To avoid a wedding footwear fiasco, not only should you select shoes that are comfortable and easy to maneuver in, you'll want to settle on a pair that suits both your dress and the tone of your wedding. Here the experts weigh in on how to ensure your Big-Day kicks are the best fit for you.
Always Consider Comfort
Whether you're a 2-inch-heel girl or a 4-inch-heel girl, know your limits, says Marek Hartwig, a Chicago-based bridal stylist. You can easily spend five-plus hours standing in your shoes, so pick a height that you have experience with (if you typically only wear flip-flops, now is not the time to try out those sexy 6-inch stilettos) and consider changing into low heels or flats for dancing.
Regardless of the heel height, break in your shoes by standing and walking around in them in your house well before the wedding, advises Rachel Leonard, fashion director for Brides magazine. You want to make sure the shoes aren't too tight or too loose, any straps aren't pinching or cutting you, and the soles aren't slippery. You may need a different size or style, but, for minor problems, there are other simple solutions, such as attaching grips to the shoe bottoms for added traction, or using inserts or Blister Block to prevent rubbing.
Don't Mess with the Dress
White by Vera Wang for David's Bridal
Choosing the right shoe is all about coordinating with your gown's proportion, fabrication and color tone, Leonard says. In general, a more ornate dress calls for a simple shoe, whereas a less-embellished gown with a simple silhouette or a shorter length may benefit from flashier footwear. If the dress is floor-length, your top priority should be a shoe with a gorgeous toe, notes Hartwig. And if your dress exposes your calves, skip anything with ankle straps, as they have a tendency to make legs look shorter and thicker.
When it comes to color, white, ivory and other delicate neutrals or even metallics like silver and gold tend to be a safe bet. But these days, more and more brides are interested in wearing shoes with accents, patterns or a splash of color - your "something blue," perhaps? These choices are perfectly acceptable as long as they enhance your gown and overall look, and suit your personality, says Hartwig. But, Leonard adds, make sure this statement shoe is formal enough to match the style of dress, as you don't want the combination to be garish.
Respect the Main Event
Leonard also advises taking a style cue from the formality of the event itself: Pumps and strappy high heels are appropriate for more formal, inside and evening nuptials; more casual garden and farm parties call for chunkier heels or wedges so that you don't sink into the ground; and for the beach, it's flats, sandals or even barefoot.
Something more personal like cowboy boots is fabulous if you're having a western-themed wedding, but outside those margins they're out of place, says Hartwig. And even if you're an avid runner, it's best to wait to slip into your favorite sneakers until after the ceremony.
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