I contemplated a pair of Irregular Choice shoes (I particularly like these and these), but in the end my sister (my shopping companion for pretty much everything wedding-related) and I decided that simple was better. And swiftly discovered that it is impossible to buy a pair of simple shoes in a cool colour. Instead of compromising with plain old bridal, we turned these:
Cool, no? They seriously couldn't have turned out any better. I wish I'd thought to take some photos while we were dyeing them but (a) it was at about 10pm, so the light wasn't exactly perfect and (b) I was panicking about ruining some not-entirely-budget shoes, so photography wasn't exactly top of my list of priorities!
I Googled for some tutorials for dyeing shoes, but everything I read kept going on about sponging or painting the dye on to avoid dyeing the inside. I figured that sponging was reasonably likely to come out blotchy, and I didn't care about the inside being dyed, so I opted for the rather less tried and tested method (henceforth known as the Patented Jo Technique) of 'drop them in a bucket of dye'. I warmed a large pan of water on the hob (I used an old maslin pan - a jam making pan. I have three, so was prepared to sacrifice one, but in the end it came perfectly clean after the dyeing was over), dropped in the dye (mixed in a jug of water first, to make sure it was properly dissolved) and the salt, and plopped the shoes in. For about 20 minutes I swooshed them round and rubbed them a bit to make sure that the entire shoe was covered evenly (I had to keep turning them as my enormous shoe size meant that the entire shoe wouldn't fit in at once. I did put both in at the same time to ensure that they spent equal time in the dye though), then rinsed them under the cold tap until the water ran clear and left them on a bit of newspaper to dry. Perfect!
I have absolutely no idea what the fabric content of the shoes was, and was prepared for it not to take the dye terribly well (I figured pale blue shoes would still be pretty), but it went exactly as I was hoping, and I was left with beautiful aqua shoes for my wedding day!
It actually didn't occur to me until someone mentioned it that my shoes could stand in as a 'something blue' (we're not exactly traditionalists - I'm sure I could think of something old, new and borrowed if I had to as well).
I'm planning on working my way through the various handmade details of the wedding eventually, but I'm going to do it here and there in among other posts (I am already plotting my return to Farmer's Wifedom), since I'm currently stealing pictures from various friends and relatives until we get the 'proper' photos from our lovely photographer. I'm keeping fingers crossed that he managed to capture all the handmade details of the day!