"What about shoes, though?": Suggestions and Confessions
-written by Emmaleigh Argonauta, owner and operator Just Bloom Together Consulting
Wedding Coach & Stylist; Asheville, NC native
Photography: Adrian Etheridge Photography
Personal, Detail, Bridal Styling & Coordination: Just Bloom Together
Make Up and Lashes For Love + Lashes Beauty Studio
Nails Adorn Salon and Boutique
Sometimes shoes are an afterthought.
(Especially when you’ve spent countless hours and boatloads of money on a wedding dress or suit, or both, and you just want to check it off your list.)
Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Sometimes shoes can be a “make it work as best as possible” thought. Well, at least in my case I suppose lol. As someone who wears a size 4.5 women’s shoe, and it’s nearly impossible to find shoes that aren’t for athletics (and not in the kid’s section), shoes are sort of my nemesis.
Furthermore, my Grandmother was a childhood survivor of a bone infection that left her with two different sized feet. So, she always had two random shoes hanging around that didn’t fit her or anybody else, which frustrated the hell out of me because ONE of them was small enough for my freakin’ foot but there was never the PAIR!
This certainly contributed to my very real shoe struggle.
Now, I’m not really interested in sportin’ the 80-90 year old lady shoe look, but sometimes it’s just nice to have a comfortable pair that fit your feet correctly.
Tip #1: Always have an extra pair of comfortable shoes you can dance in at your wedding reception! Which brings me to...
When the shoe struggle is this real, I will unapologetically rock a PAIR of old lady shoes like a Boss!
Ironically, or maybe just appropriately who the hell knows, my other Grandmama (on my Mama’s side) was known for her fashion sense; and she was shorter than me at 4’11” so she too had tiny feet. It was easier to find shoes for smaller feet in her day, and yet another reason I love vintage fashion because I can find smaller everything.
Tip #2 Make certain your wedding ensemble (gown, jumpsuit, pantsuit, cape, etc.) has been hemmed with ALL shoes you'll be wearing on your wedding day in mind (aka have shoes at your alterations appointments!)
As a sidebar, I may or may not have worn her gorgeous wedding shoes from her Christmas Eve 1942 wedding during WWII to her just as gorgeously touching funeral in 2015.
Also, I may or may not have also wore those burgundy beauties for a boudoir photoshoot in 2018.
Now, my Grandmama would not have been pleased with her little redheaded granddaughter’s racy picture business I’m pretty certain. I think if she’d still been alive and she’d questioned me about those sexy photos; I may have gently asked her in a soft, airy, and distinctly low country SC Southern accent she would certainly understand:
“Well, Grandmama you did tell me when I turned 21 that I was ‘now footloose and fancy-free’?”
As much as my Grandmama would have probably felt those photos were in bad taste to share publicly, she was not just a sharp dresser but also had a sharp mind. (Grandmama graduated as valedictorian of her high school class in Tuskegee, AL in 1938 while maintaining her fashionable edge.)
Tip #3 When shopping for suits or tuxedos at rental shops, consider checking out if they have shoes or other accessories available.
I think she may have just quietly mumbled something like:
“Lawd have mercy, Emmaleigh,” then shook her head and continued under her breath still audibly,
“You know I say a prayer for you everyday” at my own sharp effort to expertly mask what might have been seen as back talking.
Tip #4 Think about what surfaces you will be walking on your wedding day. Heels may sink in a semi-saturated ground or get caught in any surfaces with deep grooves or uneven pavement. Consider how you will traverse your venue, thoughtfully.
This effort was absolutely necessary as back talking was no laughing matter. Grandmama definitely would have prayed about me and her shoes; and I’m so grateful for all her prayers, even if we may not have ever agreed on who or what prayer was to or for.
There’s a reason we talk about what it means to: “walk in someone else’s shoes for a day.” Not only could someone else’s shoes not fit or be fashionable (or maybe just one of them fits and one is fashionable to drill in my aforementioned frustration and nemesis), but we might think about our own shoes a bit differently when we slip each shoe on to each of our feet. We might even think differently about what it means when we are encouraged to: “break your shoes in.”
Ultimately, I’m telling you this “little” story for the simple reason:
Don’t forget to wear those new shoes around the house while you piddle about, before you have to wear them for hours on end. Break ‘em in, my friends.
Tip #5 Practice. Practice. Practice. Walk in your shoes AND wedding ensemble, especially if you are not used to walking with a train. Stepping on the hem of your gown or garment may leave you with a hole or rip in the fabric (or heaven forbid leave you tripping and falling).