Choosing Wedding Gown Train Length: 7 Things to Consider & Guide

How do you choose the right wedding gown train length – what should you consider?  The wrong train will not enhance your body shape, will look inappropriate for the venue or dress or venue or look like a mismatch for your event type.  Let me walk you through the details of the 7 important things that determine the length of wedding gown you should choose.

It’s true that the trains enhance the beauty and elegance of a wedding gown.  Imagine the back (train) of your wedding dress when you’re walking down the aisle? What train length do you see? Read this guide before deciding on the length of train for your wedding gown or you may regret it.  A couple of things go into choosing bridal gown train length. The wrong length of wedding gown train will not enhance your body features, will look inappropriate for your venue and your dress.  In this guide, I’ll share with you the 7 important things to consider when choosing the length of wedding gown train. 

wedding giown train length guide

Photo Credit: @georgeokoroweddings /instagram

Length of Wedding Gown Trains: 7 Things to Consider When Shopping

Most Nigerian women prefer floor-length wedding gowns with long trains at the back.  It is the length of the train part of the dress (back) that makes every wedding gown appear longer.  In short, the train part of the dress adds extra length to a wedding gown, and also transforms the dress to a more formal look (even, simple wedding gowns without trains look more formal when a detachable train is attached).

There are many styles of wedding gown trains in the market. You can have the same style of a wedding dress in versions of short train, medium train and long train.  The setting / formality of a venue, wedding gown style and bride’s body shape are guides to choosing the appropriate bridal gown train. For more on the things that matter when choosing length of your train, use our guide below to help you choose the right length of train for your wedding gown.

1. Consider Your Body Shape When Choosing Train Length

Your body shape can help you determine the best type of train for your wedding gown:

  • If you’re slimmer on top (pear shaped), longer trains will look best on your figure. Shorter trains will highlight your already-bigger-bottom body part, and draw attention to your wide / big hips.  Avoid shorter trains such as the court and sweep/ brush trains.
  • If you have wide shoulders, stay away from Watteau trains, as they will draw attention to your broad shoulders and make them appear wider.
  • Every body shape looks beautiful in Chapel and Cathedral trains.

2. Consider the Style of Wedding Gown Before Choosing Train Length

The shape and style (silhouette) of your wedding gown can help you determine the best type of train to buy:

  • Mermaid wedding gown styles look beautiful with the Sweep train. Note that most mermaid style silhouettes are designed with sweep train.
  • Trumpet wedding gown styles look good with Sweep trains.
  • A-line wedding gowns look great when paired with chapel train
  • A-line gowns look amazing with a cathedral train
  • Ball gown styles look beautiful when matched a cathedral train
  • Ball gown styles look beautiful with sweep trains
  • Column / sheath style wedding gowns look beautiful with a Watteau train.

RELATED: The Best Wedding Gown Style for Your Body Shape

3. Outdoor or Indoor Venue? (Think Before Choosing Train Length)

Some train styles are more convenient for some types of wedding venues.  Some helpful tips below:

  • The sweep train is perfect and most convenient for an outdoor or casual wedding, as it’s the shortest length and so won’t brush or sweep the floor (or get dirty).
  • The Watteau train is suitable for beach weddings, casual weddings, outdoor weddings, backyard weddings, and destination weddings.
  • Detachable trains are suitable for outdoor and destination weddings

4. Long Train? One Wedding Dress or Two?

Here’s something else to consider when choosing the long or extra long wedding gown trains – will your venue be in an outdoor location (garden, field, backyard)?  Will you be wearing the same dress for both the joining ceremony (church/ religious ceremony) and for the reception?  If so, I guess you’ll also be dancing at the reception (don’t all brides?).  Here’s the thing – wedding gowns with long, especially very long trains are not comfortable to move around in or dance in.

  • If you’ll wear same wedding down with long train at your reception:  Consider getting a detachable train, so you can remove the train immediately after the church ceremony. You can go to your reception without the train. 
  • If you’re going for a non-detachable train: Consider buying a second wedding dress for the reception.
  • If you can’t buy 2 dresses and can’t get a dress with detachable train: Choose a a wedding gown with short or moderate length train, or a simple wedding dresses no train – so you can easily move around and dance in your dress.  Also, so that the train part of your gown does not get dirty from your moving around or dancing.

RELATED: Latest Bridesmaid Dress Styles (Pictures)

5. Not Having Bridesmaids or Flower Girls?

Another thing to know is that longer trains require a bridesmaid to hold it behind, when you’re walking. Choose shorter or medium length wedding dress trains if you won’t be having bridesmaids or flower girls, or if you just don’t want anyone hold your dress train behind you.

6. How Formal is Your Dress? Train Lengths for Formal vs Formal Wedding Gowns

Traditionally, brides chose the length of their bridal gown trains based on how formal their event would be or the shape (silhouette) of the gown. The length of the train is used to categorize the formality of a wedding. Hence, wedding gowns with long trains are referred to as formal wedding gowns while those with short trains or none are referred to as informal wedding gowns.  These days, most brides don’t just follow rules, but it’s also good to remember that when choosing which train to buy for your wedding dress.

RELATED: Latest Aso-ebi Styles (Pictures)

7. Formality of the Venue and Train Length: What’s Your Wedding Venue Setting Like – Formal or Informal?

Where you’ll be walking down the aisle will influence the type of train you should buy.  There’s an appropriate length of wedding gown train for every type of venue. While the style of a wedding gown may determine the train style for your dress, it is also important that you also consider what your event venue setting is like before deciding on a train For example, if you’re having a garden-venue wedding, you should not wear a gown that has a long or super long train that would sweep the dust when you move around.

In short: Formal wedding venue setting refers to: religious houses like church.  Longer train styles are the most suitable for this type of locations.  Informal wedding venue setting refers to places like: outdoor venues, gardens, beach, backyard, destination wedding locations.  Shorter train styles are the most suitable for these types of wedding venues. 

RELATED50 Latest Wedding Gown Styles from Nigerian Weddings (Pictures)

What Length of Train? How Will You Walk Down the Aisle?

When you see a bride walking down the aisle, it is the bridal train that makes her look majestic like a princess, because the train flows behind her and sweeps the floor. And if the train is very long, her bridesmaid walks behind her holding the train in place.  Oh, how the train adds elegance to a bride!

You now know the different things that can guide you in choosing the length of your bridal gown – from your figure (shape), to your venue setting, and the style of your bridal gown.  Now, I want you to use this information to wow your guests when you walk down the aisle.

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Hope this guide will help you decide and choose the right length of wedding gown train – for your body, for your wedding gown style, for your venue setting.  Now that you know everything to consider when choosing a train – comment below to tell me what train length are you looking to walk down the aisle?

About Stella Anokam

Stella is the founder and Editor of this blog (NaijaGlamWedding). Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Submit your photos to be featured - it's FREE, because we love everything weddings, bridal showers, engagement shoots.

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