Traditional Bridal Dresses

Time-Honored Styles

Traditional bridal dresses are typically the most elaborate of bridal wear. They often include touches of beading, sequins, laces, ribbons, rhinestones and pearls. Traditionally, bridal gowns are made of satin, which is suitable for most seasons and for the formalist of occasions.

Since satin can be a bit sticky in the summer months some brides opt for other fabrics like tulle, organdy, chiffon, silk and cotton. During winter months bridal gowns made with touches of brocade, lace and velvet complement the winter season nicely.

Traditional brides are married in lengthy church ceremonies during the daytime hours, with a formal sit-down reception to follow. According to wedding etiquette the traditional bride usually covers her arms with a long-sleeved bridal gown or a pair gloves. Bridal gloves are typically white or champagne in color and come in a varied lengths, styles and fabrics. Gloves with a removable wedding ring finger have become very popular among brides. Gloves without removable fingers should always be taken off during the ceremony when exchanging rings.

The following wedding gown etiquette applies to brides:

Extremely formal brides carry large, elaborate bouquets and should choose a long, floor-length bridal gown with one of the following trains:

  • Sweep Train - the shortest train, just sweeps the floor
  • Chapel Train - the most popular train, extends 3 to 4-feet behind gown
  • Court Train - extends 1 foot
  • Semi-Cathedral Train - stretches 4 to 6 feet
  • Cathedral Train - extends past 6 to 8 feet
  • Royal Cathedral Train - extends 10 feet or more
  • Watteau Train - this train starts at the shoulder blades and reaches the hemline of the gown (similar to a cape).

Although not considered 'traditional' by wedding etiquette standards, formal evening weddings (held after 6 p.m.) can be extremely formal affairs. Formal evening weddings call for bride's wearing floor-length gowns with shorter trains (such as chapel or sweep trains).

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