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How to Survive Your Big Day in heels

They may be the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen but if your heels cause you to pull less than beautiful faces on your Big Day, they’re just not worth the pain. Here’s my Footsie Index – aka 10 ways to survive in your heels all wedding day long.

Shop your wedding heels in the afternoon
(on preferably a warm day) as your feet tend to swell as the day draws on. Don’t be tempted to buy a pair that feel snug or too big: they won’t stretch and your feet won’t grow into them. Check for a quarter of an inch gap between the tips of your toes and the tips of your heels. If you’re choosing an open toe or backless sandal, please don’t accept any overhang!

Keep within a three-inch height
especially if you’re not a seasoned heel wearer. Any higher will push your ankles forward so your toes grip your shoes. It won’t look pretty (and nor will your planned smooth sashay down the aisle.)

Stretch your soles
curling your toes and rotate your ankles every day. Good foot habits will help prep your feet for the Big Day ahead.

New heels need to be broken in
Test drive them around the house (with socks on to loosen them up a bit.) Or do what I did and coax a friend with bigger feet to do it!

Stop potential slips
by roughing up the bottoms on pavement. If you forget, do what I used to do to stop models slipping in shoes – spray the bottoms with hairspray! You’ll never live down the insta pix if you skid and crash. 

Identify pain early
Another advantage of test driving your new heels is that any painful spots will scream out. See if dampened fabric plasters lessen the pain once you slip them back on.

Chill your heels in the freezer
for at least half an hour on the Big Day. No really. When you slip on your frozen shoes, they’ll should mould around the warmth of your feet and feel instantly more comfortable (if a little chilly.)

Tape your toes
An accidental tip I discovered was double-sided tape to literally stick your foot to the sole of your shoe. Discreetly done, it works especially well on strapless, open toe sandals. No need to grip, no slip so no shoe misery.

Get your emergency kit sorted
I own many pairs of shoe cushions – they really help alleviate ball and heel ache when kicking them off isn’t an option. I’d also recommend a pack of blister plasters as well as trusty old fabric plasters.

Keep them on
Finally, even when you feel like throwing your heels at the head of the closest buffoon usher, don’t take them off. Chances are, your feet will swell if you do and putting them back on will be agony. Go and sit with some elderly guests to give your feet a chance to rest.

Remember, painful feet will show up on your face. If you’ve got any more hacks to survive your Big Day in heels, please share them in the comments.

Sarah x

Picture credits:
Images courtesy of Hensmans Salons of Northampton
Photographer: Kelly Cooper (
Hair: Kelsie O’Connor and Fran Bruce of Hensmans Salons of Northampton (
Makeup: Keira Miller of Belle Beautique (
Dresses & Accessories: Stunning Bridal by Donna Salado (
Flowers: J F Flowers (
Location: The Five Arrows Hotel (
The Dairy (

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  • he he. exactly why i’m wearing havaianas!

    5 months ago : nat
  • Sparkly flip flops should “save my souls” 😂

    5 months ago : Saira
  • And this is why I’m wearing DMs on the day!!!!!!!!

    5 months ago : Fi
  • Just reading this is making my feet hurt!

    6 months ago : Hollie
  • I’m so worried about wearing heels – I’ve had my dress taken up to allow a 3 inch heel and I’m fretting. Thanks for this advice

    6 months ago : Sam
  • Masking tape underneath your soles will stop slip or rough them up with a nail file

    7 months ago : Gail
  • Always walk heels first then toes. I actually buy heels half a size bigger to make room for swelling

    7 months ago : Claire
  • Have a foot spa or a man with massaging hands on standby!!

    7 months ago : Jo
  • My advice is to start with a low ish heel and when you feel confident move onto a higher one xx

    7 months ago : Sandy
  • Foot massage – and lots of it. Before heels and after heels. That’s the only way I’ll wear them for my other half!!!!!!!

    7 months ago : Julia
  • I sprinkle baby or talcum powder in my shoes before I put them on. They help with smells but also seem to make the shoes more comfortable if i’m wearing them for any length of time

    7 months ago : Francis
  • I’ve splashed out on a pair of beautiful diamanté heels and I’m scared. The furthest I usually walk in heels is from the cab to the restaurant table (and then I take them off) I’ll be using every single one of your ideas. Maxine

    7 months ago : Max