Bridesmaid Shoes – Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Start a conversation with any woman about shoes and you will quickly see a sparkle in her eye. Shoes can singlehandedly change the look of your outfit from quirky to classy, seductive to sassy, casual to elegant. Hard to believe but, it’s true – diamond’s may be a girls’ best friend but, shoes are a close second and they are most definitely the window to  her soul. For many years bridesmaids were asked to take a swatch from the bridesmaid gown  to the store where they would buy a pair of (probably not very cute or comfortable) dye-able shoes, the shoes were supposed to match the gown exactly and believe me… when they were a bit off, the bride would have a fit. Seriously… a fit!  No matter how great the dress was, the bridesmaids would inevitable roll their eyes when the discussion turned to the bridesmaid shoe. Times have changed and now the shoe takes center stage as the single most important accessory for bridesmaids.

How to find the perfect bridesmaid shoe:

Just as you would take the ladies to a salon to try on bridesmaid gowns and find the one dress they all feel or look good wearing, you should do the same with shoes. This is easier than you think since so many salons carry shoes, plus if you are already together, it would make sense to stop by a shoe store, wedding accessory store or your favorite department store as a group and see who can walk in the shoes you all agree look best. There will be some compromising and just as with the bridesmaid dress, you have to have a good idea of what you want before you walk into the store.

Do not get distracted by questions like “Can I wear these again”. That is not the point.  The point is if they will be wearable for this one day, this one event, this one moment in time where they will be photographed endlessly and talked about for eternity.

Be creative with your shoe choices. The current theme is eclectic when it comes to bridesmaid shoes. Think about the brides who choose to have the bridesmaid shoes match their bouquet, the shoes that match another color in the wedding the shoes that are a bright contrasting color but all match one another. Do not have each girl pick a different color shoe of the same style. It might sound adorable  but, the photos do not lie and it winds up looking like everyone got a sidetracked  at a rainbow shoe sale. 

No cork heels. Even of the shoe is sparkly and sassy and expensive. There may be some exceptions like a garden wedding with flirty floral bridesmaid gowns or a beach affair with  a strappy sundress. However, if you have any doubts that a cork heel is too casual – don’t do it. Instead, try a wedge heel which can transition from casual to dressy depending upon the material of the shoe and the style.

Consider making the shoes  their wedding gift. This will ease the pain of having to buy a pair of shoes they may not wear ever again. Instead of begrudgingly having to spring for a pair of pink stilettos, they will be happy to have an extra pair of ‘friends’ in their closet, even ones that they might only wear once a year.

Stay away from strappy shoes. Shoes with thin straps, even if they are made of good quality leather, will definitely hurt by the end of the ceremony and most likely cause blisters by the end of the night. The best solution is to find a less ‘strappy’ version of a similar shoe…. or remember to bring a ton of band-aids, you will need them.

Don’t let the price fool you. More expensive shoes are made of higher quality materials, they have designer labels and are packaged, handled, marketed and sold more exclusively. However, a $800 pair of bridesmaid shoes can still hurt your feet. If you ask your bridesmaids to buy expensive shoes, be extra careful to ensure they are comfortable for everyone. 

Study your shoe designers and the way they fit before you set your heart on something to avoid being disappointed. Stuart Weitzman shoes are much narrower, Manolo Blahnik have shorter vamp, and the list goes on. FYI – toe overhang is the eighth deadly sin.

If you spend a little time doing research, listen to the bridesmaids concerns and stay within your budget, the shoes you help select will be a fashion statement, a great photo op, a conversation point and the perfect accessory for your entire bridal party.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

















Wedding Shoes – The Sky’s the Limit!

Today’s brides know they don’t have to wear the same boring white bridal pumps or have them dyed off -white to match their gown. In addition, the bridesmaids don’t have to wear the same shoes,  either.

Shoes are a fashion statement all their own. The wrong shoe can destroy a gorgeous outift. The right shoe can bring a boring ensemble to life and steal the show. As long as we are talking about it;  it is never a good idea to let your shoe  be either something borrowed or something old. The shoes you choose for your wedding day should be comfortable, stylish and new… and yours.

Comfortable AND stylish? How is that possible? I’m glad you asked! If you never follow any other advice – this is the ONLY shoe advice you will ever need and it works for every occasion. Buy shoes that fit and are comfortable on your foot. The end.

Do not buy shoes a size bigger thinking your feet will swell. They will be uncomfortable and leave blisters.

Do not buy shoes that are too high or low for you to walk in gracefully. You might fall.

DO wear the shoes around the house. Scuff the soles on the sidewalk, wear them while doing some work around the house (inside) and break them in properly before you take the biggest step of your life in ill-fitting shoes and risk having sore feet to prove it.

If you never wear high heels, do not wear high heels for your wedding. Find a lower profile heel to wear that looks good on your foot and fits comfortably.  Try Kitten heels. Kitten heels are small, slender heel no more than 2″. The placement of the heel is directly in the center of the back of the foot so they provide excellent support for larger boned women and allow less pressure to be placed on the ball of the foot. Walk around the shoe store, if you are still wobbly – then don’t buy them and proceed directly to flats. Flats are exactly what they sound like – flat shoes with no heel or a heel less than 1/2 “. They are also sometimes called Ballerina slippers but, they aren’t.

If a medium heel is wearable for you but, you just can’t find a comfortable fit – consider a wedge. The wedge shoe provides tons of support for feet that must endure a wedding marathon. Also great for outdoor events because if the wide base, unless you would like to aerate the yard with your stilettos.  

If you have found a pair of shoes that you love, the heel is a little high and  and must have these shoes, buy them. Then buy a second pair of shoe for the reception.. lower heels or flats. Do not wear birkenstocks or Uggs or crocs. I will find you. Which brings me to my next point – do not take your shoes off at the reception. My absolute worst nightmare is seeing bridesmaids and female guests ditch their shoes at a reception and hit the dance floor in bare (sometimes still stocking-clad) feet! I understand that wearing 3 or 4 inch heels for several hours can be torture on a woman’s feet.  I understand that at the end of the night you just want to take your shoes off and give your arches and instep a break. The end of the night, however, is after you are back home or in your hotel room. The reception is still part of the wedding and I am begging you to keep your shoes on. If the shoe doesn’t fit, you must not quit…. there are attractive, comfortable options to baring your soles.

Are you ready for the fun part? If you can wear heels, high heels, the higher the better, then you are a lucky woman. Shoes today are glamorous, sexy, higher than ever and still comfortable. The platform shoes are towering up to 4 1/2 ‘ but are still wearable, seriously. I can go into instep ratio and all kinds of other things but, basically there are no rules.  Flowers, feathers, jewels, buckles -whatever you like, there is a shoe out there just for you!

Don’t rule out color ! Ever since Sarah Jessica Parker donned those famous blue Manolo Blahniks as Carrie Bradshaw in the movie version of Sex in the City, brides from near and far embraced the idea of mixing it up with all kinds of color on their feet.

Whats your style? Conservative, classic or funky? Bridal Expo has dozens of accessory salons who specialize in bridal and bridesmaid footwear, call 847-428-3320 today to get tickets to a show in your area. Take a moment to visit some of our vendors’ websites and you most definitely  find the perfect fit!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago