Find Your Style
The long standing fashion rule is that the bride and bridesmaids wear closed toe shoes in winter. In climates where winter means 70+ degrees this standard is often overlooked, and increasingly winter brides everywhere are breaking the rules and wearing what they love - closed toe or not.
Outdoor weddings and receptions can be difficult to navigate in high, slender heels because they tend to sink into soft ground and sand. If you're going to be spending a significant amount of time on a lawn or beach look for a wide, squat heel or a flat.
The Formality of the Wedding
From jewel-studded flip flops to knock out high heels, bridal shoes run the gamut from casual to ultra formal. Generally, a closed toe pump will give you the most classic and formal look. Embellishments such as crystals, rhinestones and bows make a shoe more formal as well.
You certainly do not have to wear the same style shoes as your bridesmaids but just like with your dresses try for some consistency in your footwear. If you're wearing barely-there strappy slingbacks you probably don't want to outfit your gals in classic pumps.
On that note, keep in mind that bridesmaids don't necessarily have to wear all of the same shoe styles. Some gals may want a little extra heel height while others may prefer a slingback to an ankle strap. But again, when mixing styles look for common elements especially an open or closed toe since that is what will show most.
Just like gowns and jewelry, bridal shoes come with all sorts of details in crystal, rhinestone, embroidery and more. Choose shoe accents that match or compliment those on your gown or in your jewelry. Pay particular attention to your hem line. You may want to consider a simple shoe style with a heavily detailed hem, or go with a few more embellishments next to a plain hemline.
If you're concerned about matching white shoes to a white gown or ivory shoes to an ivory gown, we say stop obsessing! You should think ""compliment"" instead of ""perfect match"". Combining ever-so-slightly different shades of white, ivory or other neutrals makes for a richer and more interesting look than a perfect match which can often appear flat and dare we say, a bit boring.
Your Comfort Level
If you normally trip all over yourself in a 3.5 inch heel then don't expect your bridal shoes to be any different. If you don't like to wear strappy sandals because you hate your toes, your wedding day is probably not the best time to be testing your comfort level in barely-there shoes.
By all means choose a pair that makes you feel beautiful, just make sure you'll also be comfortable and confident.