This article is part of our Ultimate Wedding Dress Shopping Guide.
There are so many factors to consider when searching for your dream wedding dress. From the silhouette to the fabrics to the straps and embellishments, your wedding day look is really all about the details! One major detail we can’t forget is the wedding dress train.
Whether you’ve dreamed of a regal gown with a long showstopping train since you were a child or aren’t quite sure what type of train best fits your vision, we have you covered with our ultimate guide to wedding dress trains.
What is The Purpose of a Train on a Wedding Dress?
A wedding dress train extends from the hem, waist or shoulders and trails behind you as you walk down the aisle, making your grand entrance even more grand and dramatic. Bridal gown trains may be the same or a different fabric than your dress and come in a variety of lengths, shapes and styles.
Wedding Dress Trains
While a “long train” (over six feet) isn’t exactly a technical term, it is one of the most requested types of trains! After all, many brides dream of that dramatic, walking down the aisle moment. The two longest train lengths are cathedral trains and royal trains, which we will touch on below.
A cathedral-length train can range in length from six to ten feet from the waistline, making it ideal for the bride who wants to wow! This style lends itself to a regal look and is excellent for a formal setting. Cathedral trains are often adorned with beautiful details like lace or beading, but you can also add buttons down the back of the train for an ultra-classic bridal moment.
If a cathedral train isn’t showstopping enough, a royal train may just be what you’re after! This style can extend over ten feet in length for a wedding look fit for a queen.
A chapel train extends 60 inches from the waistline and is the most popular length because it isn’t too long but still brings the drama! This style can work with a variety of dresses and venues and is easier to bustle than longer bridal trains.
The court train is a style that falls between one and two feet behind the bride. It’s similar to chapel trains, but shorter in length so there is less need for bustle! It is a short, yet dramatic style that falls just below the waistline of your dress. This creates volume and flair for any figure while remaining simple enough to keep the attention on other beautiful details of your gown!
Detachable trains are one of the most popular styles right now because of their ability to provide two looks in one! This type of train is available in many different styles, from Watteau trains that attach to the shoulders or upper back to styles that fasten at the waist. Typically, detachable trains attach to the gown with invisible snaps, hook and eyes or a belt around the waist.
This style of train is an excellent option if you would rather remove your train than bustle it. If your gown doesn’t come with a detachable train, you can see if the designer of your dress has options that can be customized to match your bridal gown or have a seamstress custom create an option for you. Learn more about detachable trains and overskirts in our Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Overskirts.
How do I Choose the Right Train for my Wedding Dress?
With so many train options to choose from, it can be challenging to know which one is best for you! One of the key factors to consider when thinking about wedding dress trains is the type of wedding you’ll have, including the level of formality and your choice of venue.
For example, a short train like a court train, which extends from the waist and is 12 inches or less, is ideal for an outdoor wedding, whereas a long train may be more cumbersome and drag on the floor. On the other hand, a dress with a cathedral or royal train is excellent for a ballroom or church wedding but may not be best for a destination wedding or for the bride who wants to dance the night away!
Lastly, consider your plans for your reception. If you want to dance the night away, we recommend opting for a train on the shorter side that can bustle easily. A bustle is created when the train of your dress is attached to the skirt via buttons and loops, ribbons or hooks so that it appears you no longer have a train.
Keep in mind, exceptionally long trains, while showstopping, can sometimes be tough to bustle and heavy to wear all night. For more information on wedding dress bustles, read our post, Tips from a Stylist: Bustling a Wedding Dress.
We hope this post helped you decide what kind of wedding dress train best fits your vision! Ready to shop? Find a True Society location near you. Our True Crew stylists can’t wait to help you find your dream dress once you book an appointment! Selections vary per store.