Let’s face it: on your wedding day, you’ll be on your feet a lot. From the time you put on your gown, you’ll probably spend most of the rest of the day standing, walking, posing, dancing, posing some more, walking, and… well, you get the picture. Believe me, I’ve known a lot of brides who never got to sit down again once they got going!
And if there’s one thing I know from my many misspent years in retail sales, it’s that miserable feet make it extra-difficult to keep up a picture-perfect smile. When it came time to plan my own wedding, comfortable feet were among the less traditional priorities I chose. It paid off, too. When I got ready for a quiet evening of basking in being married to Mr. Twistie, my feet felt as good as they had that morning when I rolled out of bed.
The funny thing is, it wasn’t all that difficult. If you’re thinking about how to keep your feet happy all day, I’ve got a few tips to help you in your efforts.
Wear a heel height you’re already comfortable in. I’m not going to try to tell you what that is, because some women live in flats, others in four inch heels. Each of them looks at the other as some sort of bizarre biological experiment, utterly unable to fathom that it works. Me? I get a nosebleed in one-inch heels. I opted for dancing shoes. Specifically, my Scottish dancing ghillies. They’re built a bit like ballet slippers, only with more laces up the foot. And they were bright scarlet. And since I already owned them, they saved me money, too.
Speaking of dancing shoes, consider some of the dance shoe manufacturers. Makers like Capezio and companies that specialize in ballroom dance shoes are a great place to look. Their shoes need to look great and feel comfortable for hours of dancing.
Even if you decide against a dance shoe company, look for some of the same features, like padded insoles, that will help you feel light on your feet while you’re dancing ’til dawn. Even a pair of good old Dr. Scholl’s inserts can make a huge difference for your feet.
Make sure your shoes fit properly and break them in well before the wedding day. When you go in to choose your shoes, consider asking to have your feet properly measured before you even begin. A surprising number of us assume we know what size our feet are, and are wearing the wrong size shoe. After all, weight gain or loss or pregnancy can change the size of your feet. Or it could simply be that the rest of you stopped growing several years ago, but your feet kept on for another half size or so that you never really noticed. Believe it or not, that happened to me.
As for breaking them in, we’ve all bought pretty shoes for some special occasion and then left them carefully in the box until the big day only to find that they rub our heels or pinch in some odd spot. If you’re wearing white or ivory shoes and fear getting them scuffed or dirty, wear them around the house with a pair of socks over them for protection. Then step carefully! The socks don’t have the same traction as the soles of your shoes.
Take care of any foot issues in advance. Bunions, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, ingrown toenails… feet are prone to a lot of potentially painful issues. If you’ve got one, try to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist well before your wedding to see what – if anything – can be done to fix it. If you can’t fix it, or it can’t be done right then, ask for advice on handling your particular issue for your wedding. Trust me, you won’t be the first person to ask a similar question.
Ask someone to make sure you sit down once in a while on your wedding day. It’s easy to wind up in a wedding day fog going from one activity or photo op to another without really being in the moment. In fact, a good 85% of all brides I’ve known have wound up on automatic pilot at some point in the proceedings. So ask someone you trust to keep an eye on you and make you sit and pull yourself back into the moment if that happens to you. You don’t want to spend seven or eight hours without having gotten off your feet for more than two minutes, and you want to have some clear memories of the day. Also, you will want to eat. All three of these issues are well served by one person keeping half an eye on you.
If all else fails, a hot bath helps a lot with tired, sore feet. It happens. You do everything right, and still wind up with aching feet. If that turns out to be the case, consider a warm bath for two with some soothing lavender. After all, there are worse ways to start a honeymoon!