Officially (a few pertinent definitions):
- Railroads – a self-propelled, connected group of rolling stock
- A procession of persons, animals, etc. traveling together
- Something that is drawn along; a trailing part
- an elongated part of a skirt or robe trailing behind on the ground
The long part of a wedding gown which trails behind the bride. Although some bride’s gowns have no train at all (they are hemmed evenly across the back and front), many choose to have a longer gown in the back. The length of the train can be anything from a very short additional train all the way to a full royal train (made forever famous in recent memory by Princess Diana). A train only a few inches longer than the rest of the gown, just sweeping the floor, is appropriately named a sweep train. This is a great look for informal weddings.
The chapel train is the next longest, and is incredibly common because although it gives the look of a traditional wedding gown, it is not very heavy and cumbersome compared to longer trains. A chapel train usually extends about four feet from the waistline, and is suitable for basically any wedding.
Next up in size is the semi-cathedral length train, which is longer than a chapel length, but shorter than a full cathedral train, which is generally about 7 and a half feet from the waistline. Because of the length and amount of fabric in a cathedral train, most brides choose to bustle them for dancing (we’ll talk about bustles another time!)
image: Christine Tremoulet
Finally, the longest trains of all are royal trains, or depending on where you see them, monarch trains. Incredibly formal (more formal than most brides prefer nowadays, this train extends 9 feet from the waistline. If your wedding is a black tie affair with live orchestras, and especially if you are getting married in a church or venue with a very long aisle, this might be the train for you. But you may wish to consider an alternate dress for later in the evening, if you choose to dance.
image: Ammar Abd Rabbo