The Ultimate Wedding Dress Alterations Guide

So, you’ve chosen your dream wedding dress, ticking this key item off your list – but what of dress alterations? You’ll need to see a professional seamstress to get your dress altered, to ensure a perfect fit on the day.

Wedding Dress Alternation Guide

Many brides-to-be have questions about wedding dress alterations – what can be done, when should you approach a seamstress, and what do you need to bring? Luckily for Champagne and Petals readers, I’ve teamed up with the renowned London wedding dress alterations shop Alterations Boutique to tell you everything you need to know.

Wedding Dress Alterations: What Can be Done?

From resizing to restyling, there are many things that can be done with professional wedding dress alterations. Here is a quick breakdown to the main alterations on offer to brides:

  • Taking in or letting out the sides: Dresses can be made smaller or larger by a dress size or more depending on the style. Also, the sleeves of a dress can be narrowed.
  • Shortening or lengthening: if your dress isn’t falling on you right, it could be too long or short. A seamstress can alter the hem and/or straps of the dress to address this.
  • Reshaping the neckline: if the neckline of your dress isn’t exactly what you wanted, a seamstress can reshape it to reflect your style and better flatter your figure.
  • Adding sleeves: from delicate capped sleeves to elegant long sleeves, many options are available.
  • Embellishments: including lace, beading, crystals, fringe, and more.
  • Repairs: had a mishap with your dress in the lead-up to the wedding? Get in touch with your seamstress to review the damage and repair your dress! This includes replacing zips and other fasteners.

When to Get Wedding Dress Alterations

How long you will need for the wedding dress alterations process really depends on the complexity of the dress but, in most cases, you will need to visit a seamstress two or three times.

You should ideally get in touch with a seamstress or boutique a few months in advance of the wedding. When your first appointment arrives, the seamstress will see how your dress currently fits and discuss any ideas or desires you have.

From here, your seamstress can let you know how many visits will be needed for the alterations process to be complete and will book in further visits spaced out at intervals within your wedding schedule.

Alterations Appointments: What to Bring

Beyond the dress itself, it’s important to bring the other garments you plan to wear on your wedding day to your wedding dress alterations appointments. This includes undergarments, accessories, and the shoes you plan to wear (if you don’t have an item yet, you can always bring something like what you want to wear).

Also, make sure to bring your ideas to the table! Particularly during the first appointment, your seamstress will want to learn your style preferences, so putting forward your ideas for the dress and your wedding plans in general will be a huge help for both you and your seamstress.

Far flung fun – The most romantic Indonesian honeymoon locations

The big day has come and gone, the planning, the chaos, the nerves, the anticipation. Your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life but can take its toll on your stress levels, so it’s fantastic to know after a job well done, you can relax and understand the honeymoon is just around the corner. There is is nothing quite like being newly married though. Knowing you are starting your new life together, and a world of adventures await, can feel incredible and is a feeling worth savouring. Don’t allow the passion to prematurely dissipate by letting yourself to be sidelined into choosing a mediocre honeymoon destination.

The archipelago of Indonesia steps as far away from mediocre as you can get. Hundreds of islands, all with silver sandy beaches, luscious terrains, wondrous woods, and sparkling glassy waters qualifies Indonesia as the destination with a difference, a haven of tranquillity, passion, romance and beauty, perfect for honeymooners.

Where to go? Here is a handy guide for the most love up locations for you and your partner.

Bali Island

Bali has long been known as the ideal honeymoon hideaway for nature loving newlyweds. There are very few locations that can match Bali for its tranquillity and seclusion. For many visitors, Balinese wildlife doesn’t extend far beyond tiptoeing through the trollops in Sanur, but trekkers and orchid lovers alike should head to Munduk in the north of the island. In the midst of these flourishing highlands, you can leave the world behind and enjoy waterfalls together, retreats to the temples and be in awe of an abundance of wildlife.


Surabaya is yet another of the more popular places to choose to go honeymooning in Indonesia. Famous for its cultural architecture in the form of impressive mosques and magnificent monuments as well as culinary delights to tempt the most particular of palates.  Witness the goods being transported around China Town by becak and hand-pulled carts, a taste of the old world meets modern day, experience Cantonese culinary skills and enjoy a taste of the Orient. As well as an abundance of hotels, there are beautiful apartments to rent at Surabaya really does offer the honeymooning couple plenty of opportunities to experience the real heart of Indonesia.

Moyo Island

A small island north of Sumbawa Island, Moyo Island is a top class visitor destination, well known for its quiet beauty and simple charm. The isle itself is tiny, it’s entire area reaching only 30,000 hectares. Despite its diminutive size, its draw lies in its exceptional measure of untouched natural beauty.  This measure of such splendour can make a couple of in love feel like they are the only two in the whole world, a perfect start to married life together. The serenity of this island is not only about the white sandy beaches and azure seas but also the untouched woodland, where secret waterfalls and rivers run.

Banda Islands

In direct contrast to the more traditional way of life of Bali Island, the lush green Banda Islands positioned in the heart of Maluku province amidst the Banda Sea offers a marine life and diving experience the more active and adventurous honeymooners won’t want to miss. If you can imagine yourselves spending a week taking in the incredible views of  Mount Api, an active volcano 2,200 feet high in elevation, or even descending into the crystal waters, of this archipelago then Banda Island may well be perfect. Made up of the islands of Neira Island, Lonthoir Island, Pisang Island, Hatta Island, Ay Island, Rum Island and Mount Api itself, the island group offers divers and visitors alike the chance to see Mandarin fish, enormous table and soft corals as well as a vast array of pelagic fish if you visit any of the many dive sites.

Sampireun Village, Garut

It may sound farfetched, that you can find an idyllic and peaceful retreat within the chaos of West Java, yet there is one destination filled with romantic charm and yet retains its rustic character. Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the bustling towns of West Java, Kampung Sampireun is a floating retreat, decked out with gazebos, where the sounds of Sudanese music floats across the street and where you can experience the unique menus on offer.  Equal measures of homeliness and extravagance intertwine, making this village a perfect choice for romance inspired couples looking to take their adventure to new heights.

Lombok Island

Lombok Island is, again, a haven for divers and lovers of all things underwater and has the genuine atmosphere of love. The waves lap serenely, and as they caress the shore, it’s ambient sounds adding to the romance of your honeymoon. Beauty, calm and tranquillity, perfect for the couples looking to get away from it all and everyone.

Bintan Island, Riau

Bintan Island is exquisite, an outstanding area of natural and real beauty. Almost picture postcard perfect in its gorgeousness, there are shimmering white sands,  crystal blue waters, stunning greenery. For couples who need nothing more than scenery and each other, this is the choice by far.


Yogyakarta is undoubtedly one of the most romantic honeymoon destinations for newly-weds in Indonesia, if not the world. The island is teeming with relics of its rich and diverse history culture as well as reminders of its grand days of yesteryear. If you fancied a visit to Kaliurang, there is an opportunity to snap some incredible shots of you and your brand new spouse aside the frothing waters of Hawanya stream. Nestled within the stunning and luscious backdrop of the mountain valleys,  Kaliurang is less than 30 kilometres north of Yogyakarta city centre.

Belitung Island, Riau

The striking scenery on Belitung Island is almost unique, something you will struggle to find anywhere else. Dominated by beautiful coastal panoramic views, azure water and beaches with sands so white and soft they could almost be made of talcum powder, the island is breathtaking. There are also some calm water bays allowing for water-based sports and sailing for couples looking to take to the sea.

No matter what you are looking for, whether it’s sun, sea and sand or a little more adventure, Indonesia would be the perfect place to begin your married life together. It simply has it all, all you need to say is I do!

Five useful tips to start your married life debt free

If you are planning on getting married this year, you might be already worried about your budget and finances. There is nothing worse than starting a new life knowing that you are already in debt. Chances are you will move to a new home, taking out a mortgage, but your chances of getting accepted will be reduced if you keep on spending on your credit cards and taking out loans to fund your wedding. Below you will find five useful tips on how to avoid starting your new life together in debt.

Budget For Your Wedding Early

The sooner you create a budget for your wedding the earlier you can start saving up. Look at your finances and see how much you can put aside in a savings account each month to cover the cost of your wedding venue in worcestershire and wedding planners. Make sure you ask about the prices in advance. If you get a fixed term 12- or 24 months savings account, you can contribute each month and get a good interest rate as well. Withdraw the money gradually to pay for your wedding when the time comes.

Ask for Gift Cards as Wedding Favours

Instead of getting gifts you will never use, ask your friends and relatives to give you a gift card instead. While they might feel reluctant to put some money in an envelope, a home store or designer outlet voucher will help you get your new house ready to move in. Check out the One for All gift card scheme that allows you to use your card in hundreds of UK stores.

Get Help from Relatives

You might want to save money on wedding planner services and use the help offered by your relatives. Some of your family members would be happy to arrange the flowers, while others will know a local catering company that can create your menu. If one of your relatives has a large house or holiday home, you might not want to hire a venue, instead, ask them to make it available for your wedding.

Join Forces Financially

If you have to take out a loan or use a credit card, it is better to do it together. You are likely to get a lower rate if the company takes into consideration two incomes. You should sign up for a joint bank account and have a savings account together. If you take out any type of credit, make sure you set you set up a savings fund that you can use to pay it back over time, before you start your life together.

Pay Deposits in Cash

The golden rule of happy marriage and financial freedom is not stretching your budget. Only get services you can afford, and pay deposits in cash, instead of using a credit card. Create a saving plan to get the rest of the money ready when it is needed, so you don’t end up with high credit card interest and fees, increasing your stress levels just before the most important day of your lives.

Planning your budget before getting married can help you avoid starting your new life troubled by debt.

My Christmas Menu

So it’s nearly Christmas and after all of the fun to choosing the perfect gifts for people, my thoughts turn to Christmas dinner. For the last 3 years we have had people over to us for Christmas dinner. It’s just easier to enjoy the morning at home drinking bucks fizz while the children open their presents, it then means we don’t have to drag them away from all of their new toys to visit the rest of the family.

This year we are catering for 5 adults and 2 children. We will have my sister, her partner and little one coming around later in the day for tea, plus I guess we might have my brother in law and his partner who will just turn up if they haven’t had to much to drink during the day.

I always cook a big turkey crown. It’s become tradition that I do a massive turkey curry on the 27th so I make sure that we have enough for that and also a few turkey sandwiches, which I love.

Growing up we always had 3 courses for Christmas dinner, normally avocado and prawns for starter followed by the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings and then a pudding of some kind. A couple of years ago we decided not to do a starter mainly because we just do not have the space for all of the roast dinner and the puddings.

I thought I would share with you my menu for this years Christmas dinner.

Main course

Roast turkey crown topped with bacon and a roast beef joint.

Roast Potatoes cooked in goose fat. Roasted carrots, onions, parsnips and garlic.

Brussel sprouts and bacon. Broccoli, leaks, cauliflower cheese and red cabbage in a port sauce.

Pigs in blankets, stuffing and Yorkshire puddings.

Mash potatoes, are being added this year although I don’t normally do them, I really fancied adding them to the menu.

On the table will be, gravy, bread sauce, horseradish for the beef and cranberry sauce.


As I love a chocolate pudding there is always something chocolatey, something fruity and then of course the Christmas pudding which I to be honest don’t like but my Hubby loves it.

Cream and brandy sauce to go with it all.


I love a glass of champagne so we have a couple of bottles chilled for the table, along with white wine, red wine for my Dad then then children will have sparkling fruit juice or pop (as a treat). As the day carries on my Hubby will generally drink beer before getting the whiskey out in the evening.

As a child my Mum always used to prep all of the food on Christmas eve, we used to help peel the vegetables and leave it out for the reindeers when they stop by with Santa. I now do the same with my children. For the last few years my sister has been on hand to help me on christmas eve, this year however she is a Mummy for the first time and will be spending Christmas Eve making their own family traditions. So my sous chief will be my best friend who is going to help me drink a couple of bottles of prosecco as we prep the veg.

What do you eat for Christmas dinner? Do you have the traditional turkey like me or go for something else?

Whatever you are doing for Christmas I hope you have a wonderful time, make amazing memories and enjoy your self.

*This post was made in collaboration with Real Foods Online. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.*