Compare Wedding Insurance's Guide to Wedding Shoes
Wedding shoes have been important to the complete bridal ensemble ever since Prince Charming slid the glass slipper onto Sleeping Beauty's delicate foot.
The range of shoes bride-to-be’s can select from include jeweled heels, funky flip-flops, leather boots or even the proverbial glass slippers with kitten heels! With so many glamorous glitzy shoes on the market it is quite a dilemma for a modern bride-to-be to choose the shoes which will grace her feet on her special day!
Here at Compare Wedding Insurance we have put together some pointers to help get you started.
- Choose wedding shoes which complement your dress and also show off your own sense of style
Wedding Shoe Heel Size
- Firstly you need to decide on the heel height. Your options are high stiletto heels, kitten heels, flat pumps or even flip-flops (for a destination beach wedding).
- When selecting a heel height consider what is going to be comfortable for you and what height you are normally comfortable wearing. If you don't normally wear three inch heels, don't wear them on your wedding day. Choose a kitten or slender one or two-inch heel in an attractive style instead so that you will be comfortable. Better yet, how about a lovely court shoe or ballet-style flat that compliments your dress.
- Of course, if you are used to heels, by all means wear them! From a style point of view, high heels really help to define a women’s shape, give her a lift and create a longer more flattering line in her wedding dress.
- Do take your groom’s height into consideration. You don’t want to tower above or cower beneath your groom. Wearing flat shoes might not be an option for a bride who is 5 foot 5 with a groom who is 6 foot 5!
Wedding Shoe Toe Styles
- The next consideration is the toe style of your wedding shoes. For summer weddings or weddings in a warm destination open-toes, peep toes, sandals or strappy wedges displaying your beautifully pedicured feet are the perfect choices.
- Alternatively a pointed, square or rounded closed toe style shoe are always fashionable and are more appropriate for winter weddings, colder climates or possibly inclement weather.
Wedding Dress Length
- Consider the length of your dress when choosing your wedding shoes.
- If you have opted for a tea length or shorter wedding dress remember that, whilst your dress will be sure to garner your guests’ attention, so too will your bridal footwear as your guests eyes will naturally be drawn to your legs and feet as they are more on display.
- If you will be wearing a long wedding dress a closed toe shoe looks far more elegant.
- Whilst features such as ankle straps on shoes can make them much more comfortable to wear, when they are combined with a shorter dress they can tend to make legs look shorter too. If you are determined that you will not wear skyscraper heels on your wedding try a small kitten heel as this will be a lot more flattering with a shorter dress.
Nowadays it's important to make sure that the shoe you choose not only complements the style of gown you are going to wear but is also comfortable.
- Remember to keep comfort in mind
Your wedding gown is going to be the real focus of attention amongst your guests. In many cases, your gown is going to cover most, if not all, of your shoes, so don't choose a shoe just because it is "gorgeous" if you know it is going to be excruciatingly painful by the end of the day. No one wants to see you hobbling down the aisle or being stretchered off before the first dance! Remember that you could be posing for photos, mingling with guests, walking around in and probably dancing in your chosen shoes for a minimum of 5 hours. As you are likely to be on your feet for most of the day comfort should be your priority over looking trendy!
Whilst it is important to strike a balance between comfort and style, you must also choose shoes which are practical too.
- Choose functionality over fashion
- Consider what time of year you are getting married. There is no point in looking at strappy sandals if you are getting married during winter in a location which usually experiences sub-zero temperatures!
- On the other hand if you are getting married in a hot climate it would make perfect sense for you to wear a pair of open-toed sandals or flip-flops which will give your feet a chance to breathe.
- Think about your wedding location. Are you getting married outdoors, on an exotic beach, in a traditional church, a rustic chapel or at a backyard barbeque?
- Consider whether your wedding shoes are compatible with the type of floor surfaces you are going to encounter on your wedding day:
- Will you be walking down an aisle? If so, is it carpeted or hard-floored?
- Will you be walking on grass? If so you should avoid spiky heels which are likely to sink into soft ground! Opt for a flat wedding shoe or if you have your heart set on high heels try a platform shoe, thick block heel or wedge which offer more support than a sleek stiletto heel.
- Will you be walking on gravel or loose stones? If so opt for a closed toe shoe otherwise you might face spending your wedding day picking gravel from in between your toes!
- Will you be walking on a sandy beach? If so a simpler slip on sandal, thong sandal, flip-flop or even bare feet might be more practical for walking through the sand.
- Match fabrics as well as colors
- When choosing the color of your wedding shoes use a swatch of material to match the exact color of your wedding dress. The last thing you want is to choose shoes which completely clash with your dress.
- Next, decide whether you would prefer shoes in exactly the same shade as your dress or would you prefer a complementary shade or color.
- Remember to also take the color of your accessories into account, such as your bouquet, headwear, wedding bag or gloves.
- The type of fabric which your shoes should be made of is usually determined by the style and detailing of your dress.
- Whilst satin and silk wedding shoes are the traditional popular choice with brides, those made from lace, velvet, brocade, leather and suede are also very stylish. Choose a fabric which suits your personal style and complements your wedding dress.
- If you are planning an outdoor wedding you should choose a more durable fabric such as leather or suede as opposed to delicate fabrics such as silk and satin which tend to stain and rip easily.
- Many brides try to get shoes dyed to match their gowns and then are disappointed when they don't match because they have looked only at the price and gone with the cheapest material possible. If you choose a different material than what your gown is made from, the dye, no matter what color you attempt to use, will not "grab" the same, and the light does not reflect in the same manner. Satin, peau-de-soie, silk, brocade and other materials all have different reflective and dye qualities. You must choose shoes out of similar materials to get a good match.
- You might think that the fabric which your shoes are made of is simply an aesthetic consideration but the material can make a huge difference in the comfort of your shoes. Some soft materials such as leather and suede will mould to the shape of your feet whilst satin or other fabric shoes can be stiff without much give in them.
- Add attention-grabbing adornments
- Ensure that any added embellishments on your wedding shoes, such as crystals, rhinestones, beading or embroidery, match the color and style of your dress.
- Don’t over-accessorize when it comes to your wedding shoes. Remember that comfort and style are far more important than sparkles. It is far better to choose simple, elegant shoes which match your dress rather than heavily detailed shoes which might be eye-catching for all the wrong reasons!
- Remember too if your shoes are adorned with jewels and even straps or buckles that they don’t catch on the hem of your dress and snag it. That is why it’s important to try your shoes with your dress when you have it fitted. That way, if necessary, the seam of the dress can be altered or (the worst case scenario) you have advance warning that your shoes are unsuitable for your style of dress and you can choose something which is less likely to catch on your dress.
- Don't assume high price means best fit
With most things in life you do pay for what you get. However paying a high price for good quality materials will not necessarily ensure the best fit for your wedding shoes. The only way to know which shoe fits you best is to try the shoe on. Each brand will run different, and some shoes will fit in one size in one brand and another size in another brand. If you want to dance the night away on your wedding day, be sure to walk around in a few pairs beforehand and check the fit so that you find a pair that not only look great but fits comfortably. You may be surprised to find that some very inexpensive shoes have a fantastic fit.
- Consider looking at shoes that aren't "bridal shoes"
- Sometimes when things are prefixed with the word “wedding” their price doubles. Don’t narrow your search for your wedding shoes solely to wedding shoe stockists. Do some research on the internet for the style of shoe which you prefer and definitely shop around.
- Take a look at “normal” shoe shops. Whether you are looking for a specific color of shoe, an unconventional alternative to the wedding style sandal or simply a traditional ivory satin court shoe, you will be pleasantly surprised at how many shoe shops stock a wide variety of fashionable colors and styles of shoes at reasonable prices.
- If you buy your wedding dress from a shop most will also try and sell you a pair of wedding shoes too. If you don’t like the range they offer, or you think that they are over priced, don’t feel obliged or intimidated to buy any just because they are selling you a dress.
- In saying that, if you are interested in a pair of shoes at the same store where you have bought your dress don’t be afraid of asking if they would consider offering you a discunt for buying both items. Remember if you don’t ask you don’t get!
- If you will be doing a lot of dancing or have planned a special dance routine for your wedding day, look into purchasing shoes from a store specializing in dance shoes. Ballet or ballroom shoes are designed to be extremely comfortable and come in a wide range of styles and colors that are extraordinarily versatile and attractive, with plenty of give and flexibility. Once you try these on, you may find yourself going back to these stores for special event shoes beyond your wedding day.
- Take a look at wedding shoes online. Remember that in the US and UK shoes sizes are standard so don’t be afraid of buying from overseas if you see your dream wedding shoes online.
- Top Tips When Shopping For Wedding Shoes
- Remember that later in the day your feet will have swollen and be slightly larger so this is an ideal time to try on shoes.
- If your feet are prone to swelling you should buy them in a half size bigger otherwise by the end of your wedding day they could be pinching you.
- Whether you have chosen a custom-made dress or an off-the-rack department store dress, always take your shoes along with you when having the dress fitted so that your hemline ends up being the right length.
- To avoid color clashes take a swatch of your wedding dress fabric or at least a comparable color swatch when you go shoe shopping so that you can match up the colors.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to find your perfect wedding shoes. That way you can wear them to dress fittings (so that your hemline is the perfect length), you can wear them in (so that you avoid blisters and sore feet on your wedding day) and most importantly you will have one less thing to worry about in the run up to your wedding!
- Consider buying a shoe style which you can wear again after your wedding - very eco-friendly!
- Weigh up the cost of your shoes against how likely it is that they will be seen. If your shoes are going to be hidden away under a full length wedding dress with just a toe poking out for guests to see think about whether is it really necessary to splurge on designer shoes which blow your wedding budget!
- Pre-Wedding Day Considerations
- Never wear your wedding shoes fresh out of the box! To avoid blisters, aching feet and general discomfort on your wedding day it’s really important that you practice walking in your shoes and get used to wearing them.
- It’s important that your shoes mould to the shape of your feet in time for your wedding day. To break them in before the wedding wear them around your house. A couple of months before the wedding you should try wearing your shoes around the house for a few minutes at a time. Build up gradually for longer periods of time until you can wear them comfortably for 4-5 hours.
- If the soles of your shoes are too smooth you are likely to slip if walking on hard polished or parquet flooring. Prior to your wedding day scuff up the sole so that you have some traction to prevent sliding up the aisle! The best way to do this is:
- Use rough-grit sandpaper to scuff and roughen the sole of your shoes - it will make the surface of them less slippery.
- Take your shoes to a shoe repair shop and ask them to fit either a half sole or rubber grip to the shoe.
- Scratch the bottom of the shoe’s sole to make it less slippery (use a knife or a harsh brush to score it in a cross hatch pattern to rough up the sole).
- An easy alternative is to wear your shoes out on the pavement and scuff up the bottoms yourself (watch out for puddles though!).
- Remember to include plasters in your wedding-day emergency kit just in case your shoes pinch, rub or you suffer the dreaded blisters. Invest in some felt pads too - these can be applied to the ball of the foot where all the pressure will be (particularly with high heels).
- If you have your heart set on a pair of stiletto heels but know that they will be completely impractical once you hit the dance floor, consider buying a second pair of shoes with a lower heel, flats or even flip flops so that you can do a changeover once the dancing starts. Many brides have a second pair of more comfortable wedding shoes as a back-up plan in case they experience aching feet with their wedding shoes later in the day. Just be sure that the “back-up shoes” will suit the style and length of your dress as you do not want it being snagged or dragged along the floor.
Remember, the perfect wedding shoes will strike a balance by being both comfortable and stylish. After all on your wedding day you want your shoes to make you feel beautiful and elegant not squirming in pain!
Whichever type of shoe you choose to go for, don't forget to get a quote for your Wedding Insurance!