Bridal Stylist Maradee Wahl Helps You Choose the Perfect Shoe

Whether you want to stick to tradition or not, here are some tips on selecting the right accessory.

While there are many styles to choose from, Maradee Wahl shares her tips for sticking with a traditional look or selecting the right heel or flat that can be worn long after the wedding day.

Photo: Daniel Kincaid Photography

Editors Circle member and bridal stylist Maradee Wahl of Dear Maradee is a go-to source for styling advice for Inside Weddings brides. This week, she's answering a question often discussed amongst brides-to-be: how to find the right wedding shoe. While there are many styles to choose from, Maradee shares her tips for sticking with a traditional look or selecting a unique wedding heel or flat that can be worn long after the wedding day.

Bride pulling up wedding dress to show bridal shoes laser cut details

Photo by Elizabeth Messina; Bridal Stylist: Maradee Wahl for Dear Maradee

Read on to learn more about choosing your wedding-day shoes in the next Dear Maradee post, below:

Dear Maradee,

I would love to wear a non-bridal shoe for my wedding... what do you think? How do I decide if this is the right look for me?

Stiletto Stephanie


Dear Stephanie,

Wearing a not-so-bridal shoe at your wedding is a great idea... but as usual, I have some thoughts about that, so let’s discuss!

Some fashionable brides want to splurge on (possibly) the only item from the wedding wardrobe they can wear again in the future. On the other hand, a more laid-back bride may choose something very simple thinking, “I’m wearing a long gown; will my shoes even show?”

Whether you want to splurge or save on this accessory, there are a few points to consider.

There is a pretty strict formula for the proper hem on a floor-length gown. As you are standing, the gown should appear to touch the floor, but is actually floating about 1/4” higher. This allows your foot (in a shoe, cute or not!), to peek out at every step, keeping you from tripping or tangling in the frothy layers.

When you sit, cross your legs, bend down to hug the cute little flower girl, or pet the ring-bearing dog, your shoes will show. Also, when you step up and down stairs or waltz and dance the night away, your shoes will show. In other words, your shoes will show at some point on your wedding day, so plan accordingly!

If you are wearing a traditional gown, you'll need to remember that those gorgeous blue sparklers that looked fabulous in the shoe salon with a pair of jeans will really stand out under an ivory or white gown. The shoe will become the main element of your bridal look. That may be your style – and if so, go for it!

If you are unsure of making a bold statement, a metallic shoe is a nice fashion neutral that can be introduced into your after-wedding wardrobe. If you prefer that your shoes “disappear” – not influencing the total look one way or another – a nude or ivory shoe will do the trick.

As for the type of shoe, a sandal may make the most sense for the season, while a peep toe or pointed toe is more formal, and exposes more shoe and less toe as you walk. Select the shoe that works best with your gown, your personal style, and the wedding vibe!

If you need the least height possible, try a very low kitten heel. Flats are an option, but may affect the way you walk, so make sure to practice in your gown to ensure the overall effect isn’t too casual.

One last tip: always finalize your shoe decision before committing to the length of your hem. You may find that standing for 30 minutes during your bridal fitting makes your toes fall asleep. This is a good indication that it’s time for more shopping!

Remember, you are the bride, so choose to wear what you love best.

Happy Styling!


Maradee Wahl for Dear Maradee bridal stylist services

Be sure to check back for more advice from Maradee! Find more fashion on here, and read Maradee's tips on incorporating tradition into your ensemble, learn how to find the perfect bridal gown, see if you should wear a veil or not, and discover the first steps to take when choosing a wedding dress.