1800's when "stylish women" would wear a frame under their wedding gown to support the back of their dress. The Victorian fashion style would help to make the bride's waist look smaller, thus being the one favored.

These days the bustle is primarily used to lift and keep the gowns train off of the floor. This makes it a little more comfortable as you move around dancing, or visiting guests. There are numerous hooks and eye enclosures, or ribbons that are used lift the gown up and tuck it away in a very presentable manner. Generally you will not unhook your gowns bustle short of having some unique pictures taken by your photographer. If you do, it can be let down without much trouble.

Your bridal gown will not come with a bustle, but will be added during the final alterations. Because all women are of different shapes and heights, all bustles must be customized. Your bustle will lift the back of your gown to your hem length. If you choose not to have a bustle please realize that you will have to carry your train over your arm.
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It is created by using snaps, hook and eye enclosures or ribbons. This allows your "train" to be down when you want it, example at the ceremony and for pictures or up while you are mingling with guests or dancing at the reception. Having the train bustled you will find it much easier to move around and decrease the chance for someone to step on your gown.

Once you arrive at the wedding venue it’s time to have your wedding gown bustled. While your bridesmaids are getting freshened up your mom and or your maid of honor can assist with the bustling of your wedding gown. Locate an area where you can stand out of everyone’s way and your train may be spread out so as to locate all of the hooks and clips.

When you are having your final alterations take your mom or maid of honor with you and the seamstress will show them how to bustle your wedding dress. It is relatively easy to do, however if you have never bustled a gown it could become frustrating.

You do have numerous options with regard to the bustle. The Over The Bustle, and Under The Bustle, also known as a French or Victorian bustle have become the most common for brides. An Austrian bustle is not as common but it is still gorgeous. Speak to your seamstress so you can select the style that fits and like the best.

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The over bustle (pictured above) consists of several hooks and eyes. These lift your train off of the floor. The eyes are placed along the waistline while the hooks are sewn in about 14 to 20 inches down the back skirt. Lace appliqués, rosettes or bows could be needed to conceal the hooks and eyes. An option would be to use covered buttons, these work well and keep in mind, the longer your dresses train, the more hooks and buttons you will need.

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The Under Bustle also known as a Victorian or French (photo above) bustle works especially well for gowns without a waistline and decorative in the back area. This style will not cover up lace or details just below the bottom area. A thought to keep in mind is that the Under Bustle is more secure than an Over Bustle.

The Under Bustle has ribbons sewn under the gown securing the outer fabric to the lining. You can use different colors to make bustling the gown easier on your bridesmaid or your mom. Another way to make a French Bustle is to have loops sewn into the inside back side of the gown in a diamond shape. The ribbon is then run through the loops, gathered and tied to create a bouffant look.
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As mentioned earlier the Austrian Bustle (pictured right) is not as common these days, but you can create a lovely bustle casing down the back seems, and then running a ribbon through it. The ribbon is pulled to create the appearance similar to balloon shades.

With a variety of bustles available to you, you and your seamstress can customize a look unlike any other gown out there, and be able to move around the reception with ease.

If you select a gown that is made of delicate fabric, you need be sure that it doesn't tear from the weight of your train. You will need to select a bustle style that doesn't put any undo stress on each individual bustle.

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