These Boots Were Made for Walking (Down the Aisle)

Before Beyoncé dropped her highly anticipated “Cowboy Carter” album, or Tanner Adell, a country music singer-songwriter who also appears on Beyoncé’s album, proudly proclaimed herself a “buckle bunny,” the disco-cowboy-and-glam-western aesthetics were already making their way to bridal fashion.

Pinterest predicted that western influences would be one of the biggest trends for weddings in 2024, and searches on the platform for “cowgirl wedding dress with boots” doubled in March over March 2023.

Cowboy boots have become a favored accessory. Brides are pairing them with relaxed-silhouetted gowns and dresses “that align with the effortless elegance of western fashion,” Maisie-Kate Keane, a bridal stylist based in New York, said. “Brides are embracing the opportunity to infuse their personal style into their wedding wardrobe for a modern twist on the country western look,” she said.

Chloe Newsom-Kingsley of Long Beach, Calif., decided on a pair of cactus-detailed Ranch Road Boots six months before choosing the dress for her April 27 wedding in San Diego.

“I knew I was getting engaged and had my eyes on the boots for a while, and I thought what better reason to get them than for my wedding,” said Ms. Newsom-Kingsley, 39, a vice president of Razorfish, a digital advertising agency. “I was drawn to the desert scene on them because my mom and I own a home near Joshua Tree, and we absolutely love it out there.”

Ms. Newsom-Kingsley actually ended up with two pairs of cowboy boots for her wedding weekend. A few weeks before her nuptials, she found a pair of vintage white Maison Margiela boots with higher heels, which she said worked better with her embroidered tulle gown by Claire Pettibone for the ceremony. She wore the decorated boots for the rehearsal dinner.

The western wear company Tecovas, based in Austin, Texas, has seen the growth in brides wearing cowboy boots within the last few years. “We saw ‘white boots’ and ‘blue boots’ being top search terms across our platforms, and Google trends data also showed a steady rise in the search term ‘wedding boots’ throughout 2023 and into 2024,” said Madisen Li, the vice president of merchandising at Tecovas.

In March, the company introduced its “Sadie” white bridal boot with pale blue detailing, for $495, following the creation of a bridal blue version of the company’s best-selling “Annie” boot in January, for $295. (Tecovas also carries the Annie boot style in a bone color.)

The boot brand has been so popular with brides that retail locations have hosted in-store experiences for brides, grooms and their bridal parties. Those participating can take advantage of complimentary branding and embossing services while enjoying cocktails. “We have brides come in for boots for all aspects of their wedding celebrations: bachelorette parties, bridal showers, wedding ceremonies and after-parties,” Ms. Li said.

Brides who gravitate to the western-style boots aren’t necessarily driven by trends but “often a nod to their everyday style, family background or wedding destination,” said Claire Pettibone, a bridal fashion designer based in Los Angeles.

Plus, the boots are typically comfortable and versatile. “They’re special pieces that a bride can keep and rewear for years,” Ms. Li said.

Lauren Knapp Morton wore Isabel Marant cowboy boots for her wedding destination in Colorado last September. “We got married in the mountains, and the last thing I wanted was to wear something that did not fit the setting,” said Ms. Knapp Morton, 40, an executive assistant in San Francisco.

Her bridal stylist, Gabrielle Hurwitz, based in New York, introduced her to the designer Patricia Voto, founder of the brand One Of, who helped nail down her wedding day look. Once Ms. Knapp Morton chose her dress, she knew she wanted to accessorize it with cowboy boots: “Not having to walk around in heels through uneven terrain was one less thing I had to worry about, and cowboy boots seemed like a chicer option than flats.”

Miron Crosby, a Dallas-based western brand favored by brides, has brought cowboy boots to the luxury space with signature colors, limited runs and custom offerings. “It’s been overwhelming in a great way to see the demand in the bridal category,” said Sarah Means, a founder of Miron Crosby, whose boots start at $900, with an additional $550 base charge for customization. Brides typically spend more than $2,000 on a custom pair of boots, which take eight to 10 months to create, according to Ms. Means.

Brides get to choose leathers, colors, motifs and more. Customization also includes options to add their new initials, wedding date and even a handwritten note from their partner transcribed onto a piece of leather and sewn inside one of the boots. “These personalized details make the boots a true one-of-a-kind heirloom piece in their wardrobe,” Ms. Means said.

Haylie Paige Keffler customized a pair of white Miron Crosby boots to match the colors of the Texan wildflowers she asked her dress designer, Nardos Imam of Nardos Design, to detail on her gown. Ms. Keffler, 31, the owner of Haylie Paige Events in Dallas, personalized the boots for her April 20 wedding in Fort Worth with pink and green XOs, hearts and lip prints. “I wore heels going down the aisle, then changed into my boots for the reception,” she said.

Sarah Brennan Hughes, founder and chief executive of Rowely, an online bridal wear resale marketplace, said, “The western bridal look offers a refreshing departure from traditional wedding attire.”

Emma Brumbaugh, 28, a merchandise planner at Proenza Schouler, is still looking for the perfect pairs of cowboy boots for her wedding weekend in August in Big Sky, Mont. “I plan on wearing a minidress with cowboy boots and a cowboy hat for the welcome party,” she said. “And for the ceremony, I want to wear classic white boots with a fun twist.”

Ms. Brumbaugh’s day-to-day style living in New York City has a western flare, so incorporating that into her wedding style would only be natural. “I have always envisioned getting married in Montana and wearing cowboy boots with my wedding dress,” she said. “I want what I wear to be a blend of black-tie elegance and subtle western spirit, which also is the vibe for the wedding.”

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