Shoe style guide

Wedding shoe guide part 1 – shoes for a formal wedding

3 June 2024

The summer months hail wedding season. Whether you are a member of the wedding party or a guest, we have just the footwear you need to enjoy the day and into the evening too.

We have collated the very best formal men’s shoes in our guide below to help you celebrate the big day in style and in comfort.

We have ordered this guide into three wedding types to make it easy for you to navigate and choose the most appropriate footwear for your celebration. We are starting with shoes for a formal wedding.

Most people will buy something new to wear for the happy occasion and we would urge you to consider your footwear at the same time to not only look smart but to support you through a tiring day.

Grooms, ushers, and guests alike will be on their feet for much of the day, whether at the ceremony, posing for photos, drinking bubbles and eating canapes before the wedding breakfast, standing in the receiving line, making speeches or dancing… it’s not your average day at the office.

You will need comfort which means getting a pair of shoes that fit you properly. This is where handmade shoes will serve you well. They will mould to the shape of your feet. No slipping at the heel and no pinching at the toe will prevent blisters from forming.

When we refer to a formal wedding, we mean the type where a black morning suit or dinner jacket is understood to be the appropriate clothing choice for the male guests. Often though, the guests are permitted to make up their own minds on what they wear while the wedding party may choose a morning suit or dinner jacket to distinguish themselves from the rest.

The jacket of the morning suit is the distinguishing factor. A derivative of the frock coat, which had been modified with curved front edges to accommodate the horse-rider’s knees, the morning suit jacket is usually teamed with striped, grey trousers and a matching or contrasting waistcoat. In the 1930s, grey three-piece morning suits also became fashionable.

Recently, black tie weddings have become more popular. A bit of a slow burner in the UK at first, but the US and social media influence have ensured this style choice has reached these shores.

If you choose a traditional black suit, then you need to choose black shoes. The safest option is the black Oxford. This is one of the most enduring styles of men’s shoe and is a must in every gentleman’s wardrobe.

Black Oxfords are the go-to shoes for formal weddings

It is a style that is timeless and elegant. A black Oxford gives the dark trousers of a morning suit the sleek look most grooms, ushers and guests are seeking. This shoe will also serve you well for other occasions and for work.

Our luxury bestseller is the Churchill II or the Knightsbridge (below) for a premium experience. These are both classic Oxford toe-cap design that have been handmade from start to finish in Northamptonshire.

The Sussex would also be an excellent, opulent choice. Made on the traditional but elegant Z401 last, the Sussex features a blue sole that has been made exclusively for us. If your wedding ceremony involves any kneeling with your back to the congregation, a handsome sole will be appreciated!

If you want something a little different while maintaining your loyalty to the dark side, then why not consider a monk shoe?

The Monkwell is a classically refined single monk shoe, also featuring that exclusive blue sole. We have used the finest leathers to create this stunning monk style.

Monk shoes look great with a formal wedding suit

If you have wider feet, a Derby shoe may fit you better but that does not mean you have to compromise on style. The Carroll is a gorgeous, bespoke looking plain fronted Derby. The last has a very distinct shape with a sleek toe that emphasises the handmade look of the shoe.

The last few styles to consider are definitely more about the evening festivities after the wedding breakfast. The Gusbourne is a black and white two-tone classic that harks back to the era of spats. Very The Great Gatsby!

While patent shoes will add a bit of sparkle. Our Aston (below) and Martin styles are very popular and go well with black tie ready for you to dance the night away.

The Aston

If you want a more fulsome step-by-step guide ahead of your big day or want to strike the right note a guest, please download our free The Wedding Shoe Guide for Men – 2024 edit.

If you want to bulk buy shoes for your entire wedding party, we can give you a 25% discount when you order four or more pairs. Just give us a call.

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