The Wedding Shoes

Besides the beautiful dress that we all anticipate seeing as the bride appears down the aisle, us women just like to look in awe of all the accessories the bride has put together, as part of her wedding day attire. Naming, we want to see what shoes among other things, she has selected as part of her overall ensemble.

The brides’s wedding shoes are as important to the attire as the dress itself. Brides can spend just as much time locating the perfect shoes as she does her dress. In some instances, the dress is selected after the shoes.

Wedding shoes have a captivating history that continues to influence the look of the footwear that today’s brides choose for their stroll down the aisle.

Fairytale and in an early period

Cinderella, the most famous princess bride, married her prince wearing sparkling glass slippers. Catherine de Medici, one of the first brides in history to walk down the aisle in high heels, inspired a fashion trend that continues to this day.

Anglo-Saxon brides tossed shoes rather than bouquets to bridesmaids who hoped to be the next to marry. Brides in merry old England followed the directive that they wear “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue — and a sixpence in her shoe” by tucking coins into their wedding slippers.

Queen Victoria inspired millions of modern-day brides by choosing a white gown and white shoes for her wedding in 1840. Until then, blue was the color of choice for bridal ensembles. The beloved Princess Diana, who was a statuesque 5 feet 10 inches tall, chose low-heeled, pearl-encrusted, ivory silk flats for her wedding, so as not to tower over Prince Charles. The Duchess of Cambridge wore  Alexander McQueen Lace-Covered Satin Pumps that were dyed a custom shade of ivory.

Modern-day Styles in Wedding Shoes

Today’s brides make the journey from once upon a time to happily ever after in all manner of magic slippers — high heels, low heels, sandals, pumps and even bejeweled flip-flops, says Anna Pezik, senior editor at

“These days, wedding shoes make a real fashion statement. No one wants a cookie-cutter look,” says Pezik. Many brides today specialize in making their shoes unique by incorporating custom made shoes that are one of a kind.

“Brides are choosing their gowns and their accessories to reflect their own individual style. They’re taking bridal shoes a step further than the traditional white satin pump.”

In response, designers such as Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo, Stuart Weitzman, and Manolo Blahnik have filled shelves with wedding pumps, slingbacks, sandals and ballet flats in bronze, silver, gold and pewter metallic shades and soft pastels, as well as ivory and white. Detailing includes bows, beading, embroidery and lace. Heel heights and silhouettes range from flat to stiletto. Toes can be open, closed, pointed, rounded or squared.

“Are you planning a romantic wedding? A glamorous event? Bohemian rhapsody? Beach casual? A destination wedding?” Pezil asks. “Your gown and your shoe choice will help create the atmosphere.”

The season’s hottest styles, Pezik says, are strappy sandals and slingbacks.

“Wedding shoes are so gorgeous that no one wants to wear them for just one day and then put them in the closet,” Pezik says. “Brides are choosing shoes that they can wear again.”

Brides planning beach weddings have stylish choices that go beyond the humble rubber flip-flop.

“Stuart Weitzman makes an adorable jelly sandal with crystal accents and kitten heels,” Pezik says. “You can also find bridal beach footwear with wedge heels and platform heels.”

Even for the trendiest brides, tradition still plays a role. Several designers, including Fifi, line bridal footwear with azure-colored fabric to meet the “something blue” requirement.

Hints for Happy Feet

Before you say “I do” to a pair of shoes for your wedding, experts offer the following advice:

  1. Remember, new shoes can be slippery. Gently roughing the soles with a piece of sandpaper will help provide traction.
  2. Blisters are the last thing a bride needs on her special day. Just in case, tuck bandages and moleskin into your wedding emergency kit.
  3. Don’t sacrifice comfort for style. Remember that you’ll be on your feet from your walk down the aisle to the last dance.
  4. Choose a heel height you’re used to wearing. A wider heel offers more support and stability.
  5. Bring your shoes with you to gown fittings so your hemline will be just the right length.
  6. To ensure a good fit, shop for shoes at the end of the day, when your feet are at their largest.
  7. Wear the shoes around the house before the wedding to break them in a bit.

Happy shoe shopping for your wedding!

Tracy Pope
Certified Wedding Planner
Accredited Event Designer

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