How Long Can a Wedding Dress Train be For a Church Wedding?


For a dramatic wedding ceremony entrance, nothing is as fairy tale-like as a wedding dress with a spectacular train. But what length should you choose? Our wedding etiquette experts are here to answer your questions in our daily post.

I'm getting married in a church and want to wear a gown with a train. How long is too long?

A long, elegant train will certainly add a touch of drama to your grand entrance. The general rule is the more formal the gown and the wedding, 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. Below are explanations of the different train lengths (listed from shortest to longest)—choose the style that works best for you and the formality of your wedding.

Sweep: A small swish of a train that trails about six inches on the floor. This style (sometimes also called a "brush" train) is a good choice for outdoor brides who want a touch of glamour without too much fabric dragging on the ground, or indoor brides who prefer something more simple and low-key.

Chapel: A train that extends 12 to 18 inches along the floor and is slightly longer than the sweep. This is the most common style—it's great for brides who want a more serious train without a lot of fuss. The overall look is elegant without being too heavy.

Cathedral: This train extends 22 or more inches along the floor and gives the dress a much more formal look. Cathedral-style gowns usually have a removable train or bustling option.

Semi-Cathedral: A train that is halfway between chapel and cathedral length.

Royal or Monarch: A train that extends a yard or more on the floor. It's the most dramatic option and often requires assistance from a flower girl. Princess Diana wore a 25-foot train, while Kate Middleton's train was just under nine-feet long.

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