Shoes can create a look
Accessories can make or break a bride's look. Overdo them and you detract from the main item, under-accessorise and you can end up downplaying an outfit. Mismatch and the overall effect can appear disjointed.
When it comes to shoes, heels add height and elegance, but not necessarily comfort. 'A bride-to-be needs to remember comfort, style, materials and colour,' says Winnie Fong, manager at Design Your Own Shoes. 'She needs to consider the heel height and platform, and also the size and width because she needs to walk in the shoes all day.'
An ankle strap provides extra support for the bride who usually wears flats, while a breathable leather lining helps keep feet cool and makes footwear more comfortable, Fong says.
The type of wedding affects the footwear. A formal affair calls for a traditional shoe, while lower-heeled sandals, wedges or bridal flip-flops are ideal for a casual outdoor wedding. 'Pointed-toe is classic,' Fong says. 'Open-toe styles and sandals are more fashion.'
Colour should match the gown. White and ivory come in shades such as off-white, cream and champagne gold, so it's best to take fabric from the wedding dress to ensure the correct match.
Some brides choose blue for the Western tradition of wearing 'something blue', while red is sometimes picked to fit Chinese tradition. 'For materials, choose something that matches the gown such as silk, lace or a sparkling fabric with Swarovski crystals,' Fong says. Satin shoes work with shiny fabric, lace with a lace dress, while cr?pe works with a wedding dress that has a matte sheen. Rhinestones or crystals complement bejewelled, shiny or sequined dresses while pearl-decorated gowns pair well with beaded shoes.
'Most brides like to choose heels of three inches or more,' says Pandora Cheng, director at bridal shoe specialist Something Thine. 'They prefer high heels with a platform and a peep-toe or round-toe style, which is more comfortable to stand and walk.
'Lace, floral decoration and crystals are the most common materials for bridal shoes and most choose white as the base colour,' Cheng says.
Something Thine custom-designs bridal shoes including conventional white or red heels, shoes with feathered adornments or quirky Converse-style footwear with elaborate decorations.
'Some want something unusual and they will choose a material and make it fancy, by using the feather of a peacock, or adding their own logo or name,' Cheng says. Bridal shoes should be chosen once the colour, style and length of the gown are confirmed.
Shoes should be ready for the final fitting of the gown so last-minute changes ensure the heel height and dress length complement each other.
Custom-made shoes need at least four weeks' production time, but Fong and Cheng recommend consultations begin two or three months before the wedding. The process usually involves two to three consultations and a fitting session once the shoes are ready, followed by any necessary minor adjustments.