Simple Guide to Wedding Dress Trains

Wedding dress trains can be a gorgeous differentiator that really makes a statement on your wedding day. While the dress style comes before the train for many brides, the difference of inches can really change the look and feel of the entire wedding dress. Here’s a simple guide to shopping the different styles.

The Watteau

A Watteau train gracefully slopes down from the shoulders like a cape, floating behind with a modern slant. It can end at the waist, end of the dress, or extend feet beyond. Most recently, the princess of Monaco, Charlene Wittstock, wore one on her wedding day.

Perfect for: The elegant bride, the one who loves 50’s style

trains

(Left to Right) Via The Huffington Post, Colin Cowie Weddings and Style Me Pretty

The Sweep

The sweep train is the shortest wedding dress train you can get, which extends a maximum of a foot past where the dress “brushes” the floor (what sweep trains are also referred to as). Sweep trains are perfect for no-hassle brides, who want a manageable hemline for their big day.

Perfect for: The minimalist, simple or low-key bride

Shop Azazie: Azazie Fantasia, Jodie, Doreen, Mona, Wenda, Azura

train collage

(Left to Right) Via Watters Brides, Wedding Inspirasi and Watters Brides

The Court

Court trains extend up to three feet past the waist, and tend to be just a little longer than the traditional sweep dress. Court trains are probably the most common style in terms of wedding trains. While they are long enough to be noticeable, and adorned with their own laced or beaded patterns, they won’t require handmaidens following behind.

Perfect for: A bride getting married in a church, garden, or vineyard

Shop Azazie: Azazie Louise, Dale, Dorothy, Effie, Fallon, NicolaIna, Magdalene, Martina

train

(Left to Right) Via Bridal Guide and Azazie

The Chapel

Unlike the court train, the chapel can be up to five feet in length, requiring your trusty bridesmaids to pick up the hem in the back as you walk. For just a little extra length beyond the normal, or to emulate more of the volume of a ballroom gown, the chapel is a good option.  

Perfect for: The princess bride

Shop Azazie: Azazie Farrah, Prima, Ramona, Wynn

trains

(Left to Right) Via AzazieWedding Inspirasi and Dar Sara

The Cathedral

Cathedral length wedding gowns are the most dramatic of the lot, with trains draping up to seven feet beyond the waistline. Amal Alamuddin spotted a cathedral-length train down the aisle in her 2014 wedding to George Clooney, trimmed with Chantilly lace, and proving that you don’t have to be overly traditional or royal to don the look.

Perfect for: The go-big-or-go-home bride, the bride with a taste for dramatic flair

Shop Azazie: Azazie Tracy, Roxanne

trains

(Left to Right) Via Azazie, US Weekly and Elle

Choosing to alter or hem a wedding dress train is always a post-purchase option, but beware as it may also cause further complications. The more complicated the dress, especially if it’s finished with lace, beading, or has multiple layers, the riskier it is to change the train length. Still, it’s probably one of the few chances to wear something as va-va voom as this!

Which train length is your favorite?

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