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Your Stylist: Wedding shoes that won’t sink during an outdoor ceremony

September 20, 2010 |  8:00 am

Resident Image stylist and market editor Melissa Magsaysay soothes your sartorial woes in the weekly Your Stylist blog column

Question: I am getting married next May and the wedding is outdoors at a winery. I’m stumped on what shoes to wear with my long, romantic-style gown, because I don’t want to sink while walking down the aisle should the ground be damp. Should I wear ballet flats? Although I would like some height (I’m 5’0” and my fiance is 6’), I am concerned that a tall heel will have me tripped up in the damp earth and grass. Can you recommend any styles that are more formal (and make me taller) than a ballet flat?
Bride-to-Be, Los Angeles


Answer: It’s your day and you can do and wear absolutely whatever you like. But since you asked me, I’ll tell you this: No! You cannot wear ballet flats simply because the ground might be damp!

Now I have nothing against ballet flats. I’m wearing them now, in fact (but I am also not wearing them with a long gown, train and a veil). But if you are seriously focusing on practicality in determining your shoe choice, then please, let me give you a few options that will give you height, look better and more formal with a long gown and, most importantly, won’t soak up your entire wedding budget.

 I recommend either a wedge or platform sole. The platform shoe will give you height, although it might not do as well as a flat shoe if there is a great deal of grass or the ground is very wet. (Can you ask the vineyard to mow a flat path for your aisle?) But a platform sole should give you more foundation on which to shift your weight, and you’ll be taking a little pressure off the heel, so it won’t sink in so much. I love the Menbur platform pump with jewels on the back ($172).  Also, the heel shouldn’t be a spiky stiletto, or it will most certainly bring you down like you're walking in quicksand.

A wedge is one solid sole that slants up at an angle, so you get height and an even surface. Most wedges look casual, but there are a couple of wedge wedding-shoe options out there, such as the Butter “Clara” peep-toe wedge ($297) and the “Veney” satin sling-back pump from Stuart WeitzmanBridalshoes    ($189.75). I like the Stuart Weitzman “Stiltssling” sling backs ($195.25).

If you go with a normal thin-heeled shoe, just make sure the heel isn’t too high. Anything 3 inches or less shouldn’t sink as quickly as those sparkly Louboutins many brides wear on their big day. Also, don’t forget to put foot pads in all the right places of your shoes (no matter what style or how high). Try Foot Petals right under the ball of your foot; they will spare you hours of pins-and-needles discomfort, though I’m pretty sure you’ll be walking on cloud nine no matter what shoes you decide to go with.

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-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos, from top: Menbur platform pump ($172), Butter "Clara" peep-toe wedge (left) in ivory ($297), Bridal by Butter "Cardamom" peep-toe pump ($297) and Stuart Weitzman "Stiltssling" sling back ($195.25). Credit: