This is not a problem without a solution. There are three things that can be done so that you can dance, run jump and play in such a gown and the options are:
- A bustle arrangement created to hold the gown up at the back
- A wrist strap attached to hold the gown up from one side
- Using one hand to hold the hem off the floor
Options 1 and 2 are the usual, option 3 restricts the bride to a considerable degree but is still workable.
Most dressmakers create a bustle arrangement without asking, it is the normal common thing they do for most gowns because at some part of the wedding day the bride is going to be tripping up over the train, they know this and they cater for it.
The wrist strap is also a workable arrangement but the bustle is normally preferred because it tucks the train up out of the way and does not have to be fussed over once it is done (usually at some time during the reception). The wrist strap gets the train off the floor but it’s then draped on one arm which some brides would find bothersome.
Every now and then I run into trouble with a bride who comes to their dance lesson upset about the gown and tells me the dance will have to be changed so that she does not have to step / walk backwards in the dance because of the train on the gown. When I ask questions it is always revealed that the dressmaker has just told them that they cannot bustle the gown or attach a wrist strap and this is NOT TRUE.
The reason is because the dressmaker does not want to do it – and that is the only reason.
The fact is that if a dress is long enough to drape on the floor then there is enough fabric there to be able to either bustle it or attach a wrist strap – it is simple physics.
If the dress is a fishtail design it might not be able to be bustled, it depends on the height of the start of the fishtail. For example if the fishtail starts around hip or thigh level you will find that it can be bustled but if the fishtail starts at knee level or lower a wrist strap is more likely to be the suitable option.
The main point to understand is that a train on a gown means that you cannot walk or dance backwards safely. You cannot dance a partnered dance without backwards steps, every type of partnered dance has forward and backward steps for both the lady and the man, you cannot dance only forward steps in a dance.
This means that the train on a gown must be pulled up out of the way in one way or another in order to be able to dance in it.
If your dressmaker is trying to tell you that it cannot be done then the only solution is to demand that they find a way, no argument, or else find another dressmaker to do that for you.
You just have to insist on getting what you want.