Ask a Professional Bridesmaid: If I'm a Bridesmaid, Do I Have to Wear Heels?

Bridesmaids, Etiquette
Short Navy Monique Lhuillier Bridesmaids Dresses

Photo: Angie Silvy

Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her column, Jen answers a fellow bridesmaid's burning question: Are heels a must?

Dear Jen,
My shoe closet consists of mostly flip-flops and converse, anything low to the ground. I absolutely dread wearing heels. I only own one or two pairs and wear them when I absolutely have to. My best friend asked me to be a bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. I can't wait. I already bought the dress and have all the accessories picked out. The last thing I need is a pair of shoes. She wants us to wear navy shoes, so I'll have to go out and buy a new pair but I don't want to invest in a pair of heels I'll never wear again. What do you recommend I do?
Heel Me, Please.

Dear Heel Me, Please.
Before you leave your house and head to any wedding, the number one thing you should remember to bring is an extra pair of shoes. Heels are wonderful for pictures and pictures only. After that, give your feet a break before they literally break. It happened to me once, my first time as a bridesmaid. I wore a tight pair of black heels that squeezed my feet so hard that in the middle of the ceremony, before the bride and groom solidified their forever love with a slobbery kiss, my feet went numb. Imagine what it was like walking down the aisle with toes that I couldn't feel. Every single step was a reminder that finding a good pair of heels was equally as hard as finding a good guy that didn't make me uncomfortable after our first date.

See More: Ridiculous Things Brides Have Asked Their Bridesmaids to Do

I carry a cute pair of foldable flats with me at every wedding and pop those on the second the photos are done and the ceremony is over. I suggest you do the same. But if you have to pick up a new pair of navy shoes, perhaps go on a quest for a pair of wedges or lower heels that will give you more support and comfort. Buy something you like. Something you feel comfortable in. In the end, with the booming flowers and the chiffon flowing in all directions and the smells of freshly cooked appetizers wafting in the air, very few people will take even more than a few second glances at your footwear. So wear what you want. And bring Band-Aids. Lots of them!

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