A Little Poise...How to Walk in Heels

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It’s every woman's nightmare.

Uncle Ted has his camera rolling as you exit a reception center's doors. You pose for a few still shots with the wedding party, delicately placing your slippered feet on the granite steps. You bask in the senses of the big day: the smells, sights, and sounds.

Then, your body remembers that it has no idea how to walk in these brand-new heels. On steep steps. On slippery granite. In front of your closest friends.

Your shining moment and the resulting plunge to the steps below become Uncle Ted’s YouTube sensation, with plenty of “LOLs” and “ROFLs” to go around.

And it could have been avoided.

Listed below are some tips that, when practiced, will take you down the steps and through the entire day in heels with grace and confidence.

Wear the heels

Wear your heels ahead of time and often. Putting together centerpieces? Wear the heels. Doing a run-through on your make-up and hair? Wear the heels. Wear the heels at the tour of the reception center, or any time you run downstairs to grab the guest list. If the heels are slippery, buy an adhesive strip for the ball of the shoes…and then wear your heels!

Look with your eyes, not your head

Look with your eyes down the stairs, not with your head. Most women grab handfuls of their dress, hike and then point their nose down the steps to avoid falling. I affectionately refer to this as the “Neanderthal Bride” stance in my formal etiquette training courses.

Rather, stand up straight, lift the crown of your head, glancing downward only with your eyes. With the dress bustled, you are now prepared to descend the stairs and make your grand entrance.

Descending the stairs

When descending stairs, angle your body into your support. If this is the groom, turn your body towards him and place your arm on his for stability. If you are alone, angle your body towards the wall or into the handrail. Then step full foot onto the stairs.

These suggestions alone should keep you upright and your video off the Internet. Now you will be able to enjoy the big day and focus all your attention on your friends and family. And Uncle Ted? Just smile at the camera, confidently knowing how poised and beautiful you really are.

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