A woman can wear anything from heels to flats for her big day, while a man can dare to wear slippers made of velvet, or of glossy or matt leather.

[On cover: AGL Bride]

Choosing the best shoes for your outfit on the big day is now easier than ever, for both men and women.

While the footwear companies’ regular collections include lots of white, pastel or silver shoes, and plenty of black and patent leather for men, not everyone realises that Italy has some shoemakers who is specialised in shoes for special occasions. These are represented at Sì Sposa Italia in Milan, with footwear special designed to go with bridal gowns and passe-partout styles that are appropriate for any elegant occasion, suiting the concept of versatility that now rules the day in fashion.

But the starting point is always the bridal gown.
Graziana Valentini, a designer with Valentini, explains: “The trend in bridal wear today is a return of the romantic style, with soft, delicate lines, marking a changing point with respect to the gowns that have been in fashion in recent years, with their accentuated figure-hugging silhouette enriched with effects of transparency. The choice of gown definitely always depends on the bride’s figure, which is why there are always plenty of different styles available in the studios. This return to simplicity is also reflected in footwear: heels are not so high, and the plateau sole has disappeared”.

Serrese, a brand from Puglia, offers square 5 cm heels for next season, as well as a new low sabot decorated with stones, sequins and embroidered lace; colours include not only white but pale colours and powdery hues.
And yet the trend is always the same in the end: the northern Italian bride wants a fairly plain shoe without a plateau sole, while the southern bride wants plenty of embroidery, rhinestones and high heels.

Neapolitan shoemaker MG Arcione even offers shoes with matching glittery hats. In both north and south alike, however, the bride wants a comfortable shoe, because she’s going to be wearing it all day, and so a lot of care must go into its production, according to the owners of Nugnes Sposa, a small company where only four people make shoes by hand.
And if she can’t stand wearing her dress shoes any more, once the ceremony is over the bride may wear sneakers to the reception: white, of course, but with red rhinestones and laces, like those by Bellini Wedding Shoes.

Penrose offers plenty of versatility: sabots with thick or thin heels, with flounces or organza flowers, sandals with jewelled straps, or lace pumps with a tattoo look.

Carlo Pignatelli is balanced halfway between tradition and fashion, celebrating his first 50 years in Milan with a retrospective entitled Storia di un sogno (Story of a dream). “The rule is that shoes must always match the dress, and its colour, and Carlo Pignatelli has always done this,” he explains. The up-to-date bridal shoe is always closed at the toe, with a slender tip and a thin heel, in true ‘50s style. The Chanel style shoe or pump is perfect for these proportions. Particularly trendy brides may wear flats or decorated sabots or mules with the right dress. And for the groom, alternatives to classic lace-ups include the new single monks, inlaid with glossy or matt leather, or slippers embroidered in dandy style or decorated with tiny jewelled studs in perfect rockstar style”.

Men’s shoes are getting fancier, like those offered by Première Maison of Casarano: velvet or printed satin slippers, burgundy patent leather lace-ups with velvet bows and flocking loafers with rhinestone chains; or, for the non-conformist groom, black patent leather sneakers with white laces.

Calzoleria Marini customises velvet and patent leather slippers with initials or coats of arms, while Maestrami makes shoes that match the suit fabrics and bold brushed leather, laser-treated or sprayed with blue veins. 

For the groom too, shoes become a distinguishing feature of the ceremony, to be chosen with the utmost care because, unlike the bride’s shoes, they will be highly visible.
So, he must be careful not to get them wrong!