Updated: Sep 23, 2018
Before you buy your wedding shoes bear in mind that the height of the heels may affect the overall length of your wedding dress. So it's a good idea, if you can, to find the heel size you like, to try on some shoes that you already own with your wedding gown.
Then when you’re ready to go shoe shopping, if possible, ask a relative or friend along whose judgement you trust for a second opinion. Also keep in mind that you don't have to buy ‘genuine’ wedding shoes, as there are lots of other very pretty affordable shoes - some of which can also be dyed.
You should also try on lots of pairs of shoes, with the right size heel, in a style that you like, that co-ordinate with your wedding dress and that you feel comfortable in. And when you've chosen and purchased your wedding shoes, just to make sure that they are comfortable, it's definitely advisable to wear them around your home.
Wedding shoes have an enchanting history that continues to influence the look of the footwear that today's brides choose for their stroll down the aisle.
Cinderella, the most famous princess bride, married her prince wearing sparkling glass slippers. Catherine de Medici, one of the first brides in history to walk down the aisle in high heels, inspired a fashion trend that continues today. Anglo-Saxon brides tossed shoes rather than bouquets to bridesmaids who hoped to be the next to marry. Brides in merry old England followed the directive that they wear "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue -- and a sixpence in her shoe" by tucking coins into their wedding slippers.
Queen Victoria inspired millions of modern-day brides by choosing a white gown and white shoes for her wedding in 1840. Until then, blue was the colour of choice for bridal ensembles. Princess Diana, a statuesque 177.8 cm tall, chose low-heeled, pearl-encrusted, ivory silk flats for her wedding, so as not to tower over Prince Charles.
Contemporary Styles in Wedding Shoes
Today's brides make the journey from once upon a time to happily ever after in all manner of magic slippers - high heels, low heels, sandals, pumps and even bejeweled flip-flops, says Anna Pezik, senior editor at Brides .com
"These days, wedding shoes make a real fashion statement. No one wants a cookie-cutter look," says Pezik. "Brides are choosing their gowns and their accessories to reflect their own individual style. They're taking bridal shoes a step further than the traditional white satin pump."
In response, designers such as Vera Wang, Jimmy Choo, Stuart Weitzman, Kenneth Cole and Manolo Blahnik have filled shelves with wedding pumps, slingbacks, sandals and ballet flats in bronze, silver, gold and pewter metallic shades and soft pastels, as well as ivory and white. Detailing includes bows, beading, embroidery and lace. Heel heights and silhouettes range from flat to stiletto. Toes can be open, closed, pointed, rounded or squared.
"Are you planning a romantic wedding? A glamorous event? Bohemian rhapsody? Beach casual? A destination wedding?" Pezil asks. "Your gown and your shoe choice will help create the atmosphere."
The season's hottest styles, Pezik says, are strappy sandals and slingbacks.
"Wedding shoes are so gorgeous that no one wants to wear them for just one day and then put them in the closet," Pezik says. "Brides are choosing shoes that they can wear again."
Brides planning beach weddings have stylish choices that go beyond the humble rubber Thong.
"Stuart Weitzman makes an adorable jelly sandal with crystal accents and kitten heels," Pezik says. "You can also find bridal beach footwear with wedge heels and platform heels."
Even for the trendiest brides, tradition still plays a role. Several designers, including Fifi, line bridal footwear with azure-coloured fabric to meet the "something blue" requirement.