Samantha Gilchrist, the owner of The Gilchrist Collection, has had the pleasure of working with thousands of nearlyweds, across 12 venues including Crowcombe Court and The Ravenswood, making her the expert when it comes to wedding planning:

“Planning a wedding should be an enjoyable experience and of course the happy couple shouldnt feel stressed, but if you are planning on tying the knot in 2025 (or even 2026), here is a checklist to help you get those wedding wheels turning. You should aim to have these steps nailed down nice and early, because the end of the aisle is not so far away!”

We read this article over on 166 Photography and were bowled over by its refreshing honesty and helpfulness. It’s kind of alarming how none of the wedding media seem to prioritise mental health in their messaging, and that needs to change. Studies have found that 70% of engaged couples or newlyweds described the process of planning a wedding as “extremely stressful”, and identified the top 5 emotions while planning a wedding to be:

  • Excited
  • Happy
  • Stressed
  • Overwhelmed
  • Anxious

We’re taking a look at weddings, traditions and mental health over the coming weeks, and I asked a few experts if we could share their tips with you lovely lot! First up is Cambridge wedding photographer Damien Vickers, whose images have that effortlessly lovely, authentic feel. And here’s the thing: Damien’s reviews from his couples often mention how comfortable they and their guests felt with him, and the relaxed vibe he created around their wedding day and photographs.

Damien’s written a lovely blog with 10 tips for a super chilled wedding – and we wanted to share those tips – in a nutshell – with you here today!

As we head into the weekend, I would love for you to hold one thing close to your heart – let planning your wedding be FUN!

Don’t let the excitement of saying “I do” fade as your planning journey begins. Hold on tight to the joy of those first few days of sharing your happy news.

I spotted a lovely quote on insta from London’s favourite celebrity wedding planner Mark Niemierko

“I like my brides to be spoilt and protected during the planning process, yet through the endless correspondence and planning meetings it needs to be fun… so much fun”

Planning a wedding is exciting and can be utterly overwhelming at times. There’s a reason why wedding planners exist: bringing beautiful occasions to life takes endless hours of hard work and meticulous event management. I’ve always had a huge admiration for those wonderful humans who make planning weddings their career.

All images are by Paulo Santos Photography. You’ll love this Luxe Winter Jewish wedding inspiration, planned and styled by Elegante by Michelle J!