Beaches, barns, bodegas—weddings can happen just about anywhere. However, your favorite satin pumps might not always fit the picture. No matter where you’ll be mingling, toasting to love, or leading a flash mob dance, it’s time to consider a fashionable yet practical flat shoe.
Whether you are looking for sandals to wear with dresses that can handle boardwalk waves, or gladiator sandals that’ll suit your bridesmaid dress, we’ve got a look book full of ideas. Keep reading for the ultimate guide to flat dressy sandals for wedding celebrations.
Keep it Stylish
Dressy or casual, weddings are occasions to remember—and photograph. Even if you’re attending a spur-of-the-moment ceremony at city hall, you’ll want your feet to look their best.
Leave behind the flip-flops, foam clogs, and nylon straps. Instead, keep it fashionable some women’s comfortable sandals equipped with cute flat shoe details like:
- Jewels – Who says sandals can’t be glamorous? Light-catching jewels can take a flat shoe from simple to stunning. Look for subtle crystal straps, bejeweled bow accents, or even an all-over jewel pattern.
- Beading – Consider beads the boho cousin of jewels. A common low heel or flat sandal accessory, beads add a colorful pop to any wedding day outfit. Even better? They’re sturdy enough to withstand the outdoors yet fashionable enough for nearly any dress code. A thin, vertical strap of beads can elongate the foot while dangling beads add a playful touch.
- Lace – Nothing says dainty quite like lace. Create an elegant look from head to toe with lacy flats. For a unique look, opt for a lace-lined strap that lays atop your feet or hugs your ankles. Most lace shoes are delicate, so make sure your comfortable wedding shoes are a match for the venue.
- Bows – Bow accents deliver a romantic, ultra-feminine look to wedding flats. Popular locations include ribbon bows around the ankle, small bows on closed toes, and even tied bows in place of laces.
- Buckles – Bring a touch of equestrian charm to your bridal flats with cute buckle detail. A small buckle accent on the ankle straps, sides, or even across the top is the perfect pairing for a farmhouse wedding.
Go Full Gladiator
There’s a reason this shoe style has lasted for centuries. Gladiator shoes are chic and comfortable, and they’re an ideal accessory for an above-the-knee wedding dress. Go for the classic design with strappy leather and a strong seam up the calf. Or, for a feminine touch, look for beaded straps, ribbons, or a nontraditional color. The higher the straps climb, the more dramatic your look.
Pick Environment-Friendly Materials
It’s easy to pair just about any flat-shoe design with an indoor wedding. But dressy flat sandals for wedding parties under the sun? You’ll need shoes that can handle the elements.
Whether on the beach, grass, or dirt, consider these durable yet cute, shoe materials for your wedding flats:
- Leather – For a casual, classic look, leather is the way to go. From soft browns to bright whites, this popular material never goes out of style. Plus, genuine leather is incredibly comfy, and are the best sandals for diabetics. With just enough stretch, it can definitely withstand a reception dance battle. So, be sure you know how to stretch leather sandals properly.
- Rubber – If your feet risk touching water on the wedding day, you’ll need flat sandals made with water-resistant materials—enter rubber. You won’t need footwear that’s lined with rubber from top to bottom, but a rubberized sole is key to keeping unwanted beachy elements at bay.
- Cork – Light and water-resistant, cork is another excellent shoe material for outdoor events. For comfy protection, look for cork uppers or midsoles.
Look for Support
Whether you’ll be standing alongside the spouses-to-be at the ceremony or dancing the night away at the reception, you’ll need shoes that can keep up—not keep you on the sidelines. When done right, a pair of flat sandals should give you all the support you need.
In the store, trying on sandals for a few seconds won’t reveal any sneaky aches and pains. You need to check for specific supportive features. Look for these essential attributes in your flat dressy sandals for wedding parties:
- Arch support – Look for lightweight and flexible midsoles to cushion your foot, not paper-thin flip-flops. Our women’s slide sandals are biomechanically designed to hug your arches. Plus, they’re available in flirty colors like Arancio and Purple Cactus—perfect for a summer soiree.
- Comfy materials – Genuine leather is durable and stylish, but without proper preparation, it might feel tight on your feet. If you don’t have time to break in leather flats, you’ll need something a bit stretchier. Synthetic materials like microfiber and polyester are flexible and breathable, ideal for outdoor wear.
- Ankle support – They’re not always necessary, but ankle straps are a welcome addition if you’re in need of extra security. Check out sling back designs, tie-around ankle straps, or even sandals with a full heelcap for a supportive fit.
- Slight heel – Flat shoes are meant to be, well, flat. But even your flattest sandal could sometimes use a little lift. A small heel of less than ¾ inches can take the pressure off the achilles tendon and even help to realign your posture.1 For true comfort, look for flat shoes with just a hint of height near the back.
- Proper fit – It should go without saying, but make sure your flats have got the proper fit. Pinched toes, sliding soles, and hanging heels will leave you hurting the next day, no matter how cute your sandals look.
Match Your Shoes with Your Style
Let your personality shine from head to toe with shoes that show it. Wedding shoes are a chance to find a new addition to your closet—and they should match your unique style.
Here are some flat wedding shoe ideas for all tastes:
- Boho – For the free spirit, sandals are the way to go. Look for designs with natural and casual features, such as leather, beads, and wrapping straps. Jewel tones like turquoise or topaz orange will make any boho style shoe out. If you have to choose a closed-toe option, look for canvas materials with earthy patterns or even straw siding.
- Classic – You can never go wrong with the classic ballet flat. These dainty and elegant shoes complement nearly any look and provide toe coverage. For open-toe options, a simple T-strap sandal or slide sandal are a chic alternative. Opt for a neutral color if you want something that matches any outfit and never goes out of style.
- Romantic – Look for a few feminine touches when choosing a romantic sandal or flat. Bows, ribbons, floral details, and soft textures (think suede or velvet) bring romance to center stage. Opt for soft pinks, blues, and creams for an extra boost of girly glam.
- Whimsical – It’s all about the out-of-the-box accents if you’re in search of a unique sandal. Fun materials like shearling or foam will surely stand out in a crowd. Similarly, three-dimensional appliques like florals, pom-poms, or pearls will take whimsical to the next level.
- Glamorous – Jewels, lace, and everything nice—glamor is a “more is more” mentality. Choose sandals that catch the light with metallic accents or crystal adornments. For extra drama, choose a pointy toe or straps that wrap up the ankle and calf.
Prep Your Gown
A solid rule for assembling any special outfit? Choose the clothes first. Unless your shoes are the standout piece, it’s easier to complete a look after you’ve decided on the main ensemble. Once you have your outfit ready:
- Decide if your shoes will shine – A clever way to take pressure off your feet? Choose floor-length gowns or skirts. These outfits cover your shoes, letting you pick a comfortable, basic style. However, if you want your shoes to be the star, then opt for a dress with a shorter hemline.
- Match colors – No matter how stylish or concealed your shoes, they shouldn’t clash with your clothes. Neutral tones like brown and cream match nearly every outfit.2
- Tailor your hemline – Some dresses and pants are designed for lifted shoes. In flats or sandals, those extra inches of fabric can end up dragging across the ground and leave you looking a bit frumpy. Try on your wedding outfit with the shoes you’re planning to wear in order to evaluate for hemline adjustments. If it’s still too long, head to a tailor for a quick fix.
Book that Pedicure
Sandals mean one thing—exposing your feet. Casual beach trips might not require intensive footcare, but sandals at a formal ceremony? Most definitely.
Before any wedding ceremony, put a hygienic foot forward by booking a pedicure. If your toes are out, then it’s only right to make them presentable. For the best results, keep these pedicure tips in mind:
- Leave it to the professionals (no amateur jobs)
- Book the appointment a day or two before the ceremony
- Ask about specific pedicure options like athletic or paraffin
- Pick a neutral or matching polish color
Use Platforms as a Compromise
We know—platforms aren’t really flat sandals. However, they’re the closest thing to a compromise between walking or wedding heels and flats. If you need a little height, then cute platforms (or wedges) get the job done in comfy style. Make sure to pick platforms with heel and arch support, since you’ll be a few more inches above the ground.
Celebrate in Style with Vionic
No matter the event, no shoe is worth spending the night—or the next morning—doubled over in pain with each step. That’s why Vionic designs shoes for comfort and fashion. From colorful sneakers to everyday walking sandals, you’ll find plenty of styles without having to sacrifice a head-turning look for a supportive fit.
And if you’re planning to bring a plus-one, bring a plus-three instead. The Vio-Motion technology offers Three-Zone Comfort, a podiatrist-designed blend of cushioning, arch support, and stability. Name a better pair of bridal flats or beach wedding sandals—we’ll wait.
You’re cordially invited to peruse our collection of feel-good footwear. Don’t forget to RSVP.
- Frame, Dwyer et Belfiore, Emily. “The Best Sandals for Your Feet, According to Podiatrists.” Health. 21 May, 2021. https://www.health.com/style/comfortable-sandals
- “The ultimate guide to matching shoes to your outfit!” The Rachel Review. 15 June, 2019. https://www.therachelreview.com/match-shoes-to-your-outfit/