Get Bustling

The one oft over-looked yet stressing part of being a bride is bustling the dress. I've seen brides spend almost half an hour enduring five women sticking their hands up under her skirt trying to figure how the heck to bustle the darn thing.

What's a bustle and why should you care? Simply put, a bustle is the train of the dress tied up so it's out of the way since walking around with a three-foot train behind you gets pretty tiresome pretty quick.Bustle 2

There are different styles of bustles – the photo to the right is a French Bustle or under-bustle. With this style, there are numerous 'bustle points' or small ties that are tied together to hike the dress up into the lovely confection you see before you.

At your final fitting, the seamstress or bridal shop associate will show you (well, whoever is with you since it's impossible for you to see what's going on) how the mechanics of the dress work. Before you guffah 'it's a dress, not a space ship', I've seen some frocks that require a  rocket scientist to bustle them. Really – beyond complicated. I mean, look at that thing! Where do you even start?

A simpler bustle is the over-bustle or American bustle. Hooks are sewn in around the waistline of the dress and the train has corresponding eyes that loop onto the hooks so that the bustle lays over the rest of the dress, like below.

Bustle 3

Keep in mind is the length of the dress after it's been bustled.  Try dancing and moving about to see if it's too long. Make sure you're comfortable with it before the seamstress makes the final adjustments.

To prevent you being stuck in bustling hell on your wedding day, bring along a couple of women who will be there on the day to perform said bustle – a mom and some bridesmaids are perfect. Have one person take notes while the other one or two ladies bustle. And after they've done it successfully, take photos and have them do it again to make sure they really know what they're doing.

And make sure you have a number of safety pins, in varying sizes, tucked away in your emergency kit for some 'Bustling 911' in case Uncle Harry steps on your hem while you're walking over to kiss little Cousin Suzy, ripping out hook or tie in the process. A broken bustle is a real 'bummer' (sorry, I couldn't resist).

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