I had a wonderful weekend. I could write the standard “going to a wedding while you are engaged can be overstimulating” post, but I am going to try to avoid it. You’ve all read those posts! You know the drill: you think, “this must have cost so much!” “Will I be as happy/relaxed/beautiful as this bride?” “Will people dance this much at my wedding? Even if I don’t play ‘Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy?’”
Instead I am going to write about a completely superficial, unimportant wedding detail: shoes.
I am not a shoe person. I’ve observed from both my friends and the general culture that many women have a special love for shoes that transcends their love for other parts of their wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong: I recently counted and I have over thirty pairs of shoes. But I don’t feel any particular reverence for a good shoe the way I know other women do.
I’m also becoming less and less tolerant of high heels. At the wedding this weekend, I chucked my shoes after the cocktail hour. And then Collin stepped on my feet a bunch of times on the dance floor, but after trying to put my shoes back on I decided that would be more uncomfortable than getting stepped on a few more times.
But this should be a non-issue. I’ll be wearing a long dress, so I can find some very sturdy, comfy shoes and just not take any of those pictures of shoes without feet in them. No one will know! It will be fine!
Except I can’t quite shake the feeling of inadequacy on this one. When I see pictures of other brides with badass shoes. Shoes I can’t budget for. Shoes I probably would hate wearing. Shoes that would make me taller than Collin. Shoes that would make me trip. Shoes I do not want. But I see other brides wearing them, and I think, “Shouldn’t I have a piece of art on my feet too?”
Well, there won’t be any other brides at my wedding. But there will be a ton of chicks. Chicks in short dresses with their awesome shoes on full display. Chicks in my bridal party/bridal hootenanny, standing next to me in shoes so awesome that people will forget all about my Paramount Importance as The Bride because they’ll be unable to avert their eyes from the shoe pretties. I won’t get any pictures of me with my grandmother because our photographer will have to devote most of his time to pictures of these incredible shoes, without feet in them, natch.1
Clearly, the only solution here is to start practicing wearing very high heels without tripping. And to stretch Collin’s legs when he is sleeping so I can avoid towering over him. Or maybe I should shorten my bones? I wouldn’t be the first bride to get plastic surgery in the name of looking the way I am told I should at my wedding. I’ll need to find room in my budget—my life budget, not my wedding budget, don’t be ridiculous—for appropriately wowsome heels, maybe by turning the thermostat down to 55 degrees in the winter? In the end, it will all be worth it. We’ll find some grass, we’ll import some fall leaves, I’ll take my shoes off my feet, they won’t have sweat stains on them, one will rest on its side and the other will stand tall and proud like a beautiful piece of foot architecture, the camera will go CLICK and I’ll be a real bride.
1Actually, I kind of love the idea of a picture of all my friends’ nice shoes, artfully arranged without feet in them, surrounding my no-nonsense shoes, hopefully with my feet still in them if I can hike up my dress appropriately.
August 25, 2010 at 3:02 pm
Why don’t both you and Collin wear heels? No wait, Shape Ups! That way you can get the height you want AND work out your glutes.
Who doesn’t like wearing Frankenstein shoes? C’mon.
Actually, I tried them on at DSW and they are the most comfortable things I have ever put on my feet. Besides fuzzy socks. I sincerely wanted to buy them for their posture perfecting and muscle building powers, but Josh convinced me I would never wear it in public. Sure, probably not. But at home… that’s a different story. Can’t imagine you’d get much of a workout strutting around a 900 sq. ft. apartment.
August 25, 2010 at 4:42 pm
I also secretly want a pair of Shape Ups! I also tried on a pair at DSW and found them a delight to walk around in! But a) I don’t buy expensive sneakers b) I rarely if ever wear sneakers c) there are those who would snicker at my Shape Up wearing.
August 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm
I bought a pair of Shape Ups to wear around Comic Con. I figured with all of that walking, I might as well see if these things work. I thought they worked great, Tony laughed at me. I think he was just jealous that I was 3 inches taller than him as a result.
(Also, I bought them for half off at Sports Authority; I read a review of the shape up knock offs that Payless carries, which said they felt pretty much exactly the same.)
August 25, 2010 at 8:39 pm
Yes!! A thread on Shape Ups. Ok, 100% I want them now.
August 25, 2010 at 8:46 pm
Shape Up knock offs! I WANT!
August 26, 2010 at 12:25 am
I like them, but they’re only comfortable if you are really walking. They hurt my arches a bit if I have to do a lot of standing or shuffling (like in slow-moving crowds). Also, they really sucked when I was trying to climb down that giant hill in San Francisco.
August 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm
Go find a sexy pair of flats you love and go with it. You don’t have to have towering heels to have pretty shoes. I wore super sexy shoes that I LOVED and was limping the next day, and I still have a scar on my heel. So find something pretty AND something that won’t systematically destroy your feet. Not sure what your colors are, but here are some pretties:
August 25, 2010 at 4:43 pm
Thank you for this outstanding linkage! Also, you should know that your pretty, pretty shoes were the direct inspiration for this post.
August 26, 2010 at 4:38 pm
Aww thank you love! But they HURT. Worth it in pictures? Yes. But wow. Seriously though, there are gorgeous, gorgeous flats out there, so there is absolutely no reason why you can’t find a sexy pair of flats. Any idea what color shoes you want? I love vicariously online shopping through other people!
August 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm
I could paint your feet to look like you have shoes on them…or maybe I could paint them to look like kitties or ducks….I could even glue a rhinestone on here and there……
August 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm
Wait, paint my feet to look like kitty/duck feet or paint them to look like kitties/ducks? And I have no doubt there would be some bling.
August 25, 2010 at 5:04 pm
Robin, I have a few things to say about shoes, which should not surprise you.
1. I am an avid, near-fanatical lover of shoes. You know this. But in my hypothetical-future-wedding, I will probably wear flats for at least some part of the event (probably the ceremony) to save my feet for the long day.
2. I flatter myself by assuming I am one of the people you think will wear awesome shoes that could potentially be distracting. That being said, if you like, I will wear plain shoes so as to not detract from your bride-y-ness.
3. I have a pair of white shoes that are actually bridal shoes from a black tie event I had to attend a few years ago. I can lend them to you for an empty shoes photo.
August 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm
1. I am SHOCKED. I just assumed you would have feet of steel regardless of how long the day is.
2. You know I am a crazy person about demanding things of people in the bridal party. And you know I am nevertheless going to be making demands (e.g. no one-shoulder dresses if I have a one-shoulder dress). I don’t think I can handle asking people to not wear awesome shoes. I think I may ask people to only wear shoes that they really for true can walk down stairs in, though, just because I don’t want the ceremony to injure anyone.
3. I don’t really like pictures of shoes without feet in them. Even though I am apparently supposed to.
August 25, 2010 at 5:05 pm
oh and 4. Please please please let Viki paint your feet to look like something. Shoes, kitties, whatever. I want to see that.
August 25, 2010 at 5:12 pm
4. I don’t think I want to do this at the wedding but I do want to do it at some point. Bridal shower, maybe?
August 25, 2010 at 5:33 pm
Practice helps with comfort. Sadly, paying more money usually helps with comfort too. I think that’s how they get you.
(I wore ridiculous shoes, but slipped them off every time we sat down for five seconds during the reception. Which is pretty much my modus operandi at other people’s weddings too. )
August 25, 2010 at 9:03 pm
I’ve found the same thing, but only by virtue of buying extremely expensive heels marked down at Marshall’s. But there must be some kind of expensive shoe secret to making wearing them more bearable.
August 25, 2010 at 9:06 pm
I bought some of those “foot petal” things that promise to make heels feel heavenly… and then promptly forgot to put them into my shoes. I may stick them in a pair of heels and walk around Berkeley for a bit to see how they work. Will report back!
August 25, 2010 at 7:07 pm
I paid $39 for my wedding shoes, which don’t look anything like wedding shoes (nothing to show off a pretty pedicure, for instance. That said, I’m planning to kick them off as soon as we get back to the house for the reception. Maybe I’ll put on some slippers of some sort, but more likely I’ll just go barefoot. That’s just the way I roll (I also keep a pair of slippers shaped like sock monkeys under my desk at work. Ssshhh.).
August 25, 2010 at 9:04 pm
Provided I ever get a job, I will be taking the Working Girl approach of sneakers with a suit on the way to work, heels hidden in my desk.
August 25, 2010 at 8:51 pm
Not a shoe girl either. Definitely not heels.
I may or may not have chosen to get married on the beach so that I can walk down the “aisle” barefoot and wear sandals after that.
I did buy very small heels for the Irish wedding, for like $50. But I’ll change into flats before the reception.
I’d rather be carefree and comfortable than thinking about how much my feet hurt!
August 25, 2010 at 9:05 pm
One note about changing into flats if you are wearing a long dress: warn the seamstress. My sister wore short heels during the ceremony and changed into slippers for the reception, but her hem was long to begin with and once the heels were off the was tripping on her gown.
August 26, 2010 at 12:23 am
Agreed. I had my dress hemmed in flats so that I could wear it either way without tripping. I’m glad I did.
August 25, 2010 at 9:20 pm
Robin, I share your indifference toward shoes, at least relative to the near-disturbing amount of feeling each of us can conjure up for, e.g., a fine summer frock. And it should go without saying that if you want to wear concave clown shoes to your own wedding, I think you should do so proudly and take a million photos.
But this is ONE area where I’m going to let personal opinion get the better of me and offer my two cents: I think heels are important for a wedding. At least for the ceremony. This has nothing to do with aesthetics or bride- or guest-envy and everything to do with posture and carriage. Heels just do something nice for a body. Ok, they don’t always do something nice for the feet, but they do something nice for the way a body looks and stands and holds itself. Granted, I only have my own body for reference, but I know that I certainly feel more self-important and somehow…attractive isn’t the right word…but more present in the world, maybe, when I have on a good pair of heels. I can’t imagine myself getting through a wedding ceremony in flats.
Then, of course, break out the clown shoes for your reception.
(But seriously, wear whatever the hell you want.)
August 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm
Annie, I think you are right on. Heels definitely do something for the posture, which does something for your general look. For what it is worth, most dresses appear to be cut such that with short heels (1.5 to 2 inches) I don’t need a hem. And I’m all about not paying for a hem. So short heels are probably where it’s at for my wedding. And I think they do help with the posture, they just look much less impressive as shoes next to towering heels.
August 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm
My dress only allows for 2 inch heels before looking silly, so 2 inch heels it is. Because of the posture thing and the feeling special thing. And I hope 2 inch heels means that I can wear them all night (though I’m bringing awesome flats with me too. Just in case.) And I’m wearing them to special events before the wedding to break them in. And I’m not spending more than $80 on shoes because they’re *shoes* and my pockets are not lined with gold. And because I can’t possibly believe that my wedding will be ruined if I don’t spend $500 on fancy shoes that will hurt in 2 hours anyhow. I mean really? Carrie could only deal with heels all day because she took cabs. I don’t care if they’re Manolos or not, there’s only so much abuse a foot can take before it screams for dancefloor freedom.
And really, unless you hike up your dress to take photos, who the heck is going to notice? They’ll be all excited about DRESS DRESS DRESS and BRIIIIIIDE. And I hate the shoe photos anyhow. It just reinforces the wedding-as-consumptive-bonanza-not-emotions BS that I can’t stand.
August 27, 2010 at 12:24 am
I’m on board with those above that mentioned sexy flats. I used to wear heels a lot. Sometime after I graduated from college, I just couldn’t do it that often anymore. Or for as long. I think sexy flats are great, and you’ll be able to match your girls.
P.S. I’m sorry to admit I’m probably one of those woman who gets a little too attached to their shoes. And I probably spend too much money on them too. Oh boy.
September 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm
Hmm….yes, there is pressure to have super cute shoes, even if the dress is so long they won’t really be seen. I went with low heels that were comfy and re-wearable. They were more sassy than sexy, but no one really saw them unless I raised my dress to show them. But I felt good, and I love being able to wear my “wedding shoes” now. They were Clarks (Artisan line), bought on clearance for $29 at a factory shoe store. The comfort factor was important to me since I am kinda clutzy and not good in heels. But I walked differently and more confidentally when I was wearing them and that made me choose them. And the fact that they were comfortable and red. My shoes-without-feet pic here (haha): http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/2010/03/re-wearable-wedding-shoes.html
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