When greening a wedding, all things must be (at least) considered. So what do you consider when you are getting the wedding shoes?
1) Do I use something I already have?
2) What will be comfortable?
3) Will people see my shoes?
4) Do I buy vintage or new?
5) Do I buy vegan specific or shoes made from eco-friendly materials?
6) Do I buy from a conscious company?
Remember, shoes are not just the consideration of the bride, but also the groom, and perhaps the entire wedding party. So what did we do?
Pictures by Tom O'Neal Photography
I did not have anything I thought could be used with my dress, so, that was out for "re-use". I actually saw an amazing pair of shoes my girlfriend had but, she is one size smaller than me. I tried.
Comfort was brought up to me by Amy Tan (friend and designer of my table cards, cake topper, and invitations). If you get married on the beach, maybe you barefoot and maybe don't need fancy shoes for the reception either. However, we were getting married overlooking the ocean but not on the beach. I needed "real shoes". Amy had personally used tango shoes when she got married as they are made to look hot, but also to be comfortable for hours of wear and dancing. Good idea. I thought I could possibly wear hers but, again the size was not quite right.
Would people even see my shoes? Well … although Ken and I opted not to do the garter toss, I still wanted my shoes to match. There are many brides that are opting for non-traditional looks with their shoes (different colors, different styles -such as flats or boots), however, my dress was kind of old Hollywood glamour and I wanted to maintain that look. I also had a couple considerations. I personally do not wear strappy super open toe shoes, and most importantly to me, Ken is particular about shoe style and I wanted him to love them.
Buying the shoes. Well first I tried looking for vintage shoes. I actually bought some I thought might go but when they arrived, I knew they just didn't look right. You can get good deals on vintage shoes though. They were so reasonable and I didn't want to cause a larger carbon footprint in sending them back so I kept them. I have worn them several times since, the first time being on my honeymoon in Maui. So it was well worth it.
Buying new … well there are definitely some amazing brands of eco-friendly shoes. Stella McCartney has dreamy shoes but, I have never been that girl to pay $600 for a pair of any shoes so I just could not justify that for myself. I found a pair on Neuaura I loved by they had run out of my size. I checked VeganChic but there was nothing I felt would go with my dress (at that time). So is vegan important? Well vegan is definitely a really personal choice. If you are hardcore then, you buy vegan. If you are not hardcore vegan then, you have more options. For example, hardcore vegans won't wear vintage non-vegan shoes. I like to be as vegan friendly as possible but I am not a hardcore vegan, not because I don't want to be but … I didn't grow up that way and I am trying. I think staying on the green path has to be sustainable -and that might mean baby steps. The shoes I ended up choosing were not vegan and not made from recycled or eco-friendly materials, to my knowledge. Although I wanted to buy from some sort of conscious company, like PlanetShoes.com, I did not find any that would suit all my needs so I opted for something I could reuse and I already have. I wore my wedding shoes 3 days later to our LA wedding celebration party as well as to the Skyline movie premier this past Tuesday. They went well with my wedding dress but they just look like fun shoes on their own. I am sure I will have many more uses out of them.
As far as Ken, he had a bunch of dress shoes he had collected over the years and rarely wore. Our friend and eco-conscious celebrity stylist, Phu Styles, agreed he should just reuse an old pair. After the wedding however I found a pair on Vegan Chic, the "Drake", that we would have bought him had he not been able to find a suitable pair amongst his personal collection.
You can follow me on Twitter @GreenGeisha – or check out Green Wave: http://www.InspiringWavesofChange.org