You know how the saying goes: love is patient, love is kind, love is a piece of embossed card stock instructing guests to come dressed in elegant attire. That’s why RSVP’ing “yes” to a wedding invitation also often means RSVP’ing “yes” to sliding your toes into a pair of pumps or stilettos.
I think weddings are great. I love the roasty toasts and gooey new-spouse eyes and crowd-pleasing tunes. I don’t even mind the fish course. The high heels unto which I am compelled to forsake my feet for such occasions are the one thorn in this rose bush of matrimony spectatorship.
I can usually make it through the ceremony (sitting) and the dinner (sitting) and maybe even the first couple of songs once the dance floor starts getting revved (slow twirling), but by the time “Uptown Funk” comes on (full-on sweaty grooving), my toes are mid-mutiny and my lower back feels like a toaster with a fork in it.
Let me be clear: I’m not bashing heeled footwear in general. I’m a fan! There are few sartorial pursuits more enticing than this pair of rhinestone PVC kitten mules, for example. I’m just raising the point that high heels aren’t the ideal vehicle for pain-free, uninhibited frivolity, and it kind of sucks they are the unequivocal go-to when it comes to wedding-guest attire. I want to demonstrate my dance floor enthusiasm for freshly grated love and still feel my feet at the end of the night. Is that too much to ask?
I don’t think so, which is why I am making a case for wearing flats to weddings. Heck, you should wear them if you’re the bride, too, but today I’m catering to regular attendees with three outfit ideas for three different types of weddings, each of which seamlessly (I hope) incorporates a unique flat footwear silhouette into the overall look.
The scene: Intimate yet élégant courthouse affair in Brooklyn
The shoe: Slide sandals
Have you ever tried doing the worm at a wedding reception while wearing a pencil skirt and balancing a rum-spiked kombucha on your head? Highly recommend.
The scene: West Coast shindig at a contemporary art museum
The shoe: Loafer-mule hybrid
Replete with a crown to compete with your surrounding finery and a silky robe moonlighting as an evening coat just in case you fall asleep under a Koons balloon animal.
The scene: Non-denominational destination wedding on Kangaroo Island
The shoe: Classic ballet flat
Too niche? No such thing. There’s a reason the Boy Scouts’ motto is “Be Prepared.” Bust out your coolest humidity goggles in the form of cyborg sunglasses and a tiny clutch for collecting sea glass. If the dancing spills over onto the beach, no biggie. Your capacious pants pockets have more than enough room to store a pair of ballet flats — the envy of every four-inch stiletto in sight.