Bridal shoes, how to choose!
Shoes! While I am no Carrie Bradshaw, I do love a good pair of beautifully crafted shoes. On a day when all eyes are on you, should you go for style or comfort? Weddings vary from being as relaxed as a backyard bbq to royal in a castle in Europe. As a wedding photographer, I know that it can be a long day. From getting ready starting in the morning to the final goodbyes as you close down the venue at midnight! It is truly more of a marathon than a sprint. The shoes are often seen with the decor during getting ready and then sometimes when you are walking or sitting at the front of the church. That’s it! They really are more hidden by that long hemline or train. Some of my favorite locations for photos of the couple and wedding party require some walking. (Cue cute Keds Kate Spade sparkle shoes or Annie Banks’ sneakers from Father of the Bride!) And if your venue is more outdoors, look for your footing. Will you be sinking into the grass with pointed heels? Or are there mostly cement walking paths? What about the walk to the church or reception? Does it seem short when you are in comfortable walking shoes but really long with high heels? One of my good friends asks before we go out to eat or to a networking function – are we sitting and eating for two hours? Or are we touring a new wedding venue with 100 steps and standing at cocktail tables? The best idea? Bring a change of shoes. That way you have options. Padding in shoes becomes compressed over time and doesn’t bounce back quickly. Just make sure both pairs are the same height so your dress won’t drag the ground and get dirty. Shoes, like bridal jewelry, should complement the overall look. By pulling in a repeated element it helps to tie in the details. Something like lace, the form of the toe box, or the outlined shape of the shoe can be considered. Or maybe it is in perfect color harmony. What about a little bit of texture – from a soft billowing bow, fanned out feathers, or hard gemstone? Some of my favorite shoes to photograph actually were the Bride’s something blue so she could wear them again! Do be careful about rhinestone placement because it can catch on the lace at the bottom of your dress (the same thing goes with rhinestone bracelets which will catch on the bodice of the dress). Personally, I had a box heeled black shoe I used to wear for swing dancing. It was broken in and so comfy. I bought the same shoe in ivory (my sister had a pair in her tiny size in the right color) and wore them around the house a bit so they wouldn’t be slick but they also didn’t get dirty. I wore the ivory until the reception and then slipped on my dancing shoes! The best time to browse the many formal options is around prom season. And when you have your dress fittings be sure to always bring your wedding shoes so the hem is the right length. At your final fitting bring everything with you that you plan on wearing for the big day. Try on your jewelry and all of your accessories. That way you can see the entire look pulled together. Which earrings look better? And if you aren’t sure if the look is too much, follow Coco Chanel’s advice, “look in the mirror and take one thing off. It is always better to be underdressed.” Bring a clear plastic container, and as you remove your outfit and accessories, place them in the box along with your shoes. This will become your details box. You can add your invitation and then this will be ready for your photographers when they arrive. Your maid of honor won’t have to scramble to find everything in the bottom of a dark tote bag. A bonus tip if you are worried about forgetting the marriage license – safety pin the manilla envelope to your dress hanger. You won’t forget your dress!