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Bustle Up, Buttercup: The Wedding Gown Train

There are so very many parts to a wedding dress, and the train can be as big or as little of an impact as you'd like it to be. Whether brides want no fuss no muss trains or grand princess style entrances, here's a quick 411:

(Pictured: Cathedral length train)


No train

Floor length or shorter all around for maximum no fuss.


A little can go a long way with these six to twelve inches of easy elegance.


At two to three feet behind the bride, this is the most popular option; amping up the drama while still being manageable.


Usually hovering at around four feet, this is usually maximum drama for us common folk.


At over four feet long, this is maximum drama fit for royalty (hello Diana and Kate)! Keep in mind however, the more fabric you carry behind you, the heavier your bustle will be!

(Pictured from left to right: Natural, Godet, Watteau)



The most common style of train comes from the waist and is a single vertical seam in a dress.


For a flare of drama without the volume, a triangular or circular panel of fabric is added to the back of the skirt, splitting the middle seam and creating a more pointed train.


The defining trait of this style is where this single panel attaches, either at the shoulders or at the back of the dress, creating an almost cape-like feel.


Once you've walked The Walk and made your grand entrance (and exit), what happens with all that extra fabric? Wedding gowns commonly already come with wrist loops, but the weight of the train is sometimes a drag (literally!), so a bustle is the best option. That is to say, instead of just carrying it around your wrist all night, you'll instead tack it, loop it, and/or button it up to keep it out of the way for dancing. Bustles are a generally unique to the dress and can get pretty intricate depending on the bride's personal style and the size of the train. It's best customized in-person by the tailor of your choice.

If this all seems like too much to worry about, don't sweat it! There are overskirt or detachable options instead, often also with long trains. You can’t beat the versatility of two looks with one dress!

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