As a woman in my 30s, it is my inalienable right -- obligation, really -- to be moved to tears by certain things. My best friend telling me she's pregnant, the father/ daughter dance at any wedding, and every single scene in "Sex and the City" that has to do with true love -- whether it's the Carrie/Miranada/Samantha/Charlotte love or the Carrie and Big love. (Yes, there was Aidan, but for the sake of remaining true to my heart, I only discuss Big.)
So it is even now, three years later, when I watch the final proposal scene in Carrie's dream closet, that I am, again, welling up. Yes, the closet alone is enough to bring tears to the eyes of this former New Yorker, who once had to share her apartment's only closet with her sister. But couple that with Big's pitch perfect proposal of "Carrie Bradshaw, love of my live, will you marry me?" Then watching him suavely reach for the now-iconic cobalt blue Manolo Blahnik shoe and gently slide it onto her foot... it's quite simply the perfect Cinderella moment for the new millennium.
And with that, the tectonic plates shifted, the air pressure adjusted, and the very foundation upon which the bridal footwear industry rests was shaken to its core. Remember when Nirvana first played "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and the entire music industry kind of woke up and said, "Wait, why have we been listening to this vapid 80s fluff crap?" In that same spirit, that single blue Manolo knocked the white silk dyeable out of its firmly situated place of dominance. Ivory, bone, off-white, ecru, eggshell, cream, be gone! Hark, a new era led by the fearless leader, cobalt blue!
Lo and behold, it didn't stop there. From Christian Louboutin's blue soles to Kate Spade's plum silks, all the designers jumped onto this rainbow brigade. Brides in footwear of crimson red, kelly green, tangerine and mustard yellow were soon walking down the aisle of every church and catering hall across the country.
While before, the attitude regarding shoes was passive, now bridal footwear became an absolute and enthusiastic check-box on the wedding to-do list. At milk & honey, we are constantly sitting down with brides who have a very clear idea as to how they want their wedding day to look, feel, taste and smell. So much of a wedding day can be perfectly coordinated by the bride -- the font on your invitation, the exact shade of pink for your bridesmaids' dresses and the order of each and every song that your band is playing. So when given the spectrum to choose from, we've seen brides select everything from hot pink to zebra print. We now see brides coordinate the color of their bridesmaids' dresses with their shoes and the groom's socks. The "shoe shot" has become a staple among wedding photos: the shoes out on display as the bride is getting ready... the bride putting her shoes on... the "knees down" shot of the offbeat footwear selection.
And since shoes have now taken their rightful place next to the engagement ring and bridal gown as mandatory fashion statements of the Big Day, it is undeniably an extra-added cost. Weddings are not a traditional time to be practical with expenses ($5,000 on flowers?), but if you think about when, in your life, you have ever looked in your closet and said, "Gosh, I wish I had a pair of ivory silk shoes to match this dress!"--probably not a thought you've had that often. But a pair of deep red, peep toe pumps? Alas, a bit more practical. We all know you are going to spend a fortune on your dress -- as you should -- but try as you might, plan as you will, you'll really never cut it, or dye it, or re-tailor it. You will not wear this gorgeous dress again. But your shoes... they should be a different story. They should be worn again and again and serve as a great memory of your wedding day every time you slip them on your feet.
So, in the end, Carrie Bradshaw married John James Preston in a label-less white dress. And those shoes... those iconic, cobalt blue, pointed toe Manolos, kicked off a brilliant trend of brides making a statement with their footwear, expressing their personality, and finally making a practical and fashionable wedding day decision.
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