Put on your dancing shoes

Over the almost 16 years I’ve been specializing in teaching wedding dances I have seen a lot of different shoes that brides and grooms were going to wear to dance in on their BIG DAY.

The Bride’s Shoes

What’s a given:

1) The bride wants to have her shoes look absolutely fantastic on her most important day.

2) A lot of times if the groom is tall enough the bride wants to wear some sort of high heeled shoe.

3) If the bride is a lot shorter than her groom she probably wants to wear very high heels.

What’s to consider:

1) Dancing in very high heels can be a challenge to move quickly and turn in if you haven’t danced a lot in them before.

2) If your groom is not an experienced dancer he might accidentally throw you off balance with his moves if you’re feeling unstable in your shoes.

How to compensate:

1) You can allow for your “new height” by bending your knees more and keeping your head back on your spine to balance yourself evenly on your high heels and lower your center of gravity.

2) You can have two pair of shoes, one to wow everyone with at the wedding and one for fun and comfort at the reception.

I’ve seen brides dance in everything from super high heels (one of my bride’s had a side business selling 6-10″ heeled shoes and of course wanted to showcase a pair of her acrylic Cinderella verrrry high steppers) to platforms, ballet flats and even bare feet.

Ultimately, it’s all about what you want and what you think you can deal with on your wedding day and if your heart is set on a certain shoe by all means go for it! But if you’re able to change shoes for your first dance to a more modest heel or flat – that could be more comfortable and easier to dance and party in.


If you choose a platform be aware that it will probably give you a “rocking action” as you step and could make you feel a little stiff due to the fact it doesn’t give.

If you choose an open backed sandal, you could get a clunking sound as you dance as the shoe separates from your foot momentarily during the step.


Having seen lots of choices for wedding dance shoes I recommend changing shoes for your reception so you can have the best of all shoe worlds!

About a 2″ heel and one that is a bit larger than the tiny stiletto type heel plus a shoe base that is not too slick (rough them up in the parking lot beforehand!) seems to be the easiest for most brides to dance in.

Flats are good too but your wedding dress might not be bustled to your flats but rather to your first pair of wedding shoes and you would need to allow for some extra material at your feet.

You can also purchase a pair of dance shoes online if you’re sure you won’t be walking outside in dirt or through water.  (They have suede bottoms to help you glide on the dance floor.)

The Groom’s Shoes

What’s a given:

1) The groom wants to please his bride!

2) Most of the time the groom will just default to rental tuxedo shoes or nice dress shoes that he already has or will purchase for the wedding.

3) If the bride wants to wear something unusual like Converse tennis shoes or bare feet he will match his bride.

What to consider:

1) The bride’s wishes!

2) Any special needs that the groom has physically.

How to compensate:

1) Dress shoes can be slick on the dance floor so if the groom owns them he can scuff them up a bit in the parking lot so he has more traction on the floor as he leads the steps.

2) If he’s dancing in tennis shoes for the big day – Converse, Vans etc. – he will need to be aware his shoes may stick to the dance floor and he will need to step carefully.

I’ve seen lots of fun and fancy groom footwear and it’s all good as long as the bride is happy with the choice and the groom can walk and dance in his shoes!

Lots of grooms care about their footwear these days and it’s not unusual for a groom to tell me in intricate detail about his wedding shoes.  I encourage my grooms and my brides to dance around in their living rooms in their wedding shoes before the wedding day.


1) Most of my grooms that have opted for their own shoes rather than a rental pair seem to be more comfortable.

2) Grooms and brides wearing matching tennis type shoes usually wear them to dance lessons to get used to dancing together in them.


I recommend the groom dance in something that is comfortable, the right size for his feet and meets his bride’s expectations.

If he has a particular idea for his shoes it’s probably a good idea to let his bride know right away so she can yay or nay the shoe idea!

Leading the first dance can be challenging so the groom probably doesn’t want to be thinking too much about his shoes. 😉

Just like the bride, the groom can also purchase a pair of dance shoes online if he’s sure he won’t be walking outside in dirt or through water.  (They have suede bottoms to help you glide on the dance floor.)

All in all the shoes the bride and groom wear for the wedding dance are pretty important!  If you’re unsure about a particular shoe and how it would be to dance in it please text or email me and I can share my experience about it.

Dance lessons can really help you work with the shoes you’ll be wearing on your wedding day.

My brides wear flats to our dance lessons and often bring their wedding shoes so they can dance around on the carpet at the studio to show me what the shoes will and won’t do!

My grooms usually wear leather soled shoes to learn in and sometimes bring their wedding shoes to show me and we discuss any possible challenges they might present.

Happy shoe hunting! Text or email me if you have any additional questions and to schedule some first dance lessons to get you and your shoes ready to dance!

xoxo Jillian

Message or Text: 949.400.7347

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Wedding Shoes!

Wedding Shoes!

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