Often, brides will choose their dresses early on in the wedding planning process. This can be a good idea: it means you will have plenty of time for fittings and alterations. When you are talking with your consultant or browsing the internet, you might be asked to make some decisions about your gown, such as what sort of waistline or neckline you would prefer, sleeve options, and whether you want a train.
This last aspect might throw you for a loop. After all, most people’s day-to-day clothing choices don’t include gowns with a train! Luckily, there’s a lot of information out there that can help you decide if you would like to wear a dress with a train, and if so, what style of train you would like.
What Exactly Is A Train?
A train on a gown is a section of material that extends back from the wearer, dragging along the ground. This fabric is typically a part of the skirt of the gown, but you might also see trains that are an extra piece of fabric that attach at the wearer’s waist or from a cape. A train is a beautiful way to add some drama to your wedding day ensemble and give it an extra formal edge. While they are by no means strictly necessary, lots of people love the look of an elegant train trailing down the wedding aisle after the bride and lots of brides feel beautiful wearing a gown with one.
Styles of Trains
The main difference in various styles of trains is length. Sweep trains are the shortest trains and only extend about six inches on the ground. These are a great option if you want a little extra drama but don’t want to be encumbered by your dress and are wearable for outdoor ceremonies.
The most common choice for most brides is a chapel length train which will extend about three feet behind you. This choice is ideal unless your wedding is extremely formal or if you will be getting married outside. Most of the trains offered at Fan C Designs are chapel trains.
If you are having a more formal wedding, a longer cathedral train can be appropriate. Keep in mind that by this point, you are going to need help managing your dress and will have to put your attendants to work! It’s a good idea to talk about this with your maid of honor or other attendants so they know to help you arrange your dress for your trip up the aisle and when you get to the altar.
The most extreme option you’ll hear about are monarch trains. These are rarely worn by most brides but are occasionally used for royal weddings. Princess Diana’s wedding gown had a twenty five foot monarch train! These impressive trains are only appropriate at the most formal weddings and will generally require multiple attendants to manage it.
How Do I Manage The Train?
If you love the idea of a dramatic train, make sure you have your team ready to help you look flawless! Keep in mind that the bride is traditionally the very last person to enter as a part of the wedding processional, meaning your mother and your maid of honor will already be inside before you. If you have a wedding coordinator or a wedding planner, they’ll likely end up being the one to make sure that your dress is flowing smoothly and your veil is straight. If you are not utilizing one, it might be a good idea to ask a close friend to hang back and help you in those final moments; they can sneak up to their seat once you’ve walked down the aisle and the attention followed you up to the front.
What To Know About Bustles
If you have a cumbersome train that would keep you from dancing the night away, you will likely want to bustle your dress for your wedding reception. Essentially, this involves attaching a button or hook that will raise up the hem of your train so you don’t trip on your skirt. Typically, your seamstress will install a bustle for you when you are getting your dress altered and then one of your attendants can help you pin your skirt up between the ceremony and the reception. It’s a good idea to talk to your seamstress about what style of bustle they suggest for your dress because there are different looks that might be appropriate. This is another thing to practice with your maid of honor so they know how to appropriately tuck and pin your skirt up so it still looks elegant.
Interested in the dramatic flair of a train for your big day? Check out Fan C Design’s bridal collection, particularly our selection of chapel trains.