shaped trains blog header image

Everything You Need to Know About Wedding Dress Trains

From the fabric to the embellishments, there are so many details to consider when shopping for your wedding dress! One of these iconic details that can’t be overlooked is the wedding dress train. 

Some brides have dreamed of a long, dramatic train fit for royalty for as long as they can remember, while others want a no-fuss look with a minimal train on their dream wedding dress.  

Whether you have a specific vision or aren’t quite sure about which type of train to choose, we can help! We have all of the information and inspiration you need to find a gown with the ideal wedding dress train!  

What is the Train on a Wedding Dress? 

Wedding dresses with trains became popular in the Middle Ages. They were used to showcase the wealth of the princess bride as they married their prince. Eventually, wedding dress trains became a trend that trickled down from royalty and is still popular today. 

You might be wondering, what exactly is a wedding dress train? A train is an extension of the skirt from the hem or waist, but can also extend from the shoulders. Wedding dress trains typically trail behind as you walk down the aisle for dramatic effect!  

A train is primarily a stylistic choice on a wedding dress, with many train options to fit any bridal style. Bridal trains may be the same or a different fabric than your wedding dress. They also come in a variety of lengths and shapes, and act as the finishing touch on the entire design. 

How do I Choose the Right Train for my Wedding Dress? 

There are so many train options that deciding which length and style is right for you can be a challenge! One of the factors to consider is the type of wedding you’ll have, including the venue and formality level. For example, a long cathedral length or royal train is absolutely stunning for a church wedding or grand ballroom.  

Cathedral trains’ weight and length may not be suitable for a destination wedding at the beach. They are also not ideal for the bride who wants to dance the night away with ease. A short train, like a sweep or chapel train, is best for these types of weddings.  

While a chapel train extends 12 to 18 inches, a sweep train extends only six inches. This length provides a dose of pizzaz without a ton of fabric. It gives you a little bit of drama without making movement difficult. Of course, there are solutions to make wearing a wedding dress train more comfortable, and we will address those later in this post. 

Wedding Dress Trains 

Detachable Train 

For the bride who doesn’t want to worry about bustling the train, a detachable train is an ideal choice! They are also great to alleviate some of that wedding dress train weight during the reception and to dance more comfortably.  

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.  

Some wedding dresses have matching detachable trains, like the beautiful Martina Liana Style 1463. You can also find one that complements your dress without matching exactly.  

This versatile train style provides many styling options. There are 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, hooks and eyes or a belt around the waist.   

Court Train 

simple sheath wedding dress with detachable train and overskirt - D3704 by Essense of Australia
Essense of Australia Style D3705 

A court train extends from the waistline of the dress instead of the hem for a dramatic and voluminous look. It trails between one and two and a half feet on the ground behind the gown.  

Essense of Australia Style D3705 is a chic, simple wedding dress with dramatic flair. This satin column gown features a detachable overskirt that attaches to the sides of the waist. It provides the look of a court train that can be removed to dance the night away! 

Chapel Train 

A chapel train extends about 60 inches from the waistline. It 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.  

Essense of Australia Style D3707 is a soft A-line wedding dress that features an ethereal lace-painted tulle skirt and flows into a gorgeous chapel train.  

Cathedral Train 

textured ballgown wedding dress with cathedral train - LE1219 by Martina Liana Luxe
Martina Liana Luxe Style LE1219 

A cathedral train is an ideal choice for the bride who has always dreamt of a regal wedding day look! This style can range in length, from six to ten feet from the waistline for a showstopping entrance and exit.  

Cathedral length trains are stunning for formal and church weddings. They are often adorned with beautiful details like lace or beading. You can also add buttons down the back of the train for an ultra-classic bridal moment.  

Martina Liana Luxe Style LE1219 is the epitome of fashion-forward bridal drama. Its cathedral length train is adorned with tulle ruffles and floral accents for an unforgettable look. 

Long Train 

plus size simple a-line wedding dress with slit and long train - 7601+ by Stella York
Stella York Style 7601+ 

While a “long train” 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.  

A royal train extends over ten feet in length and might not be the most practical to wear for the entire wedding day. This train length is for the bride who wants to make the ultimate statement when walking down the aisle!  

One of our favorite wedding dresses with a long train is Stella York Style 7601. This gorgeous style blends modern minimalism and classic luxury!  

The ivory Matte Mikado skirt flares into a full train completed with fabric-covered buttons. The train is long enough to wow, but not so long that you can’t wear it all night long! 

How to Add a Train to Your Wedding Dress? 

Do you have your eye on a wedding dress with a train that is shorter than you would like? Great news! You can add a train to your wedding gown. While we wouldn’t recommend adding fabric to the existing train in alterations, detachable trains offer a great option.  

They offer a longer train for the ceremony and are easily removeable for the reception! If a detachable train isn’t for you, it is sometimes possible to customize the train length of your gown. Adding a train to your dress will add an additional cost, so be sure to factor that into your budget. Detachable overskirts and trains can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands. It all depends on the fabric, length and embellishments.  

What is it Called When you Pin up the Train of a Wedding Dress? 

Pinning up your wedding dress train is called “bustling.” A bustle is created by attaching the train to the skirt via buttons and loops, ribbons or hooks. This way, your gown appears floor length.  

The shorter the train, the easier it is to bustle, and the easier your dress will be to wear. Exceptionally long trains, while showstopping, can sometimes be tough to bustle. They are also heavy to wear all night.  

We recommend opting for a second look or a detachable skirt or train, so brides can still achieve their wedding day vision for the ceremony but be comfortable during the reception. 

No matter which train length has your heart, we know one thing to be true: any wedding dress train is beautiful! It all comes down to your personal style, preferences and what makes you feel your best. 

Short and sweet or long and dramatic? Which is the train style you’ll walk down the aisle in? Find a store location near you and book an appointment to find out! We can’t wait for you to find your dream wedding dress