6 Bridal Shoes That Are Sure to Complement Formal Gowns

Published: 22nd June 2010
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Bridal shoes should support you and your dress - literally.

As a bride, you will most likely be on your feet from sun up to sun down. The exercise starts with a walk down the aisle and moves on to the dance floor. You'll work the room, walking to greet your guests, cutting the cake and posing for photographs - all while on your feet. The shoes you wear on your wedding day must be comfortable - but they must also complement your gown. Luckily there are enough shoe styles to ensure your selection does both.

Styles of bridal shoes vary almost as much as wedding gowns. The first thing to consider is the style of dress shoe you normally wear. If you are accustomed to stilettos, then you can consider a pair. But if you're a sensible-heel kind of woman, then do not try something too far out of your comfort range. And definitely purchase your shoes far enough in advance that you can gently break them in by walking around on your carpeted floors.

Once you know what style you want, think about the type of material used. You can select from fabric, leather and manmade materials. The material you choose should depend partly on the wedding site and the time of year. If you are saying your vows on the beach, fabric shoes may seem a little over the top. If it is winter wedding, a strappy sandal may be chilly in some climates. But most importantly, consider the style of wedding dress you will be wearing. If your wedding dress is extremely simple, a rhinestone embellished sandal might be the right choice. But if your dress is already elaborate, tone down the shoes and let the dress carry the day.

Brides who are close in height to their groom should not wear shoes that will have you towering over him. Think about how the height disparity will show up in the wedding pictures and then look for a pair of flats or an elegant ballet slipper. You have the rest of your life to sport your heels, but this is not the day for them.

With these suggestions in mind, the following are six bridal shoes that will work with a formal wedding gown:

Closed Toes
There is nothing more elegant than a pair of white satin pumps. If you prefer something a little less conservative, consider a pair of peep-hole pumps, where the sides of the shoe are cut away, revealing the shapely arch of your foot. A simple pleat in the fabric and rhinestone trim finishes the look. A reasonable 3-inch or 3½-inch heel will be enough to lift your gown. 

Sandals
If your dress is a simple straight skirt - a sheath style, for example - your shoes will definitely be visible when you walk down the aisle or dance at your reception. In this case, you might want a pair of eye-catching sandals. Among the hottest high-heeled sandals are satin t-straps. The rhinestone-encrusted t-strap runs from the toe to the ankle strap, creating a long, lean look. 

Slippers
Even if your groom towers over you, a ballet slipper is sometimes the right shoe for some dresses. For example, you wouldn't want anything else if your dress is a Renaissance-inspired gown. Slippers might also prove to be a good second shoe for the day. Late into the reception, it might feel nice to bustle up your dress and slip on a pair of stylish slippers. 

Outdoor Appropriate
Just because your wedding is being held outdoors does not mean you abandon bridal shoes. In this case, however, you might want to sport a pair of Rhinestone-embellished flip flops, available in white and ivory. Think about a beach wedding. Why spoil a pair of fabric shoes when these everyday beach shoes can be glamorized for the event? If yours is not an indoor wedding, you might still want to throw in the flip flops as a second pair of shoes for the reception. It is a bit more dignified than tossing off your shoes and dancing barefoot.

Floral
It will be the rare dress that can handle a pair of floral pumps, but with the right dress these shoes could make the day. Imagine a simple garden wedding and you are wearing a short, full-skirted wedding dress out of a crisp fabric. Floral shoes, with a rosette on the toe, will be the most feminine footwear imaginable.

Dyeable
Shoes that can be died to match even the subtlest of colors are an easy way to complement your wedding gown. In fact, it is so easy, it's almost cheating. You can find dyeable shoes in closed toe, peep toes, sandals and slippers. They come in flats, towering wedges and all heel heights.

Jamela Collins is a freelance writer who writes about weddings and specific products such as bridal shoes and wedding accessories.



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