Everything You Need to Know About Walking Around in a Wedding Dress with a Train

Prevent trips and spills with our helpful tips.

bridesmaids walking with bride carrying her dress
Photo: Abby Jiu Photography

At one point in time, virtually every wedding dress style had a long, flowing train that would follow the bride as she walked down the aisle. These days, many women of the hour are opting for shorter trains (or foregoing them all together for higher or more form-fitting cuts). If you're leaning towards the more traditional look of a train, you'll need to know the best way to navigate around your ceremony and reception while trailing all that extra fabric behind you. After all, the last thing you want to do is take a spill (or have something spilled on you) on your big day.

Practice, Practice, Practice

If you want the drama of a flowing train at your wedding—but don't want the drama of you or your guests tripping over it—you should practice walking around in your garment. Be sure to take these trial runs in the shoes you plan on wearing on the big day, so you can accurately acclimate to having extra fabric in the back. This will also help you develop a feel for how much space your train takes up, so that you'll be more aware of your surroundings as you navigate both people and obstacles on your big day.

Take Care While Mingling

Trains typically aren't problematic while you walk forward, so heading down the aisle or entering your reception for the first time should be smooth sailing. However, if you plan on walking around your party with your train loose, José Rolón, the owner of José Rolón Events, notes that you will have to be very mindful. "Guests can accidentally step or trip on your train and you could step and trip while walking or dancing," he says, adding that a short-term solution is to add a wrist handle to the bottom of your dress. It will mitigate some of the risk for trips and spills until you're ready to bustle your gown.

Bustle as Soon as Possible

Your seamstress will most likely add either an American- or French-style bustle to the back of your train. Both options will lift up the back of your gown, explains Christine Haines Greenberg, the owner of Urban Set Bride. "The American-style involves buttons or books on the outside of the gown; they lift the bulk of the train up and allow it to drape behind you," she says. "A small amount of the train may still puddle, but it makes it much more manageable for the reception." As for the French-style bustle? In this case, much of the train is held up by a series of strings that are installed under your gown. "A trusted friend, family member, or your wedding planner will hoist your skirt up and tie the strings together," Greenberg says (this gives you that Belle from Beauty and the Beast look, she says). No matter what way you decide to bustle your garment, both our experts agree that it's safer for both you and your guest to ditch the train as soon as the Champagne begins to flow.

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