Wedding Dresses
Andi WillisBride Online Columnist

Choosing Your Wedding Train

How long can you wear a train? Like the rest of your wedding gown, your train should suit the location and time of your wedding. The general rule of thumb is: the more formal the affair, the longer the train (a great example to think of is Princess Diana’s wedding gown). There are a range of options to suit any wedding setting (or to fulfil your inner diva’s demands)


The Brush Train


This is the shortest of all train styles- named after the way the dress lightly ‘brushes’ the ground behind you. This adds a small amount of volume to the back of the dress. It is the most versatile of all trains- suitable for just about any wedding- from a beachy function to a more formal, nighttime event.

The Court Train


This is slightly longer than the Brush, and extends about 3 feet behind the waist. Although this is still a fairly versatile style, it could become a little bit of an inconvenience at outdoor weddings- the last thing you need on your gown is grass stains!

The Chapel Train


This train is a great middle-of-the-road option. It extends about 5 feet behind the waist, giving the dress a dose of additional drama and glamour, whilst remaining more functional and less formal than Cathedral or Royal- style trains.

The Cathedral Train


This train will ensure that the bride remains the centre of attention throughout her wedding day. Flowing 7 feet behind the waist, this train gives a traditional and stately feel to the gown. But keep in mind that you’ll need help to keep this train in check all day- especially during the ceremony and pictures. Because of the sweeping grandeur of this train, it is best suited to formal, indoor ceremonies.

The Royal Train


 This is train to make the Queen herself clasp her pillbox hat in awe. This train extends 10 feet from the waist, and will be wide enough to cover the entire aisle as you walk up it. Needles to say, you’ll have to keep in mind your choice of fabrics- anything too heavy could weigh you down, and it is a cut that will need some serious corralling. This is a cut that  will only suit the most formal of occasions. Also, consider the rest of the ceremony and reception before you decide on this train- you’ll have to maintain the stately tone you set with the dress throughout!

The Watteau Train


This train differs from all others in that it is not simply an extension of the dress- it is a separate panel that is attached either to the upper back or shoulder of the dress. The length can be tailored to suit your wedding, and so you can effectively inject any amount of added visual drama. Another great option this train affords is to have the train made in a different material than your dress- for example, an otherwise simple beach dress can be glammed up with a transparent train, giving a sense of formality to the occasion. These can also be made to be detachable, so you can dance the night away comfortably (just make sure you tell your tailor what your plans are!)

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