We have put together a summary of the different train lengths, starting with the shortest & finishing with the royal extreme!
Image from @giambattistapr/Instagram
Sweep: This train, also called a “brush” train, extends back 45 to 50cm (1.5 feet) from where the gown first hits the floor — a great choice for outdoor brides who want a little glam but not too much drag, or indoor brides who aren’t into over-the-top pomp and circumstance.
Watteau: One of the least common, the Watteau differentiates itself from the other trains as it is attached to the top of your gown, spilling from your shoulders or upper back section of your bodice. Lengths vary from being the same as your gown, or extending out further behind you to the chosen length (the longer the train, the more dramatic the look).
Court: Slightly longer than the sweep, the court train extends almost 1 metre (3 feet) behind the waist. It is considered a bit too long for outdoor weddings though, as can easily get caught up in grass or slow you down if you will be walking across the sand.
Chapel: A popular length for brides who want a more serious train but not a lot of fuss. These extend about 1 to 1.5 metres (3.5 to 4.5 feet) from the waist.
Cathedral: Slightly shorter than the grand dame of train’s, the monarch, but still very formal. This train falls about 2 to 2.25 metres (6.5 to 7.5 feet) from the waist.
Monarch: Also called a “royal” train, the monarch extends a whopping 3 to 3.5 metres (10 to 12 feet) or more from the waist and often requires assistance from a flower girl or page. Some majestic examples? Princess Diana wore a 25-foot train, while in 2011 Kate Middleton’s train was just under 9-feet long.
The general rule is the more formal the gown (and the event itself), the longer the train can become. Keep in mind that you’ll probably want to either bustle up or opt for a detachable train so you can relax at the reception; trains can certainly weigh you down and limit your moves on the dance floor.
The following wedding gown features may also be of interest:
by Alicia Richardson