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Wedding Dress Trains Explained


Why Wear a Train on Your Wedding Day?


Most brides have dreamed since they were a little girl about being a princess on her wedding day. They dressed up in their make believe dream wedding dress and pretended to be that princess. Almost all have attached a bath towel or some other kind of "train" to give that special look as she pretended to walk down the aisle. Well, in reality, most people believe that the wedding dress train does actually give the wedding dress that extra "special" look. 



Confused About Wedding Dress Trains?


In our daily lives we are well used to shopping for dresses and other items but a wedding dress? That is not something we do every day so we can be forgiven if we are less than 100% certain about what kind of train to choose. No need to worry as it is in fact, quite simple. To help, here is a simple guide to wedding trains and what each name means.



Measuring a Wedding Train


Don't confuse the "hem length" with the "train length".  The train length is measured from the WAIST (not from the hem line) to the end of the TRAIN at the back of the gown!



Type of Wedding Trains



Sweep or Brush Train:

  • As the name suggests, this train just “brushes” or “sweeps” the floor. It usually trails about six inches along the floor. The back hem is only a few inches longer than the front hem so this style works well on a slim fitting or body hugging gowns. Ideal and elegant choice for a semi formal wedding with little extra weight added.



Chapel Train:

  • Currently the most popular train length, it is about 4 feet from the waistline and extends 12 to 18 inches along the floor. Part of its popularity is because it is elegant but not too heavy. A good choice for most brides as it is suited to informal, semi-formal and formal weddings.


Semi-Cathedral Train:

  • A train that is somewhere between the chapel train above and cathedral train below.


Cathedral Train:

  • Very much into the “princess” and “fairytale” area, the Cathedral train is measured at about 7 feet from the waistline to give the dress a real fairy tale look. Cathedral-style gowns usually have a removable train or bustling option as, without it, movement is quite restricted and dancing almost impossible. Especially if you like to dance.



Royal or Monarch Train:

  • Drama and a whole lot more. As the name suggests, the Royal train is measured at about 9 feet from the waistline and is usually worn by royalty with a lot of helpers on hand. Everybody remembers Princess Di and her spectacular Royal train.


Watteau Train:

  • Not the most common bridal train but it is very versatile in that it can be adapted to suit many different wedding dress styles and lengths. This train is quite unique as is a single panel that attaches to the top of the dress, usually at the shoulders or at the upper back of the bodice. You can choose to have it the same length as your dress, falling straight to the floor or if you like a bit of “drama”, it can extend way out behind the end of your dress.  


What to Choose


In most cases, the length of your train is determined your personal taste or by your wedding style. It would be stating the blindingly obvious to say that a Cathedral train would look out of place at a beach wedding setting.

  • Consider your style.
  • Think about the look.
  • Think about practicality.
  • Can you carry that weight around for the day?
  • Can you dance in the dress?
  • Do you need to add a bustle?

A little forward thinking makes a lot of sense when choosing your wedding train!