Something I thought I knew about weddings even before I got engaged was that “bridal shoes” are a racket and any sensible marrying woman would just buy a pair of dressy heels not marketed to the bride and save hundreds and end up with nicer shoes.
I no longer believe this to be true.
Because as I’ve previously lamented, a lot of “piece of art” shoes worthy of a bride (sorry, I just gagged a little) have monster heels. Which are not practical for me, seeing as how my dress sweeps the floor with heels somewhere around 2 1/2″, but are also not practical for anyone, seeing as how you will have to be in those godforsaken foot-benders all day, and don’t start with me about how you’ll switch into fast flats or flip flops at the reception because you WILL trip on your hem and you WILL rip your bustle down and I WILL end up with my head up your skirt trying to re-bustle it with safety pins and a 99 cent sewing kit and I WILL fail [see generally, my sister's wedding]
If you try to shop for regular old heels with reasonable heels, your options dwindle quickly. And because we bizarrely associate “hard to walk in” with “fancy”, low-heeled shoes are often much more casual. Which might work for your wedding, and in that case, more power to ya. But I still want pretty, unmistakeably formal shoes on my feet at my wedding. Just… with a low heel, and comfort-in-mind design.
You know who sells a lot of options in that category? Bridal footwear lines. When Zappos.com answered my parameters with just one page of results, and when a trip to Nordstrom yielded comments such as “I’m sorry, we only have those in a 6.5 and an 11.” – Salesperson, and “That shoes was crazy!” – Liz, I knew I had to suck it up and shop for things branded as Bridal Footwear.
Although, now that I’ve re-opened my heart to the possibility of shopping from websites like bridalshoes.com, I still have to, you know, pick shoes.
This is the sole hold-out from the Zappos.com search:
I honestly think half the reason I like this shoe is that the color is called “cosmic dust.” But I think they might be too plain for me? I more want one of my bridal hootenaneers to wear the nickel variety.
I’m also inherently skeptical of any slingback shoes because I just imagine that strap digging into my ankle until I start bleeding all over the hem of my dress.
These are the tried-and-true bridal shoes that I wore with my dress at my fitting. I know they are exactly the right height, and the gold is tolerable, but I don’t know if I actually like the design of the shoe (I certainly find it snore-worthy in ivory) and I also have no idea if I can find a legitimate retailer that still has my size in stock. [Note to future brides: if you are getting married in the summer, you need to pretend you are getting married in June, or the June brides will snap up all the good stuff before you even look for it.]
Then there are a bunch of shoes that are a variation on a theme: d’Orsay-esque with a little brooch on the toe, too expensive:
That last one is approaching reasonable in price, actually ($82) but it is also the one I like the least. If I were not worried about the heel of the Badgely Mischka one being too high and me having too much trouble walking in a shoe without sides, it would be kind of hard to resist the splurge. Mostly because I love that color (it is called “gold platinum”, or “crack to someone with a mixed metallics as her wedding colors”).
Because I don’t know much about shoes, I feel like I need to try some more styles on my actual feet in an actual store and walk around in them. But I learned yesterday that regular shoe stores don’t really carry the medium-heeled bridal shoes I have in mind. So I think I need to go to a bridal shop and try on their shoes? Doesn’t that sound like the LAST thing a savvy bride should do? But it feels like the most sensible option I have at this point.
And yes, I am totally, absolutely going to buy those platform flip-flops. I don’t care how tacky they are, I want to DANCE.