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.

How to Plan a Magical Christmas Wedding

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s usually a time to buy gifts, put up decorations and spend time with family. However, many people are now planning their weddings for over the festive period.

If you’re heading out to get your Christmas shopping, you’ll see that wedding shops in London are now just as busy as the big department stores!

Christmas Wedding

Christmas weddings are becoming increasingly popular throughout the UK. It’s no surprise either, with cheaper venues and people being likely to already have time booked off work. While a white wedding isn’t guaranteed, mulled wine and mince pies are a surefire winning combo.

In the 18th and 19th century, weddings on Christmas Day were quite common. This was primarily because Christmas Day and Boxing Day were common days off of work for young, working-class brides and grooms. Nowadays, it’s a magical time and offers an alternative to a summer wedding.

Sisters Jo and Claire run a bridal shop in North London. Here, they share their thoughts on how to plan a magical Christmas wedding during one of the busiest times of the year!

Pick a Date as Soon as Possible

Opting for a winter wedding means you don’t have to carefully select a date in the summer when nobody is on holiday. However, schedules can get very busy at Christmas so pick your date well in advance. If you want to pick a popular date such as Christmas Eve, send out save the dates as soon as possible! You don’t want them to get lost in all of the Christmas mail.

Hunt for Wedding Shops in London

You should always find your wedding dress early. But, for a winter dress, this is particularly important as you will likely require more than just a dress. There are lots of great wedding shops in London so it’s a great location to start looking for your perfect dress and attire.

If you’re planning outside photos or if your church wedding is a bit chilly, a beautiful bolero can be the perfect addition to a dress. Under layers are also essential to keep the heat in.

Choose a Winter Wonderland Setting

Christmas Wedding

It would be impossible to predict a white wedding, but choosing a venue which is geared up for the winter months is important. Unless you’re planning a Christmas wedding abroad, find a venue which allows for the service and reception to be inside and has plenty of space. Log fires and an area for a Christmas tree make it extra magical! Outside photographs are beautiful, but if it’s too cold or raining, be sure to find a venue with a great indoor photography setting too.

Seasonal Colours and Decorations

Although Christmas is often associated with red and green, there are a lot of other winter colours which will look stunning. Purple, dark green or silver are elegant and perfect for the season.

As for decorations, there are endless ideas! Holly, wreaths, snowflakes, ivy, Christmas crackers and mistletoe can adorn your venue and offer that festive feeling to your guests.  Don’t forget the candy canes, gingerbread men and mince pies for that perfect treat as well.

Organise Transport

It’s going to be cold and potentially wet or snowy. If your ceremony is at a different location to your reception then organising transportation is a must. While a 20-minute-walk in the summer can be wonderful, it’s not going to be in the winter. There are some fun and creative ways to transport your guests, such as London buses or horses and carts.

Whatever date you pick and venue you choose, the important thing is to have a magical day! Celebrate with those you love and get excited about what is yet to come.


Not just any wedding shoes but Rainbow Club dyeable wedding shoes….

When it comes to choosing your wedding dress and accessories, finding the perfect shoes are just as important. The right style, fit, colour and heel height. Many brides don’t really think to much about spending over a thousand pounds on a dress that they will never wear again, but when it comes to choosing shoes brides are often looking for something that can be worn after their big day.

Rainbow Club offer just that, beautiful shoes in varying styles, width fittings and heel heights but they also offer a dyeing service on a large selection of their shoes. During 2017 Rainbow Club have also offered their brides a wedding gift of dyeing their shoes after the wedding with a choice of 5 different colours. Or you are able to have your shoes dyed to a colour of your choosing with their bespoke colouring service. Costing just £25 for the colouring pack which gives you everything you need to revitalise your wedding shoes. It’s not only shoes for the bride that Rainbow Club offer, they have cute little shoes for your flower girls, veils, handbags and shoe accessories.

My Rainbow Club dyeable shoes

Rainbow Club Dyeable Wedding Shoes

When Rainbow Club offered to send me out a pair of shoes and shoe clips, I couldn’t wait to choose a pair of shoes, I mean what girl doesn’t want to add another pair of shoes to her collection. However, as most of you will already know I take ages to make a decision about something and choosing a pair of Rainbow Club dyeable shoes was no different. After spending a couple of evenings looking at all of the shoes, I opted for the ‘Vivian’ shoes at £65. They are a simple classic, statin court shoe with a pointy heal and oh so comfy. Like a pair of slippers on your feet. The Vivian have manageable 9cm heel which for me if great as I am only 5 foot so I do like a pair of heels.

I then decided to channel my inner Carrie Bradshaw and opt of a pair of Xenia sparkly shoe brooches at £43. They are beautiful, as so versatile as they can be moved around the shoes. Placing the at the front, on the side or at the back, I am also sure you could use them to dress up a bag for the evening. The other thing I love about the shoe clips is that once they are in place you cannot feel them, I was worried about the inside of the clip rubbing against my foot, but this was just not the case.

Rainbow Club Dyeable Wedding Shoes

From ivory to navy in a flash

So, not only did it take me 2 evenings to decide on the shoes I wanted, then choosing the colour to have them dyed was another couple of evenings and phone calls to my bestie to see what she thought. Although in all honestly as we have different shoe sizes and cannot benefit from the them she wasn’t to much help. The shoe clips however she was very interested in. But continuing on my quest to be Carrie Bradshaw I opted for the Navy, which was actually one of the 5 different colours that Rainbow Club offer to dye your shoes as pair of their wedding gift to you. I could just imagine the navy shoe with the beautiful shoe clip attached to it. So I filled in the form and posted them off, included within the colour pack was a pre-paid postage bag so it was really easy. Within 2 days of postage I received an email to say my shoes had arrived safe and they would be back with my within 3 weeks. In just under 2 weeks my beautiful navy Vivian shoes arrived back, I was not disappointed. A beautiful rich navy colour, you could not tell they had been dyed, no marks on the the sole from the dye. When I added the shoe clips I was in love hello Carrie Bradshaw.

Something new, something blue….

Did you know that not only do your Rainbow Club shoes not only can be used as your something new, they can also be used as your something blue too. As each pair of Rainbow Club shoes have a tiny blue gem stone set in the Rainbow Club logo underneath each shoe. Perfect if you are unsure what to use for your something blue.

What shoes would you choose for your wedding day?

*Thank you Rainbow Club for sending me these beautiful shoes for review. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.*