Saying yes to the dress is one thing, but what brides wear on their feet at their weddings is quite another. While many opt for fairy-tale footwear — metallic sandals, sparkling stilettos, lacy pumps — it seems that brides are also saying “I do” in shoes that are — yes — comfortable, quirky and show a bit of individuality.
“It’s a moment for the bride to be really creative and put her own stamp on wedding attire,” says Michael Russo, a Long Island-based events planner who has produced the nuptials of celebrities such as Kevin Jonas, Joey Fatone and “Dancing With the Stars” pro Witney Carson, along with plenty of regular folks. “Most wedding gowns are pretty traditional — essentially a white ballgown, so it’s an opportunity for the bride to showcase her personality,” says Russo.
For photographers, the “shoe shot,” is pretty much a staple. “We shoot the shoes at almost every single wedding,” says Justin Flood, a photographer at Kornfeld Studios in Hewlett. “It’s a piece of the whole wedding puzzle. The shoes seem to have some sort of symbolic meaning, but I’m not sure what,” he says.
Photographer Anthony Vazquez, whose eponymous company is based in Manhattan, might have the answer.
“The brides have to justify spending that kind of money on their Louboutins and Jimmy Choos,” he says. “It’s a high-end status symbol.”
But pricey status symbol or funky footwear, the shame of it all is that other than the wedding album those shoes don’t get much exposure, so we asked our readers to show us their wedding shoes . . . and they did.
Michael Russo, 37, right, and Richard Piana, 40, wed at the Harbor Club at Prime in Huntington in 2014. Russo wore Yves Saint Laurent sleek patent leather dress shoes for the ceremony and exchanged them later for funky striped Christian Louboutins that matched the wedding theme.
Russo, an events planner, had stripes on his mind for his own wedding, which included a striped aisle installed on the venue’s rooftop. He found chevron-striped canvas platform stilettos by Charlotte Russe for his attendants.
And even his Louboutin sneaks matched up. “I just wanted to change into something super comfortable. I knew I would be dancing all night,” says Russo. And he did.
Kimberly Mitchell, 29, married Michael Mitchell, 29, on May 27 at Mansion at Woodside Acres in Huntington in lacy, open-toed bootees custom made for her in Turkey. She purchased them on Etsy.
“I found my shoes long before I found my dress,” says Mitchell. “I’m more comfortable in a bootee, and I had an obsession with lace.”
Mitchell actually had to send a photo of her foot next to a tape measure so the cobbler had an accurate size. “I love them so much, I’m just trying to figure out where I can wear them again,” she says.
And there was a backup pair just in case -- white Converse low-top kicks with red laces.
Katherine Scarola-Mastrorocco, 32, married Victor Mastrorocco, 38, at Land’s End in Sayville on May 12 wearing — Converse sneakers.
“I hardly ever wear heels and would have regretted it if I did, so my matron of honor and I glued on gems to make [the sneakers] feel more ‘wedding.’ I wanted to feel like myself, and I wanted to be comfortable.”
Katherine Scarola-Mastrorocco and her bridesmaids. True to herself she wore sneakers decorated to be "more wedding."
Justine Benenati, 27, and Nicholas Benenati, 25, went for the sand and sea as a backdrop at their July 7 wedding at Oceanbleu in Westhampton Beach. While the bride didn’t go barefoot on the beach, she came close in macramé “barefoot sandals” she found on Etsy.
“Since we’re getting married on the beach, and I usually go barefoot, I knew I wanted to find a happy medium for our feet,” she says. The sandals allowed Benenati and her bridesmaids to “be comfortable and free.”
The wedding party wore shoes that were "comfortable and free."
Laurie Rudnick, 43, married Myke Rudnick, 44, and wore white Doc Martens to her 1998 wedding at the Floral Terrace in Floral Park.
“I lived in Doc Martens and not being one to wear heels, I went on a search for white Docs.” She found them at now-closed shop in downtown Manhattan. “Nobody was shocked, because it was me, my dress was huge and covered them and nobody could really see them until I started dancing. It was my way of putting my punk-rock touch on a big fancy wedding. Nineteen years later, I’m still wearing them. How many brides can say they still wear their wedding shoes?” Not many.
Tiffany Bergan, 27, and Jeremy Bergan, 39, celebrated their 2015 nuptials at Larkfield in East Northport; she wearing her dream shoes by Christian Louboutin.
“I wanted something special and like a princess on my wedding day,” says Bergan of her red-soled sparklers with four-inch heels. “They were the perfect shoe for the perfect day, though my feet definitely hurt a lot, and I liked the shoes less at the end of the day.” But, she says, “beauty is pain.” Bergan hasn’t worn them again, but instead keeps them in a glass globe displayed on her vanity. “Every time I see them I think of that day.”
Tiffany Bergan hasn't worn her sparkly Louboutin stilettos since her wedding day. But she keeps them on display.
Diana Morales, 28, and Jonathan Morales, 32, tied the knot at Chateau La Mer in Lindenhurst on July 7, but first came a little shoe drama that involved crying and trading in a beloved shoe for silvery Christian Louboutin kicks. The first shoes Morales bought — mega-studded, perforated pumps — were simply “too white for my dress, but they were 100 percent my personality."
"I cried, I drove the store crazy,” she says. Finally she opted for silvery, sky-high Louboutin kicks.
Her groom wore custom Nike sneaks, and there was a pair for her, too, but she switched to flip-flops for the reception. She did wear the sneaks on her honeymoon.