Friday, April 12, 2013

Wedding Shoes - Less Is Enough

Let's start with this: I can count on one hand the number of times I have spent more than $150 on a pair of shoes.  (My favorite, for the record, was a pair of 3" gray flannel round-toe Stuart Weitzman pumps that I bought the autumn of my sophomore year in college and wore until they literally fell apart when I was a senior.)  And then there's this: I'm nearly 5'11" and Jon, when he stands up straight, is 6' even. Add to those two facts my strong feelings about the Wedding Industrial Complex and you've got a recipe for a meltdown about the shoes that will take me down the aisle.

When you think of bridal footwear, do you imagine something relatively classic?  Like these, for instance...
bridal shoes
top row: Badgley Mischka
middle row: Kate Spade

bottom row: Stuart Weitzman

They've each got a little something special - some bling here, a bow there, maybe a little lace overlay - and they're elegant without being staid.  If I had a few hundred dollars and a little more of a height difference to play with, I'd snap up almost any of these without blinking.  But if you said yes to my question, you haven't been reading your wedding blogs.  The Pinterestification of weddings means that elegant isn't enough for any part of your big day, even the part that's primarily going to be hidden under your dress.  Every little element of your wedding has to be creatively and uniquely you, and classic doesn't cut it.

As the Slate article I linked to above says, "Today's marriage ceremony is [an opportunity for] buying things that have been personalized to express one's taste and, so the industry tells us, the essence of who one is."  I think that many those shoes up there are gorgeous, especially the relatively minimal ones on the top left and on the right side in the middle; I also live in ballet flats, the simpler the better.  But there's such hype surrounding weddings that simple doesn't seem to be an option - the reaction when I tell people what I'm looking for in my wedding shoes is almost always along the lines of "but this is your opportunity to really let your individuality shine!"

Look, let me say that if amazing shoes are a trop budget priority and you do love glitz and glam on your feet, then please do go to town.  If your wedding album won't be complete without a photo like this (or this, or this, or this...), then I promise I will coo over your gorgeous and expensive shoes and I really will mean all the adjectives I throw at them.  But that's just not for me and, in a perverse twist of the craze to mark every aspect of your wedding, that seems to not be okay because more is always better and less is never enough.  That doesn't seem to respect my freedom to let my taste shine through in our wedding, even if the shine is more of a shimmer than a blinding glitter, does it?  I want to wear what makes me comfortable - and what allows me to spend money on the cheese table!

Okay, indignation over, and I feel much better for having shouted a bit - thanks for indulging me, dear readers!  Now let me show you a few of the pairs that I'm thinking of wearing for my wedding.  Tarah might get a shot or two of them, but honestly they probably won't be seen much; the hem of my dress is going to reach the floor and I'll probably kick them off after only a few minutes of dancing.  So here are my guidelines: the shoes I buy can't cost more than $75, they have to be flats, and bonus points if they're rewearable.  (I don't want pure white as they won't quite match my dress.)  Plus they have to be available in size 11, which isn't a given with every brand!  How about one of these?  Which would you pick?

wedding flats

[ 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 ]

linking up with {long distance loving}

72 comments:

  1. I've said it before but I'll say it again, I really love these posts!

    I'm short, so my seamstress 'highly recommended' I get heels, and I finally settled on these http://www.zara.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/mt/en/zara-S2013/358009/1094060/HIGH+HEEL+SANDAL+WITH+ANKLE+STRAP Which are kind of rewearable. And I only bought new shoes because I don't own any other pair of heels!

    Mike and I are definitely suffering from the wedding industrial complex. I think this cartoon sums it up nicely: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gemmacorrell/8349676315/in/set-72157622179415234/

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  2. I love #6 - something about the shiny bow! But the lace details on 1 and 3 are really cute, too! Bonus points for rewearability - I don't know if I'm ever going to get a chance to do anything with mine. Maybe if I could actually wear a dress rather than my uniform to a military ball... :(

    When I got married, my girls and I opted to get a little ridiculous with our shoes, mostly because of my sister. If she teases her hair just a little, she's 6' in flats, and my husband's best friend and best man can reach 5'5" if he's on his tip-toes - so we all went and just got the tallest shoes we could! (here's one of my favorite pictures of me and my girls, showing off our feet http://kcsaling.com/2012/07/23/my-grrrls/). Everyone was taller than their guy (except me - my heels got me to 6' but my husband is 6'3"). But as soon as we hit the reception, the shoes all came off so everyone could dance!

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  3. #3 or #6 .. but probably #3 because i've had steve madden flats before and thought they were sooo comfortable i never took them off!

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  4. Gorgeous picks! Love them all and the transition to the flats! Badgley Mischa always makes lovely wedding shoes. And I love the #4 & #6 flats!

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  5. I'm 5'11" also and my husband is 6'1", so I also didn't want towering heels for my wedding day! I ended up with some precious sling-back kitten heels, and they still felt very dressy to me because they were pointy-toed and had a beautiful bow on top. The best part is that they were 34 dollars on sale from Nine West!!!!! Oh, and they were a beautiful shade of pink/red. I was thrilled.


    Go for what you like and what will make you feel comfortable on your wedding day. I think a lot of brides are actually doing flats these days. I like pair number 3 up there. So much fun making these kinds of decisions!!

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  6. haha thank you! and OMG LOOK AT YOUR SHOES! so fun - and totally rewearable! I'd find parties to go to just to get to put those shoes on again :)



    I saw a YouTube parody of a couple choosing wedding invitations but I can't find it now! you'd love it - it's hilarious. I'll search!

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  7. haha yes well with that difference you might as well throw in the towel! I expect all the shoes will come off eventually at ours too :)

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  8. my mom and I like those the best too! thank you :)

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  9. oh my goodness I know - one day I will treat myself to BM heels. one day...

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  10. the ones I bought (but won't be keeping because they don't fit quite right) are Nine West - flats, but pointy-toed with a bow! I'll have to take a photo for you :) thanks, lovely!

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  11. I've definitely see it! They do a few :)

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  12. Yes, show me! I'll try to find a pic of mine and put it on instagram :)

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  13. I am a measly 5'4" and Sebastian is around 6'1" so I feel like our height difference will be sort of hilarious when we go to kiss or dance with each other... and especially since we're having a destination wedding, I didn't want tall heels... so we'll see! Shoes were actually a big thing for me (because with my dress, you'll be able to see them! OOooooo there's one hint, hahaha) but I ended up getting them on sale for $25. (The last ones too! Luckily in my size)
    I really love those little ballet shoes though, I'm considering buying some just for dancing later on in the evening. There is nothing worse than having your night being ruined by sore feet!

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  14. I'm commenting before I read the entire post so you know I'm being honest. Not a single one of those spiky heeled shoes would ever be on my feet. Flats, wedges, and kitten heels are pretty much the only shoes to grace my feet. Why would I want to wear uncomfortable heels on my wedding day?! When I'm supposed to be dancing?! (Okay, technically, my actual wedding day will probably only include 1-2 dances, because Beau & I are eloping/destination wedding-ing with immediate family only, BUT then we're having receptions in our respective home states so I can wear my dress two more times and dance the night away).

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  15. Definitely wear what is comfortable! I changed out of my heels (Stuart Weitzman actually!) and into sparkly flip flops as soon as we got to the reception! If I was going to go with flats I would go with something unexpected under my dress, like all sparkle :) But I am a sparkle girl! I like #2 and #3 I think!

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  16. Having read the rest of the article, yay for affordable ballet flats! I love all the six you have listed, except #4 (I think big rhinestones look cheap, but little rhinestones look glamorous). Since we're talking about my future spring wedding here, I want to wear something open-toed to show off my beautiful pedicure. Maybe even fancy flip-flops... Probably not, they might get caught up in my dress. (I was a debutante, so I already have my dress. It will probably need to be taken in, though, because I'm smaller than I was).

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  17. I did the two pairs of shoes thing. The heels were a lot like the ones in the top category, they had a little bling on them and they were pretty. The live in a box in a closet in my parents house. I also got a pair of gold glitter Steve Madden flats that I wore at the reception- I still wear those all the time and I LOVE them! If you don't need heels for your dress, I totally support the flats route! I love all the ones that you picked, I think #3 and #6 are my faves :)

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  19. thinking over this now makes me feel rather simple-minded, but hey, my opinion is what it is. I absolutely love shoes; they're my favorite way to accessorize anything. which is why when I think about getting married, I think about wedding shoes that pack a bit of an extra oomph, because everything else in my mind wedding style-wise is a bit simple. I'm not looking for anything that is unique or the represents "me"; I just want shoes that are pretty. that's all. I like the idea of a bit of bling on your toes because I'm not a huge jewelry wearer. but those are just my thoughts. as for heels vs flats...who cares? whatever works with your dress and keeps you comfortable is all that matters.

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  20. These are super cute! Would you be opposed to a little pop of color?

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  21. a) I laughed out loud at the first line in your email. you're right; the world is silly.

    b) that being said, you love shoes! there's nothing simple-minded about that. you love shoes, so go to town! I love cheese. the money I am saving on shoes is going straight to the cheese table. (really. it's in the budget that way.)

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  22. but I love shoes and cheese both...oh, conflict.
    good thing it's not me getting married in a few months!

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  23. oh man, if it weren't for the height thing I'd totally consider 2 pairs of shoes! usually i love being an Amazon, but... haha

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  24. maybe Stuart Weitzman makes cute flats I could wear? they'd have to be on sale, but it's been known to happen! I could be swayed toward a little sparkle...

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  25. A CLUE! can't wait to see when you put your pictures up :) I went to a wedding where they had a basket of flip flops for the guests for dancing - such a cute idea!

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  26. no I would not be! Kate's supercute weddding shoes (http://instagram.com/p/YAV44gs9mM/) are making me think I should go a bit blush!

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  27. there are other sacrifices you can make! don't worry, wedding planning is ALL about sacrifices.

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  28. I wore no shoes, so I'm not much help here :) I feel like it all boils down to what makes you feel the most like yourself. As soon as the weather is consistently 60 or above, my shoes come off and stay off for the summer. I would have felt like an imposter if I wore some fancy shoes at our outdoor park wedding.

    So, you should go for ones you love and are totally you. From what I know of you, #1 flats would be the best choice. But I love #3. Just do your thing, girl :)

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  29. I wore very simple shoes ( i had to have a heel bc I am so short!) i love your picks! I love #6!

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  30. I wore some totally lame-o wedding shoes and wish I had done something more me and something that was actually wearable again. But then at 21 I didn't have quite as developed a sense of personal style yet! I think you're spot on with your shoe thoughts though, and these flats are great. I especially love #2 and can think of tons of ways to wear them later! Gold flats are some of the most worn items in my closet...

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  31. Well, I wore 3 1/2 inch JCrew heels and I was still short so I can't relate too much. But, Alex's best friend's wife was in a similar boat and she wore white lace TOMS. I think they fit all of your criteria. I, personally, would probably choose a simple patent leather nude ballet flat. ;) totally rewearable....

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  32. haha no well that's a problem in and of itself then :P


    if our wedding was more casual, lace TOMS would be the cutest! I love that.

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  33. I think #6 is coming out on top here! thanks lady :)

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  34. actually #2 are my first instinct favorites but there's no gold anywhere else in the ceremony (my jewelry is all silver or white gold) and also I sort of already have a pair of gold flats... haha!

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  35. LOVE them - though I hope your heels weren't cold in the snow! I put mine up too :)

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  36. i love all the flats you chose, but 2 & 4 are my favorites. you really couldn't go wrong with any of these, & they'd be great for wear afterwards too!

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  37. I love the #6 flats! I'm definitely switching into Toms for my reception. As much as I'd love some Kate Spade shoes, I can't justify spending the money. I'm with ya, lady! "That doesn't seem to respect my freedom to let my taste shine through in
    our wedding, even if the shine is more of a shimmer than a blinding
    glitter, does it?" Brilliant!

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  38. if #4 weren't suede and we weren't having a summer wedding, I'd snap them up in a heartbeat! (kind of cheating for me to include them maybe... eep?)

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  39. truth: when I got the email about the Kate Spade 25% off sale today, the first thing I did was look at the bridal shoes! but still :( and thank you :)

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  40. oh, I love 5 & 6! I am also pretty set on flats or a really low heel. Mainly because 1) I can't walk in heels / they hurt too much, and 2) Matt is only about 1-2 inches taller than me and I don't want to be way taller than him!


    So I am all for the flats, girl!!

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  41. I was too excited to be cold! After the wedding, my husband and I walked from the reception to our hotel (small town) and I put on my red Frye boots under my dress! So I stayed nice and warm :)

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  42. woohoo! you'll have to show me what you choose down the road :)

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  43. Oh! I love #3 and #5 and could see them being worn until they are worn out. Actually, I like all 6, but #3 and #5 are my favorite.


    And I love that all 6 are less than $75.

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  44. As a tall woman with size 11 feet, I'm with you on the flats! I especially love 2 and 6! Can't wait to see what you choose. :)

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  45. Also, I just read the description for 2, and it looks like there's a 1" hidden wedge. Not sure if that influences your decision, either!

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  46. I got my shoes from some vintage store in Glasgow, not unlike the ones we went to in Philly. They were £14, blue and fitted, so they had to happen. I even left the price sticker on the bottom and you can see it in some of my wedding pics. Perfect.
    I wear flats most of the time though for hopping about the city, so any of those you showed us I'd wear on a daily basis!

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  47. Number 3 number 3!

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  48. I thought there might be! you and your eagle eyes :P thank you!

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  49. I like it too but I just read the reviews (inspired by Megan!) and they're not good :( they say the shoe runs small! and I am, as we know, an Amazon Warrior Princess.

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  50. sounds like fate! I can't imagine EVER finding vintage shoes that would fit me. but I love the "something old, something blue" of it :)

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  51. well, it's England, so maybe I should be looking into bridal wellies to be really appropriate? haha :)

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  52. So many pretty flats! I love #5 the best I think. Such a hard decision though!

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  53. I like #6. Plus, I feel like I've seen bows on this blog so it seems fitting to have something like that.



    In my ideal wedding I would have had fun high heels (maybe red or navy for my colors) for my ceremony and pictures and then changed for the later part of the reception to fun flats. In reality, I had some short heels (I just HAD to have some heel--it's me) due to the length of my wedding dress, and then changed into the most comfy slippers once the dancing really got under way. The slippers had been recommended to me by two previous friends who slipped into them on their wedding day, and they were awesome. Not really photogenic, but cute enough and super comfy to dance and be on my feet ALL night. :)

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  54. Initial reaction was #6, then #1 as a second. I think if my shoes showed, or if blingy-fancy shoes were free, I'd like some lace and bows and sequins and flair, but with a floor-length dress and the costs involved? Comfy and sale price it is!

    I wore kitten-heel, flip-flop style shoes that I'd had for ages, and spent about $8 on when I'd bought them. I did buy white Uggs (I know. I got married in '05, leave me alone.) to wear at the reception, because April still gets cool after dark in North Georgia. More people commented on my Uggs at the reception, but Paul's mom was horrified that I wore glorified flip-flops for our ceremony.

    Eh.

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  55. I'm going to butt in here for a sec - I own a pair of the Heaven flats (in black leather, not this lace version), and I really don't think they run small. I mean, mine are a *bit* small on me, but I also bought an 8 when I'm normally an 8.5 (I can't explain that...it just happened). but even though my toes are a bit tight, I still think they're a comfortable fit.

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  56. on a slightly different note, I just feel very, very attached to bows on flats. not specifically for wedding-purposes, just in general. my favorite is still #2 - I keep coming back to this post and re-studying the shoes, and it's just where my eyes automatically go every time. I like #6 as well (although slightly less so), but it just looks too white to me? maybe it's just because of the proximity to the other non-white flats? [can you tell I take shoes seriously?]

    also, bridal wellies: http://www.lalamagic.com/collections/most-loved/products/pretty-in-the-rain-rainboots

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  57. although dang, those rain boots come only in TINY sizes.

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  58. Both number 6 :)!! -Visit My blog urbanfashionstylee.blogspot.mx

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  59. Hahahaha - oh the Uggs. I love that Gesci!

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  60. I wore a low heel - because my dress was lace, they make it to measured length and I obviously didn't have my shoes before my dress so the height was specified well in advance. I also love shoes - they're my favourite things to buy - so when I went shopping, fell in love with a pair of Jimmy Choos and then they turned out to be 50% off, it was like it was meant to be.
    I still love those shoes and I wear them for special occasions and anniversaries. Every time I slip my foot in, I feel like I did on my wedding day- a little bit of luxury and a little pampered.
    As for your options, I think I'm most partial to #6. (I know you said you don't want pure white but I'd be careful about going too gold - against an ivory dress, they'll start to look very yellow which might not be what you are going for!)

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  61. I am getting married in June, and I'm wearing a tea length dress, so shoes were a priority. I ended up going with some simple shiny blue slingbacks that I found for $40. I agree with you, the wedding industry is absolutely ridiculous, what with all of their premiums, because this is your "big day" and so you should spend more to make it "extra special". It's totally possible to find things you love without breaking the bank!

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  62. oh YES they would be if you can see them with a shorter dress! that sounds adorable :)

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  63. I feel like I hear about girls who match their dress to their shoes rather than the other way around! but I love the idea of feeling that "bride" feeling every time you put the shoes back on.

    and that's what my mom warned me about with the gold too! great minds :)

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  64. I wore Nina shoes to prom! loved them - but YES. must break them in first! I will learn from your mistake :P

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  65. haha why yes you have - very observant :)


    I think at a certain point in all fun weddings, photogenic goes out the window!

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  66. I love flat #3. There's something about the silver that is just calling to me! And honestly, so many people end up ditching their heels for flats (or nothing) for the reception anyway. Be comfortable and spend less money. My wedding shoes ended up being $5 between a clearance sale and a coupon. :)

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  67. I have always wanted Louboutins as my wedding shoes -but obviously that's not going to happen. Instead I'll have to stick with something a little cheaper... Like definitely under $100, $50 even better.
    From your choices I like #3, or #4, but without the jewel detail. I'm really picky when it comes to shoes and definitely want proper heels, even though I know I will regret that choice later. I also want something I can wear any other day, so my color choice is black or nude. (But those Louboutins.. I'm not really materialistic, but that's one dream I intend to make happen... One day *sigh*)

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  68. haha there's nothing wrong with wanting a pair of Loubies! one day I will spend lots of silly money on a pair of gorgeous shoes, too - but my wedding day will not be that day :(

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I love reading your thoughts and suggestions! Please do leave a comment so we can get to know each other better.