My sister is getting married this fall, and as her maid of honor (and fashion-editor sister), I’ve been her sounding board for any and all things bridal attire. Since helping her find her dream wedding dress, we’ve gone back and forth on everything from where to find her bridesmaids dresses to which shoes she should choose on her wedding day, and I’m sharing some insight today that was directly inspired by the latter conversation—namely, that her approach to shopping for bridal shoes involved buying not one but two pairs for the big day.
I hadn’t heard of this until my sister mentioned shopping for her second pair of shoes. Her first was a pair of white Dior J’Adior Pumps, but after asking the experts and a few of my betrothed co-editors, I soon learned that the second pair of bridal shoes can be very key and that you might later regret staying in the same pair from ceremony to reception. As someone who’s relatively new to the bridal world (this will be the first wedding I’m playing a part in, not just attending), I was curious to know what defined the so-called best bridal shoes and why this decision might have a lasting impact on the way you remember your wedding day.
Ahead, read about what experts and brides have to say on the matter, and peruse our favorite secondary bridal shoes along the way.
“The concept of switching into a second pair of shoes for the wedding reception isn’t necessarily new, but it is growing in popularity. Depending on the style, having a second pair of wedding shoes is also practical, which will be much appreciated on the big day.
“A certain shoe might look fabulous in photos but feel excruciatingly painful the minute you start moving. Having two pairs of wedding shoes gives brides the freedom to use one pair for portraits and the ceremony, followed by a more functional style for the reception when they’ll be doing the most walking and dancing.” — Sam Iacia, associate editor, WeddingWire
“If you can rock a pair of five-inch stilettos and still get down on the dance floor, then good for you! But if your wedding shoes are cumbersome or painful to move around in, it’s a good idea to opt for a more comfortable pair. If your dress is long, you probably won’t see them in photos, and you’ll be glad you didn’t spend the entire evening worrying about blisters and the like.” — Shelley Brown, senior fashion and beauty editor, The Knot
“I definitely planned on wearing two pairs of shoes to my wedding. I bought a special, more ornate pair for the ceremony (and for all the photo ops!) and a simpler, comfortable, and more affordable pair of strappy sandals to hit the dance floor in. In all the excitement, I actually never ended up changing into my second pair, which I wholly regret as I ended up getting some serious bruises and blisters after a whole day and night of being on my feet. I had an amazing time all the same (and only noticed my poor feet the day after), but I’d definitely recommend wearing another pair for the reception if your main bridal shoes aren’t all that comfortable.” — Judith Jones, market editor, Who What Wear
“Flats, sandals, or even platforms (if you’re also looking for additional height) are all more comfortable than traditional heels. Look for a pair with a solid back or back strap. (Mules are not the move here.) That way your shoes won’t rub or slide off throughout the course of the day.” — Brown