Do You Need a Train on Your Wedding Gown?

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Wedding dress train

Whenever I think about the most elegant weddings I can imagine, I always picture a stunning white wedding dress with an expansive train attached to it.  A wedding gown train is the part of the skirt that drags on the ground behind the dress.  Generally speaking, the longer the train, the more formal the wedding.  Other than that, the wedding train is not required and serves no purpose other than to embellish the gown’s elegance.

This particular wedding tradition actually goes back hundreds of years – way back to the Middle Ages as a matter of fact.  Back then, it was a sign of affluence and status within the family unit.  The general rule was the longer the train, the higher the status.  This tradition held firm until the middle of the twentieth century, when more modern fashion trends dictated that wedding dresses be devoid of the train.

The decision of whether or not to have a wedding dress train really depends on the degree to which you want the wedding to be formal.  If you plan to have a casual wedding, it’s a good idea to forego the train.  Similarly, if you’re doing a destination or outdoor theme wedding like a beach wedding, then it also makes sense to forego the train.  But if you really want an element of formality at the wedding, then you’ll need to make a decision.

For formal weddings, the train can help the wedding dress stand out from the bridesmaid dresses.  It can also add some sophisticated dramatic elements to the wedding photos, especially the wedding portrait.  If these concepts appeal to you, then you’ll want to incorporate a train.

If you’ve decided to go with a wedding train, your next decisions are to determine the length and style of train.  Again, the longer the train, the more formal the affair, so if you want to retain a little informality you will want to opt for a shorter train.  In terms of the style, there are actually many kinds including the sweep, panel, Watteau, cathedral, and more.  The image at the top of this post shows 4 different styles.   For an excellent guide on the styles, types and lengths of wedding trains, click here.

The bottom line is that wedding dress trains are optional, but if you want a traditional, formal wedding, you probably will want to consider having one.  Just make sure you educate yourself on the length and style that is appropriate for you.  Good luck!

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