Your perfect wedding shoes are one of your most important (and overlooked )wedding accessories. They not only complement your dress but are also the largest single reason for bride comfort or discomfort throughout the wedding day. Read on for tips of all you need to know about selecting your perfect wedding shoes.
Even before the dress, most brides have an idea of the type of footwear they want to wear on their wedding day. It may be sexy stilettos, their favorite country boots, a pair of glittery sneakers or anything in between.
It is fantastic to have an idea of what you want but remember your wedding dress and shoes combine to create your complete wedding look. You want to blend them in beauty and practicality. To get the look you want, buy your dress first.
Why buy your dress first?
Things You Need to Know Before Wedding Shoe Shopping
- Consider if your shoes will be visible under your dress or hidden. If they are hidden, you can place more emphasis on the comfort than the beauty of the shoe.
- Think about how well your wedding dress style works with the type of shoe you are thinking about.
Some shoe styles will accent the dress while others may detract from it.
- If you have a shorter dress, or one that is short in the front, your shoes can accessorize your dress by adding color, glamour, and sparkle to your look. Or they can overpower the dress if you choose the wrong style.
- Some dresses look incredible with boots, others with shoes; some vintage and others a modern sleek look. And the new trend of wearing sparkling sneakers is a statement all its own.
The important thing to consider is that when you pick your dress first, you can try shoes on with the dress and assess the total look. And it is much easier to match shoes to the perfect dress than find a dress to match perfect shoes.
What it all comes down to is that you really need to know what dress you will be wearing before you can pick the perfect shoes.
The first thought of most brides is that wedding shoes must be heels. Fortunately, this is no longer true.
As you think about your wedding shoes, consider what you are comfortable wearing and if you regularly wear high heels. If you are unaccustomed to higher heels, you may want to consider other shoe options. While your dream wedding shoe may be a five-inch stiletto, you are may not be prepared to gracefully walk in higher heels, and your overall wedding look will suffer. Better to have comfortable, sturdier shoes that are easy to walk in than be carried away with trendy shoes that do not reflect the real you. Your guests will not remember your wedding shoes, anyway, but the memory of you stumbling down the aisle will last a lifetime. Choose wisely.
Wedding Shoes Tip 3 – Think About Your Venue and Climate
Consider your wedding venue and the climate – both ceremony and reception – before picking your wedding shoes.
Complete a walk-thorough of both venues thinking specifically about your shoes. Are there any difficult areas you will have to navigate? Remember you will be wearing a long dress, and carrying a bouquet, so your balance may not what you are accustomed to.
You must give special thought to your shoe selection if you are planning an outside wedding.
Will you be walking on rough terrain, through sand at a beach or on grassy surfaces where heels can easily sink and make walking difficult? Are there steps to traverse, a long distance to walk or other obstacles to your comfort?
Even if your wedding is inside, consider the areas where you will be walking between home, the ceremony, and the reception. If it is less than ideal for walking, consider having a pair of slip on shoes to wear during transportation and changing into your wedding shoes when you arrive. (Just check twice that your wedding shoes are packed.)
As far as the weather, you can’t plan for rain or sun, however, you can predict basic temperatures and chances of rain by looking at average weather for your location. Consider shoes wisely. For example, open toed shoes or strap sandals in the north in the winter months are just not practical. Not only will you get cold feet, but your guests will be wondering what you were thinking.
If you are a bride who absolutely loves heels and an outdoor wedding. Do not despair. These awesome heel savers from Solemates make it easy to walk on all types of surfaces without worry. For our son’s wedding we bought multiple pairs and gave them to the bride, female attendants and the Mother of the Bride at the reception. (Of course I have them for my own shoes too. Everyone was so relieved the next day when it had rained overnight and they were not affected by the soggy ground. Check them out, you’ll love them.
Your goal is to look graceful when walking down the aisle and throughout your wedding day, and your shoes are the key to success.
Wedding Shoes Tip 4 – Add a Touch of Color
The wedding stereotype that brides must wear white is a thing of the past (thank goodness). Even if you are the traditional bride who wants a white or ivory dress, your shoes are the perfect opportunity to add a splash of unexpected color to your wedding look.
If you are staying with neutral tones, consider metallic in gold, silver, or rose gold that enhance the embellishments on your dress, veil, or wedding jewelry. You’ll add an elegant touch of glitter that will catch the eye of your guests.
with blue heels or soles.
Many bridal shoes now come with blue soles, but you can add your own favorite shade of blue with careful application of blue nail polish and a couple of layers of overcoat. What an awesome way to create a designer look without paying designer prices. (If you really want to personalize, write a message or your new name on the soles with indelible ink before applying the topcoat. Just a hint of wedding magic, my dear.
More Options to Consider
Other options include matching your shoes to your wedding colors or just going all out and wearing glittery ruby red shoes to create a fairytale look. The magic worked for Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and can work for you too.
How about matching your shoes to the flowers in your bouquet, to your groom’s tie or vest, or a favorite color of a loved one who is no longer with you for your wedding day?
A bride at one of my weddings had a red and white themed wedding. She wore bright purple wedding shoes in honor of her departed Mom who loved purple. The couple added a note in the program to draw attention the bride’s shoes and their significance. Joyful memories of her mom filled guests’ hearts when they saw the bride’s shoes.
Cowgirl Boots and Sneakers
We are also seeing brides wearing fancy new cowgirl boots in all colors (and some not so new, but that discussion is best left for another time) with their wedding dress. While not for everyone, if you are having a rustic or country wedding this may be just the option for you. Just be warned if you don’t wear boots regularly. Not all cowgirl boots are comfortable until they are thoroughly broken in. (That’s the voice of pain and experience talking.)
While not for the traditional bride, this option can add glitz, glam, and fun to your bridal look in wedding white or your color of choice. Oh, and did we mention comfort? There are few wedding shoes that can beat sneakers when it comes to comfort. I have been pleasantly surprised by the beauty of some of the wedding sneakers I have seen. I love these personalized wedding sneakers from Converse. Even more importantly, I have never seen a bride rubbing her feet in agony when she is wearing sneaks.
Wedding Shoes Tip 5 – Select a Consistent Style
No matter what your look, vintage retro, modern, elegant, country or just plain you, make sure your shoes match the era of your wedding dress. Think about the materials, details, and shape of shoes that complement your dress. With the exception of funky sneakers, noting distracts more from your wedding look than a mismatch of styles. ( I except sneakers, because they are wedding statement all their own.) Otherwise, it is just plain confusing to your guests. They may not know what looks off to them, they just know what they are seeing does not work together. Envision vintage shoes with a mermaid dress and you will quickly see what we mean.
So, there you have it Part 1 of our series on Wedding Shoes. In Part 2 we will delve into when to buy, and share more about comfort with style. There is also a bonus tip for wearing high heels and being comfortable that is going viral on Pinterest. We included it in case you have not seen it. You’re gonna love it for both wedding and every day wear. I’m even wearing heels again.
In Part 3, we’ll share a formula you can use to calculate the perfect heel height for your personal comfort. (Don’t worry, it is easy, and it really works for me.)
There is also a section on how to know if your wedding shoes will hurt your heels. You must read it before buying your shoes.
Thanks to all the brides who read our unique (and sometime quirky) ideas.
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