Vintage Wedding Shoes

Written by    Last updated: May 7, 2014

Every girl loves shoes and wedding shoes are the ultimate indulgence.  So whether you’re planning a Great Gatsby 1920s style wedding or a sophisticated 1930s film star style, here’s my low-down on vintage wedding shoes from Victorian-inspired right through the decades to rock n roll 1950s styles and how to preserve their loveliness for years to come.

Peep-toe bridal shoes with rose detail from Jemma & Harry's Real Wedding

Jemma and Harrys Real Wedding

Victorian-inspired shoes and lace-up boots look beautiful under hoops and crinolines. Delicate lace details on shoes turn footwear into real wearable works of art.

Blue vintage lace wedding shoes by Lace and Love

Lace decorated shoes by Lace and Love in the Confetti Directory

1920s

Roaring 20s style is back and with it comes those cute ‘Dolly shoes’ with their strap across the foot. These are the easiest shoes to wear, even with a heel, as the strap keeps your feet from slipping and the shoes stay firmly in place as you walk down the aisle, across grass and into your first dance.

Vintage 1920s style wedding shoes by Lace and LoveVintage wedding shoes in 1920s and 1930s styles from Crystal Bridal Accessories

1920s style shoes top by Lace and Love and left and 1930s style shoes right by Crystal Bridal Accessories

1930s

If you’re planning a sophisticated and ultra feminine 1930s style wedding with a slinky dress and Hollywood film star glamour then a slimmer heel with a more pointed toe and some added sparkle is perfect.

Vintage film star style open-toe bridal shoes

Vintage style open-toed shoes, Jane and Andy’s Real Wedding

1950s

A mid-heel or kitten heel is a good compromise to killer sky-scrapers and a wedge heel is easier to walk in as the weight is spread more evenly. Sling-back styles are in keeping with a cool retro 1950s look and pretty peep-toe shoes are the perfect wedding shoes to wear under your rock n roll style petticoats.

Peep-toe wedding shoes at Jemma & Harry's Real Wedding at South Farm

Peep-toe 1950s style shoes, Jemma and Harrys Real Wedding

Top tips for your wedding shoes

While ideally you will want to wear the same shoes all day and then dance in them all night, it’s good to have the option of a pair of comfy flats to change into after the reception and photos or perhaps after the first dance. If you’re desperate to wear the same shoes then invest in some cushion in-soles for added comfort. And if you’re planning a 1950s wedding then pretty flat pumps or ballet shoes won’t look out of place at all later in the evening.

Protect your special shoes with Clean Heels shoe sleeves and use heel stoppers to prevent you from sinking into grass while you have your photos taken outside. If you keep your bridal shoes protected in this way you will be able to wear them again, perhaps when you renew your vows in years to come.

Kitten heel wedding shoes by Giuseppe Zanotti wedding shoes

Tiny kitten heels, Helen and Rupert’s Real Wedding

Be different

For something out of the ordinary coloured shoes in the shade of your bridesmaid dresses or bouquet will add a dash of colour and style. A long ivory vintage gown with bright blue or pastel pink shoes peeping out from beneath the hem looks stunning in a ‘less is more’ understated way.

alternative vintage bridal shoes by Lace and Love

Above, colourful alternative vintage shoes by Lace and Love

Find your dream wedding shoes in the Suppliers Directory.

This article was written by

Kate Thompson
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.

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