Trumpet vs Mermaid Dress - What's the Difference?

Friday, February 10th, 2017 Wedding IDEAS, INSPIRATION AND INSIDER TIPS

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 identical. So why the different names? Is there actually a difference between the two styles?

Although they may look strikingly similar, trumpet and mermaid gowns are actually a bit different from one another. Knowing the differences between the two will ultimately help you narrow down your search for the perfect wedding dress.

What is a Mermaid Dress?

A mermaid wedding dress is characterized by its fitted style, which hugs close to the bride’s body. Unlike A-line or ball gown wedding dresses, this style doesn’t flare out at the waist. Rather, it 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.

Some examples of popular Moonlight Bridal mermaid wedding gowns include Style H1282 (a lace low back wedding dress with sleeves), Style H1319 (a beaded mermaid gown with low back) and Style H1288 (a vintage tiered lace wedding dress).


What is a Trumpet Dress?

A trumpet wedding dress fits similar to a mermaid gown. It hugs the body in all the right places and gradually flares outward.

The key difference between mermaid and trumpet wedding gowns is where the flare begins, which in the case of the trumpet style is mid-thigh. This creates a trumpet-like silhouette and may make it a bit easier for the bride to move around vs a mermaid gown.

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

Like mermaid wedding dresses, trumpet gowns may feature a train of any length, from sweep to cathedral length trains. Some popular Moonlight Bridal trumpet styles include Style H1326 (a tulle and sequin net fabric gown), Style J6366 (romantic bateau wedding dress) and Style J6369 (lace low back wedding dress with pearl straps).


Trumpet or Mermaid Dress: Which is Right for You?

Now that you’re familiar with the differences between mermaid and trumpet wedding dresses, here are some things to keep in mind to make your shopping experience a little more simplified:

  • 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 style, mermaid and trumpet wedding gowns have become more popular in recent years. That being said, they may not work for everyone. Those with hourglass shapes look stunning in mermaid and trumpet wedding gowns, but women with boxy silhouettes may feel more comfortable in something not as constricting. Every woman — 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, wedding dress 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 blog post clears up some of the confusion surrounding mermaid and trumpet wedding dresses. Remember, the best thing you can do is explore and try on both styles to see which one looks best on you.


To get a jumpstart on your quest for the dress, be sure to browse our very own collection of mermaid and trumpet style gowns. Happy hunting!

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