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Train (Wedding Dress Trains)

Wedding Dress Trains & Train Length Definitions | Wedding Terms Encyclopedia Wedding dress trains are the portion of the gown's skirt that extends behind the dress, trailing along the ground behind the wearer.

Typically, a gown's train length varies, based on how formal your wedding is, and may also vary based on the silhouette of the dress. Typically, wedding dresses with long trains are categorized as being formal wedding dresses, whereas wedding dresses with short trains, or no train at all, are categorized as informal wedding dresses. (See "Formal Wedding Dresses vs. Informal Wedding Dresses")

Styles of Wedding Dress Trains (in order of ascending train length):

Other Train Styles:

Train Lengths

The Sweep Train (also known as the Brush Train)
(For more information on this style, see: Sweep Train)

Mori Lee Bridal Gown 6505 is the perfect example of informal wedding dresses with a sweep train:

The Court Length Train
(For more information on this style, see: Court Train)

Maggie Sottero Ruby is a great example of a gown with a court length train:

The Chapel Train
(For more information on this style, see: Chapel Train)

Maggie Sottero Bridal Gown Vogue Royale features a gorgeous design, with a chapel length train:
Maggie Sottero Bridal Gown Florencia

The Semi-Cathedral Train
(For more information on this style, see: Semi-Cathedral Train)

Allure 8634 Bridal Gown is a beautiful example of a gown with a semi-cathedral length train:

The Cathedral Train
(For more information on this style, see: Cathedral Train)

Christina Wu Bridal Gown 15420 is a beautiful example of a gown with a cathedral length train:

The Royal Cathedral Train
(For more information on this style, see: Royal Cathedral Train)

Mori Lee Bridal Gown 1701 was inspired by Kate Middleton's wedding dress, and features a royal cathedral train:
Royal Wedding Train Length

The Watteau Train
(For more information on this style, see: Watteau Train)

How to Remember Which Train Length is Which

If you keep wondering, "What's longer cathedral or chapel train?"… Here's an easy "memory trick" for remembering the different train lengths: simply think about the style names!

Whoever originally decided the names for each train length must have been quite clever, because the names correspond to the venue that each respective train length would typically be seen in:

  • A cathedral (the actual building) has a very long aisle for the bridal procession, thus, a cathedral train is very long.
  • A chapel (again, the actual building) has a shorter aisle than a cathedral, thus the chapel train is also shorter.
  • The same thing goes for a court room: it has a very short aisle, therefore, a court length train is quite short.
  • The sweep train (aka: brush train): Ok, so the trick about the venue-train name obviously doesn't apply here, but this style can still be easy to remember: a sweep, or brush train lightly sweeps, or brushes the floor (it's the shortest train length).

See? Remembering the train styles is easy as pie! (Although, the jury's still out on how easy pie really is...unless, of course, you use the pre-made crust and canned filling.)

Bustling Your Gown

Remember: if you want an extravagant, dramatic train length, that doesn't mean you have to sit still at your wedding reception, frozen in fear of someone stepping on the back of your gown and tearing it. You have other options!

Many brides are now choosing to go the route of reception dresses: a second dress chosen specifically for the wedding reception.

If reception dresses don't interest you, you may choose to bustle your gown's train. There are many different bustle styles for wedding gowns, ranging from traditional, princess-like styles, to more subtle, modern styles. (For more information on the wedding dress bustle, see: bustle)

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