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Charlotte Balbier’s wedding diary: the shoe hunt

Wedding dress designer Charlotte is more than happy to roll her sleeves up and begin the quest for her bridal shoes

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Tahiti Boudoir by Freya Rose

Now that we’ve been sharing wedding experiences for a few months, I’m happy to let you lot into a confession; I may be more excited about buying my wedding shoes than any other aspect of my wedding. Shoe shopping is a love of mine and one I can’t deny given the collection I have stashed away – Carrie Bradshaw’s got nothing on me! Shoes can make all the difference to an outfit or your mood and I love admiring them when I’m out and about shopping, not to mention ogling over the brand new collections at wedding trade shows. Luckily, some wedding shoe designers have become close friends of mine over the years so I get to try their creations on before they hit the bridal boutiques!

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The task of finding my perfect pair of wedding shoes (or pairs, as I think the case may be!) is well under way. I’ve accumulated quite a long list of shoes by different designers, and as always my Pinterest board, overflowing with beautiful styles from classic ivory to more unusual colours and looks. There’s a couple of deal breakers for me – the heel must be high as I’m only 5″4 and want to feel like a glam goddess on my big day, and I’m looking for a peep-toe as I want to show off either pink or red perfectly-pedicured tootsies – but the rest is yet to be decided!

I have noticed during my search that there’s a real trend for non-white shoes, instead brides are loving bright shoes that bring a pop of colour when worn with a traditional bridal gown, with blue being super popular and I suspect a certain Miss Bradshaw had something to do with that. Do you remember those totally amazing Manolo Blahniks she wore in the SATC movie? And don’t forget that they could count as your ‘something blue’.

So, on to the shoe styles I have my beady eye on. I’ve been lusting after the Jimmy Choo ‘Crown’ shoes for a while now as they are a gorgeous champagne shade – and they provide the perfect excuse to pick up the matching ‘Riane’ bag, too! They are a little on the pricey side (my budget is between £300-700), but then again they’re not typically bridal so I’d probably be able to wear them again in the future. It’s always good to rationalise spending! Actually, even if these don’t end up being one of my chosen wedding shoes I’m tempted to buy a pair anyway as I just love them.

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Mimosa by Rachel Simpson

Also on my radar are some rather amazing Freya Rose styles, which I’ve fancied since I used them on the photo shoot for my new 2014 A Decade Of Style collection. They were the perfect match to my gowns and not only do they look lovely but they’re also super comfy. I’m a big fan of the ‘Tahiti Boudoir’ style (love that name!) with a mother of pearl heel that Freya Rose are famous for as their signature feature. The ‘Ennis’ design is another of my favourites, as these gold delights come with a detachable rose flower, vintage antique in style and very special. Given that I’ve been eyeing up various styles from this collection, and letting everyone know of course!,  I’ve actually been invited to the Freya Rose showroom in London for a personal fitting with Freya herself. Woohoo, I’m going to be in shoe-loving heaven! My plan is to work the meeting into a trip to London with my mum, for an ultimate girly visit doing bridal bits and bobs and I’m really, really excited to not only try on shoes but to take a few days out of normal life to focus on all things wedding!!
 
If you’re a bride-to-be who needs comfort and a higher heel is not your thing, then you must check out Rachel Simpson shoes. Rachel’s shoes are some of the comfiest I’ve tried and as the heel height isn’t as high as a lot of other styles, they’re perfect for those brides wanting to dance the night away! Her vintage-inspired designs are dreamily pretty and I really like the colour palette Rachel uses with all of her soft ivory hues and rose-pink tones. Then again, I’ve long since had a love affair with Aruna Seth shoes from the moment I first laid eyes on them a few years ago. I’ve lost count of the number of pairs I own (oops!) because they’re gorgeous, comfortable and handmade in Italy, which adds to the chic elegant feeling that washes over me as soon as I step into a pair.

By now you’ll have guessed that my shoe journey is going to be a long but enjoyable one – it’s one of my wedding planning tasks that I’m happy to drag out because I’d be happy trying on shoes all day long. I promise to keep you posted on my wedding shoe finds over on my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages and would love to see what shoes you are all wearing for your special day.
 
Until next time, happy shoe shopping ladies.

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Much Love,
Charlotte xxx