Your Bridal Shoes: No Need to Sacrifice Style for Comfort

Think your bridal gown is the most important garment you'll need for your wedding? Think again! Your shoes could make or break your day. When your feet hurt, it shows on your face, and you only want smiles on your wedding day.

Top Wedding Sites, Inc. recently sat down and spoke to Lori Dunn, Bridal Stylist and wedding attire expert. Here's Lori's professional shoe selection advice.

Brides spend a lot of money on their dress, their tiara etc., and then choose to save money on the shoes. Why do you recommend they look for a quality, well made shoe instead of skimping? And how do they recognize quality?

? A quality shoe generally is going to have a great fit, so it's going to be comfortable. Sacrificing quality for a bit of cash could very well end up making your wedding day (and the days following) painful! Don't dismiss the importance of a quality shoe!

? You get a good, comfortable fit from a well-made shoe because it's constructed from fine leather and fabrics. Cheap materials don't feel good on your feet the moment you put them on, and it's not going to get any better as the day goes on. You're probably going to have to pay more for comfort, but remember: you're going to be on your feet all day.

? Designer and name brands normally represent quality - like Vera Wang and Stuart Weitzman. The materials are also important; look for things like leather soles, silk, "lined in leather", embroidery or Swarovski crystals. These high-end materials and embellishments generally mean quality.

? You may be surprised when you try on a quality, designer shoe - I find a shoe with an extremely high heel or pointy toe can be quite comfortable because of its superior construction.

? I always say, "Great shoes are like nice lingerie, even though no one sees it, you still feel beautiful when you wear it."

Lori's Shoe Smarts!

1. Shoes with a pointed toe tend to run a little smaller. If you tend to be in-between sizes, it's a good idea to chose the bigger size and put a pad in the ball of the shoe or heel if you have to.

2. Wear shoe pads to cushion your feet for the long day.

3. A "strappy" sandal or sling back tends to slip. A long narrow adhesive shoe pad stuck to the strap can solve the problem. Using wig tape works great too!

4. Consider high quality silk dyeable shoes that will hold up through several dye processes so you can get more wear from your shoes after the wedding. A dyeable silk shoe of good quality can normally be dyed up to 4-6 times.

5. Think about getting two pairs of shoes for your wedding day. You may fall in love with the 4-inch heel, but after the ceremony and formal pictures, you may be ready to change into a lower heel for dancing.

6. If you have a simple dress, have fun with your shoes. Choose a pair with crystal or pearl embellishments, try a touch of color; Pale blue, for your something blue perhaps. However, make sure the shoes complement the dress and match the look of your wedding attire.

Shopping online makes the wedding planning process a breeze but some brides might be afraid to buy wedding shoes online for fear they won't fit or won't be what they expected. What advice do you have for bride's who are considering buying their wedding shoes from an internet shop?

? Make sure to start your shoe shopping 2 to 3 months before you actually need them for your dress fitting so you avoid paying rush handling and shipping fees. Do not be afraid to order shoes online! Select stores with contact information readily available so you can call and ask questions, ex: if a shoe runs narrow, big, etc.

? Some online stores charge a restocking fee or specify exchange on certain shoes, so read the returns policy before you buy. Some brides just don't want to deal with that, but a lot of brides say it's a good tradeoff. They like shopping online for the large selection that they can't come close to getting in their hometown.

? Shoes can definitely be a tough fit; so before purchase, you should always know your true shoe size. I recommend stopping by a specialty shoe store to have your feet measured just to be sure. Ordering the correct size the first time is going to increase your chance that your first purchase will be the right one. Do this at the end of the day for the most comfort, since feet tend to swell throughout the day.

? When you get the shoes, handle them with care. Try them on carpet so the soles aren't scratched, and always try the shoes on with pantyhose so you don't leave toe prints. If you decide the shoes need to be returned, they'll be in pristine condition. Dirty or damaged shoes are going to be difficult, if not impossible to return.

Lori Dunn is a 15-year veteran of the fashion industry. A former model who has graced the pages of elite magazines -- as well as a professional makeup artist and hairstylist -- she's now one of the top bridal consultants in the United States.

Matthew Ennis, Marketing Manager at Top Wedding Sites, Inc. home of Top Wedding Sites, Top Wedding Questions and Second Weddings.

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