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Friday, April 20, 2012


We thought a blog about bustles would be appropriate to follow our train lengths blog. Regardless of how long your train is, your train will add elegance as you walk down the aisle. But sometime during your wedding festivities, those extra yards of lace and satin will probably be in the way. Adding a Bustle to your gown will make walking and dancing easier, and keep your gowns hemline cleaner also.

History of Bustles

Bustles date back to the 1800s when stylish women wore a frame underneath their dress to support the back of their very full skirts. This Victorian fashion also helped women's waists look smaller (a fashion goal that never goes out of style).

Bustle is in use today primarily to lift the long, elegant trains of wedding gowns off the floor. Instead of a framework worn under the wedding gown, the long train is lifted with buttons or ties to create a lovely bouffant style that is also very practical.

Although almost all brides utilize Bustles for their wedding gowns, you may be surprised to discover that the dresses do not come with bustles in place. They are added during alterations. This makes sense since all brides are not the same height and your bustle should lift the back of your gown to your hem length. So your bustle must be custom made.

Bustle Options

You have several choices in bustles: The Over Bustle and the Under Bustle (also known as the French or Victorian bustle) are the most common. But you can also choose the Austrian bustle which is less common but beautiful (see below.)You can choose the style you prefer and the one that will flatter your gown the best.

Bustles for Delicate Fabrics

Use care in selecting your bustle style if your gown fabric is delicate. The weight of the gown on the bustles may tear transparent, lightweight, fabrics like organza. So if your fabric is delicate, choose a bustle style that reduces the weight on each individual bustle. Read below for several bustle options.

The Over Bustle

The Over bustle consists of several hooks and eyes lifting your train off the floor. The "eyes" are placed along the waistline. The "hooks" are sewn in about 14" to 20" down the back skirt. Lace appliques, rosettes or bows may be needed to cover the hooks and eyes. Covered buttons also work well, and may look nicer, especially if you have buttons down the back of your gown. The longer your train is, the more hooks or buttons you will need.

The Under Bustle

Another option is the Under Bustle also known as the French or Victorian bustle. This method works especially well for gowns without a waistline and gowns that are especially decorative in the back area, as it doesn't cover up any lace or details in the gown right below the waist. The gown is lifted from the bottom area. The Under Bustle is also more secure than the Over Bustle.

For the Under Bustle, ribbons are sewn under the gown securing the outer fabric to the lining. Use different colors of ribbon to make the task of tying easier. Another way to make a French Bustle is sew loops into the inside back side of the gown in a diamond shape. A ribbon is run through the loops, gathered and tied to give the gown a bouffant look.

Austrian Bustle

While it is not as common, you can also create a very interesting bustle by creating a casing down the back seams and running a ribbon through it. The ribbon is pulled to create a look similar to balloon shades.

As you can see, with a variety of bustles to choose from you can add a great deal of style to your wedding gown while making it much easier to get around.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Train Lengths Explained

We all know what a wedding train is! When we were girls, we tied white sheets to our waists and pranced "down the aisle". But now you're engaged and it is time to decide what train length is best for you! There are 6 standard lengths available, each term here represents a length category. Not to be confused with Hem Lengths, a train length is the length from the waist to the hem in the BACK of the gown!
No Train: Well, by definition, this is NOT a train, it is still an option so we will include it here. This is sometimes called a Floor Length Train, but if you are opting for a tea length gown or shorter, it may not even be floor length. Generally, it will be the same length front and back. This type of gown is is perfect for an informal wedding or a garden wedding , and can also be done for a semi-formal wedding if you wish.

Sweeping Train: This is the shortest of the trains and is also called a brush train because it just brushes the floor. Usually, the back hem is only a few inches lower then the front hem. It is perfect for an elegant informal or semi-formal wedding gown. It provides the elegance of a train without to much added fabric in the way.

Chapel Length Train: This is currently the most common train because it has the elegance of a full train but is still not overly cumbersome. A chapel train is generally 4 feet from the waistline. This is perfect for a semi-formal wedding gown but could be used for a formal or informal wedding gown as well.

Semi-Cathedral Length Train: A semi-cathedral is about half way between a chapel and cathedral length. Perfect for a semi-formal or formal wedding gown.

Cathedral Length Train: This is a popular choice for a formal affair or for that fairy tale look. A cathedral train is generally 7 1/2 feet from the waistline and is usually used for a formal wedding. These gowns often come with a bustling option or a removable train to allow for better movement on the dance floor.

Royal Train: Remember Princess Di's wedding gown? This is one of those trains this is still out the door when you reach the alter! If you dream is to have a Princess Di train, this is it! Also called a Monarch train, this train generally falls 9 ft from the waist line and is only used for the most formal wedding.

Often, the length of your train is determined either by your tastes or your wedding style. I have listed the most common wedding styles for each train option, but you can choose whatever suits you best. If you do not want a long train for the whole event, you can also consider a sweep train with a long, removable veil for that elegant look at the alter and free movement on the dance floor!

Have you seen the new special issue from Martha Stewart Weddings? A beautiful issue full of real weddings and ideas to help couples personalize their big day. With a round up of 10 of their favorite real weddings over the years. No matter what your style, guest list count, color palette, or destination, there's something forevery one so check it out!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How to find wedding dress undergarments that flatter!

You've seen thousands of photos, tried on dozens of wedding dresses. But you may have missed some small items in your search for the perfect wedding day look, those essential unmentionables that go under the dress. Undergarments provide the foundation necessary for your outerwear to look how it's supposed to. They can change the way your dress fits, so you'll need to purchase them before your first fitting. With such broad choices out there, we thought we’d share a few wedding dress undergarment secrets with you.

If you’re wearing a:

 Backless wedding dress – A backless dress typically has a higher front which means that lift in your chest area is going to be important. In many boutiques you’ll find bras that stick to your breasts and give the lift you’ll need. Another option for wedding underwear underneath a backless dress is a backless bra with see-through straps.

 Fishtail skirt – The fishtail skirt is the perfect shape to show off your sexy curves. Enhance your figure with a seamless push-up bra or wedding corset.

 Wedding dress with sleeves - You can wear virtually any type of undergarments with this type of wedding dress, so go for comfort. To keep everything tight and in control, a bust-shaping body slip will do the trick

 Bias-cut wedding dress - Wedding underwear is extremely important with this type of dress due to the fact that it hugs your body tightly. Because the dress is so form-fitting, look for a bra that boosts and enhances.

 Spaghetti straps and a full skirt - You also have a lot of options with this type of wedding dress. Find seamless and smooth undergarments for a perfect look.

 Halter-top wedding dress - These types of wedding dresses are popular, you’ll need a halter-top bra or a bustier. I suggest a halter bra for added comfort and extra support. These types of undergarments are easy to find, since halter tops are so popular. Try on several, and choose the most comfortable one that lifts and enhances.

Always remember to bring your undergarments with you when going for your wedding dress fitting!