Wedding season is underway and the clock is ticking to nail down an outfit — whether you’re a gown, cocktail dress, jumpsuit or matching-set kind of person. And nothing makes or breaks a look quite like your choice of shoe. Your footwear has to complement your look while remaining relevant to the location and dress code, plus be comfortable enough to dance in until the wee hours of the morning.
We tapped a couple of experts for professional guidance on the matter. Stylist James Bianca believes the ideal wedding sandal is one that marries both beauty and comfort. Shawna Ferguson, a stylist and costume designer, said your choice of footwear should “be a cut above your go-to sandals that you throw on for brunch or to run errands, but should not be so eye-catching as to distract from the real focus of the event.”
While both of our experts shared that either flat or heel sandals are completely appropriate for casual or semi-formal weddings, Bianca personally prefers heels over flats for their ability to elongate the leg and elevate your overall wedding guest look. That said, they both strongly cautioned against stiletto heels — block, wedge or platform heels are definitely the way to go. Bianca also recommended finding a shoe that can be securely strapped into place, further stabilizing your foot so you can dance the night away safely and comfortably.
Ferguson mentioned that neutrals and natural-fiber designs work beautifully for more casual daytime weddings while minimal strappy sandals can be dressed up for evening events. If you prefer a more eye-catching vibe, she said, “sculptural heel details can be more playful than a standard platform.”
If you’re still at a loss, Bianca pointed out that you can always just go with a metallic. “Gold and silver can act as neutral and gives you more value because you can style it with other looks throughout wedding season and beyond.”
Below, we rounded up a selection of wedding guest sandals per our experts’ recommendations. They come in a wide variety of styles so you can be sure to find the one that best fits your personal aesthetic and be able to enjoy them time and time again. Best of all, each of these beauties is under $200, so you don’t have to worry about yet another crushing wedding season investment.
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Ted Baker Cayena heeled sandals
Available in two different colors, these sexy heels have a unique geometric block heel, modern square toe and flirty straps that will look good with every look and just about every color. They feature a slingback design and are made with sleek leather that will last a long time with good care. They're available in sizes 6 to 11.
Jeffrey Campbell Linques sandals
Want to wear a flat? No problem. It doesn't get much more chic than these elegant Jeffrey Campbell sandals. They have a slip-on design and come in a whopping 12 colors. I am partial to the sophistication of the black and gold, but there are also some fun prints
available if color is your thing. Available in sizes 5 to 11.
LPA Mel lace-up sandal
Available in pink or peach, this barely-there heeled sandal is at once simple and quirky. It has an ankle wrap tie and square toe with a statement heel that will add a ton of pizzazz to even the most understated of looks. Get it in sizes 6 to 10.
Sam Edelman Kia sandals
Add a hint of glimmer to your look with these silver Sam Edelman sandals, which are also available in six other colors and finishes. Available in sizes 4 to 14, these have an extra-wide block heel and ankle strap that will leave you feeling as stable as can be, so you can dance the night away with confidence.
Jeffrey Campbell Major Crush slides
These dramatic flat slide sandals will have you saying goodbye to heels forever. Bedecked with fluffy faux feathers, these shoes call to mind an Old Hollywood movie star swanning about her great estate. They're available in four different colors in sizes 6 to 11.
A pair of gold sandals from Etsy
Available in sizes 5 to 10.5, these gilded block heel sandals will serve you through wedding season and beyond. They have a cool pleated look, a sturdy ankle strap, and a twisty front that resembles a much pricier pair from Loeffler Randall
Topshop Reece premium leather ankle tie mid heel sandals in black
For a modern and slightly eclectic spin on a Greek sandal, try these Topshop heels. They have an ankle tie and strappy silhouette with a funky flared mid-height heel that adds an element of cool. Just be sure to jump on these ASAP, because they're flying off the shelves.
Cole Haan Calli thong sandal
Available in four colors, these Cole Haan sandals are the perfect blend of form and function. The thong silhouette couldn't be more on trend, while metallics and a low block heel make them timeless wedding guest classics. Available in sizes 5 to 11.
ASOS Design Fluent strappy flat sandal in gold
Platform sandals make for an excellent compromise if you want something between a flat and a heel. These gladiator-like strappy sandals add a bit of unexpected edge. They're more versatile than you might expect. Get them in sizes 4 to 11 in green, gold or black.
By Anthropologie strappy flats
This sandal is available in five colors, but I think gold is the most elevated option. It features braided detailing and a low-profile silhouette that won't pull focus but adds a little texture and a pop of color. Get it in sizes 36 to 41.
Alohas Creative sandals
Available in four colors in sizes 5 to 11.5, these strappy knotted tie sandals have funky geometric wooden heels that are as fun as they are utilitarian.
Reformation Ludo toe ring sandal
The toe ring look is very hip right now, and these sandals are able to combine a trendy silhouette with a minimalist, classic sandal style with ease. They'll look lovely with everything from a dress to a pant suit. They're available in three different neutral hues in sizes 5 to 11.