The Knot should have more information on Bustles
I've been using the knot to educate myself on all things wedding, and I've come to rely on the knot to prepare me for the next step in the wedding-planning process. When it came to bustling my dress, I felt entirely unprepared, and it's hard to find a thorough rundown of bustles online. I was disappointed when my wedding dress came back from alterations and I could see the bustle points on the skirt of my dress. I asked myself, "is this normal?" When I went to find information on whether other people could see the bustle points on their dresses, I found nothing. Nobody wants to show you close ups of what are essentially imperfections on their dress, so I became a total wreck looking for solutions to a problem that might be totally normal. The knot prepared me for so much of the wedding planning process, but I wasn't prepared to go through the disappointment of putting a bustle on my dress. My perfect wedding dress that the knot helped me choose was now imperfect, and I couldn't find anything online to tell me that it's a normal thing, so I STILL don't know if my alterations place is terrible and did my bustle wrong or if every bride on the planet goes through this or if I'm being an especially picky bride....I wish the knot had sent me an email about 3 months prior to my wedding with an article discussing each type of bustle, the pros and cons, close-up shots of the bustle points when the dress is NOT bustled, what these bustle points should look like (how big the loops should be or what the buttons should look like), and a narrative around whether people notice those things based on the type of dress you purchased (tulle skirt, lace skirt, ball gown, sheath, etc.). This would have helped me choose a bustle style for my dress and mentally prepare me for the changes that I might see in my dress.
I really appreciate you reaching out. First of all, we are very sorry that the result of the bustle connections was not what you were picturing or had intended for your dress to look like. This likely should have been a conversation the seamstress had with you to make sure you knew the impact this would have on your dress. If these connection points are very noticeable you will likely be able to have your photographer do some magic to remove those points in any photos so the dress will appear as you had intended in your memory books.
That being said, you are right about our lack of information on this on our site. I also did a quick search and found that while we do discuss bustling and if you should/shouldn’t do this on a dress, the issue of the connection points altering the way the dress looks when not bustled was not in the articles I found. I have sent this along to our Editorial team for their review. I am hoping they will find this is a great addition – one that will help many other brides along the way – and they will be able to add some tips to the articles we do have outstanding. I realize this doesn’t help you where you are, but your feedback will definitely help us move forward.
Regarding your dress. We are not experts in dress making or altering, so we won’t know, even with a photo, if your seamstress did their part right or not. My suggestion would be to take your dress into someone else. Have them review the work, and the bustle you had intended, and they can let you know if this was indeed the only/best way to make this work for you. You can also ask them if they feel there is another way to do this work that would hide the connection points and not affect how the dress looks when not bustled. Most seamstresses understand they should add buttons, hooks, ribbons, etc. that will compliment the design of the dress, even if it adds to it, instead of detracting. But it would be good to get a second opinion to make sure you don’t need to revisit this with the company that did your original work.
We hope you are able to make this work so that you continue to feel great in your perfect wedding day dress.
Enjoy your planning!
I ordered a very thin Alexandra Grecco sheath dress. I wanted to look into my bustling options before going to a seamstress and while you mention the need to get a bustle, I think it would be more helpful if you had articles on what different bustle types look like on different silhouettes/material types.
Every breakdown of the bustle types I find online are for fuller, stiffer dresses, so it's hard to imagine how they would look on a dress like mine.