Trumpet vs Mermaid Dress - What's the Difference?



Most wedding dress styles, like A-line, ball gown and column, look distinctly different from one another. But, it’s a whole different story with mermaid and trumpet gowns. At first glance they look almost identical, so why the different names?

Although they may look strikingly similar, the trumpet and mermaid silhouettes are actually a bit different from one another. Knowing what sets these two flare gown styles apart could be helpful in your search for the perfect wedding dress.


A mermaid wedding dress is characterized by its fitted style, which hugs close to the bride’s body. This style flares at or below the knee, creating a mermaid-like “tail” that’s utterly elegant. This “tail” typically features some sort of alluring detail, such as ruffles, lace or beading. It also can feature any length of train. This differs from the A-line or ball gown wedding dress, which flares out at the waist creating more of a full skirt. 


A trumpet wedding dress fits similar to a mermaid gown. It’s form-fitting, highlights a bride’s natural curves, and gradually flares outward.

The key difference between these two is where the flare begins. The trumpet style flare begins at mid-thigh, which is higher up than the mermaid style. This creates a trumpet-like silhouette that’s often considered a bit easier to move around versus the other style.

Another key, though slightly less obvious, difference between the two is the size of the flare. Mermaid wedding dresses have a more dramatic flare, while trumpet style gowns flare out more gradually.

Trumpet gowns can feature a train of any length, from sweep to cathedral trains. 

Mermaid Wedding Gown Examples

Some popular examples of this style include:

Style H1444 - crepe low back gown with a sweetheart neckline and lace detailed train

Style J6780 - sparkly checkered net design that features pearls, glass beads, sequins, and beading 

Style H1466 - statement lace wedding dress with off-the-shoulder sleeves and a cathedral train

Trumpet Wedding Dress Examples

Some popular Moonlight Bridal examples of this silhouette include:

Style H1430 - tulle and 3-D floral lace gown with an illusion back and a dramatic train 

Style J6876 - romantic all lace dress with double beaded bands at the waistline and sexy V-neckline

Style J6796 - glamorous low back wedding dress featuring a deep v-neckline and lace straps

Which is Right for You?

Now that you’re familiar with the similarities and differences, here are some things to keep in mind during your dress shopping experience:

  • Mobility. Mermaid dresses are harder to move around in than trumpet gowns thanks to the flare falling at or below the knee. If you plan on doing a lot of dancing on the big day, you may want to plan your shoes accordingly or even consider wearing a separate dress for the reception.

  • Body type. Thanks to their form-fitting and curve-enhancing design, these styles have become more popular in recent years. That being said, they may not work for everyone. Those with an hourglass shape look stunning in these gowns, but those with boxy silhouettes may feel more comfortable in something not as constricting. Every person — and every dress — is different, so the most important thing you can do is try on a few different styles and see which one works best for you!

  • Terminology. Sometimes designers and boutiques use these two terms interchangeably. Make sure you look closely and try on the dress to make the most accurate assessment of whether it’s a mermaid or trumpet gown.

Next Steps

We hope that this information clears up some of the confusion surrounding these two gown styles. Remember, the best thing you can do is try on both to see which one looks best on you.

To get a jumpstart on your quest for the dress, be sure to browse Moonlight Bridal’s collection of mermaid and trumpet style gowns . Happy hunting!

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02/15/2021 04:0
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