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Prudence Takle, November 4 2020

Wedding dress shoes for the groom and male bridal party

Men and shoes often fall into two camps - those who obsess over shoes and basically need their own wall feature shoe display or those who wear the same shoes without a care until someone calls them out on it.

For the fellas who don’t know where to start with picking wedding day shoes, this one is for you. For those who have been in wedding shoe planning mode for some time now, we’ve got some tips, tricks and trends to keep you on your toes!

Because weddings are about putting your best foot forward, I’ve teamed up with Sally Taylor to give some celebrant’s advice about giving it your best, from the ground up.

Q: Sally, what makes good wedding footwear for grooms and groomsmen?

You might not want to be the belle of the ball but there is no escaping the spotlight on your wedding day. Though the suit might take top priority, selecting a shoe to complement the outfit is also important, just make sure you consider the right factors!

The making of a wedding shoe is in its ability to meet the brief. So, what makes a wedding shoe fit for purpose?

Comfort First

Don’t underestimate the amount of time you will spend on your feet. Between greeting guests, the ceremony, photo shoot, cocktail hour, speeches and party, your shoes need to be your biggest supporter-literally! Make sure the toes are in for a good night too!

Location, Location, Location

It might not be a drastic decision but understand the location, terrain and accessibility when it comes to selecting a style. A boot might be a better option for the countryside where some strolling will be required for the photo shoot whereas a loafer you can easily slip off might allow for a splash on the sand between cocktails. Sometimes a little extra consideration will pay dividends come ‘I do.’ And once you get closer to the big day, make sure you keep an eye on the weather. Knowing what is coming might have you ditching the shoes altogether and opting for gumboots!


The entire package

When shopping, make sure you at least have a photo of your suit to avoid a colour clash disaster and make sure you have a similar sock on hand for trying on. Again, best to just avoid the explorer socks for this occasion!

Image: Caitlin May Photography

On point

Make sure the wedding shoes you choose compliment your and overall aesthetic. There is a style out there to suit you and your personality, just give yourself the time to find it! And if your shoes will get further use after the wedding day, perhaps widen the budget to allow for more options.

Bills, bills, bills

If you’ve been critical of the wedding budget, now might not be the time to push the envelope. Make a decision and stick to it.

Sally’s top shoe tips for the groom and the male wedding party:

Get them early

If the shoe fits, don’t hesitate! Unlike any heels, seasonal footwear trends are less relevant to mens dress shoes. Starting the hunt early allows you maximum time to find the perfect pair and ensures you’ll have time to tailor your suit in accordance with your shoe height.

Break them in

Get fancy. Leave the Ugg boots in the wardrobe a few times a week, spend an hour or two at the end of the day pottering in formal shoes. It will allow you to identify any touch points that might need attention on the big day and popping them on for any dance rehearsals, even in the lounge room, will show when you look comfortable busting a move once the party starts.

Pack spares

It’s unlikely that your day will include a catastrophic footwear failure but it always pays to be prepared-you don’t want a snapped shoelace to cause you to flop your way through a photo shoot. That overnight bag that is tucked away in Mum and Dad’s car should include a worst case scenario or location appropriate backup pair as well as some dress shoelaces-not the sports shoe equivalent!

Test drive

Have you considered the terrain and the weather at your ceremony and reception locations? Using the rehearsal to assess this is also the perfect time to wear a similar shoe and or take the wedding pair for a test drive just don’t forget the polish before the big day.

Matchy matchy

When selecting your shoe it pays to grab a belt at the same time. Yes these should match, black shoes with a brown belt will not fly, the attention should remain squarely on your suave look and not the crimes against leather you are committing by going two toned!

Image: Wild At Heart Visuals

Q: What’s the worst shoe etiquette you’ve seen from the groom and groomsmen?

SALLY: I am always quick to encourage my couple’s to do what is comfortable but there are also limits, and when it comes to the groom’s formal footwear, there are a few situations that if I see again-it will be all too soon! 

Getting rid of pregame jitters

Kicking the footy in the car park prior to the ceremony is to be avoided as is the resulting scuffed up shoe! Once dressed you should, as with your shoes, remain photo ready!

Forgetting to unbox them

A wedding might just be the biggest event you plan for in your lifetime so it is imperative you cover off every detail. After purchasing your wedding shoes, take them home and take them out of the box. Make sure they are as you purchased, the sizing matches and you don’t have two left feet! Finding a mismatch on the day of the wedding might be particularly difficult to explain when your fiance finds you barefoot at the altar.

Bad socks

Comfortable, yes, comfy-no! The old navy explorers will not do. Your wedding day is a time for a new dress sock. Leave the old faithful and well worn pair in the drawer. Think of it as an opportunity to highlight the outfit, add a playfulness to you and your crew and to bring out some personality. After all, we wouldn’t want you getting cold feet!

PRUE: 

Make it uniform

My pet-peeve is non-matching shoes across the wedding party and non-matching socks. The old “she’ll be right!” attitude is not the one to take on this occasion. So much money is spent on wedding details big and small. I feel like this is one detail that gets overlooked and it can make a huge difference, especially in the photos!

Image: Boyfriend Photography

Q: What men’s dress shoe trends are you loving right now and why?

SALLY:

Tan shoes

Leave the Trump style orange at home and embrace the tan footwear trend. A perfect companion to the new black-Navy! Remaining timeless often comes second to reflecting your own personalities, and why not, it’s your day.

Loafer

If you are going for a chic modern theme why not ditch the socks and go a loafer. The perfect accompaniment to a rolled hem or skinny leg design, they pair perfectly to a city or beach side location.


An investment piece

There is no better time than your wedding to excuse an investment in footwear. Consider that your shoes will be worn more than once and use this as a chance to check out a boutique pair like the R.M. Williams Signature Craftsman Boot.

Quirky socks

Fun fashionable socks are all the rage for men's suiting these days. A quirky sock print can be a fun way to express yourself on your wedding day or send a hidden message to your loved ones. And it makes for a fantastic photo opportunity, especially when the groomsmen are in on it too!

Image: Glen Nicholls Photography

PRUE:

No socks

Some people hate it, I don’t mind it. The old wearing no socks with a suit works really well with higher cut pants, or rolled up chinos.

Texture

Black glitter oxfords, patent leather derbies or suede brogues can be a nice touch for a groom or groom’s party. Some may go as far to get loafers with a reptile skin pattern for added “this is my show” vibes.

Lace up boot

Pair a lace up boot with braces and you’ve got quite a look going on. For a little old worldly charm and nostalgic charisma, you can’t go past a good lace up leather boot.

Coloured shoes

You know a groom has style when he wears coloured shoes! Coloured dress shoes and a suit to match are the ultimate statement towards making your wedding day one your will always remember.

Image: Gold and Grit Photography

Final words

As a groom, when it comes to choosing the right men’s dress shoe for your wedding day or as a member of the wedding party, preparation is the key to success. Getting them early, wearing them in and making sure they look in mint condition for the event will have you stepping out in style.

If you are getting married and want to pester someone about which shoes will match your suit, feel free to reach out to Sally or myself, we love a shoe conundrum!

x Prue & Sally

P.S. Ladies, check out our blog on wedding shoes for the bride or bride tribe.

Written by

Prudence Takle

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