badgley mischka bridal shoes

Show-Stopping Affordable Wedding Shoes | MY PERSONAL FAVORITES

I thought it was about time for a frivolous, fun-yet-informative wedding post and I couldn't turn down the opportunity to talk about... shoes. 

If you know me, if you've been to our house, if you've watched enough of my insta stories you know that I converted a room of our house into a walk-in closet. It's filled with clothes of all kinds. Lots of Lilly Pulitzer, random athleisure, tons of t-shirts but not a lot of shoes. I'm picky about shoes. They have to be comfortable and built to last. I would rather spend $300 on one really top-knotch handmade shoes that I know will last me a long time than have 50 pairs of Old Navy flip flops in every color. But with that said, I think spending $800 on a designer pair of wedding shoes that you'll wear once is just downright silly. 

Now, before you go buying shoes... you should consider the hem of your dress (or just read this really helpful blog post from yours truly). I am personally not a champion of wearing heels for the ceremony and flats for the reception simply because of what it does to the hem of your dress and it can also really easily turn into a disaster situation.


So once you've settled on if you're marrying your man and your high heels or if you're going to tie the knot to him and your flats... check out my current favorite, under $200, wear-them-more-than-once wedding shoes that will photograph beautifully and make your photographer really happy. 😉

Jack Rogers Palm Beach Sandal

For the low key, effortlessly classic bride - these Jacks are a personal favorite of mine. I wore a custom pair of Jacks on my wedding day! The best part of these... is that you can wear them every day, all day not just on your wedding day. 

Badgley Mischka Gigi Crystal Pointy Toe Flat

I am not shy about how much I love wedding flats but at the very same time, I love to photograph really incredible, sparkly details. These check off every want in my book! 


Shoes of Prey Mariposa Wedge Heels

I don't know what I love most about these. They're a beautiful wedge (easy to walk in). They have such sleek, understated bows. They are supple, ivory leather. They are under $150. Enough said. 


Journee Collection Ester Flat

Even if you're not looking for shoes for your wedding... hurry over and look at these babes because they are only $30. I'm not even kidding. I loooove a little light blue shoe for a bride and these are so sweet - especially for spring and fall brides since they are a suede texture. They also come in more colors. 

Kate Spade Nancy Flats

Keeping on the colored flat theme, these little pink beauties are so cute! Again, absolutely perfect for any day - not just your wedding day. 


Avec Les Filles Terrace Pumps

These are the ultimate refresh of a classic wedding shoe. They'll make your mom feel joyfully nostalgic but still make you feel like a princess when you slip them on. I can imagine photographing these little bows with a gorgeous invitation suite and just my heart being filled with Cinderella songs. 


keds x kate spade new york
champion sneakers

These come in a handful of fun colors and styles and they're all gorgeous! I have them in multi pink glitter


Betsey Johnson Betsey Blue SB-Rosie

Can you tell I have a deep love of light blue wedding shoes? These are such a pretty robin's egg shade and I'm obsessed! They are just so beautiful in person and in images! These stunners by Betsey Johnson are a personal favorite and the satin is just so pretty. They do come in other colors too like champagne and black. 

Badgley Mischka Cara' Crystal Embellished Flat Sandal

This shiny, dazzling crystal brooch turns a regular thong sandal into a wedding shoe fit for a princess. Whether you are planning a summer wedding, a beach elopement or just want to let your pedicure shine, these are so pretty and yet again... would be incredible after your wedding too! 

Betsey Johnson Betsey Blue SB-Molly

Okay brides... I'm putting this out there into the Universe... I would love to photograph these shoes this year. THEY. ARE. AMAZING. This sweet little slingback slipper flat is a personal favorite and they look so comfortable. The perfect dose of sparkle and a classic white flat! 

Dress Hems: What Some Brides Don't Realize

There are a lot of things to know about bridal gowns before you go shopping. I'm sure you've read blogs about the best gown for your shape, the trendiest necklines and the off-the-runway details. Honestly, you've probably never done this before and it can be very overwhelming. 

I went in thinking I wanted a gigantic, Cinderella-like ball gown only to realize that I hate the way I look in them. With a passion. I thought I wanted lace - turns out I don't like lace on me either. Everything I love to see on other brides, the details that I love to photograph and the shapes that I find most flattering and epic... yeah. I hated all of it. I finally found "the dress" when I through all of my wants out the window and just focused on what made me feel good. 

It doesn't stop with you saying yes to the dress though. The process continues on to the tailoring of your gown. Before you shop for your wedding dress there are a few important things to remember in regards to tailoring: 

  • Budgeting for tailoring is really important. Ask the bridal salon owner, salesperson or the in-house seamster for an estimated cost on the tailoring that you will need to have completed. Rarely do gowns fit correctly off the rack. Whether you want the neckline completely altered or just the hem shortened, it can be important to know the roundabout cost of the tailoring (which can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars). It's also important to remember that different types of dress fabrics can cost more or less to hem and alter. Layers and layers and layers of chiffon are often pricey, smooth silk is often more difficult while lace can be a bit easier to hide alterations and changes in. Make sure you're prepared to budget for the cost of alterations.

  • You also need to know where you will take your gown for those alterations! Often the bridal dress chain stores (you know which one I'm referring to) will charge an astronomical amount for alterations because their gowns are from a lower price point. You can take your dress elsewhere for those needed changes - even to another bridal salon with an in-house tailor. I personally recommend Maridadi Couture in Exton, PA. Rita did a phenomenal job with my gown.

  • THE BUSTLE. If your dress has any kind of train at all, you will need to have a bustle put into the gown. There are many many different ways to bustle a dress and nearly every bride needs a bustle. If you're in love with a dress but unsure of how it will look bustled, ask before you buy! Some gowns need just a single button and some will have 27 ties (no lie). You need to know these things! This will be an alterations charge and you will need to know how to actually complete the bustling on your wedding day. I always have my clients bustle their gowns after the ceremony before reception entrances.


But after all of that, I'm actually here to talk about shoes. Yes, shoes. When you take your wedding gown for alterations, they usually require that you bring your shoes. Why? Because they need to measure the height of your hem. 

If you are wearing heels for any part of your wedding day, your dress will be tailored to hit the floor in those heels. 

See where I'm going with this? 

So many of my brides wear heels for their ceremony and then immediately change to flats for their reception. Many of them are not prepared for how inconvenient and uncomfortable it can be to spend the evening in a dress that is 3"+ too long. 

If you don't think that would bother you at all, then you can stop here. I've had plenty of brides who do this and never once even realize the difference or it doesn't bother them. 


When your dress is hemmed to properly accommodate your heels, once you change into flats, the hem will be too long. Sometimes drastically too long. On a photography note, if a client has chosen not to do a first look and does not have their heels on for portraiture following the ceremony, I will likely not capture many full-body shots because the dress will not fall and lay properly. 

It's when they get into the reception that I've had a few brides totally panic. Their gowns are getting filthy (more than just the bottom of the hem) and torn from getting stepped on. Years ago I had a bride whose hem was so, so long after she took off her heels that someone stepped on the back of her dress while she was dancing and it knocked her to the floor. Ouch. 


Brides have been doing this exact thing for years though. Why is it a problem? In short, it's not. I just want this to serve as a little warning to brides who plan to preserve their gowns or want to be able to very comfortably dance and move at their reception. It's definitely one of those situations that you don't realize would even be an issue until you're in the heat of the moment and it's already too late.  


Let this be my PSA. IT IS OK TO WEAR FLATS ON YOUR WEDDING DAY! I wore a blush and gold pair of Jack Rogers under my wedding dress. I'm not even sure how many people noticed that I was wearing sandals. They were so comfortable and my favorite part is that now I can just wear them as gorgeous everyday sandals! 

Some of my favorite brands for beautiful, swoon-worthy wedding flats and sandals are:

  • Jack Rogers - They offer custom sandals, tons of metallics, monogrammed sandals and even a specific collection for weddings.

  • Tieks - The most comfortable and beautifully made ballet flats ever. I shoot almost every wedding in these! They come in endless colors and patterns + there is a vegan collection as well!

  • BHLDN - BHLDN carries incredible wedding flats from tons of different high end designers like Badgley Mischka, Billy Ella and Harriet Wilde. There are jewel encrusted shoes, ones with lace and even some glitter.

  • Keds - Yep, the sneaker brand. The Keds for Kate Spade New York collection is to die for. I love my pair of champion glitter sneaks and they make them in tons of different colors including white!

  • Badgley Mischka - If you're looking for the flat version of those jeweled heels you see all over bridal blogs, guess what? Badgley Mischka makes flats and sandals that look just the same as those famous heels!

  • Blue by Betsey Johnson - You can find this collection at Macy's and other stores but Betsey Johnson has an adorable and really memorable line of bridal-inspired shoes including flats! I especially love the slingback style of the Mollie Evening Flats.

Go forth with this important knowledge (LOL) and know that it is totally acceptable, understandable and normal to wear flats on your wedding day!