Wedding Shoe Survival Guide for the Bride

A bride and groom sit on a bridge with their feet dangling

Your big day is quickly approaching: the invitations are sent, the venue is scheduled, the menu is set, the flowers are ordered, and you’ve found the wedding dress of your dreams! Everything’s panning out just right…except for one thing. You still don’t have shoes!

Picking the right shoes for your wedding day can be quite a task. You want them to be stunning, but you also want to avoid falling flat on your face in front of your future spouse and your guests. If you’re still undecided about your wedding day footwear, here are several great tips to help you pick the perfect pair of shoes, as well as some advice that will keep you dancing all night long at your reception.

Lace high heels on the bride's feet

Picking the Perfect Wedding Shoes

The truth is, there’s no one set way to pick the perfect pair of wedding shoes. Every bride is different, just as every woman is in day-to-day life. Some gals like stilettos, while others prefer sneakers. While you’ll have to decide what type of shoes are right for you, these tips should give you a good start on the process.

Pick Your Dress First

The first step to finding the perfect pair of wedding shoes is to find the perfect wedding dress. It’s important to at least select your dress before finalizing your shoe decision. After all, you’ll want your shoes to match or complement the style of your dress. If you can, bring your dress along on for shoe shopping so you can see the items together before committing.

Shop Around and Try Them ALL On

While it can be tempting to grab up the first pair of shoes you think you love for your wedding, it’s important to spend some time shopping around. Don’t assume there isn’t a better option out there. Try on a variety of options, even if you don’t think you’ll like them. It’s amazing what “fits” in the end.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

That said, don’t shop around too long. There’s a fine line between being a prudent shoe-shopper and being a lazy one. Once you have your dress, start the process. Ideally, you should have these elements finalized a few months out from your big day.

A bride adjusting her high heels

Make Comfort a Priority

Comfort, comfort, comfort! Comfort is key when picking shoes for your wedding day. It’s important to note, however, that comfort is relative. What you find pleasant may vary drastically from what another bride does. The only person who matters in this choice is you. If you’re good in heels for hours at a time, go for it! If you detest heels, find a pretty pair of flats instead.

Be Creative

The shoes you pick don’t have to match your wedding dress. In fact, many brides enjoy adding a pop of color with their shoes. Additionally, don’t forget to get a few shots of your shoes during your professional photography session!

Avoid Online Shopping

Online shopping is extremely popular, but it probably isn’t the best way to find your wedding shoes. While it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll find a pair you love (and likely at a price you can’t argue with), the potential hassle associated with returns and refunds simply isn’t worth it. Picking a pair of wedding shoes without trying them on just doesn’t work.

Keep Your Venue in Mind

Is your wedding indoors or outdoors? This should be a key factor in determining the type of shoe you ultimately select. Outdoor ceremonies and receptions may call for drastically different footwear, especially if you’re getting married in a unique location or plan to do a lot of walking around for photos.

Love Your Final Shoe Selection

Most importantly of all, love the shoes you pick for your wedding day. Choose a pair that suits your personality and that make you feel good both inside and out! It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks as long as you love the final selection you’ve made.

A bride and groom dancing outside

Helping Your Feet Survive the Night

Finding a pair of adorable wedding shoes is one thing, but making it through the day and night on your feet is something else completely! Now that you’re better prepared to pick the shoes of your dreams, here are a few tips that’ll keep you on the dance floor all night long.

Wear Your Shoes Beforehand

Another reason it’s important to purchase your wedding shoes with plenty of time to spare is that you’ll want to wear them a few times before your big day. Not only will this help wear them in, but it’ll give you a chance to confirm they’re “the ones” after all.

A bride wearing white lace sneakers under her dress

Have a Spare Pair

The absolute best way to save your feet is to have a spare pair of shoes handy for your reception. Ideally, these will be more comfortable and appropriate for dancing. Even if you don’t wear them all evening (or at all), it’s better to have them available just in case.

Consider Adding a Gel Insert

Depending on the style of shoes you have for your wedding day, it may be smart to add gel inserts. Even inserts that provide a minimal amount of additional support can be immensely helpful. You’ll definitely be thankful for them the day after your reception!

Attach Shoe Grips

Slip and slides are fun, but not generally appropriate for weddings. If your shoes don’t have good traction, consider purchasing shoe grips. These can be found in a variety of colors and styles and are usually simple to attach.

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