The Best Shoes for Brides and Bridesmaids

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Photo Credits: (from top left) Atlas Wedding Photography, Caroline Ghetes Photography, Picture This Photography, (second row), Jennifer Skog, Laurie Bailey Photography, Carlos Andres Varela Photography, (third row), Nicole Hill Gerulat, Kristin Kasperek Photography, Jeff Greenough, (fourth row) Anika London, VUE Photography, Miguel Pola Photographers.

The Best Shoes for Brides and Bridesmaids

It has been said that planning a wedding is a series of endless details that cause both frustration and elation. To be sure, there is one detail your feet don't want you to overlook -- your shoes. Though some say it is more important to think function over fashion when picking your wedding shoes, we recommend you find a happy middle ground. With the myriad of wedding shoe options, that should be easier to execute than your rehearsal dinner seating chart.
For The Bride
The first thing to think about is comfort. Remember that you will be standing on your feet most of the affair. The last thing you want to have to deal with is pain that limits your mobility and enjoyment.
Some experts recommend that all brides have two pairs of shoes -- one formal pair for the ceremony, receiving line, pictures, and arrival at the reception, then another comfortable and more casual pair for the rest of the night. Ballet slipper-type shoes are a popular reception choice for a reception night that will be heavy on dancing and your feet.
Be sure to pick a shoe that complements your dress and your own style. After all, you'll be seeing them in pictures and maybe even video for the rest of your life.
Consider the fabric of your dress. Some say to match silk and satin gowns to satin shoes. Sandals, slippers, pumps, and strap heels are all appropriate footwear on your big day.
Very important -- take your shoes to your fitting so the hem is accurate. Trying the shoe with your actual dress is the only real way to be sure you'll love them. Elaborate dresses do not require elaborate shoes, while more simple dresses are greatly enhanced by ornate shoes.
For The Attendants
Many questions arise when considering shoe options for the attendants. Should their shoes be the same style or just the same color? Should there be different heel heights to even out the bridesmaids? Can each woman pick the type and color of shoe that most suits her taste and style?
All of these questions are for the bride to decide. Take into account where members of your bridal party live. If you can all get together and order shoes on one fun trip, do it. This is more difficult to execute if the attendants are from various corners of the globe. Enough said.
Bridal Shoe Options
On our site, you can view a wide variety of shoes. You will need to decide the following information.
  • Designer -- Choose from a wide variety; mostly based on your budget.
  • Price Range -- We segment it into three groups: less than $50, $50 to $100, and more than $100. If you are having a beach ceremony, barefoot is free.
  • Fabric -- Options include crepe, lace, leather, metallic, ribbed, satin, silk, and velvet. Fabric shoes usually provide a more delicate appearance than leather.
  • Colors -- The most popular colors, according to our informal survey of local bridal shops, are white, neutral, yellow, violet, purple, gray, and black. Remember that white and off-white colors can vary dramatically and be difficult to match. Satin and silk shoes are available in many colors. Don't forget that shoes can also be dyed to match just the right color, and even embellished to get just the right surface texture.
  • Heel Size -- Ranges from 1/4" to 3 1/2". Brides should wear a heel that meets all comfort requirements while maximizing or minimizing their height to complement the groom.
  • Heel Type -- Include Louis, low, Sabrina, stacked, stiletto, and wedge. Again, consider comfort, as well as the style that you are accustomed to walking on.
  • Toe Type -- Choose from open, pointed, rounded, sandal, and square.
For The Groom And Groomsmen
We all know there aren't as many options available for men. According to tux shops polled, over eighty percent of customers chose the basic black lace-up. The challenge is to steer clear of the paper thin, super slippery shoes that some rental stores will push off on you.
If possible, try on the shoes you are renting. Be sure to check out their options and select a comfortable pair so you don't show up two days before the wedding to pick everything up only to find ballet slipper-like tux shoes that don't fit.
Some men will opt to wear their own formal black shoes to avoid the usual $10 rental fee. Just don't show up with a ratty, unpolished pair.
If the wedding party attire strays from the traditional black tux, footwear options increase. A summer wedding with khaki pants and a blazer is a perfect opportunity for white bucks. A 1920s-themed flapper affair allows for a pair of new spats on your feet.
Break Them In
Dancers have a motto, "You break your shoes in, never let your shoe break your feet in." Both the bride and groom should stretch their shoes to insure that a nasty blister doesn't pop up 10 minutes into the ceremony. That should prevent you having to suffer through dancing at the reception, and then using the honeymoon tub for feet soaking rather than… other activities. If you are taking dance lessons, don't be afraid to wear your wedding day shoes. Scuffmarks or other damage can easily be fixed prior to the wedding.
You will certainly appreciate all of these details when you review the proof sheet from your photographer. Happy shoe hunting!

See More: Wedding Style , Bridesmaids , Fashion