Something that nobody tells you when you’re planning a wedding is how much you’ll be on your feet. As you prepare for your traipse down the aisle, you imagine yourself decked out in dazzling heels that shine like glass slippers. You haunt website sales sections and department store shoe racks for the perfect pair to complete the Cinderella story you’ve concocted in your head. You’ll get Prince Charming and a great pair of shoes.
Reality check: Even if you’re a pro at standing on stilettos (though never has the phrase “on pins and needles” seemed more apt), your feet will eventually give up on you by hour five of standing, pacing and dancing on your big day. You’ll be taking pictures, getting drinks, having your first dance, greeting each table, dancing some more, running back and forth to the bathroom and the buffet table. None of which is as fun when your feet are on fire.
As an avid (perhaps obsessive) shoe lover, I was particularly meticulous about finding my wedding shoes. I knew I didn’t want white—one scuff and they’re history—so instead I scoured the stores to find a bright-colored pair that would feel simultaneously special and expressive of my personal style.
They came in the form of satin Kate Spade peep-toe pumps in a color that’s best described as fuchsia. They were on sale at Zappos (the online mecca for finding brand-name, off-price shoes), they were my size (a feat in and of itself, considering I wear a size 10) and they were the last pair. They had to be mine.
As I traipsed down the aisle in my dad’s backyard on my wedding day, I silently praised myself for finding such great shoes—until I got stuck in the wooden slats on the porch where my husband and I were about to exchange vows. Fast-forward to taking photos after the ceremony and I had to stop after nearly every shot to dislodge my heels from the grass. Turns out heels—even special ones—aren’t all they’re cracked up to be when you’re trying to actually live life.
So out came my secret weapons: a pair of flats in a similar color I had found on the sale rack at Nordstrom and purchased “just in case.” I slipped them on with a sigh of relief and set about enjoying the rest of the day. Five hours later, at the end of a long and giddy reception in my in-laws’ grassy backyard where I literally never sat down, my feet weren’t sore, my wedding shoes weren’t ruined and I received more compliments on my flats than I had on my heels. A win-win-win if ever there was one.
I’m certainly not the first to effect this footwear switcheroo, but if you’re wondering if it’s worth it, take it from me: There was probably a reason Cinderella ditched the glass slippers in the end. A nice pair of flats could have really done her good. . . .