Choosing an outfit for a wedding is, without a doubt, one of the hardest parts of being a guest. Knowing what to wear so that you’ll match the dress code, look great and feel comfortable all evening can be a herculean task.
Just as difficult as choosing an appropriate outfit is settling on the right footwear. Do you have to wear a classic pair of heels or can you wear sandals to a wedding?
Your dress or pantsuit is not the only thing that matters when you’re a wedding guest. You also need to have a pretty yet proper pair of shoes. If you want to learn the dos and don’ts of wearing sandals to a wedding, our guide will help you to choose a pair that will have you looking your very best.
Can You Wear Sandals to a Wedding? How to Match the Dress Code
To make sure you look your best at any wedding you attend, you should avoid wearing white shoes (this honor belongs to the bride), super high heels (your feet will be killing you), granny boots, sneakers, sporty sandals and flip flops.
Dressy sandals, however, are acceptable as long as you adhere to three important rules.
- Avoid super chunky heels — When choosing dressy sandals for a wedding, a slimmer heel is the way to go. It will not only dress up your look, but will make your leg line appear longer and leaner.
- Match your shoes to the weather — Wearing sandals is great as long as the weather is temperate. If you live in a cooler climate, sandals are not a good option for late fall, winter or early spring. If you live in a state like Florida where it’s always warm, then you can wear sandals year-round
- Match your shoes to the event — Last but not least, your sandals must match the wedding’s dress code. If you’re not familiar with wedding dress codes, not to worry. Our guide will help you find the right footwear for every occasion, so read on!
Can You Wear Sandals to a Formal Wedding?
Traditionally, women attending a white tie, black tie or black tie optional wedding are expected to wear an evening gown, cocktail dress, a fancy jumpsuit or a women’s tuxedo.
While traditional sandals would certainly look out of place with an evening gown or cocktail dress, there are a ton of dressy sandals that will work with any formal outfit. Here are our favorites.
High heeled sandals
Nothing can beat the elegance and sexiness of a pair of high heels, not only do they elongate the leg, but a pair of sexy heels automatically boosts your self-confidence — and nothing is more attractive than a woman who is confident in her appearance. If you want all of these benefits, and are comfortable wearing high heels for several hours, these sandals are perfect with any type of evening wear.
If you love how heels look with a fancy dress or jumpsuit, but aren’t keen on a three- or four-inch heel, wearing a lower-heeled dress sandal is a good option. A two-inch heel will give you some added height and elongate your leg without making you feel like you’re walking around on stilts all night.
If you’re a mid-heel kind of gal, here are some snazzy options for a formal wedding.
You may think of wedges as footwear to accompany a sundress, but there are plenty of wedges fancy enough to work with evening wear too. A wedge can be a great compromise between a high heel and a flat. It gives you added height but has a wider base, making them a more comfortable option for a long reception.
Here are some lovely choices that can be worn with an evening dress or a fancy pantsuit.
If you don’t like heels or can’t wear them, not to worry. You can rock this look with an evening gown as long as you pair the right flat sandals with the right dress.
If you plan to wear a long dress, we recommend wearing one that brushes the floor and pairing it with embellished flat sandals. That way, your dress will hide the fact that you’re not wearing heels. The only part of your feet that might be visible from time-to-time is your toes.
This style of sandal will also work with a jumpsuit or a woman’s tuxedo. Here are two great options.
Are Sandals Appropriate for a Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual Wedding?
Semi-formal, one of the most popular wedding dress codes, actually gives you a lot of different wardrobe choices. Female guests are typically expected to wear a cocktail dress, a garden party dress, a fancy skirt and top or a jumpsuit.
While regular sandals wouldn’t work, there are plenty of dressy sandals that would look fab with a dress, skirt or jumpsuit. Need some inspiration? Check out these beauties.
High heeled sandals
When choosing a pair of heels for a dressy but less formal wedding, it’s best to leave the bling behind. Instead, look for heeled sandals that are sophisticated and will compliment the hue of your outfit. While neutrals are easiest to wear, feel free to rock a brighter color if you prefer.
If you prefer a lower heel, it’s important to keep it slim rather than chunky. This gives the illusion of a higher heel without the extra height and will elongate your silhouette for a taller, slimmer appearance. Here’s two pairs of mid-heeled sandals we love for a semi-formal or dressy casual wedding.
Heels aren’t for everyone. If you want a sandal that’s easy to wear but still gives you some extra height, a wedge is ideal. Just be sure to avoid casual wedges such espadrilles or those with cork heels. Here are two lovely options.
If you’re more comfortable in flat shoes or have foot issues that don’t allow you to wear heels, you can totally wear flat sandals with a cocktail dress or a jumpsuit. The key is to choose sandals that match the formality of your outfit. Here are two of our faves.
Are Sandals Appropriate for a Casual Wedding?
Casual weddings may not be as popular as dressy casual or semi-formal, but if you are invited to one, it’s important to be prepared. Female guests are expected to wear a casual dress, a maxi dress, a skirt and top, a jumpsuit or nice trousers with a blouse. Any of these outfit choices would look amazing with a nice pair of casually dressy sandals.
Need some inspiration? These choices are perfect for a casual wedding.
High heeled sandals
High-heeled sandals for a casual wedding? Why not? As long as you avoid bling and fancy fabrics, a high-heeled sandal is perfect for casual nuptials. And, if you’re a fan of chunky heels, you’re in luck. You can get away with a chunkier heel at a casual ceremony. Here are some of our faves.
A great option for a casual wedding, a smaller heel will keep your outfit from looking too fancy as long as you stay away from sparkly or embellished sandals. These heels would look great with a sundress or trousers.
Perfect for a casual ceremony, wedges are easy to walk in, making them the ideal choice for an outdoor wedding. You can opt for a casual espadrille or a cork heel for a laidback ceremony — both styles would look fab with a maxi dress or jumpsuit. Here are two cute looks for a casual affair.
Flat sandals can be an ideal choice if you know you’ll need to walk on sand or uneven ground for a beach or country ceremony. As an added benefit, flat sandals work with sundresses, maxi dresses and jumpsuits. Just be sure you don’t wear flip flops or sporty sandals.
These pretty flat sandals are both cute and comfortable.