Barefoot or Not Barefoot? The Beach Wedding Shoe Dilemma Unmasked

Hola Mis Amigos!

We finally got some rain here — much needed!  I’m hoping it will green up the lawn at the villa where this weekend’s wedding is being held.  Everything here has been looking desperately thirsty lately!  Anyway, the lousy weather kept me chained to my desk all day and I feel the need for some levity.  So let’s talk about the trials and tribulations of what to wear on your footsies if you’re getting married on the beach.

There is no hard and fast rule about footwear at a beach wedding ceremony.  Especially for a Caribbean destination wedding.  But there are some realities.  High heels don’t work well in the sand.  No es bueno.  It’s like walking on a squishy wet lawn, only worse because you’re being photographed while you do it. I had one bride who insisted not only on wearing high heels, but on having a white paper runner runner down the center of the aisle.  Now picture it with me… every step she took, her heels popped through the runner and sort of got stuck.  Made a funny sound too.  She lurched down the aisle on her mother’s arm, and her mom was no help at all because her heels were even higher than her daughter’s!

You might wonder why any bride would put herself through that.  Common sense would tell you that it isn’t going to work.  But that’s what keeps my job interesting.  Sometimes you can’t save a bride from herself.

Even if you haven’t been dumb enough to insist on a runner on the sand (fabric ones don’t work real well either because they get covered in sand long before the bride makes it down the aisle), you should still forgo the high heels.  You can certainly slip them on when you’re done at the beach before you make your big entrance at the reception, but think “flats” if you don’t want to get married barefoot.

With that said, get married barefoot!  Nobody can see a bride’s feet under her dress during the ceremony so that’s irrelevant.  If you must shoe yourself and your attendants, choose a flip-flop style sandal so they can wiggle the sand out from under their arches once they make it down the aisle.  Nothing is more uncomfortable than standing still with a big lump of sand under your right arch.  Ugh.

Gentlemen can go shoeless or wear sandals or flip flops, but skip the dress shoes for ceremonies on the beach.  They just look funny.  Base your shoe selection on what the guys are wearing, and have everyone do the same thing.  Make sure the guys understand you  mean leather thong sandals or whatever, or you may find yourself with an alarming array of Tevas, Reefs and Birks.

One note: Either have everybody in the wedding party go barefoot, or ask everybody to wear shoes.  You want it to look as uniform as possible so it doesn’t detract in any way in your pictures.  Same goes for sunglasses.  If you want to wear them or permit your groomsmen to wear them, then all the guys wear them.  Ladies do not wear sunglasses when they are attendants at weddings.  Even if the wedding is on the beach.

If you do decide to go barefoot, have all your wedding party pile their shoes up together in one spot.  It makes for a fun picture.  Some of your guests will wear their shoes, others will drop theirs in the pile.  But those who are wearing them will be wishing they were barefoot too!

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques!


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