How to Bustle a Wedding Dress with Ribbon Ties

Strolling down the aisle with an extended train definitely creates a stunning visual. However, during the reception, when the bride has to navigate through the crowd more effortlessly, the train can become cumbersome. The solution lies in bustling the wedding gown. This guide will enlighten you on the method to bustle a wedding dress using ribbon ties.

What is bustling the wedding dress you may ask. The purpose of bustling a wedding dress is to uphold the train and secure it to the dress, all wedding gowns that aren't tea-length have hooks, ties, or buttons sewn into the wedding dress train to create a uniformed hemline and to hold the train up from the ground. 

Now, the wedding dress usually doesn't come with a bustle automatically, when you go for a fitting, that is something your seamstress needs to create according to your height and the design preference you have because there are many styles of bustles to choose from. It is hard to bustle the train when you are the one wearing the dress. A trusted person can learn from the seamstress how to bustle your train and do that for you on the big day.

In this article, we discuss how you can bustle the wedding dress with ribbon ties (for French bustle) and also inform you about other types of bustles in the upcoming section so that you can choose better.

How to Bustle a Wedding Dress with Ribbon Ties

Here is how you can bustle a wedding dress using ribbon ties:

Out of many variations of bustling wedding dresses, bustling with ribbons used in French bustle (also known as an under bustle) is the most secure, as you tie the train under the dress rather than securing it with hooks or buttons.

The finished look will usually have a puff in the middle of the back of your skirt with the lower half of the skirt lying straight down. This kind of bustle is very visible. It creates a layer, or more, on the back of the dress that is voluminous and puffy.

Step 1: Choose a Helper

Ask your maid of honor or a trusted friend to be your official helper in the bustling. Make sure this person is available to attend your final fitting with the seamstress so you can go over the process. You can make a video of the process to see later on if needed.

Step 2: Locating the Ribbons

The ribbons are often color-coded to make them easier to locate(Such as tying the red one to the matching red one). The ribbons will be under the skirt of your gown in case of French bustle, unlike a standard bustle where the hook-and-eye will be hidden on the outside of the back of the gown.

Step 3: Tie the Ribbons 

Tie the ribbons together at the anchor point (on the underside of the skirt) and the pick-up point (on the edge) and tie in a bow once they are as taut as they will go; this secures the bustle in place. Note that there may be multiple sets of ribbons depending on the style of the train and gown.

Other Type of Bustles for the Wedding Dress

The variation of styles for the bustle is a lot. They contribute to the various looks of the dress while serving the same purpose. Some other popular designs apart from French bustle(discussed above) that you can consider-

American/Traditional/ Over Bustle

The American bustle is a very versatile style consisting of one or more bustle points scattered at the waist or hip line of the gown, meant to pull the train up and over the rest of the gown. It is one of the easiest and most basic bustle forms, therefore, one of the most affordable bustle options.  It looks great in many different silhouettes and styles. From voluminous ball gowns to flowy chiffon sheaths, the American bustle. 

Flip-train/ Ballroom/ Hem Bustle

The Ballroom Bustle is the most complex bustle to make but one of the simplest in appearance. This bustle requires the seamstress to install buttons or hooks to the waist and various points on the train of your gown. The Ballroom bustle is perfect for a gown that is long and has detail in the train.  The train flips under the dress and the hem stays even with the floor. It has an even weight all around. And the fabrics look like waterfalls.

Austrian Bustle

This is much like a loop and pulls system, similar to a window shade or theatre curtains, this bustle is becoming more popular for its unique looks and level of security. By simply pulling a string and bunches the train upward. 

Bow Bustle

The bow bustle is elegant, perfect for gowns that have a statement bow. For this style, the dress fabric is folded above the gown and secured with hooks, buttons, ribbon, or sash hidden underneath. The fabric is picked up symmetrically and stays folded right above the gown. This allows the fabric to pick up and flow down the skirt in a ruched fashion.

English Bustle

English bustle is similar to a ballroom bustle, where the excess fabric is ornately pleated and fastened to the gown. The difference is that an English bustle is fastened lower on the skirt where a traditional ballroom bustle is fastened to the waist.

Wristlet Bustle

Wrist Bustle is unlike the other bustles as it doesn't tuck, or hide the train, instead, it makes the train a part of the dress. This style is great for brides who have delicate lace, or lightweight fabric. This style takes the tip of the train and fastens it to a loop that goes around your wrist. It looks lovely and flowing. Keep in mind it can get a bit heavy if your fabric is in a heavier style. Not recommended for ball gowns or heavier fabrics.


Which Bustle style is right for you entirely depends on the fabric, style of your gown. Hence, an alteration specialist can suggest you more accurately. No matter which style you choose, make sure you familiarize the person who will be assisting you with how to bustle the dress properly. 

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