According to Marilyn Monroe, the right shoes can change your life. We wholeheartedly agree—which is why choosing your perfect wedding shoes is so important. Dare we say just as important as picking the dress? After all, no outfit is complete without the right shoes. Even if you skip the accessories, makeup, and done-up hair, you’re still going to need something on your feet for the big day.
Much like the dress, you’ll be in your shoes for hours. Even if you take them off to light up the dance floor, you still have to make it through the ceremony, pictures, and some of the reception. And chances are, you’ve never spent that long in a pair of shoes before. Maybe at a work conference, or prom many years ago—but it doesn’t happen often. Choosing the right pair of (comfortable!) wedding shoes will make your special day more enjoyable.
Before you start browsing the web or scouring local boutiques, set your budget. The average cost for wedding shoes is $175, but can go as high as $900 if you want a designer brand. Just like the dress, venue, and overall wedding—know how much you’re willing to pay for wedding shoes. This will help narrow down your search before you start. Then, let the shopping begin!
…buy your dress first
Your wedding dress determines a lot of your wedding details—from your hairstyle to bouquet, and, yes, even your wedding shoes. A pair of simple ballet flats wouldn’t complement a mermaid cut with lots of beading. Similarly, flashy glitter booties aren’t the right fit for a backless slip dress. Once you have your dress, you can begin the hunt for the right shoes. Just don’t forget to bring them to your first fitting! The height of your heel controls how much the tailor will need to hem.
…break them in
Even if you buy your wedding shoes in plenty of time, don’t wait until the big day to wear them. Break them in as soon as you get them, to make sure they’re really The One. Wear them around your house for at least an hour, standing as often as possible. If you end up with blisters on your feet, or can’t stand for more than a few minutes, you may want to reconsider your purchase. Even if you plan on taking them off the second your feet hit the dance floor, you still have to make it through the ceremony, cocktail hour, and photo sessions.
…check the weather
Is it going to rain or snow? If so, you’ll want to avoid suede wedding shoes—they will likely be stained before you reach the venue. Similarly, if the forecast calls for sunny skies, country boots might be too warm to wear. If you have your heart set on a specific style that isn’t weather-permitting, task a bridesmaid to bring them in a waterproof box. That way, you can wear durable shoes to the venue, and change once you get there.
With more and more stores pushing online shopping, it’s challenging to make an in-store purchase. But that shouldn’t discourage you from trying. Shopping in person saves you the time and cost of shipping (and possibly returning!) pair after pair of wedding shoes. Plus, you’ll be able to test the comfort of multiple pairs of shoes at a time. The only exception to the online rule is color—try the style on in-store, even if it’s the wrong color. Then, you can order the wedding shoes from the store, confident in your decision.
Even the most comfortable shoes can’t be worn all day. And by the end of your wedding—after the ceremony, the pictures, and the dancing—you won’t want to put your super cute heels or booties back on. Bring a backup pair of sneakers or sandals to head home (or to the hotel!) in. Grab the old faithful from your closet, or use this as an excuse to get another pair of shoes! You can even incorporate the “something blue” adage with your second pair.
…wait ’til the last minute
Have you ever worn uncomfortable shoes to a work all day? By noon, all you can think about is getting home to take them off. Don’t risk that on your wedding day! Buying your wedding shoes early on means you can find the perfect pair, and break them in, too. (Plus, making last-minute decisions adds unnecessary stress to your big day!)
There’s no denying it—your wedding shoes are crucial to your special day. Even if you’re the only one who sees them, the right shoes boost your confidence and tie your ensemble together. Following these do’s and dont’s will help you pick the perfect pair—that your feet won’t regret by the end of the night.
What type of wedding shoes are you shopping for? How did you choose them?