"The perfect shoe can change a girl's life. Just ask Cinderella."--anonymous.
Shoes shoes shoes, I love shoes! Sky-high, detailed, "ohmygoodnessIneedtohavethese" amazing shoes. Ones that lure me over and lock me in, capturing my attention and coveting my heart.
This happens a lot.
But for some reason, when it came to my wedding shoes, for the two years that we have been engaged (yes! Two years!) I haven't been able to spot the perfect pair. Well, there was this one pair a while back that I had my heart set on. A nude glitter pair of Christian Louboutins. They were gorgeous, before the glitter shoe fad, and affordable (for Louboutins!). I wanted to give myself some time to think on it before I committed, but these were my shoes. Finally, when I had the money saved and knew these would be perfect, I went online to order them. To my surprise, they were "no longer available" at Saks. Hmm. Maybe Bergdorff's? Nope. Same thing across the entire internet. Well if you know me, you know that when I want something, I find a way to make it happen, especially if you tell me I can't have it, and especially especially if it's a pair of nude glitter Louboutins. An entire day of phone calls and pleaing, I accepted that the shoes are out of season by a meer two weeks and that I should never wait on buying something I know I love, in particular coveted red soles. Thus I began searching for another option.
I knew I wanted high heels (and not wimpy ones, either. I personally don't even know why manufacturers produce kitten heels). Something interesting and different, like a metallic or a print. A shoe that complimented my dress, but that I would wear out months after the wedding, and despite their towering height, something that was comfortable. All-in-all, a shoe that made my heart go pitter-patter.
I found many potentials, and for some reason could never make a decision. The pressure of the perfect wedding shoe was getting to me. My footwear mattered a great deal (as it always does) so as another bride may be especially particular about her bouquet, I for one don't mind the size or shape of my flowers but have simply got to have some bangin' shoes. Frustrated and discouraged, I decided to narrow my focus (I was getting overwhelmed) and find some shoes, daggonit!
Noting pairs from Neiman Marcus to Forever 21, I began documenting the shoes that I found most appealing. Seeing the one thing they all had in common, metallic, that helped me narrow my search down. I purchased several pairs from stores (mainly from fear of potentially loosing another shoe I liked due to indecision!) and thought about them. They all got returned because I realized I needed something more "summer-y", a peep-toe perhaps. While accompanying Marshall on a suit mission, I decided to pop into several stores, just to check out their heel selection. "But I thought I was looking for suits today". Shh Honey, I'm on a mission! Low and behold, six stores deep, I found them. Displayed next to a pair of glitter pumps I had once swooned over, I knew this new printed pair was it. They were unique, they were different, they had a hint of metallic, they were me. My heart raced, my palms got sweaty, and I asked the sales girl for a size 8. Marshall looked at me in disbelief and said "What are those for?" "My wedding shoe, honey! I think I found it!!" (You would think he would at least show enthusiasm to no longer be sitting on shoe store benches all over town). "For the wedding?!? I don't like them". Hmph. "Well I do. I'll take 'um". Not that I was blatantly ignoring my fiance's oppinion, but I have depended on other people's opinions in the past and realize that it's silly! It's YOUR thoughts that matter, not their's! And truth be told, Marshall may have great taste, but the man once owned velcro shoes for crying out loud. It may have been shortly after college, but that pretty much destroys all his footwear credibility. My friend Del even questioned my shoe choice (but when seeing them with the dress changed his mind) but regardless, I didn't mind because I liked them, and that felt great. I also tend to like options that most people might not first gravitate towards. I had finally made a decision and was confident in it, yayyyy! Two years later: mission: accomplished. Now, if I can just tackle the other things, like, the menu and table linens...
I may not be the best decision maker, but here's some of my tested and true advice to my brides out there:
1. If you are confident in your decision, make it. Don't wait for the "right moment". It may, like my glitter pumps, go out of season. Or get booked.
2. In retrospect, be cautious about making decisions so far in advance. Your tastes, and opinions may evolve or change. I fell in love with those shoes before everyone else was knocking them off. I could easily get them at Steve Madden now, but I was in search for something that was different and hadn't been done 100 times already. The same may happen to you, or you may find a new, better option or vendor later down the road. Book in advance, but not too far, and only after you have weighed your options.
3. Narrow your focus. Making decisions is a lot less overwhelming when you know what you want and what you don't want. It also helps you and your vendors determine a clear vision for your wedding day.
4. Don't let stress of making a decision cause you to settle. You may wind up with several pairs of unreturnable shoes (that didn't help with the budget!) or a contract that you aren't sure you should have signed.
5. Don't look at things you can't fit in the budget. Really. Don't even torture yourself like that. Unless it will make a huge difference in the event, it's probably not worth it. I fell in love with another pair of Louboutins (metallic knotted pair, see below) and although they were twice as much as the original pair I loved, I simply couldn't get them out of my head. I couldn't look at another shoe the same way, which didn't help my search. I finally had to smack myself, hard, (Marshall volunteered) and ask "Are these shoes REALLY worth it?". Since the thought of buying them gave me slight anxiety, I knew they weren't a good idea, so I will treasure them from afar. Very, very far. Otherwise despite all good judgement, they are mine.
5. Your opinion should be the only opinion (Usually. Unless your mother is paying for it or your Groom just dispises it, even then we can work around that). Sure, your bridesmaids my like the strappy heel better, but have you ever worn strappy shoes before in your life? Ask yourself this: are you making this choice because everyone else agrees on it, or because it makes you excited? Go with your gut, and go with you. You may just wind up walking down the aisle in your great great great great Grandmother's wedding dress otherwise. (See, with all of those "Greats" you know there's no chance that could be a doable wedding dress).
6. Once you have found "it", STOP. LOOKING. They say this on "Say Yes to the Dress" all of the time and it goes for dresses, shoes, caterers and husbands as well. If you have found "the one", there is no need to look for "other ones" because trust me, you will get confused. I had to peel myself away from wedding blogs and focus on my own planning because of all of the ideas out there. There comes a point where excitement and creativity combined with stress overloads focus and decision-making and if you lose control, all hell breaks loose. "Ooo, how about a Hawaiian themed menu? Then we could do leis when everyone walks in and have a dance instructor teach the hula and then I could find a dress that looks a lot like a grass skirt and then weshouldjustgetmarriedonthebeachohmygoshcancelallplansletsdoadestinationwedding!!". See. Fight the urge and just. stop.
Here's hoping my indecision helps tame some of your own! xo
A few iphone shots of misfits. Get it? ;)