Photo: Laura Murray Photography
For some brides, picking a pair of wedding shoes is the icing on the cake — a simple-to-shop-for, sparkly accent to complement the real star of the show, your wedding dress! For others, deciding on the fancy footwear can be just as crucial (read: stressful) as saying yes to the dress. But regardless of whether you're indifferent or heel-obsessed (Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out), you shouldn't pick a pair of shoes solely on the way they look or how much they cost. There many other factors to keep in mind. We enlisted Maradee Wahl, a Los Angeles-based bridal stylist, to share her advice on what every bride should consider when picking out shoes for the big day.
Have Several Options
"I always say start online — you can find several options at once, and bring them all to your fitting. It's very difficult to pick a wedding shoe wearing a pair of jeans in your living room!" Wahl tells us. But, keep your receipts in order and be mindful of final sales. "Just be sure to note the return policy, so you do not end up with an unnecessary expense."
Don't Ignore Your Personal Style
"The most important thing to remember when buying wedding shoes (and other accessories for your bridal gown) is to stay true to your own style. If you are a high heel girl, go for the most glamorous pair you can find! If this is not your normal dress up vibe, choose something more moderate like a simple sandal with straps or a peep toe."
Do not commit to a pair of shoes online or in-store without comparing it to your dress. "To determine if the ivory is the correct color, try to view your shoe with the gown or a swatch in the proper lighting. The subtle ivory shades that look mismatched in brightest daylight may be the perfect color inside a ball room." Wahl says. However, mismatching doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. "While your shoes can be dyed, many ivories blend well for a lovely, timeless look!"
Don't Buy Second-Hand Shoes, Even If You're On a Budget
Although you might be tempted to buy vintage, Wahl urges you to buy a new pair. "There are so many options for beautiful shoes, especially online, that you should be able to find something within any budget. I wouldn't recommend a second hand pair for this special day, but on sale is a great way to save!"
You Don't Have to Go Designer (Unless You Feel Like It!)
"As long as the shoe is fairly comfortable, and gives enough support while completing the total wedding day look, [spending] any amount is appropriate!" Wahl shares. If you do feel like going big, Wahl shares the one brand her brides-to-be love. "Many find a pair of Jimmy Choo shoes they love. The options they feature are comfortable, glamorous, and yet still a good purchase which will be worn again. A fun splurge for the big day!"
Consider Having a Back-Up Pair
If you plan on doing any dancing at all, don't subject your feet to standing in the same pair of stilettos for the entire evening. "I recommend a second pair of shoes for every bride — it will be a great relief to your toes to switch into another style of shoe, even if you switch back again later," says Wahl. But she's not talking sneakers or flats (unless your original pair is of the same height). "Select something that is no more than half an inch different in heel height so it will not affect the hem length of your gown."