You want to look and feel your best on your wedding day, from head to toe. So, once you've chosen your perfect dress, it's time to go shoe shopping! Sounds easy enough but with so many endless choices, how do you know which ones are right for your Big Day? This isn't just any pair of shoes; they need to whisk you down the aisle and stand up to a jam-packed schedule that takes you from morning to night.
We're breaking down our top tips to help you choose wedding shoes that are the perfect fit, taking into consideration things like venue, weather, style, and comfort. Whether you're a bride who wants to rock a pair of designer heels or someone who prefers a more casual look with sneakers, we have you covered. Follow this shopping guide highlighting our favorite wedding shoe trends of the year that'll keep you dancing on your feet well past sundown.
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Keep These in Mind When Deciding on Your Perfect Pair
Every bride has her own style and favorite shoe designers, but there's much more to selecting your wedding shoes than a typical purchase. The last thing you want is to choose a pair of wedding shoes that look amazing but leave your feet covered in blisters. Prevent this from happening by keeping these things in mind when shoe shopping:
1. Pick Shoes that Complement Your Wedding Dress
We always recommend selecting your wedding dress before you start shopping for wedding shoes. The goal is to complement your dress's style, length, and formality. This way, you'll know if your shoes will be on full display in a jumpsuit or tea-length dress versus a gown, where they'll just peek through as you walk. You'll also know by then if you are planning a reception wardrobe change and want a more relaxed choice of sneakers or flats later in the evening.
2. Buy for the Season You're Getting Married In
Second, think about the time of year you're getting married. If you're tying the knot in the summer, you might want a pair of sandals or wedges instead of closed-toe shoes. Conversely, boots or sneakers that keep your toes warm might be a better option if you're having a winter wedding.
Another thing to pay attention to is the weather forecast. Muddy, grass-stained shoes are not a look any bride wants. So if rain, snow, or other inclement weather hits, be ready to ditch those high heels or embellished flats. Have a backup pair in mind, like rubber boots in case of rain or snow boots for winter flurries.
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3. Do a Venue Walkthrough Before Selecting Your Shoes
If there is time, try to fit a venue walkthrough into your schedule before finalizing your shoe selection. Take notes and pay attention to how many stairs there are if there are cobblestone pathways, a lot of gravel, or a slippery dance floor. Consider the distance you'll have to walk and whether you are having an indoor or outdoor ceremony. This will go a long way in deciding if heels or flats are best and if you want to do an outfit or shoe change later in the day.
4. Weigh Your Options Before Following Trends
Every bride is different, and we want to make sure you select the right shoes for you before following any trends. Figure out your preferences by answering a few key questions:
- Are you looking for a statement pair of shoes or prefer something comfortable and conservative?
- Are you planning to wear these shoes again after your wedding?
- Does your partner's selection pair well with yours? Is that important to you?
- How would you describe your overall wedding look: modern, vintage, traditional, or boho?
- Do you prefer neutral hues or bright colors?
- Are you used to walking in heels, or do you prefer sneakers?
5. Think Beyond White & Coordinate Colors with Your Theme
While white is forever classic, many brides now opt to go with bolder, brighter colors. Robin's egg blue or shades of teal are some of the most popular color options. It's perfect for brides who want their shoes to double as their "something blue." Statement heels in hot pink are another trend rising in popularity as "Barbiecore" themes continue to dominate the runways.
By choosing nontraditional colors, you might even be able to save more since you won't be limited to wedding shoe collections and can shop at a broader range of stores. Don't be afraid to play with color, from pastels to vibrant jewel tones. Match your shoes to your wedding palette or incorporate shades from your dress into your selection.
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6. Prioritize Your Comfort
Your wedding day is one of the most memorable and also one of the longest days of your life. You'll want a pair of shoes that can withstand you being on your feet for the entire day. Looking back on your wedding, you'll want to remember the special moments, not how much your feet hurt. No matter how gorgeous your shoes are, if leave you in pain, they are not worth it.
Break in your pair before the big day and test how you feel walking up and down stairs and dancing in them. If you know your venue has some tough terrain, opt for a lower block or wedge heel, rather than high stilettos.
7. Finalize Your Shoe Budget Before You Shop
Finally, don't forget about your budget! Wedding shoes can be expensive, so set aside funds for your perfect pair. Before you hit the stores or begin browsing online, figure out how much you can afford to spend on your shoes. This will prevent disappointment later on and help narrow down your search.
Online shoe stores have a much more extensive selection than what you'll find in-store, so we recommend starting there. Then visit your favorite stores later to see the style you like in person.
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The Hottest Wedding Shoes of the Year
Now that you know what to consider when picking out your wedding shoes, it's time to look at some of the hottest styles of the year. One of the biggest trends we're seeing is the return of color. After years of white and ivory being dominant, brides are opting for shoes in shades of pink, blue, and even black.
Another trend we love is embellishments, from crystals and beads to lace and feathers. We're also seeing more and more brides ditch traditional heels altogether in favor of sneakers or flats. Here are some great options to help you find a pair that fits your taste and budget:
The 90's jelly shoes have been revamped in adult see-through versions that are as chic as they are fun. This popular silhouette is being embraced by brides for its modern Cinderella effect; from peek-a-boo side panels to entirely sheer styles, these clear "glass" slippers bring an understated drama to your big day.
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Sparkly & Embellished Shoes
Heels with exciting details like beads, rhinestones, sequins, or feathers are trending this year. This style works just as well for flats or sneakers, with metallic or iridescent versions trending. For brides who want something truly unique, consider having your shoes custom-designed with an illustration, monogram, custom shoelaces, or a special message on the soles.
Retro Bohemian Sandals
For a boho-chic vibe, pair your dress with bohemian sandals in suede, jute, or leather. Think wrapped ties around your ankle, 70's-style platforms, clogs, or espadrilles with embroidered details. It's the perfect trend for an outdoor or beachside ceremony.
If you're a bride who prefers timeless elegance on your big day, then classic heels are the way to go. White or ivory heels will never go out of style, and with so many new options, they are far from boring. Look for pairs in interesting silhouettes with block or kitten heels, or you can always stick with a traditional pump. Add a touch of glamour with 3D floral appliques, lace, silk butterflies, pearls, or textured fabrics to complete this look.
Go bold on your big day with a pair of statement heels that leave a lasting impression. Look for something that reflects your personality and style. Pick a color like bright pink or electric blue; opt for a vibrant pattern or a unique design. We're thinking something similar to Sophia Webster's iconic butterfly sandals or Jimmy Choo's feathered bridal pair.
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Sneakers are increasingly becoming just as popular as heels. They are the best option if you want something stylish and comfortable. You can stick with white or go glam with metallic or bedazzled sneakers. We love pairs that are custom designed with you and your partner's names.
No matter what trend you choose, remember that it's your big day, and you should pick a shoe that makes you feel confident and beautiful!
Our Favorite Wedding Shoe Designers
There are so many fantastic shoe designers, but some continue to knock our socks off every fashion season. Here are a few of our favorite designers for bridal shoes you will love:
- Badgley Mischka
- Jimmy Choo
- Galia Lahav
- Bella Belle
- Stuart Weitzman
- Kate Spade
- Mach & Mach
- Loeffler Randall
- Tieks by Gavrieli
- Betsy Johnson
- Ted Baker
- Christian Louboutin
- Manolo Blahnik
- Monique Lhuillier
- Nike Air Force
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Tips to Keep Your Shoes Looking Great All Day Long
No matter how comfortable your shoes are, they are bound to get a little dirty by the end of the night. Here are some helpful tips to keep your shoes looking great throughout your wedding day:
- Bring your wedding shoes to the tailor for your dress fittings; they'll hem your dress, so just the toes peek out as you walk down the aisle. This will help keep your dress and shoes in tip-top shape and prevent tripping, which is never a good look.
- Before your wedding, practice walking around in your shoes or scuff the soles to break them in, then pack tissue paper in the toe so they retain their shape.
- Treat yourself to a pedicure before the Big Day so you can slip your soft heels easily into that perfect pair!
- Keep liquid Band-aids, anti-blister sticks, padded insoles, and outdoor heel protectors on hand to maximize your comfort.
- Bring along some baby wipes to wipe away any dirt or debris quickly.
- If your feet get sore on your wedding day, take off your shoes and walk around barefoot for a few minutes. This will help relieve any discomfort and allow your feet to breathe.
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