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Wedding season is all year round, but with the cost-of-living crisis becoming an ever-present problem in the front of people's minds, finding clever ways of cutting costs has become an important question.
One of the UK's top wedding photographers has spoken exclusively to Austen & Blake, about her admiration for intimate weddings, having organised one herself.
Since falling in love with wedding photography six years ago after photographing a friend's wedding, Rebecca Searle, 36, has gone on to photograph around 30 weddings every year. She has accumulated over 12,200 followers on her Instagram, and her talent has also been recognised by Professional Photo Magazine, naming her as one of the Top 50 British Wedding Photographers of 2022.
Every wedding is beautiful, no matter big or small, but having planned her own wedding on the Amalfi Coast eight years ago, intimate weddings hold a particularly special place in Rebecca's heart. "Whether it's a huge wedding with 200 family and friends, or a super cool intimate ceremony with a handful of people, both have their own beauty and benefits. A wedding can be done well on any budget, and you don't need to spend a fortune on your big day".
Proving that reducing your budget does not mean that you need to stay locally in the UK, Rebecca says that her wedding was held at the "local town hall before having drinks in Ravello at sunset" followed by a sit-down meal in the garden of a local restaurant. "I loved the authenticity of it all and wouldn't have changed a thing". Having reduced her own guest list from 200 to 50, and having photographed many intimate weddings around the UK, Rebecca's top tip when worrying about overall costs is to reduce the guest list. After all, one thing to remember is that your wedding day is about you and your partner.
She continued by saying that one of the most beautiful aspects of her job as a wedding photographer is seeing how special each couple is. "I have the most incredible job where I solely document and celebrate people's love in whatever form that is", and with every couple being unique. "Every couple is different, the way they interact with each other, the way they design their wedding to celebrate with friends and family".
Whilst Rebecca found it hard to pinpoint a sole memorable wedding, she emphasised the uniquality of having intimate weddings in the capital, London. One couple, Rebecca says, opted to walk around the city after hiring her for a few hours instead of the whole day to capture the different landscapes of the city, making for a "really special and memorable day on a minimal budget".
Looking back at several intimate London weddings, Rebecca reminisces: "I have photographed a wedding with only the couple plus two witnesses. They strolled to a beautiful London hotel for a champagne toast following the ceremony before taking some photos and then continued on to join their friends and family for a meal to celebrate."
Another one that Rebecca highlighted was when a couple "hired out a private Thames Limo boat for 30 minutes for their portraits". This way, you're also able to incorporate the unique skyline and atmosphere of the City of London into your wedding memories. "I'm very grateful to have this job that will never get boring and to witness how each couple tailors their special day to them", says Rebecca and emphasises how spending a fortune on your big day will not make it any more memorable than keeping it intimate.
All quotes from Rebecca Searle Photography are exclusive to Austen & Blake