As promised in my dress-shopping post, there’s more to my outfit than just the dress. While I love my gown, I wasn’t going to leave good enough alone. It took a lot of time and a lot of searching to find just the right pieces to incorporate my mass-market David’s Bridal wedding dress into a look that reflects my individual personality and taste.
If you’ve been dress shopping, you’ll find that most wedding dresses on the market are sleeveless—designers find sleeves annoying to make and just as awkward to alter. As a big Say Yes to the Dress fan, I will always remember one of my favorite brides, Sola, a Nigerian bride who tried on this amazing dress with lace sleeves and a high collar. She ultimately left it at Kleinfeld’s, but it was seared in my mind after that. While my dress is sleeveless, baring my arms and shoulders was never what I really pictured for my wedding day.
My shoe sizes are also different sizes. About two whole sizes different! The discrepancy is a result of the limb-lengthening surgery complications. I was born with a bow tibia (basically my tibia had a curve in the bone), and at two years old doctors cut the curved bone out. Because that made my right leg two-and-a-half inches shorter than my left, I underwent a limb-lengthening surgery at 11 years old. What was supposed to be three months on crutches turned into three years and, when I got off them at 14, my right leg was still an inch shorter than my left.
Oddly enough my ankle kind of looks the same. / Personal photo + engagement photo by the talented Studio 19 Photography
To make a long story short, now that my ankle is basically fused I cannot wear heels higher than three inches. Mr. Sugar Cube doesn’t mind this, though, because it conveniently makes him taller than me no matter what shoes I choose to wear. For over the past decade (funny how a word can make you feel old…), I was wearing the same sized shoes—a half-size too small for my left foot and a boat for my right.
There is something about wedding planning that has made my decision making skills get all out of whack. Making a decision about anything external to my look for the wedding has been relatively easy and has caused me little stress. The same cannot be said for anything to do with my bridal look. I struggled with my dress decision. I have waffled on my hair for months and months.
And…I nearly went crazy shoe shopping.
This is one of those situations that started off innocently enough, but when nothing felt right, I continued to search, and look and search and look and search. As time went on, I was getting nowhere closer to what I was looking for. So much time and energy had gone into such a simple task, that the amount of time spent looking had led to even more pressure to find the right shoe. After all of this time, I couldn’t just settle on something just for the sake of finding something.
OK, I couldn’t resist that title. When I was searching for my shoes, I had to factor in the fact that our wedding would take place on the beach. When I think of getting ready for a day at the beach, typically flip-flops are a must. I like to have my shoes off for the most part, but the walk on the beach can get hot and flip-flops are the most inexpensive, lightweight, close-to-barefoot option there is. When it comes to a wedding, however, I think of heels and more formal styles of shoes.
Combine a wedding and the beach, and you see where I had to do some problem solving. I needed something that looked formal, but was still comfortable and beach appropriate. For example, wearing plain flip-flops would be too informal, whereas wearing heels wouldn’t be feasible, because they sink in the sand. I had many options to choose from, and I went back and forth more than a few times.
Some of the more common styles beach brides wear are:
From the very beginning, I knew I’d be wearing flats on our wedding day (despite a very fleeting lust for the Badgley Mischka Randall pumps). I do not ever wear heels—like, ever—because I cannot for the life of me find a pair that’s comfortable on my feet for longer than an hour, and I really don’t want to be limping around on W-Day, of all days. I also knew that, weather permitting (ohpleaseohplease), we’d be getting married outside in the grass, which is not ideal for stiletto heels.
Oh, and also, I wanted them to be blue (for my something blue, obviouslyyy) and leather or suede (I have a mysterious aversion to satin shoes). Ideally, I also wanted them to be something I would wear again after the wedding.
Those criteria are surprisingly hard to meet, but I did have some early contenders:
I LOVED the French Connection Bridgit, but sadly, it’s discontinued (womp womp wommmp) and pretty much impossible to find in my size.
All right, so we had the brideslady dresses all set and ready to go. Spoiler alert: We’re also planning on putting the grooms in gray suits. All of that gray together risks looking a little blah, but it was intentional on my part: I want to go crazy with colors in the flowers, and I didn’t want it to look all wackadoo together.
But I wanted to make sure the ladies had pretty, colorful accessories, too, to make sure it wasn’t too boring if they put their flowers down (subtext: I am a micro-manager). I started browsing online for some nice, yellow necklaces, and began realizing that I really liked simple, multi-strand jewelry, like these:
Well, hive, it’s finally time. I HAD to buy my wedding shoes, because it’s time to chop the ol’ dress up, and to do that, we needed a heel height. See, I’ve been procrastinating on this one, too!
Initially, it was because we didn’t have a venue chosen, and I wanted to make sure that I was making a sensible shoe selection for our venue (glad I waited, because we are going to be outside/ in the grass all day!). But then, we chose our venue, and still no shoe. Then it was just another one of those things that I was being way too indecisive about.
I knew that I wanted some sort of a heel. Mr. O has, like, seven plus inches on me, and I could stand to be a little taller *ba-dum-tssshh*. That said, I also needed to avoid the stiletto heel, because I didn’t want to be sinking in to the ground all day, and the thought of wearing heel protectors makes me shudder.
I’m sure they’re helpful, but…I just can’t!! Ack! / Image via Amazon