What’s the big deal about choosing wedding shoes?

I had no idea that finding wedding shoes was such a complicated affair. I was foolishly under the impression that you spent hours labouring to find the perfect dress and then popped down to a shoe store to buy the first pair of white shoes that caught your eye. Apparently this is a mistake that a lot of brides-to-be make, and they end up in a flat panic when they find that shoe stores don’t really keep stock of white shoes, or that the white shoes they do have are hopelessly inappropriate for a wedding. So, what is a girl to do?

First things first, your wedding shoes need to complement your wedding dress. Unfortunately, experts are divided as to what exactly this means. Some say that your shoes need to be the exact colour of your dress. To achieve this, you need to walk around shoe shops with a swatch of fabric until you find a perfect match. Alternatively, you could buy a comfortable pair of shoes in the style that you like and have them dyed or covered to match your dress.

Traditional white wedding shoes

Traditional white wedding shoes

Others believe that if your wedding dress is simple, your shoes should be embellished, and if your dress is embellished your shoes should be simple. If, however, you decide to add detail to both your dress and shoes, you need to ensure that they are well coordinated. For instance, if you’re wearing a dress with sequins or jewels you could add crystals to your shoes, a dress with pearls can be matched with shoes with beads, and a lacy dress can be complemented with lacy shoes. Your choice of fabric is also important. Satin shoes work best with shiny fabrics. Matte dresses work well with crepe shoes.

Another school of thought, albeit a minority, subscribes to the notion that your shoes should contrast with your dress, but that they should do so tastefully. Gold or silver shoes make a nice difference to the traditional white or cream, but it’s not unheard of for brides to wear powder blue shoes, pink shoes and even red shoes. I’m pretty sure my hairdresser got married in green shoes, but I couldn’t swear to it.

Wedding shoes?

Wedding shoes?

When it comes to buying wedding shoes, there are a few things that all experts agree on:

· Buy them early, don’t leave it til the last minute. This is important for several reasons: you need to have your dress altered to suit the height of your shoes, you will need time to break them in so that you don’t end up with painful blisters on your wedding day, and you need to practice doing all the things that you will need to do on your wedding day, such as climbing stairs, dancing, walking, standing for long periods of time, and depending on how late you are for the service, running.

· Choose shoes that are comfortable. Obviously you want to look beautiful, poised and elegant on your wedding day, but it’s very difficult to carry all that off while your shoes are pinching your toes or you’re wobbling on heels that are too high or trying to hide the fact that the balls of your feet are sore and bruised. In much the same way that some brides have opted for coloured shoes, others have opted for plain white tennis shoes. But if this is too casual for you, you could always try wedges, flat ballet slippers or boots.

· Shop for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are a little bit bigger than they are in the morning. This will ensure that shoes that fit in the morning don’t pinch at night. When shopping for your wedding shoes you also need to consider what type of hosiery, if any, you’ll be wearing with your shoes on your wedding day. If you’re going to wear stockings, wear stockings while trying on shoes.

I’ve saved the best advice for last: choose shoes that you are comfortable with and that make you happy. Your wedding shoes should suit your style and no one else’s. If that means you want to get married in knee-high purple boots; then go for it, it’s your day after all.

Purple boots

Purple boots

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