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A Bride’s Guide to the Perfect Wedding Shoes

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Article written by Eve Leder.

Christian Louboutin shoes on top of Champagne glasses.


Don’t go shopping for your wedding shoes without reading this post first! In this post I will share with you tips on buying the perfect wedding shoes. The first tip is regarding timing. In other words where it should appear on your wedding checklist. You should purchase your wedding shoes after you purchased your dress. Even if you think you found the shoes of your dreams—wait. Or, at least make sure that they are returnable and that you keep the receipt with the shoes.

Photography by Jeff Kolodny.  These are some very expensive wedding shoes!

Why should you buy the dress first?

A wedding dress requires a long lead time. A made-to-order wedding dresses typically take about 6-9 months to create. Don’t forget that it may take some time to find the One. Plus you’ll will need three perfectly timed fittings. A perfectly tailored dream dress takes time.  Getting the dress first will make it easier to find wedding shoes to complement every aspect of your dress: style, color, and detail.

Jeff, Finding a place at a wedding to photograph the shoes is often a challenge.  A little extra string helped position these shoes where I needed them.

When specifically should you buy your wedding shoes?

Tip two is you should buy the wedding shoes after the dress and prior to the first fitting.

Jeff, Often I find myself laying flat on the floor to get the perfect shoe shot!


Once you have selected the dress, you’ll know the characteristics your shoes should have in order to complement the dress. Plus the length of the dress will also determine the role of the shoes. If you chose a shorter dress, then your shoes can serve as a statement accessory. They could add color, glitz, glam, or whatever you feel would help complete the look. If you chose a dress that is on the longer side, then your shoes can serve as a supporting role. You might opt for a more comfortable shoes or you might decide how perfectly they match to be less important.

Tip three is make sure to bring a picture of the dress and a fabric swatch when you go shopping. This will help speed up the selection process. It will also make it easier for the salesperson to bring out shoes that suit your style.

Allowing enough time to test shoe comfort is tip four.On your wedding day you’ll be on your feet for a long time. This is why it is important to allow time to pursue options if you found the shoes uncomfortable. Option one is experimenting with inserts to see if they will remedy the issue. If they don’t work, then option two is to start the process over again and buy different shoes.

Tip five is to do your shoe testing on carpeted floors.

Jeff, After seeing the really cool shadows I know this would be a great place for a show shot.

Why do you need your wedding shoes prior to the first dress fitting?

Knowing the heel height is not enough to ensure proper alternations. This is because not all 6” heels are constructed the same. For example, you could have chosen a 6” platform heels versus 6” stiletto heels.  These two different heel types are constructed differently. Your heel height and shoe construction will effect your posture.  Your posture will effect how the dress hangs on your body.

Jeff, A little double stick tape held a shoe in place for this shot.

Wedding Shoe Shopping — Additional Resources

If you would like to read more on the subject of wedding shoes, then just click on one of the titles below.

Bridal Musings—Eight Tips for Flawless Wedding Shoe Shopping

Brides Magazine—Six Helpful Tips for Buying Wedding Shoes

Easy Weddings—Wedding Shoes Tips, Tricks, and How to Pick the Perfect Pair

Wedding Gide Magazine—Twelve Things to Remember When Buying Your Wedding Shoes

Bella Belle Shoes—Mistakes to Avoid When Picking Your Wedding Shoe

The Sole Mates—Thirteen Important Bridal Tips for Your Wedding Shoes

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