Your Guide to Trumpet Wedding Dresses

Trumpet wedding dresses have a beautiful silhouette. Find out the ways in which you can customize this style and make it your own.

By Emily Forrest

bride in trumpet gown
Photo by Zola

Trumpet wedding dresses are as unique as they come. Although often seen as interchangeable with mermaid wedding dresses, this gown fit has its own flair. The biggest difference is at which point the skirt flares out from the body. A trumpet wedding dress is form-fitting until the bodice hits mid-thigh. At this point, the skirt starts to slightly fan out, similar to the shape of the end of a trumpet. Comparatively, the mermaid wedding dress style doesn’t begin to flare out until the skirt hits below the knee to emulate a mermaid tail.

Though both cuts create beautiful silhouettes, if trumpet wedding dresses are what you’re looking for, it’s best to try them on to see how they fit your frame. Since this type is often categorized together with mermaid wedding gowns, or are identified as fit-and-flare wedding dress styles collectively, keep that in mind as you start your search. The trumpet wedding dress style specifically creates a gorgeous shape that highlights natural curves and adds a dramatic appeal to the dress before even getting into the rest of the dress details.

Other benefits of trumpet wedding dresses are that they’re not as restricted on the legs as a mermaid-style dress may feel. This style also leaves more room throughout the hips and thighs, and it creates an overall figure-flattering effect for any bride.

Not all trumpet gowns have the same type of skirt, though. Some have a slit on the leg, while others have a full, tiered skirt rather than the more subtly flared bottom. There are trumpet wedding dresses with long trains and others that barely skim the floor. When you start with a cut that you find most appealing, it helps to narrow down the choices.

There are several other factors to consider when selecting the perfect gown to wear on your wedding day. These include details such as dress color, features, and embellishments, as well as your overall wedding day look. Each of these options alters the style of the dress to suit your fashion preferences, personality, and wedding setting needs. One thing is for certain though, however you choose to stylize a trumpet wedding dress, the final result will always be stunning.

A Guide to Trumpet Wedding Dresses | Zola Photo Credit // Jenny Orsini Events

Decide on Dress Color

Bridal white is the traditional choice for wedding dresses. It’s always an elegant choice and a signifier of the specialness of getting married. However, there are various shades of white that may better suit you and your chosen aesthetic. Ivory, blush, and color variations that start to blend into soft pinks and peaches have become increasingly popular among brides. Additionally, unconventional brides may go even further by choosing bolder hues such as red, purple, or yellow to walk down the aisle. The evolution of the wedding dress is not confined to one cut or color.

Something to consider when deciding on a dress color is how it will coordinate with your bouquet and bridesmaids’ dresses. A softer shade of a blush-colored wedding dress looks pretty paired with an arrangement of pastel flowers.

Alternatively, classic white, trumpet wedding dresses embody a chic sophistication that make them optimal for a black-tie affair. Your chosen color adds another level of customization for this trademark cut, whether you want to stick with tradition or go unconventional on your wedding day.

Select Your Favorite Features

Another aspect of styling a trumpet gown are the various features that make up the design. Everything from the neckline to the train helps to pull the wedding day look together. For example, a sweetheart neckline is one of the most popular picks for trumpet wedding dresses. It accentuates the soft lines of this wedding dress style.

For more coverage at the top, an illusion neckline is equally beautiful. It has the appeal of a sweetheart neckline with an added semi-sheer fabric, typically made of lace or a semi-sheer fabric, such as organza. Both of these necklines look stunning with a strapless dress option, but also work well with cap or off-the-shoulder sleeves.

In addition to the neckline and the sleeve type, other features to look into are veils, sashes, and pockets. The veil versus no veil decision isn’t an easy one to make—it largely depends on the dress itself.

To Veil or Not to Veil

Then, there is the decision of the veil’s length. Do you want a floor-length veil, fingertip veil, or a veil that hits just at the chin? Will the veil have a lace lining or bead work? Will the veil be held in place by a simple headband or an extravagant tiara? Each of these details makes a difference to the overall appearance that you want for your wedding day.

Some brides choose to forgo the idea of a veil altogether and, instead, substitute in a vintage hairpiece, floral crown, or even a trendy bridal hat. Finally, the addition of a wedding dress sash is yet another feature that changes the style of trumpet wedding dresses. The bodice of trumpet wedding dresses elongate the torso by drawing the eyes downward. However, certain brides prefer a pop of color or sparkle with a belt or sash to better define the natural waist.

It’s clear that the decision doesn’t stop at choosing the cut of a wedding dress when there are as many embellishments and features to choose from, which makes the search for the perfect gown all the more fun.

Consider Your Overall Bridal Look

Finally, think about the overall wedding day look that you want to create. Trumpet wedding dresses are timeless. The shape, while unique, is a silhouette that will always be in style. Consider if you want a casual, beach wedding or a vintage, rustic chic celebration. Maybe you want to keep your wedding day look fresh and modern with minimal embellishments. Starting from the vision of how you want your wedding to look will help determine how you want to pull everything together.

Imagining a seaside celebration calls for a wedding dress made of lightweight fabric, and a strapless gown works well with warmer climates, too. If you plan on wearing flats or sandals with your dress rather than heels that’ll sink in the sand, consider the idea of a high-low trumpet skirt. Alternatively, if you've been dreaming of a vintage atmosphere complete with rustic chic details, choose a dress with lots of lace. Delicate, off-the-shoulder sleeves and t-strap shoes also work well with this type of bridal look.

As a third type of aesthetic, if you want to keep things simple, stick with a luxurious fabric such as crepe or satin. Among many wedding dress fabrics, crepe or satin drape beautifully and can be adorned with buttons on the back zipper to add intricate detailing that doesn’t take away from the drama of the dress. These ideas only cover the tip of the iceberg as you spark inspiration for the wedding day look that you want.

Tips for Shopping for Trumpet Wedding Dresses

Once you have an idea of the color, features, and overall wedding day look that you want to achieve, there are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for trumpet wedding dresses.

Bring the right shoes.

First, take the shoes that you’ll wear for your wedding—or ones that have a heel that’s equal in height. Stilettos help to elevate the streamlined look by giving you added inches. However, if you’re considering the idea of wearing flats, think about the length of the wedding dress train and decide what will be easiest to walk and dance in on your wedding day.

Bring the right loved ones.

Second, take along a friend or family member who will take pictures of you trying on different gowns and make the day more enjoyable. Having the feedback of a trusted person rather than a larger group often makes it easier to figure out what you like versus gauging the opinions of several people at once. Taking pictures helps to see how the dress photographs as you compare it with how it feels while wearing it.

Bring an open mind.

Another tip is to let the shop keeper or wedding gown stylist know your preferences, but remain open to a few dresses slightly outside your comfort zone. Unless there are definite don’ts that you want to avoid, try on the veil or add on a belt to see how it pulls together an entire look. Part of the shopping experience is playing dress up and deciding what works and also what doesn’t. If you’re undecided, wait a few days to review all your selections before honing in on your final choice.

A Guide to Trumpet Wedding Dresses | Zola Photo Credit // Simply K Studios

Finding the Dress of Your Dreams

Trumpet wedding dresses hug natural curves and add a glamorous appeal. The trumpet style offers the best of both worlds of being a fitted gown with flare at the bottom. The ultra-feminine style already makes it a stunning choice, even before the embellishments and accessories that go along with it.

Whether you’re a person who’s always dreamed of their wedding day or someone who is just now starting to uncover the endless options of wedding dresses available, the goal is to make it a fun and memorable experience. Ultimately, there is a cut and color for everyone, with details that make each dress unique. Among the sea of satin, tulle, and lace, you’ll uncover the dress of your dreams.

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