I spoke to two women that did just that
If there’s one thing I regret about my own wedding, it’s my choice of shoes. It’s amazing how far our attitudes towards flat shoes have come since then – 2004 – when the idea of wearing flats as the bride wasn’t just unusual, it didn’t even occur to me. I ended up with a cheap pair of horrible kitten heels that I hated.
If I was to do it all again today I would obviously wear flats, and I would definitely consider trainers.
I’ve been to a few weddings now where the bride has changed into personalised white Converse for the dance floor – a fantastic idea that you can just do on the Converse website – but I caught up with two women that took it a step further and wore trainers for the whole day…
Katie Cary on her wedding day
Katie Cary, the director of one of the shoe brand Rogue Matilda, got married in December last year. She was in the unique position to be able to design her own shoes for her big day, and she was keen to go for something that she could not only dance all night in, but that was also a bit different.
‘I had got in my head that I wanted to be wearing a shoe with a flashing sole, and after that there was no going back,’ she tells me. ‘Our Sweetheart trainers are perfect for weddings as they have a heart on the heel and a thick memory foam insole. I got the factory to customise mine to have a deep blue velvet heart on the back, as my ‘something blue’, and a flashing sole from China that had about 6 different light settings.’
And it didn’t stop with just her; Katie kitted out all of her bridesmaids in Sweetheart trainers with burgundy hearts and bespoke flashing laces – which she now throws in to an order if a customer lets her know that they are buying a pair of Sweetheart trainers for their own wedding – as well as matching tiny versions for her page boys.
Katie Cary and her page boy
For Lisa Barlow-Weber, a self-confessed sneakerhead and founder of the store and community Kicks Love London, who got married in 2015, there was never any question what she’d be wearing on her feet.
‘I knew even before I had a fiancé!’ she laughs when I ask her. ‘Just a few days before we got engaged I bought the trainers I would want to wear on my wedding day – the Nike Air Max 1 Liquid Silver. I bought them online whilst we were on holiday in Thailand, and a few days later my hubby George proposed.’
Lisa Barlow-Weber’s silver Nike Air Max
There’s so much (often self-inflicted) pressure to get everything perfect at a wedding that I think sometimes when you’re planning, it’s easy to get caught up in what you think you are expected to do, or wear, on your special day.
For us, it just wasn’t a priority to follow traditions for the sake of it, so we didn’t have a cake (I don’t even like wedding cake), or a DJ (we had a playlist on an iPod, which was the size of a brick!), or a first dance, or even an official photographer. I just wish I’d extended that ethos to my footwear like Katie and Lisa did.
‘At the end of the day it’s about you and the person you love and that’s all,’ Katie continues. ‘Everything else should just be a reflection of both of your characters: something individual and unique. I totally did and wore whatever I wanted to on the day, and I don’t really mind what other people thought in the end as it was our best day ever.’
Lisa agrees. ‘Sneakers are just a part of who I am and for that reason wanted to incorporate that in to the most special day of my life.’ She even used them as table settings, as you can see below.
The trainer-themed table settings at Lisa Barlow-Weber’s wedding
So what tips would these experienced sneaker lovers give to anyone thinking of wearing trainers as part of their own wedding ensemble?
‘I personally think you want to keep it simple and clean with white trainers,’ says Katie. ‘As well as our white Sweethearts, white Supergas are a great option (as long as they’re clean) for a canvas shoe that’s elegant, and Charlotte Olympia does some lovely white leather sneakers with lips on. A well made white leather trainer that’s clean in its lines is all you need.’
As a guest, however, it’s worth looking for something a bit different. ‘Keep it simple,’ says Lisa ‘and don’t go for white as you don’t want to offend the bride. Pick a classic or iconic silhouette like a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors, Nike Jordans, or something that will give you an extra bit of height.’
And the best bit? If you invest in a pair of trainers to wear on your wedding day, you’re far more likely to wear them again. And again, and again…’I wore them so much after the wedding!’ confirms Lisa. ‘Now I wish I’d worn them a bit less as they’re not in great condition anymore, but ill still keep them forever.’