From how much to spend, to whether flip flops are a faux pas, we’ve asked the experts and compiled a comprehensive guide to shopping for your wedding shoes…
How much should I spend on my wedding shoes?
Let’s start with the budget, shall we? Bridebook’s UK Wedding Report for 2017 suggests that the average bride will spend £1,329 on her entire wedding look. It’s of course entirely up to you to assess how much you can afford, and also how much importance you place on the shoes, versus the dress and other key items like veils and jewellery. Widely, 10-15% of the cost of the dress is the recommended spend on shoes. According to etiquette experts Debrett’s, though, the bride’s family should pay. Might as well go to town then…
How high should they be?
“You will be on your feet all day and should not have to worry about comfort and balance,” say Debrett’s. “You may not want to appear taller than the groom. Small, kitten-style heels can be a good option.” Also your friend – block heels for balance, anything with support (like platforms) and coverage at the front, as well as, obviously, flats.
Topshop’s new bridal collection includes shoes with a variety of heel heights and styles. Beatrix sandal, £79, from Topshop.
So you can you wear flats to your wedding?
Of course! There are hundreds of suitably gorgeous bridal flats out there, both at high street and designer price points. Our favourites are by Tabitha Simmons, the Vogue fashion editor – turned shoe designer who makes beautiful soft ballet pumps and slippers in velvet or glitter, with ribbon ties.
Tabitha Simmons’ Daria shoes, £345, from Net-A-Porter
Which brands do the best wedding shoes?
Many, many brands have launched special wedding shoe collections this year – Manolo Blahnik, Stuart Weitzman and Charlotte Olympia to name but a few. Jimmy Choo and Sophia Webster are the most popular designer names, according to Lyst, while on the high street, Monsoon and Topshop rule.
The soles of Sophia Webster’s popular bridal shoes are printed ‘Wifey for Lifey’. £395 from Sophia Webster
Help! I have something really specific in mind, but I can’t find them in real life…
Don’t panic, go bespoke. Jimmy Choo has an online service that allows you to adapt eight different shoe templates to create your own wedding shoes, meaning that more is always possible. You can even have your initials or wedding date emblazoned onto the sole.
Kami sandal, £725, from Jimmy Choo
When should I buy them?
After finding the dress, but before the fittings. You’ll need to try on your dress with your shoes so that you get a true idea of your posture, as well as allowing for the correct hem length to be determined. Bold brides might find their shoes before their dress, but you may end up at a disadvantage if you’re planning your entire look from bottom to top, rather than the other way around.
Are traditional cream satin shoes a bad idea?
This requires consideration of several factors, including when and where you’re getting married and how hard you intend to party. If your wedding is a country-style soiree with hay bales, if you’re planning to spend all night on a booze soaked dance floor, or if the big day is likely to be set to a backdrop of moody British weather, then we would advise against it. If you’re posing on the steps of your local city hall, though, then ivory satin shoes would look lovely.
Silvia round-toe shoes, £89, from Monsoon
Where did Carrie Bradshaw get her wedding shoes from?
Don’t pretend you don’t want to know the answer to this one… Manolo Blahnik’s encrusted ‘Hangisi’ shoes are the most searched for wedding shoe online, according to Lyst, with pink being the most popular colour choice so far this year. The Sex And The City character is clearly still inspiring brides everywhere with her ‘something blue’ choice from the 2008 movie, and even fashion blogging favourite Olivia Palermo wore a pair on her big day in 2014.
Manolo Blahnik’s Hangisi pumps, above, come in several heel heights and colours. £745, available at Net-a-Porter
Should the heels match the dress?
They should ideally either perfectly match, or completely contrast. You can have your shoes dyed to the exact tone that you want, or you might want to dye them after the wedding so that you can wear them again. Companies like Elegant Steps will do this for you in the UK.
Should I wear my shoes before my wedding day?
Yes, but only around the house. Wearing them in is important as your shoes will be far more comfortable, but be careful not to overstretch them by wearing chunky socks.
Is it a faux pas to put flip flops on at the end of the night when you’ve danced your Choos off?