We've partnered with Kerri founder and designer of Kindling Bridal, to bring you the top tips for choosing the perfect wedding shoes to match your bridal dress.
Hello there, I’m Kerri and I’m the founder and designer at Kindling Bridal, which is based in the beautiful Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge. Kindling Bridal is a bridal brand and atelier selling modern bridalwear, which is proudly designed and made-to-order right here in England.
What are your top tips for buying your wedding shoes?
It’s something that often gets brides in a state of confusion and expectations, but I always say that there are absolutely no rules when it comes to buying your wedding dress, and I think this applies to shoes and accessories too. Outdated traditions don’t need to be adhered to, so have fun with it!
If you find a pair of shoes that you fall in love with, it’s highly likely that they will make they most perfect wedding shoe for you. But for anyone struggling to find their perfect wedding shoes, here are some tips that I often give to my brides in the same predicament:
Comfort is key
This is an easy one and something you should definitely consider when choosing the right pair of shoes. Wedding days can be pretty long, and whether you're opting for a full-blown shebang with 200 guests or a more intimate affair with 20 of your nearest and dearest, chances are you will spend a large proportion of the day on your feet - from walking down the aisle and standing through a ceremony, to mingling with your guests and making sure you’ve said hello to everyone, right through to busting some moves on the dance floor, which means that you will absolutely be thanking your past self for opting for a pair of shoes that you can bear to walk and dance in for any prolonged period.
If you want to wear a heel, consider a chunkier or block heel over a stiletto, and a platform at the front of the shoe also gives you extra height without feeling like you’re on your tiptoes all day. A little cushioning on the ball of the foot is a dream too! And never has there been so many cool options for brides who prefer flats - from beautiful pumps to cool trainers and ankle boots look so amazing with so many dresses too!
Also never underestimate how comfortable a pair of shoes designed specifically for weddings can be, as these brands (such as Charlotte Mills) often put extra cushioning and overall comfort as a top priority of their designs, knowing that they’ll be worn for long periods time.
First things first
Buy your dress first! As a dress designer, I’m obviously going to recommend this, but hear me out: choosing your dress (or jumpsuit/separates etc) is a massive step towards deciding how you want to look on your day. Committing to the dress means you’re committing to the style you want to emanate on your big day, and that means you should be one step closer to picturing your ‘final look’ and therefore choosing shoes should be a little more straight forward. It’s not necessarily about having the dress in order to buy ‘matching shoes’ (there’s an outdated tradition that you can skip), but just having the dress to cement your style.
If, however, you already have a strong sense of your own style and can vision your look on your wedding day without needing to know the exact outfit you’ll be wearing first, then you are a very lucky girl, and if you see a pair of shoes that you love and know will work with whatever outfit you go for, you should buy them immediately!
Stay true to yourself
I did say there were no rules, but I lied as this is one rule that we should all follow every day, and even more so on your wedding day. This is where letting go of traditions, or other people’s opinions, comes in. Don’t feel like you have to wear a certain type of shoe just because you’re a bride. If you don’t love the shoe, then it’s not the shoe for you.
Want a statement shoe but worried that it’s not very bridal? Don’t worry about this - if you’re a bride, you’re already bridal!
Wear them again
As a follow on from tip 4, if you buy shoes that stay true to your sense of style then you’re more likely to wear them again and again after your wedding day, which is a bonus on so many levels.
Firstly, it means the ‘price per wear’ gives you very good reason to spend a bit more, if you so wish, on a dream pair that are more of an investment than a throwaway decision. Secondly, you’ll be reminded of your special day every time you wear them, and who doesn’t want to be reminded of such lovely and happy events more often! Third, after wearing them for a full day at your wedding, you can confidently wear them again knowing they are comfortable and well worn in, ready to go! And fourth, wearing something you wore on your wedding day should bring so many warm and fuzzy feelings flooding back that you are guaranteed to feel amazing in them, whatever you pair them with. They’ll forever jazz up your ‘jeans and a nice top’ outfit, and you could walk down the cereal aisle in Tesco in them feeling just as good as that time you walked down the aisle with your love waiting for you at the other end.
Bring them to your dress fitting
In an ideal world, you would buy your shoes before your first dress fitting, so you can bring them along with you and, not only will you get a better idea of the whole final look, it means the fitting is much more straightforward, as shoes can affect your posture which can affect the fit of a dress, and usually the hem length can’t be finalised until you have your shoes.
There is no ‘perfect’ pair of shoes
I do believe in soulmates in human form (be it romantic partner, best friend or sibling) but I do not believe that there is ‘the ONE’ when it comes to a wedding dress or shoes. I find that brides often fall in love with more than one dress, shoe or veil and agonise over making the ‘right’ decision, when in reality, which ever one you end up choosing is the right one for you.
If there’s three pairs of shoes you can totally see yourself in, you can bet that any of them would make a dream wedding shoe and there, annoyingly, is no ‘right’ or wrong’ answer to your dilemma, but it’s the one you go home and lose sleep over, the one that you can’t get out of your head and makes you smile when you remember how you felt wearing it, that’s the one you should commit to.
Hair: Emily Hawkes | @emilyhawkeshair
Shoes: Charlotte Mills | @charlottemillsshoes