Picking the Perfect Pair of Wedding Shoes
For any gal with a shoe obsession, picking the perfect pair of wedding shoes can be just as important as her dress! Those brides they’ve been dreaming of the perfect picturesque pair to add to their shoe collection since they were little. For other brides, not so much. For them scoring a solid wedding shoe is as simple as considering comfort, which is key no matter how much you value style. At the end of the day, your wedding shoe has a big role to fulfill. You have to like them, of course, but you also have to want to wear them for a solid 15+ hours (think about that!). Either way, your wedding shoes should be a reflection of you and the perfect match for what’s truly important whether it’s the style, comfort, or price. That said, there are a few things to consider before beginning the search for the perfect pair of wedding shoes.
Even if you’ve stumbled upon the wedding shoes of your dreams wait until you’ve found the wedding dress of your dreams. (Although, if you really love them, you can buy them “just in case”). The reason being is that you want your wedding day shoes to complement your dress in every aspect...the style, the color, the details, etc. The length of your dress matters too. If you have a shorter dress, your shoes can serve as a statement accessory by adding color, glitz and glam, or whatever you feel your ensemble is missing. If your dress is on the longer side, your shoes can serve more of a comfort purpose, and how seamlessly they match may be less important. Another reason to buy your dress first is that you’ll need your shoes at all of your dress fittings. This gives your seamstress, tailor or dressmaker the exact height of your wedding shoes to attain the perfect hemline for a perfectly polished look!
Since it’s unlikely that you will be buying your shoes and dress in a set, maintaining a consistent style, and keeping this in mind while shopping, is important...especially if you want to look your best for the big day. For example, if you’re going for a more vintage or retro look, make sure to match the style of your shoes to the same era. Maintaining consistency in regards to details specific materials and the shape used for the shoe is the perfect way to recall a certain time period or decade.
Make sure you consider where your wedding will be taking place before purchasing your wedding shoes. For example, if your wedding is on the beach, a six-inch stiletto isn’t going to work so well. If you know you’ll be walking on grass a lot throughout the day, again, heels can be tricky as they tend to sink into the ground easily. (We suggest investing in a pair of Sole Mates if that's the case.) Or you could always bring a pair of flats to change into after the ceremony. Also consider the floor you will be walking on. If it’s hard, it might be slippery and so you should consider a sole that has some grip to it. If it’s carpeted, on the other hand, you won’t have that problem.
While you can’t always predict the weather, you will obviously know what time of year it’s going to be. In the summer, an elegant sandal or peep-toe would be fantastic, but not so much in the winter. If you’re planning a winter wedding, you’ll want a closed pair of shoes to keep your toes warm.
We recommend you avoid waiting until the last minute to your wedding shoes. Set aside time to browse the websites of large-scale retailers like Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. This way you can devote your attention to details you like and dislike as well as read the online reviews on fit and comfort left by previous brides. Once you find potential suitors, you can narrow down your search to a select few designers and styles to spend your time trying on in person.
While online websites are an easier way to explore styles and get a feel for what’s available at your local stores, we warn against purchasing a wedding shoe online. This is a pair of shoes that you’ll be standing in for hours, so it is imperative to try out the shoes first and feel how comfortable they are to stand and walk around in before you purchase. sBuying your wedding shoes in person also allows you to check where the hemline of your dress would fall when you wear them to get a better sense of things for the big day.
Chances are you will be wearing your wedding shoes from early in the morning until very late at night. This is why you need to find a pair of wedding shoes that are not only beautiful but comfortable. Don’t worry; the words “beautiful” and “comfortable” can be used in the same sentence to describe wedding shoes. As a matter of fact, a good pair of wedding shoes should always be both! Now when you find yourself looking at shoes for the wedding be really honest with yourself...can you imagine wearing those shoes all day and night while standing, dancing, and walking around? If not, keep looking, no matter how pretty they might be. We always focus on the style, which is of utmost importance, but if your feet are so in pain that you need to get those shoes off in order to enjoy yourself…well, what is the point of having them in the first place? On a day and night when you’ll likely be on your feet twice—if not three to four times—as long as you normally would, you really need comfortable shoes.
The level of comfort of your wedding shoes will depend largely on how they fit. They should not be too small, too tight, or even too big. And since everyone’s feet are different sizes, widths, and shapes, it might take a bit of searching for that perfect pair. Having your feet properly measured is a good idea, especially when picking out a pair of wedding shoes, but to help give you an idea what to look for in a proper fit, consider a few things first. You want to make sure the shoes don’t pinch any part of your foot, from the sides to your toes and heels. They shouldn’t rub the top, tip, or sides either, as this could cause painful blisters. Make sure you have some wiggle room but not too much or keeping them on will not only be a hassle but could cause cramps. Always make sure the arch fits well, too. Lastly, consider width. Some people have wide feet, some narrow and unfortunately for some, they suffer from bunions. For them, shoes that have laces or buckles offer adjustability in width which allows a perfect fit for anyone who suffers from any of the aforementioned issues.
There are a lot of different heel heights to choose from, from ballet flats to six-inch heels. The right size for you will depend on what you’re comfortable wearing, what style you prefer, and where you’ll be wearing them (indoors, outdoors, grass, hardwood, etc.).
Some women can’t walk in heels even if they’re only a couple of inches off the ground, and yet there others who can easily run in skyscraper shoes (I’m picturing Sarah Jessica Parker as Carrie Bradshaw right now). The height that’s right for you will depend on what you’re most comfortable in. If you’re a pro in heels and can spend hours in them, go for it! But if you’re praying you’ll even make it down the aisle without falling, it might be time to be honest with yourself and go for something more practical. Also consider your dress length when choosing shoe height. If your skirt needs the extra height to keep it off the ground, flats may be out of the running. Your first consideration, where comfort in concerned, however should always be heel height. The higher the heel, the more pressure goes on the ball of your foot. Consider a slightly lower heel height or a chunkier heel to take some of the pressure off the balls of your feet and keep you standing and dancing a lot longer.
Dancing is a big part of any wedding reception, so make sure whatever shoes you choose, you can easily move around. In fact, when trying on wedding shoes, try dancing around in them a bit to see if they feel good and won’t be a problem. Also, try to find a shoe that has some, if not a lot, of padding to absorb some of the impact of your feet against the hardwood dance floor. Your knees will thank for you it in the end!
Like all things in life, the cost of anything depends on what you can afford and what fits your budget and lifestyle. In this case, however, it also depends on how important your wedding shoes are to you. Some women see their wedding as the perfect occasion to splurge on something a little more than what they normally would, while others just need something to wear on their feet. Just be honest with yourself about what you can afford and what the cost means to your overall budget. Often price does reflect the quality, but sometimes it doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to check the sale section or sites like eBay, and other online stores for a better price once you found shoes you love on the shelves.
The color you select will obviously depend on the color of your dress and wedding theme. Do you want your shoes to match or do you want them to make a statement? Maybe you want your shoes to be the focal point of your outfit, or perhaps you just want something bold and colorful peeping out from under your hemline. Or maybe you’d rather have white or ivory wedding shoes, in which case you should make sure it matches your dress’s shade of ivory or white. Like any other style decision you make for your big day, your shoe color will depend on what kind of bride you are. For example, if you’re more classic and traditional, you’ll likely be drawn to traditional whites, champagnes, ivories, and nudes, but if you’re slightly less traditional, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Step it up even more and consider metallics like silver, gold, or rose gold, which can enhance the embellishments on your dress or the jewelry you wear. We love metallic shoes because they add a little more glitter and shine to catch the eye. Some brides prefer to add that “something blue” factor in this way and consider anything from pale blue to royal blue as an option. For those who want to be bold with color, there are a number of ways to tie it in. If your bouquet has a color you can match your shoes to it. For example, red shoes go nicely with red roses or yellow strappy sandals match yellow lilies. You can also match your groom. If he has a color for his suit, tux, vest, or tie, you can add that color to your shoes as a way to match your soon to be husband or wife.
Women are usually more concerned with the overall style of their wedding shoes than anything else, but remember, it’s all important! The style of the shoe you choose select should match your dress, the time of year and the overall style of your wedding. It should also match your own individual personality and sense of fashion. If you’re really into bold patterns and colors, choosing a fun, quirky wedding shoe is the perfect way to add some pop to your look. But if you prefer neutral colors and simple designs, feel free to keep your shoes simple, too.
While it’s ideal to find your dress before buying your wedding shoe, you should be considering them around the same time...not just because you need to figure out how to match, but because you will need the shoes for dress fittings and alterations. How high your heel is and how much of the shoe you want to show will be important information for the seamstress, tailor or dressmaker so that they can make the appropriate adjustments to the length on your dress. If you start your search for the perfect shoe early enough you will also have options to customize to your hem length to your liking.
Try even after you buy
As long as your shoes are returnable, try them on at home (preferably indoors on a clean, carpeted surface). Keeping them on for at least an hour while standing and walking around. If you are not able to stay standing on your feet with them for at least an hour, they are not a good option for you. They will not be comfortable during your whole wedding ceremony, photography sessions, and reception. It's best to return them and keep looking.
After the wedding
Some women want wedding shoes they can wear time and time again long after the sound of wedding bells have faded. Others know they’ll only be wearing them once, and plan to preserve them along with their dress. Ask yourself which one you are before you begin your search. Because if you want shoes you can wear more than once, that might influence your decision to buy something more simple and practical.
Every shoe featured can be found at Charlotte Mills.
All Charlotte Mills shoes are embossed with a traditional bridal phrase and accented with a silver sixpence for your something old.Their lovely boxes are something blue and your adorable shoes, something new!