Singaporebrides | Fashion

August 2012

The Wedding Gown Guide – All About Trains

Were your eyes fixed on the nearly 9 feet train as Catherine Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, made her way into Westminster Abbey to the altar instead of focusing on the bride herself? Or, were you green in envy over Princess Diana’s never-ending train when she wed Prince Charles and wished you could have a train like hers? The third and final part of our three-part guide will showcase the different lengths of train for your selection, how to glam up your entrance and their suitability for formal or informal weddings.

Atrain is defined as the length of fabric usually attached to the waistline at the back of the gown. Having a train is optional and very much up to the individual bride, so if you harbor a fear of tripping on your train and falling on your big day, then rest assured: you can choose to have none. Meanwhile, for those of you who have always dreamt of having a train, here are five different train lengths for your consideration.


Unlike the rest of the trains, a Watteau train attaches to the top of the dress and not at the waist. A Watteau train is a single panel that attaches to the shoulders or the upper back of the bodice. Depending on your personal preference, a Watteau can be long, extending down the length of your dress down to the ground, or it can be worn longer, stretched out beyond the hem of your dress. Opt for the latter only if you are in for a more dramatic look.

Although the Watteau train is not as common as others, it is more versatile than the other trains. Depending on how you choose to wear it, it can be paired with a sheath dress for a beach wedding to add a touch of formality to the wedding, or worn as an alternative to the other trains at more formal weddings.



This length of train is called the Brush because it barely skims the ground behind the dress. This is the shortest of the train styles but can be used to add a modest amount of volume at the back of your dress. The brush train is perfect for an informal or a semi-formal wedding (like a spring garden wedding) but its versatility allows for it to be worn at all types of ceremonies. The brush train is best worn with a slim fitting gown, like a sheath or mermaid silhouette.



The most popular train length for wedding dresses, the chapel train stretches approximately 3 ½ to 5 ½ feet from the waist of the gown. An alternative to the cathedral length train, the chapel train is versatile and a hit among brides because it offers enough of a train to make a gown elegant and glamourous without any restriction or awkwardness of movement. The chapel train is excellent for semi-formal or formal weddings and goes well with all types of silhouette.


The cathedral train can be anywhere from 6 ½ to 8 ½ feet from the waist of the gown. The cathedral train is usually the longest length of train seen on wedding dresses. It is drama and splendor itself, so brides aiming for a quiet and informal affair should give this length a miss.

However, if you want to make a dramatic and glamourous entrance, the cathedral train is your thing. This length of train is most often reserved for very formal indoor weddings with opulent settings such as a long aisle for the bride to walk down and showcase her gown. For easier mobility, you should consider making the cathedral train removeable after the ceremony. Alternatively, you may gather the train up using a more complex double layer bustle at the back of the skirt.

Go all the way and accessorise with larger crystal necklace, earrings, a sparkling princess tiara even, and pair your gown with elbow gloves and a cathedral length veil. Who says only princesses can have glamourous weddings?



Do you want your wedding to have an impact on your guests? Do you want your wedding train to be the talk of the town? Then, the royal length train is your thing. Approximately 9 feet long, this train length is for royalty, literally, because even Princess Diana (hers was 25 feet!), and the many royals before her, was required to wear a traditional royal train for her wedding, and for those who wish to add a touch of royalty to their wedding.

You cannot go wrong with this length of train when it comes to extremely formal weddings. Brides who opt for the royal train should also ensure the rest of their ceremony and reception does not pale in comparison, so if you choose the royal train, go all the way with your wedding planning and make it as opulent and grand as the train trailing behind you. If you are planning a semi-formal or an informal wedding, do give this length of train a skip.

While the royal train is grand and great for creating an impression, help is needed to get and keep the train in order. Bear in mind that a train this long only looks great when you are not weighed down by it (or trip on it) and the length of fabric is where it needs to be – elegantly trailing behind you in an orderly manner.

With all these talk of silhouettes, necklines and the length of trains, it’s easy to forget about the other part of your attire: accessorising. Remember, keep your accessories to the minimum and simple if your gown has elaborate patterns and trimmings on it, or add some pizzazz with statement pieces if you have on a simple and classic gown. Accessorise your feet by selecting a pair of heels that works well with your height and length of dress and/or train, and one that you are comfortable walking in – the last thing you want happening is for you to trip on your heels, or totter around awkwardly in it.

And with this guide, we hope you find the gown of your dreams.

Read Part One: The Wedding Gown Guide – What’s Your Silhouette?
Read Part Two: The Wedding Gown Guide – The Scoop on Necklines

Gown illustrations by Jit from Silverlining Bridal Couture

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The Wedding Gown Guide – All About Trains