Different Bridal Gown Train Lengths: A Quick Guide

Different Bridal Gown Train Lengths: A Quick Guide

Your wedding dress is one of the most beautiful gowns you’ll ever wear, and selecting the perfect option is rarely a quick journey. There are a lot of factors to consider, including the color, gown shape, appliques, sleeve style, and even the length of your dress train. In this quick guide, we’ll delve into the different types of bridal gown train lengths. 

Sweep Train

Some people refer to this option as a brush train since it starts at the hem of the dress. A sweep train is perfect for the bride who wants to keep her dress train as short as possible, as this style usually extends 6 to 12 inches past the bottom of the gown. Due to their short length, sweep trains are commonly found on sheath and mermaid dresses.

Court Train

Similar to the sweep train, a court train extends 12 inches beyond the bottom hem of the gown, although this train style starts at the waist. As a result, the dress has more of a free-flowing look around the waist. Most dressmakers add a court train to trumpet-style and A-line gowns.

Chapel Train

If you want your dress train to fall a little longer, a chapel train may be your ideal option—it’s also the most popular choice among brides. Most chapel trains run 12 to 18 inches past the bottom of the gown and start 3 to 4 inches below the waist.

Due to their length, chapel train dresses usually have buttons on the back so the bride can bustle her train at the reception. Many brides love chapel trains because they look beautiful in any type of wedding setting.

Cathedral Train

The cathedral train is next in our guide to different bridal gown train lengths. Most cathedral trains are several feet long and look best on A-line dresses and ballgowns. This is a perfect train option if you want an elegant formal gown for your big day. Like chapel trains, the cathedral train starts a few inches below the waist, but this style extends 6 to 8 feet past the hem of the dress.

Monarch Train

A monarch train is the longest wedding dress train option, extending at least 10 feet beyond the base of the wedding dress. This style is ideal for any bride looking for a fairytale-style ballgown or A-line dress, as it really makes a statement. Keep in mind that these types of dresses require more fabric, and monarch trains need even more material. While a monarch gown is the most eye-catching, it may also significantly impact your budget.

Everyday Bride Fun Fact

As a reference point for how extravagant wedding dress trains can get, Princess Diana’s wedding gown had a 25-foot train!

Bonus: The Watteau Train

Looking for a dress train that strays from tradition? A Watteau train starts at the shoulders of the bodice or upper back; it’s a separate piece of fabric that attaches to the dress. The material is usually sheer, and for some brides, it takes the place of a veil. Most dressmakers create this gown style so the bride can remove the piece after the ceremony to party the night away without worrying about tripping on her dress train.

The Ideal Wedding Dress Train

The train you choose will ultimately depend on your style preferences. If you opt for a longer train, keep in mind that it’s best to bustle the gown during the reception. There are various types of bridal gown bustles, each giving your dress a slightly different look once the skirt is lifted. Discuss the various style options, such as over-bustle, bow bustle, and ballroom bustle, with those at the dress shop as you try on gowns.

As you shop for a gown, be sure to inspect how you’ll bustle it, or ask about making this modification during your dress fitting appointments if the dress is not already designed with a bustle.

A Final Note

If you go dress shopping with an entourage of friends and family, consider establishing a few courtesy rules—like “no rude comments”—before you try on dresses. Wedding dress shopping should be a fun bonding experience for everyone involved. 

Some people may be more open with their opinions, but they just want the best for you. Ultimately, the perfect dress with the most beautiful train will feel right the moment you try it on and see your reflection. Happy dress shopping!

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Everyday Bride

Freelance Writer
July 31, 2023

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