Bridesmaids’ Shoes… Must They Match?

Remember dyeable shoes for bridesmaids? I can recall taking white ballet flats from somewhere like Payless to a shoe shop to have them dyed to match exactly the color of my junior bridesmaid dress, way back when in the 80s. Now that was a look. Today the rules are more lax when it comes to the feet of the bridesmaid. Some brides want their bridesmaids’ shoes to match (not the dresses, just each other) while others are happy if their bridesmaids’ shoes are appropriate to the event, color and style be damned.

Me? I just wanted my bridesmaids to show up with shoes, which shouldn’t seem at all odd when you consider how much trouble I had getting them to buy their dresses. Shoes? Please just wear them and we’ll call it even.

bridesmaid shoes

Personally, I like matching bridesmaids’ shoes and mismatched bridesmaids’ shoes. It all depends on the dresses and the whims of the bride. What you don’t want is one bridesmaid wearing chunky black platform heels and another bridesmaid in bright yellow ballet flats, with a third bridesmaid sporting bridesmaid sneakers that have been bedazzled all the hell. You wouldn’t want that last one regardless, I’m sure.

Coordination is good when it comes to mismatched bridesmaids’ shoes, so let your gals know they should all be on the same page if you’ve decided to let them do their own thing where footwear is concerned. Perhaps go one step further and dictate a kind of shoe, like ‘strappy sandals’ or ‘peep-toe pumps,’ or a color or color family. To conclude, almost anything goes, but a little coordination goes a long way.

What do you think?

6 Responses to “Bridesmaids’ Shoes… Must They Match?”

  1. Melissa B. says:

    Bridesmaids’ shoes are the one area of bridesmaids’ attire where I feel *really* strongly about not requiring your friends to match. It’s not an aesthetic preference so much as a comfort thing. I once wore a stunningly painful pair of very pretty shoes in a friend’s wedding, and ever since I’ve firmly believed in letting bridesmaids pick something they’ll be able to walk in.

    I suggested silver or cream strappy sandals for my bridesmaids, but told them they could choose anything they wanted — I trusted their taste. Aside from my MOH (who sent me photos of the super-sexy shoes she bought because she was so excited!), I couldn’t tell you what they wore — but I do know that no one had numb feet at the end of the ceremony!

  2. Toni says:

    First of all, if the BM dresses are floor-length, then I think that matching shoes should NOT be required. At the very least, simply request that they wear something in black, which is what I did. Everyone already has black dress shoes, right?

    With shorter BM dresses becoming more popular, I can understand having the shoes become more important. Again, I think that your suggestions for coordination are good ones. Asking them to all wear some shade of tan/gold/cream/etc… or all wear pastels, or something like that, insures that you don’t add an extra financial burden, but that there won’t be any glaringly obvious sore thumbs.

  3. Anna says:

    As a nine-time bridesmaid, I’d prefer if brides didn’t require matching shoes. As someone who’s taller, I sometimes prefer wearing a lower heel than shorter fellow bridesmaids. Also, usually the weddings I’ve been in have required metallic shoes (silver); why should I have to buy three different pairs of silver shoes?

    I agree with the matching dressing, mismatching shoes, but add mismatching accessories/hairstyles to that too. It’s just my opinion, but I’d like to acknowledge the fact that my bridesmaids are individuals and not robots. (But at the same time, I realize that there is something nice about everyone being uniform.)

  4. Twistie says:

    I asked my bridesmaids to wear flats. Any flats. I really didn’t care beyond that. They wound up wearing everything from baby blue ballet flats to a pair of black slouchy boots, and I was down with that. All my bridesmaids had comfortable feet and they looked like individuals.

    I’d suffered through dyeable shoes in two weddings at that point, and it’s pretty much impossible to find dyeables in wide widths (at least it was then and there). The important things to me were that my bridesmaids a) be comfortable, b) look like the very individual people they were, and c) not trip or get stuck because they were trying to wear heels out in the woods.

    That said, I never complained about brides who wanted matching shoes one bit. I did, however, appreciate the bride who asked for simple black pumps with two inch heels, and then left the specific shoes up to us. Not that I owned such a pair of shoes, but I was able to fulfill the brief without either spending a fortune or wearing too-narrow shoes all day. I’m very much in favor of either a free-for-all or simple general guidelines.

  5. Katie says:

    I’m putting my bridesmaids in floor length gowns at least partially so they can wear whatever shoes they want, and it won’t matter. They can wear army boots, or thongs (that’s flip-flops for non-Australians) under there for all I care.
    At a dear friend’s wedding last year, she allowed me to wear shoes I already owned which I really appreciated, not having much money at the time, but I was the only bridesmaid.

  6. ChristianeF says:

    I looooooove the photo in this post! How perfect, especially if one’s friends are shoe lovers, to let them wear their favorite pair of dressy shoes! I think I might have to steal this idea for my (non-existent as yet) wedding. I was thinking of navy blue, knee-length dresses and this would be tres adorable.

    I’ve been a bridesmaid three times and haven’t yet had the joy of dyeable shoes. So far the lovely brides have been kind. The first let me wear whatever I wanted since I was the only bridesmaid (hello, rhinestoned stiletto sandals!), the second requested gold shoes, and the third allowed any kind of shoe we wanted (which was actually more stressful, if you can believe it). I’m very lucky.