Weddings and shoes: two of my favorite things! But while the idea of wedding shoe shopping (okay, ANY shoe shopping!) makes my heart skip a beat, finding the right shoes can be tricky. There’s more to it than just picking the first pair you see! Considering how much of your wedding day you’ll spend on your feet, the wrong footwear can make a big difference to your comfort and enjoyment. Here are some top tips and a few common mistakes that you’ll want to avoid!
DON’T assume they have to be white. Tradition might call for white satin wedding shoes, but these days, many brides are opting for shoes that express their personal style. That includes bold colors, unique shoe styles or intricate details. Let yourself fall in shoe-love! Pick a pair you will want to wear again, and don’t be afraid to think outside of the white/ivory box. (Hint: They don’t even have to be heels!)
DO buy shoes that match your dress. While you’ll want to wear shoes that feel like you, it’s also important that they match your dress. The best thing is to find your wedding dress before buying your shoes. That way, you can make sure that the style, color and detail are cohesive. Or – consider the opposite. While you don’t want a formal pair that mismatches a formal gown, going to a festive sneaker in a formal dress can be fun if that’s your style. Either match or completely un-match on purpose!
DON’T forget to include shoes in your budget. If you love designer shoes as much as I do, then they can be an expensive extra if you don’t account for them in your budget. Of course, there’s no need to spring for those Manolos or Louboutins if you’re on a tight budget. You can find some gorgeous shoes for less. Even so, you should still allow some room in your budget to find a pair you love and are comfortable in.
DO buy them before your first dress fitting. You’ll need to take your wedding shoes to your first (and all subsequent) dress fittings. That way, your dressmaker can get the exact height of your shoes and adjust the dress length accordingly as the alternations are done.
DON’T choose uncomfortable shoes. No matter how pretty they are, you will live to regret a pair of painful shoes. Think about everything you’ll need to do on your wedding day: walking down the aisle, standing and walking during your photo session, mingling and greeting your guests, dancing. You want to be focused on enjoying every moment, not the pain in your feet! Whether you choose flats or heels, choose something that you feel comfortable wearing for an extended period of time.
DO try them on before you buy them. For this reason, buying shoes online is a big no-no. You should be able to try them on and walk around in them before buying. Feel how comfortable they are, and if you’re able to walk in them without stumbling. Of course, if you’ve already tried a pair on and you know exactly what you want, there’s nothing wrong with buying online, but do some in-person shoe reconnaissance first or prepare to return in mass.
DON’T forget to break them in. Another common mistake brides make is to only put their wedding shoes on, on the day of their wedding. Of course, you want to keep them pristine, but do wear them around the house or the office to break them in a bit. If you’re taking dance lessons, wear them there too. You’ll be able to get comfortable dancing in them and look like a pro for your first dance!
DO pack a second pair. Whatever your choice of wedding shoe, I would recommend purchasing a second pair as well. Even the most ardent heel wearer might find herself in need of a pair of flats to keep dancing in. Whether it’s something with a lower heel, a pair of pretty flats, or some sparkly flip flops, make sure you have a footwear Plan B. Heaven forbid you break a heel!
DON’T skip the pedicure. Whether you’re wearing peep-toes or closed-toe wedding shoes, make sure your tootsies are at their prettiest.
Which pair will you ‘shoes’?
Top image by Elizabeth Messina