For a dramatic wedding ceremony entrance, nothing is as fairy tale-like as a wedding dress with a spectacular train. But what type and length should you choose? Below are explanations of the different trains.
I want to wear a gown with a train. How long is too long?
The sweep train extends about 15-30cm from the heel along the floor. It is the shortest of the train styles, apart from not having a train at all. It barely "brushes" the ground behind your dress, adding a modest amount of volume to the back of your dress. The sweep train is the most versatile train because it can be worn at just about all types of ceremonies, from a spring garden wedding, to an evening event in the fall.
The chapel length train is the happy medium between the simplicity of the brush and court trains, and the formality of the cathedral and royal trains. The chapel train extends about 30-50cm from the heel along the floor, making a significant statement without the grandeur of the longer trains.
The cathedral train is perfect for a very formal and traditional bride who wants all eyes on her as she walks down the aisle. This train extends approximately 60-70cm behind heel along the floor, and will require assistance to keep in order, especially during the ceremony and pictures. Because of the grand nature of this train, it is most appropriate for formal church weddings.
The royal/monarch train extends about from the heel 70cm or more from heel along the floor. The royal length train is fitting only for the bride who really wants to make a statement. This train extends beyond 70cm along the floor, spanning the aisle as you walk toward the altar. With a train this size, you will definitely need help making sure that you are not weighed down and that all that fabric is where it needs to be. Due to its regal presence, this type of train is only appropriate for the grandest of occasions. If you opt for the royal train, you will want to make sure the rest of your ceremony and reception does not pale in comparison.
A panel train isn’t part of the dress, but rather a separate panel of fabric about a foot wide that trails behind the dress. Usually detachable, panel trains can be made into any length desired. Some brides who buy their dress and later decide they want a train can have a professional create a customized panel train for them.
The Watteau train is characterized by the way the single panel attaches to the top of the shoulder, either at the shoulders or the upper back of the bodice. This train can be the same length as the rest of your gown so that it falls straight down to the ground, or it can extend out behind you for a more dramatic look. Since this type of train is not as common as the others, it can be adapted to fit many different occasions, depending on the way you choose to wear it. If you are having a destination wedding on the beach, and wearing a slinky column dress, a sheer Watteau train would look beautiful by adding just a touch of formality to an otherwise casual look.