crystal ankle strap

>> Olivia Palermo x Aquazzura Embellished suede sandals. >> Olivia Palermo borrowed elements from her own wardrobe to design her collection for Aquazzura. This single-sole suede pair is encrusted with draped crystals and chains inspired by a vintage Victorian necklace in her personal collection. [Image: net-a-porter] 

10 Bridal Shoes for Your Beach Wedding

Fairytale shoes for your happily ever after

Venue…check! Decor…check! Bridesmaid dresses…check! Wedding dress…check! Shoes? Let’s call it saving the best for last. 

If you’re planning your special day at a far-flung sunny destination, you’ll want to make sure you have one or two pairs of shoes for the ceremony and reception dance. Here’s 10 picture perfect shoes to consider for your big day. 

3" Inches and Up

‘Mitzi’ Satin d'Orsay Peep Toe Pump (Women)

Betsey Johnson Your Greatest Chic-ness Heel

Bow Pump

'Gene’ Crystal Back Ankle Strap Pump (Women)

1"-2" Inches

Samie Crackled Metallic Slingback Pumps

Manolo Blahnik Nadira Vine Embellished Point-Toe Pump, Gold

Jeanette heels


Maycee Flat Thong Sandals

Crystal Chandelier Thong Sandal, White Iridescent

Two of a Shine Flat

Who are we? Wantering is the first place you should go to search and shop for bridal shoes! We’ll show you the best products from across 150 curated e-commerce stores. 

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Pork Noodles and a Shotgun (Part Eight)

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

I was beginning to worry that I had made a huge mistake. There was just too much bickering and non-stop tension; it was impossible to make a decision on anything in the hostile atmosphere. The wedding was only two weeks away and it felt like I was doing everything alone. “Ranko, Seiko, please,” I sighed. “At this rate it would be faster to choose my dress by myself. If you can’t stop arguing, go home!” My future husband could be stubborn, but he was ten times easier to work with than these two, especially when it came to wedding planning.

After deciding to have a very small and simple wedding with just our family and closest friends, Takuto and I had set a date and started making arrangements. Everything had been easy up to this point because we had no shortage of volunteers. Boss wanted to host a reception for us, Kenshi knew a florist who was a regular at Kikufuji, Hiro conncted us with a photography student willing to work cheap to bulk up her portfolio, and thanks to Riki I knew my groom’s wardrobe was in good hands. It turned out that the thing I had always imagined to be the fun part of planning a wedding- dress shopping- was the most stressful bit of all. In addition to having to leave it until the last minute in fear that my expanding waistline would outgrow a dress purchased too soon, I felt more like a mother herding her quarreling children than a bride to be shopping with friends.

Unfortunately my admonitions were falling on deaf ears. “But you are going to be a bride!” Seiko huffed. “That’s like the next best thing to being a princess! You can’t look like some pauper at the altar.” I was not even sure why I let Seiko come along, honestly, except that Hiro had begged me to. He wanted to be here himself, but Takuto had squashed that idea immediately, insisting that none of our male friends were going to see me in my dress before he could. Apparently having his sister here was Hiro’s way of helping out from a distance.

Ranko scoffed at the redhead’s criticism. Seiko alone would have been a decent shopping partner, but this clash of wills between the two feistiest women I knew was monumental. “Aiko has been my best friend for years, I know her tastes so much better than you do! Stop suggesting all the gaudiest gowns in the store!”

“Gaudy?!” I could practically see the steam rolling out of Seiko’s ears.

Finally I had enough. “Just stop it!” I demanded, physically stepping between the two. “I am six months pregnant, I can’t wear most of the dresses you two keep suggesting anyway! Let’s split up for a while and cool off. Seiko, you have an eye for detail, so will you help me choose some accessories? Ranko, you definitely know what I like, so will you check out the shoes? I’m going to look at dresses by myself for now.” Mildly placated by their assignments, both parties nodded and left for different departments. With a sigh of relief, I returned to dress shopping in peace.

Without the two warring beauties to distract me, it was actually fairly easy to choose what I wanted. My options were limited with my ever-growing belly, but the simpler styles I was left with were more to my taste anyway. I got the attention of a clerk and went into a fitting room, and by the time I emerged both Ranko and Seiko were waiting for me.

“Oh, that one is perfect!” Ranko gasped at the sight of me in the tea-length empire waist dress. I turned around slowly, showing off the gauzy layers down the back. It was not a traditional princess-like gown, but I felt elegant, which was no small feat at this stage of my pregnancy. I thought it fit the more casual mood of our small, intimate ceremony better than a full sized dress anyway.

“Hmph, you manage to pull that off,” Seiko agreed; it was not exactly a compliment, but good enough coming from her. “Let’s glam it up a little! Show her the goods!” She and Ranko had managed to call a cease fire while I was occupied, and once they were working together instead of arguing they were a fantastic team. The crystal buckles on the ankle straps of my shoes coordinated with the subtle sparkle of the headband that held on a lace-trimmed veil, but I opted out of any other new jewelry. I had a pair of simple diamond stud earrings picked out for my “something old” and a necklace of my mother’s for “something borrowed”.

Ranko looked at the final product with tears in her eyes. “You look gorgeous, Aiko,” she said with a wistful sigh.

“Hold still, I need to send a picture to Hiro!” Seiko was holding up her cell phone, prepared to snap a picture, and I did my best to hold up my hands and block her view.

“Takuto would be so upset!” I protested. “He was really serious about no one else seeing me first!”

“Fine, I won’t let Hiro see it,” Seiko sighed. “But let us take a few pictures! You’ll want to remember today, won’t you?” I was a bit reluctant at first, but finally I let both girls take a few quick pictures. When they were finished I was able to change back into my normal clothes, make my purchases, and head for home.


Finally the big day had arrived. Since we had kept our guest list short, the church I had chosen was a small one, and I had to get ready at home. That meant kicking Takuto out, and he was cranky about it. “Superstitions are so dumb,” he was muttering as I checked his bag to make sure he had everything. He was heading to Le Renard Noir with the rest of the guys to get dressed. “You picked out my clothes but I can’t even look at yours.”

“I want it to be a surprise,” I repeated for the umpteenth time. “I know it may seem silly, but I really want to see the look on your face when I’m all dressed up for the first time. It’s one of the best wedding day memories a bride gets.”

He huffed a bit, but conceded my point, and leaned in for a quick goodbye kiss before he left. My heart started beating a little faster, and my quickening pulse woke someone up. “Oh!” I gasped, my hand flying to the growing curve of my belly. “It’s kicking, Takuto!”

“Yeah?” My husband-to-be placed both his warm hands on my stomach eagerly. The baby had been moving around for a few weeks now, but only recently anything strong enough to feel from the outside, and so far the stubborn little one liked to avoid kicking when its daddy was around. Today was finally the right time, though, and Takuto’s face softened as several strong kicks drummed into his palms. “That’s so weird,” he mumbled, but his expression was full of wonder, and I giggled.

I let him linger there until the movements stopped, then peeled his hands away. “Go now, or you’ll be running late,” I reminded him. He tried to pout, but I had a backup plan. “Do you really want to be here when Ranko and Seiko arrive?”

“Bye.” Without any more hesitation, Takuto picked his bags up and hurried out the door.

My friends arrived soon after he left, armed with styling tools and makeup bags aplenty. They were loud and brash as usual, but it seemed like Ranko and Seiko were finally starting to get along. We were busy, but I was legitimately having fun getting dolled up together when my phone started playing Takuto’s ringtone. I had a bad feeling as I answered with a hesitant, “Hello?”

“Why the hell does Hiro say he’s got a picture of you in your dress?!” I had to pull the phone away from my ear a bit, but I heard every word, and my jaw dropped. He was so loud both girls could hear him, too, and a certain redhead shifted uncomfortably.

I sighed deeply. “Apparently because I was naive enough to trust one twin to keep a secret from the other…”

“I’m coming over.”

“Huh?!” My thoughts felt scrambled as I tried to come up with a good protest. “You can’t just come over here because Hiro saw my dress!”

“It’s not fair! I’m not waiting until we get to the church. I want to see you now.” Takuto could be childish and silly when he got jealous, but this time even I felt that he had a point. I was upset too, and I wanted to fix this, so I thought we could come up with a compromise.

“Give me a fifteen minute head start,” I begged. “I at least want to be ready when you get here, okay?”

“Maybe,” he grumbled back in his ‘fine, but I’m not happy about it’ tone. He hung up without saying goodbye.

I put down the phone and turned to the girls. Both were wide-eyed and a bit apprehensive looking, but I was not going to deliver the tongue lashing they surely feared. There was no time for that. “We have thirty minutes, tops, if he waits like I asked. Help me finish my hair and makeup before Takuto gets here and I think we can put this little indiscretion behind us.”

Twenty-five minutes later, my hair was curled, my makeup perfect, and my veil in place. I was just putting in my earrings when I heard the front door open and Ranko, who was on lookout duty, called for me. She hurried past me as I came to the entry way, and I did not know if she was eager to get back to her own preparations or if she was running from the killer aura my fiancé was projecting.

All his anger fell away when I stepped into view. The look on his face was simply priceless, and he seemed at a loss for words. I smiled, pleased with his reaction, and he softly returned the expression. “Worth the wait?” I asked, turning around so he could get the full view.

“Yeah,” he nodded, still a little dumb struck. “You look even better than the picture.”

I had to suppress my irritation that he had taken a peek at the offending photo. Now was not the time to pick a fight. “I was just trying things on. I didn’t have my hair done or anything, and I wasn’t trying to be beautiful for my groom yet.”

Takuto closed the distance between us and gently took me in his arms, handling me as though he was afraid to mess up a delicate piece of art. One hand moved to stroke my hair, as usual, but he stopped himself short after a look at the carefully crafted curls. “Tch, I feel like I can barely touch you,” he complained. “You’re almost too pretty.”

“Hush,” I scolded him halfheartedly, feeling a light blush in my cheeks. “You need to go back and get dressed, you’re going to run late at this rate.” He was already wearing his tuxedo pants and shirt, but the vest and jacket were notably missing.

“I brought everything with me,” he replied, but I insisted he go out the door and get back to our day as scheduled, with the reminder that he needed to make sure the rest of the guys were getting ready too. Reluctantly he departed, but not until I gave him a kiss that left me needing to reapply my lipstick.


The ceremony was a bit of a blur, but with Hiro’s photographer friend doing her job, I knew we would capture all the important memories. A few things stood out though- my father finally looking happy for us as he sat next to my weeping mother, the adorable concentration on Takuto’s face as he repeated his vows, the slight cold sweat on both my palms and his as we exchanged rings, and the embarrassingly loud whoops of joy from our little crowd during the kiss.

No, the ceremony was nice, but the reception was the most memorable part of our big day. We all went to Le Renard Noir, and I gasped when we went inside. Unbeknownst to me, the boys had decided to decorate the place. The usual eclectic decor was taken down, replaced by beautiful landscape art Hiro proudly told me was on loan from his classmates, and the tables were all laid with crisp white cloths and filled with arrangements of the same flowers I had chosen for my bouquet. “It’s our wedding, no way Beardy’s run down little bar was good enough,” Takuto said when I looked to him for an explanation, a proclamation that upset poor Boss a little, but I had to admit that as much as I liked the usual LRN this was truly beautiful. I had been dry eyed through our whole wedding, but the surprise from my new husband and our friends finally brought on my happy tears.

We cut the cake, had a toast, indulged in a little dancing- just a slow song for the very pregnant bride, but a few more upbeat tunes for our slightly intoxicated friends- and enjoyed the company of the people closest to us. My parents and the Hirukawas spent a lot of time catching up on the two decades since they had seen one another, Ranko had a little fun flirting with the best man Riki, and Boss made way too many jokes about a shotgun wedding. “Quit calling it that! It sounds like I had to be forced into it,” Takuto finally snapped. “I was already going to marry her, you know!” I had heard it before, but the declaration in front of everyone was still really heartwarming, even if my groom was giving our friends an angry look while he said it. I reached out and squeezed his left hand, enjoying the feel of the wedding band he now wore. He was still focused on chewing out poor Boss for his tasteless humor, but I did get a little squeeze back.

It was late when the party finally began to break up, signaled when our parents excused themselves claiming they could not keep up with us young folk. I had a little bouquet toss, during which Ranko and Seiko looked ready to tear each other’s hair out, and we managed to convince them afterwards that they were both a little tipsy and should go home. After I thanked Ranko for being part of my big day and said goodbye, Seiko came back in carrying an overnight bag I recognized as my own. “Congratulations again!” she said in parting after handing me the suitcase. I glanced at all the faces in the room; Takuto looked as confused as I felt, but the rest of the Black Foxes were all smiles.

“It’s your wedding night, go have fun,” Riki said with a meaningful smirk as he handed Takuto a key.

“We all pitched in to reserve the honeymoon suite at the big new hotel in Roppongi!” Kenshi proudly explained. “You told us no wedding gifts, but we really wanted to do something.”

“I made sure Seiko snuck around to pack your bag, Aiko, and I already re-packed the clothes you brought over this morning, Takkun!” Hiro held up Takuto’s bag, which he had stashed behind the bar.

Boss sighed wistfully. “It’s a shame Aiko can’t travel much right now, or we could have sent you on a real honeymoon,” he said. “But you’ve been living together for months, so going home was just not romantic enough!”

“Guys…” I felt tears welling up in my eyes again as I looked at the key Takuto was still holding in his palm. “Thank you! Thank you for everything. You’re really the best friends we could ever ask for.” I prodded Takuto’s side and even he added his mumbled thanks.

“Go, go!” Hiro encouraged us. “We’ll stay to help Boss clean up, so you two should leave now and enjoy your gift. We’ll see you later!” He shoved Takuto’s bag into his hands and we were ushered out the door.

The honeymoon suite we checked into was enormous, and I could not help standing at the window to gaze at the view while Takuto put down our bags. I was a bit startled when he came up behind me and immediately started plucking bobby pins out of my delicate up-do. I had taken off my veil in the car, too self conscious to wear it in public, but I had left the curls all pinned in place. “What on earth are you doing?” I asked, trying to reach up to stop him, but his lithe fingers kept searching out all the pins in my hair and removing them one by one.

“It looks nice, but I want to run my fingers through your hair again,” he explained as the locks began falling back down to my shoulders. He was carelessly tossing the pins to the floor, and I was sure some of them would be lost forever, doomed to be sucked up in the vacuum when housekeeping arrived tomorrow. “Jeeze, how many of these things did you put in there?”

“A lot,” I giggled, and then I felt the last pin pulled free, and all the curls now tumbled down my neck haphazardly. “Satisfied?”

“No.” I was made to turn around, and he drew me into a passionate kiss, his fingers tangling in my undone hair with abandon. Our bodies pressed together, but in reaction to the outside pressure the baby suddenly started to kick, making Takuto jump as he felt it against his own abdomen. “That’s going to take some getting used to,” he grumbled, stroking my belly with his free hand, though the other never left my hair. “Hey, kid. Mom and dad just got married, okay? Let’s cut back on the kicking for now. Save it for later.”

“I don’t think it works like that,” I giggled, placing my hand over his own. “But if it’s a little weird, we can just go on to sleep.”

Almost too quickly, Takuto shook his head. “You’re my wife,” he murmured, resting his forehead on mine, “and this is our honeymoon. I don’t care what else we do, I’ll be awake all night anyway, just in case I wake up and it’s all been a dream.”

I felt my heart pounding in my chest at his sweet words as we gazed into each others eyes. I was suddenly worried that this was a dream, too, but the heat from his breath and the gentle pressure from his hand on my stomach certainly felt real. “I love you, Taku,” I whispered, intruding on our silence with the words I felt through my whole being.

“I love you, Aiko Hirukawa,” he murmured back, and we sealed our private vows with a kiss.