Deciding what wedding shoes you want to buy is relatively simple. You have probably been looking at fancy shoes online long enough to know your favorites.
How to choose wedding shoes that are a fit for your wedding, dress, circumstances, and budget is not quite as simple. Here are some considerations.
7 Tips for How to Choose Wedding Shoes
1. Comfort Counts
Those oh-so-cute heels will make your legs look divine and your feet scream for help if worn all day. No problem. Buy two pair: heels for the ceremony and comfortable flats for the reception and “downtime.”
To avoid blisters and excessive foot pain, work up to wearing your shoes and walking in them for several hours before the big day. Take a look at How to Break in New Shoes.
2. Heel Height and Your Gown
Speaking of heels, don’t forget to wear them with your dress before altering your gown’s length.
Even if you have not finalized your shoe choice, put on a pair of “stand-ins” with the heel height you prefer. Your gown can then be hemmed to the correct length. Plus, the skirt will hang differently over a four-inch versus a two-inch heel.
3. Shoes and the Length of Your Dress
While you may decide on the same shoes, whether you are wearing a waltz- or floor-length dress, do remember they will be seen in a different way depending on the skirt.
If it falls to the floor in front, guests will rarely see the full shoe, but will often glimpse the toe. So you’ll want to consider the look as your foot peeps out from beneath the dress.
If the skirt is short or a high-low style, the full shoe will be on display.
4. Where Will You Be Walking?
Many of us have had the experience of high heels sinking into the dirt or getting stuck between deck boards. Not only can this create an embarrassing situation, but it is also unhealthy for the shoes.
The lesson learned is to think about the texture and condition of the ground where your wedding, reception, and photo sessions will be held. In addition to the previously mentioned predicaments, find out if you will be walking on rocky, damp, sandy, or pebbly terrain and plan accordingly.
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- For a beach or soft-ground wedding consider barefoot sandals. Kimsically makes those pictured above and sells them here.
- Your best solution may be only a matter of buying heel protectors.
- Think about avoiding sandals if you are concerned about pebbles or other small particles getting into your shoes.
- Consider going barefoot for part of the day.
- If you are concerned about the stability of high heels, consider a modern chunky heel like those below from Christina. She sells them here.
5. What Will Happen to the Shoes After your Wedding?
We often think about how our shoes will look at the wedding, but what about after?
They can be stored beside the preserved gown for safekeeping and perhaps to hand down to your daughter or future daughter-in-law. But there are other options as well.
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to choose wedding shoes that can later do “double duty” as evening shoes.
Reselling them is another route you may consider. In this case, you may decide to increase your shoe budget a bit since you’ll be recouping a part of the original cost.
6. What Color Shoes?
Unlike days of old, your shoes do not have to match the dress. Many brides still–and always will–wear white wedding shoes. Silver and other colors, however, are increasingly popular. Shoe color ideas include:
- Wear “something blue” on your feet.
- Coordinate shoe colors with your bridesmaids’ dresses or flower colors.
- Do the unexpected and wear shoes in your favorite color under your gown.
- Go for metallics. Silver and gold both look lovely as a bride walks down the aisle.
- For white or ivory with added elegance, consider lace shoes.
- Sequin or rhinestone and crystal embellishments can also blitz up otherwise traditional shoe styles.
7. Staying Within Budget
I know, you see those fancy Jimmy Choos and other designer wedding shoes on Pinterest and drool. Then you see the cost and cringe. Maybe yikes. Maybe not. An advantage to shopping online versus at local bridal shops or department stores is selection. You can get a designer look without the fancy 500-hundred-plus price tags.
These custom wedding shoes from Ellie, for example, are about half the price of designer shoes. And drop-dead gorgeous.
Whether you can afford either will depend on your budget, of course. Read How to Effectively Manage Your Wedding Budget.