Finding the Perfect Wedding-Day Shoes

“One shoe can change your life…” – Cinderella

So imagine what having two perfect shoes can do when you’re standing in front of your Prince Charming! There are so many things to consider when you are buying your bridal shoes: style, color, comfort. Finding the perfect pair is a top priority. There’s a reason for the phrase “big shoes to fill.” Shoes define people and moments. What do you want yours to say about you at this moment?  Here is what you need to keep top-of-mind when you are on your quest! 

First, the dress. 

bride lifting up the hem of her skirt to show off fuschia satin bridal shoes
chris mcguire photography

Your bridal shoes, of course, need to complement your dress in every way. First, what length will your dress be: short and fun? Or long and formal? If you pick a shorter dress, your shoes become just as big a deal as the dress itself! Think about adding color, glam, and fun to your shoes in order to best reflect your personality! If your dress is full-length, your shoes won’t be nearly as visible; but that in no way means you still don’t want them to represent you!

If you truly want to match your shoes to your dress, you’ll want to take note of the details and adornments on your gown; these can be matched in your bridal shoes—think lace, satin, tulle, etc. And definitely take note of your dress style; if your dress has a vintage or retro look, be sure to look for shoe styles from the same style era.

Consider your venue.

bride and groom kissing under a pampas grass and dried flower canopy at wedding ceremony
Figtree Wedding Photography

Your venue is probably the first decision you made for your wedding. And that choice might actually play a big role in deciding what type of bridal shoes you are going to wear, especially if you’re having an outdoor ceremony. If you are going to be on a grass lawn or on a beach, this will influence how much heel you should wear. Walking through grass in heels is definitely more difficult than walking down an aisle in a church in heels! But if you do, have you seen these? If you will be on hard surfaces all day, heels are a great option. If you will be on multiple terrains, just be sure to keep this in mind when selecting your shoes!


Don’t wait until the last minute to buy your shoes.

hourglass with sand running out

Once you’ve got the dress, it will be a whole lot easier to actually start shopping for your wedding-day shoes. You definitely don’t want to put this off for a number of reasons. First, you wan to give yourself plenty of time to find the perfect pair! Second, you will need them for your dress fittings and alterations in order for your tailor to adjust the length of your dress to accommodate your shoe height perfectly. Lastly, you should absolutely walk around in your shoes and scuff up the bottoms. Again, you are going to be wearing these babies for 12+ hours on your wedding day—trust us when we recommend you break them in a bit! Just be careful not to get them dirty 😉!


Buy them in person, if you can.

Beautiful young woman trying on high heel shoes while sitting on sofa at the shoe store


Don’t get us wrong, we love us some online shopping! And there is no better place to get inspiration, explore styles, and get a feel for what you like than Pinterest, blogs, and online stores. But buying your shoes is totally different than finding your shoes! As mentioned above, these are shoes you will be wearing for many, many hours; it is so important to try on the shoes first and feel how comfortable they are before you buy them.

West Michigan has so many wonderful bridal stores that carry such a range of fabulous bridal shoes; you are sure to find the perfect pair by trying them on in the store! Now, with that said, if you give yourself plenty of time, there’s nothing wrong with ordering a few pairs online to try on at home—just make sure they have a good return policy ahead of time! You don’t want to get stuck with 4 pairs of shoes for your wedding day (unless you’re a total diva!) And since you’ve got them at your home, walk around and stand on a clean, carpeted area for an hour or so. If your feet are killing you after an hour, they probably aren’t the right shoes for you! 


Don’t be afraid of color.

Close up detail shot of the hem of a wedding dress and a pair of blue badgley mischka wedding shoes

Like every other decision you make for your big day, the color of your shoes will ultimately depend on what kind of bride you are. Classic and traditional? Clean white, champagne, ivory, and nude tones will be perfect. Funky, fun, adventurous? Then game on. Bright orange? A’ight. Gold glitter? Yup. Multi-colored? Why the heck not? And for our brides that are somewhere in between, we love using shoes for your “something blue;” this is fun because you can go as conservative or crazy as your want with shades ranging from pale blue to deep royals.


And guess what? Your shoes don’t have to be formal!

bride with cowboy boots and groom with blue wingtips
dan terpstra photography

We talk a lot about style when it comes to weddings, and especially fashion, but if your feet are in so much pain that you can’t enjoy yourself, then what’s the point? If you do still want a more formal look, you should first consider the height of your heels. A higher heel means more pressure on the ball of your foot. A low-to-mid-height heel or a thicker heel will make it easier to stand and dance much longer. And there are plenty of gorgeous bridal flats to choose from as well. And don’t forget ALL the other footwear options out there: We love ballet slippers, flip flops, sneakers, cowboy boots, and more!

The bottom line: This is one day where you will be on your feet twice as long as you normally would be—if not three or four times more—you need comfortable shoes!


I’ll leave you with this quote:

Dorothys ruby red slippers and quote all a girl really needs is a great pair of shoes


Happy Wedding Planning!






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