Wedding Dress Train Length

Wedding Dress Train Length (Tips + Inspo)

For many brides, the train is the most beautiful part of the wedding dress – it is the feature that elevates a formal gown to a once-in-a-lifetime gown.

Wedding dress from Oscar de la Renta's first bridal collection in 2006

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But how should a bride select her ideal train? Let’s explore the different types of trains and which one would best suit your vision for your special day.

What Are My Train Options?

Generally speaking, there are 4 different lengths of wedding dress trains.

Sweep Wedding Dress Train Length


At about 10 inches, a sweep train is the shortest and simplest of the train options. The sweep train gives you just enough length to trail behind you, but not so much that it will require a bustle.

Chapel Wedding Dress Train Length


A chapel train is approximately 18-24 inches long. Most brides seem to prefer chapel trains because they offer a little bit more romance without becoming completely unmanageable.

Cathedral Wedding Dress Train Length


The cathedral train is a more formal and striking option, measuring up to 7 feet long. Brides who choose a cathedral train can definitely benefit from a bustle.

Monarch Wedding Dress Train Length


Monarch trains are usually reserved for literal royalty and people of similar prestige. A monarch train is the least practical and most dramatic train length, measuring up to 12 feet.

Which Train Is Right for Me?

Where Is the Wedding?

The setting matters when it comes to trains. In most cases, the longer the train, the more formal the dress. While a sweep train would look fine in an antique church with stained glass windows, a cathedral train may look a little bit out of place in a backyard ceremony.

What Is Your Body Type?

Ideally, the length of your train should match your height. More petite brides look stunning in sweep trains and chapel trains, but a cathedral train may make them look short and stubby. Conversely, taller brides will look ethereal in chapel trains and cathedral trains, but may look lanky and awkward in sweep trains.

See also: finding the right wedding dress for your body type.

What Do You Want to Do in Your Gown?

Some brides choose to wear a separate dress for their reception, which makes this question somewhat moot. But if you plan on being a 1-dress bride, you should consider what you want to do at your reception, particularly in terms of dancing.

Virtually every type of train can be bustled (simply ask your alterations seamstress to add one); however, not every bride likes the look of bustles. If bustles aren’t your cup of tea and you’d like a little more mobility for your wedding, it’s best to stick to a sweep train.

Wear What Feels Right

At the end of the day, it’s your dress. No matter what the wedding dress rules say, you should wear whatever makes you feel confident and beautiful on your special day.