Updated: Mar 12, 2019
You know me – I can talk all day about wedding dresses, or any dresses, in fact. Fashion is my passion. But the next best topic for me has to be shoes. I am a total shoe ADDICT, a long-standing love affair I have been having since I was a little girl. I used to dress up in my Nana’s shoes, and she had a love for a good pair of heels, so that’s where I got it from… In fact it was Nana who bought me my first pairs of heels – a white patent pair, with a bow detail and a teeny tiny heel. She bought them from a children’s shoe boutique called Tiny Toes and I remember that they cost a fortune, but I had gone on and on about these shoes forever and she eventually gave in and bought them for me. From that day forward I was smitten – even those shoes made me feel, pretty, feminine, and gave me that feeling of confidence that only a good pair of heels can give me, even to this day
When I was planning my wedding, shoes were pretty high on the list of priorities. And also on my Pinterest account – the boards were full of pretty shoe pins. Me being me, I just knew that I wouldn’t settle for one pair, and I actually ended up with three, although I still wear all of them five years on. Honest!
For my first gown (yes, I had more than one – can you see a pattern emerging here?!), I chose two pairs. I went for a pretty but practical pair with a lower heel from Rachel Simpson, but also teamed my day look with a killer pair of Freya Rose heels. For my evening gown I chose Jimmy Choo – a girl has got to have her ‘say I do in Jimmy Choo’ moment, don’t you know?! It’s safe to say I absolutely adored all three pairs, and as I said, I still wear them today.
Even over the last five years since I was a bride, the choice of bridal shoes has grown and grown to the point where the choice is mind-blowing. Every day I find myself finding another pair to save to my Pinterest, or I find a pair to like on Instagram. I am so lucky to have the best there is out there at my fingertips, and I have styles so many shoots with the most beautiful of shoes to choose from.
Here’s my quick guide to choosing your perfect wedding shoes to complement your wedding dress and the bridal style that best suits your personality.
Heel height is always a hot topic with the thousands of brides I have met and worked with. Go high but risk the pinch? Go low and play it safe? Well, go with whatever you are comfortable with. I am very familiar with wearing and walking in heels, but for others they choose their wedding day to debut a heel height far higher than they are used to, and of course this will invariably leave you with sore feet within 20 minutes of standing up in them for the first time. There is no shame in going for some pretty flats or a small heel.
Pick a heel with a concealed platform because that can give you extra comfort and support, without you having to compromise on style. This especially applies if you only ever wear flats normally… However, what I would say is that a heel of any size will give you a better posture than none at all, and the fall and line of your dress will look better as a result. Don’t forget to take your chosen shoes with you to every fitting! That said, many reputable boutiques also sell a selection of shoes and accessories, so it may be that you can try and buy all together at the same time, to get an idea of the finished look.
Once you have your shoes, it’s a good idea to wear them round the house so that you can get used to them. Some people like to buff the bottom of the soles up a bit to stop them from being slippery on a church floor, for example, and you might want to wear them with some pop socks, just to help with the moulding onto your feet. If you choose designer shoes, they will come with a plastic sticky sheet protecting the sole. Keep this on until the big day so that your photographer can take a nice image of the soles of your investment shoes.
If you’re a bride who likes to make a bit of a statement or loves a pop of colour, why not choose shoes in your favourite shade? Wedding shoes absolutely do not have to be ivory – they can be any colour you want them to be. My personal favourite is a lovely soft powder or cornflower blue, and this can also be your ‘something blue’. And of course I adore a pink shoe pepping out from under a wedding dress. Or my other love a gorgeous leopard print heel for that extra bit of sass. A new trend that I have seen grow over the last few years is the bridal bootie, I am all over this trend. That’s All the Pretty right there! Don’t hold back – go bold with a cobalt blue like Carrie Bradshaw did, or a hot pink… Whatever your style is, express it through your shoes and let them do the talking!
Something to keep in mind when it comes to heavily embellished shoes with diamanté and rhinestones is to make sure that they are not going to get attached to your beautiful gown. I have seen this happen a few times, and it can not only ruin the hemline of your dress, but also ruin the shoes if you are pulling stones off. It will also distract and irritate you.
Another handy tip is always to carry an emergency spare pair of shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty. Even the driest of days can bring the dewiest of lawns… Photographers love to take photographs of the bride and groom on little adventures throughout the day, and in pursuit of the perfect shot can lead you up (and beyond) the garden path – quite literally! If your shoes are an investment item you want to wear again and again like I do, then make sure you have a back up with you, too.
Finally, it’s only right that if you have amazing shoes then you need an equally fabulous bag, right? It’s something that so many brides forget about, and it’s a key piece of your style and practicality for the day. Make it just big enough for all the essentials, and pretty enough to complement your dress.
Love CB xx