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Why Do Wedding Dresses Have Trains?

Why Do Wedding Dresses Have Trains?

Wedding gowns are traditionally known to have extra fabric trailing behind them. This extra fabric is called a "train", which can be a part of the skirt, a detachable piece, or worn around the shoulders. Trains are what sets wedding gowns apart from long evening gowns, and they are a staple for most brides.

But what exactly is a wedding dress train? And why do wedding dresses have trains? More than that, is it better to have a train for your wedding dress? Or should you go without it? These are the important questions that we will be answering in this article, so be sure to read until the end!

What Is A Wedding Dress Train?

A wedding dress train is a piece of fabric that is meant to trail behind you while you walk down the aisle. Trains are usually seen in wedding gowns, but they can also be used in evening gowns and some royal outfits.

Just like wedding gowns, there are several types of train styles to choose from. We'll talk more about this later.

Why Do Wedding Dresses Have Trains?

Wedding dress trains have been part of wedding traditions since medieval times. Because they trail behind the bride, they are meant to draw all the attention on her. Traditionally, they also symbolize the wealth of the family; with longer trains representing more wealth.

Generally, wedding dress trains serve no practical function and are instead meant to be embellishments. They make wedding gowns look more dramatic and elegant, which is just what a bride needs to feel special on her big day.

Train or No Train - Which Style Should I Go With For My Wedding Gown?

In these modern times, you can wear almost anything you want to a wedding as long as it is deemed appropriate. That said, you have the freedom to decide whether or not you want to have a train on your wedding dress.

If you don't belong in a culture that sees wedding dress trains as important, then you can forgo the train if you want to. Having no train on your wedding gown can make it easier to move around, which is especially important if you plan to occupy the dance floor with your spouse all night long. Plus, a wedding gown with no train is much more practical for brides with physical disabilities.

Going the no-train route may also be the better option if you are getting married outdoors. If your wedding is going to be in the forest or beach, you definitely don't want your train to get dragged around on the ground. For these types of weddings, our beach wedding dresses are the best choice.

On the other hand, a wedding dress with a train is the best choice if you want your dress to be extra special and dramatic. Or if you simply want to go the traditional route. Either way, it is important to choose a wedding dress train style that is perfect for the occasion.

Styles of Wedding Dress Trains

Here are the different wedding dress train styles that you can choose from:


A sweep train is the shortest train style that is just 6 inches longer than the skirt of the dress. It works best for outdoor and micro weddings because it allows for easy movement. Nevertheless, this style of train adds a substantial amount of sophistication to a wedding dress silhouette.


Similar to sweep trains, court trains add minimal yet noticeable length to your dress. But instead of extending from the hem of the gown, court trains extend from the waist. They look best with a mermaid or trumpet dress, adding length and flair in a subtle way.


Watteau trains are a combination of a veil and a train. They are worn on the shoulders like a cape, creating an unconventional look without committing to a traditional train. Their biggest advantage is that they are detachable, which makes it easy for brides to transition from ceremony to reception.


A chapel train is the most common style among all the wedding dress trains. It can range from 12 to 18 inches long, adding just the right amount of flair to a wedding dress. It's also not too difficult to manage, which is why brides love it so much.

Chapel trains can work on almost any type of wedding dress, but we've found that they work best on A-line dresses.


The semi-cathedral train has a length that falls between chapel and cathedral. It is measured five feet from the waist, which is just the right length to add a noticeable difference without being too extravagant.


The cathedral train style is about 22 inches longer than the skirt of the wedding dress, but it can be longer. It is the best kind of bridal train to have if you're getting married in a grand venue. However, do note that you may have to bustle it to keep it out of the way during the reception.

If you don't want to deal with a 22-inch long train after the ceremony, we highly recommend getting a detachable train.


The royal wedding train is the longest train length of all, spanning over a yard long or even more. This type of train is usually worn by royal brides; Kate Middleton wore a train that was nine feet long, and Princess Diana's wedding dress had a train that was a whopping 25 feet long. Needless to say, royal trains are very lavish, meant to be worn in large venues and huge celebrations.

Since they can be very difficult to manage, some brides have a dedicated team to help them bustle the train out of the way. Despite the hassle, however, this style of the train makes for some out-of-this-world bridal shots.

Can You Get Rid Of A Train On A Wedding Dress?

If you don't want a wedding dress with a train, there are plenty of options for trainless gowns. But what if you've already bought your wedding dress? Or what if the wedding dress you want has a train?

The good news is that you can get rid of a train just as easily as you can make any other modifications to your wedding dress. A bridal train can be snipped off and the rest of the gown can be adjusted to make it look like changes were never made. It all boils down to how good your tailor is, so make sure you choose one that you trust.

Moreover, you can also adjust the length of your train if you don't want to get rid of it completely. If it is too long, a seamstress can simply cut the excess fabric off and redo the seams. Better yet - when you get your wedding dress at Avery Austin, we can remove the train for you! Any wedding dress in our catalog can be made trainless at your request. And if you simply want a shorter train on your dress, we can help with that too. We are capable of adding or removing train length to any wedding dress in 1’ increments.

All things considered, however, it is much more cost-effective to buy a trainless wedding dress in the first place. But if you find yourself changing your mind after buying a dress with a train, you can definitely take it off.

Final Thoughts On Why Wedding Dresses Have Trains

Now you know the answer to the question, why do wedding dresses have trains?

Bridal trains add flair and extravagance to wedding dresses, creating a more regal and sophisticated look for any bride who wears one. If you want to wear a train on your special day, choose from the different styles we've highlighted above to find the perfect wedding gown.

And speaking of perfect wedding gowns, you don't have to look any further to find the dress of your dreams. Here at Avery Austin, we have a wide selection of long train wedding dresses that will make your wedding day even more unforgettable. The best part? You can try wedding dresses at home--entirely risk-free!