Hem Length, Trains & Bustles
Many brides love the look of a glamorous hem train on their wedding dress. This overview provides information about the length of our formal dresses and the train lengths featured on the styles we sell. Also included is information about which type of bustle works best for the three most popular dress train styles worn by brides today, the sweep train, chapel train, and cathedral train.
A sweep train extends about 1-2 feet from the waist of the gown. This style is perfect for an informal wedding such as a beach or garden wedding.
Sweep trains are also seen on many Graduation-Prom and Formal dresses. The sweep train adds a glamorous finish to a floor length gown without looking overdone. A dress with a sweep train is also a perfect choice for second time brides who want a less formal but still glamorous looking wedding dress.
A bustle is not necessary for a sweep train unless you plan to do a lot of dancing. If you decide to bustle a sweep train, it can be usually be done with a single tie or point, depending on the weight of the fabric and the amount of fabric used in the train.
The chapel train extends approximately 3-1/2 to 5-1/2 feet from the waist of the gown. This is the most popular train length for wedding dresses. The chapel train is versatile in that it is offers enough of a train to make the bridal gown look elegant and very glamorous, yet doesn't make the dress awkward to move around in. A chapel train can either be bustled under the gown with a French bustle, or it can be bustled to the outside with little hooks or buttons at several points.
For gowns that have some pleats or details on the back to cover the buttons or points used for the bustle, an outside bustle style will work fine. If the gown does not have details in the back, then a French bustle (underbustle) is a better choice.
Some brides want to have a loop at the end of the train that they can put over their wrist during the reception. Although this is a glamorous look, it's not very practical if the bride wants to move around during the wedding reception.
The cathedral train usually extends anywhere from 6-1/2 to 8-1/2 feet from the waist of the gown. This ultra-glamorous style train is most often reserved for very formal indoor weddings and an opulent setting where a long aisle is available for the bride to walk down and showcase her gown. A cathedral length train is generally the longest length of train seen on wedding dresses in bridal shops. Cathedral length trains evoke drama and splendor. Carefully chosen accessories are needed to balance the overall look of the bridal outfit for this style of dress. A bride should choose acessories that match the grandness of a cathedral train gown, such as a larger crystal necklace, earrings, a cathedral length veil, elbow gloves, and a sparkling princess tiara.
If the cathedral train is not removeable for after the ceremony, then it will require a more complex double layer bustle which the bridal attendants will need to learn how to manage. One way to make it easier for the bridal attendants to match up the bustle ties is to detail them with different color bows, shaped crystals, or pearl clusters. Choose embellishments that match the details on the wedding dress or the bride's accessories.
The Length of Our Formal Gowns
Most of the full length dresses sold by Paradise Style Group are a standard 59 to 60 inches in length.
The term "hollow to hem" is often used when referring to the length of formal gowns. It refers to the length of a dress from the hollow at the base of your neck to the hem of the dress.
The length of your gown is also affected by the fullness of the slip you will be wearing beneath the skirt. You will also need to choose a shoe heel height that works with the dress length as well as your height.