Special Guest: Chloe from Chloe Giancola Photography
Tell us about yourself in one sentence: I’m a wife, mom, and wedding photographer living in our sweet town of Aiken, South Carolina who loves Jesus, white mochas, the color blue, Jcrew, and golden hour.
Your favorite thing to do in your free time: That would have to be the three of us (soon 4 because I’m pregnant with our second babe due in August!) going to coastal towns when my husband and I both have the same off days, whether it’s Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head, or somewhere new! Finding cute stores, good food, and beautiful spots to take photos!
What's your favorite thing about photography: I love the documentation of life happening, and being able to look back and appreciate a season, and seeing the joy and love from that moment! Capturing that for others, and my own little family is so rewarding, and I love being able to serve others in that way for the past five years.
Your favorite travel destination: Greece wins hands down for me, it was on my bucket list since early college to take a photo of the blue rooftops and ocean to hang in our house one day, and Nathaniel and I went as our babymoon! It was the most gorgeous place, and one of my favorite moments ever! The Amalfi Coast is a close second!
When did you get married: May 26, 2012! We chose that date because we knew we wanted warm weather, and we both had our college graduations a few weeks before. We also picked it because it was Memorial Day weekend, and we had lots of people coming from out of town, so they would have that Monday off of work to give them an extra day of travel! Finally the last reason was because we knew Nathaniel would have military training soon after college, and we wanted at least a little time together married before he would have to leave, and we wanted to be able to go on a honeymoon! Whew! Lol so lots of reasons :)
Where did you get married: We got married at the Higdon House, which is a huge white historical home in Greensboro, Georgia with beautiful gardens, just tucked away surrounded by huge trees. What really sold us was the arched ceremony site outside, we both really liked it immediately and thought it fit what we were looking for in a venue!
Did you have a wedding planner or coordinator for your wedding: I had a venue coordinator for our day, and she was helpful! But I didn’t really know the difference between a venue coordinator and a day of coordinator/wedding planner back then? This was before Pinterest was well known, and I didn’t know much about weddings at 21 years old! So looking back I would have definitely hired a day of coordinator to have helped throughout the entire day, and who could’ve told me leading up to the day what I needed to be doing or have done! All I used was theknot.com checklist back then lol it wasn’t even an app yet, but that can’t replace a person helping you on your day :) I had a timeline, and did a lot of work and organization beforehand, but having someone there to delegate, and get all the tasks completed would’ve been a great! And now as a photographer, having a wedding coordinator is still so needed because they help keep the day on track and can tackle any little hiccups that may come up!
Did you have any issues when choosing vendors for your wedding: Since I didn’t know about Pinterest until halfway through my planning, and had already booked my vendors at this point, I found everyone through Google! I searched many hours through different websites, and it probably would’ve saved me lots of time if someone could have referred me to specific vendors. Who doesn’t love hearing about a vendor from someone who has actually worked with them and had a great experience! The only issue I can think of was during my search was that some people weren’t good at responding in a timely manner, which was surprising to me? And the information on your website is your storefront, so as a past bride and current entrepreneur I try to put as much information on my site as I can! It really helps couples find me who think we would be a good fit together, and feel like they’ve already met me!
But I had a good experience with everyone we worked with on our wedding day! Searching for my own wedding photographer is what actually got me interested in learning about wedding photography myself, and wanting to pursue that career after college!
Did you have a family member or a friend delegated to do tasks on your wedding day: I really wanted everyone to enjoy the day, so I tried to organize and make things as easy as possible to set up quickly so we could all relax and take in the day! As everyone will tell you, it goes quickly!
Was there ever a moment on your wedding day when you were stressed and did you feel like you could be 100% present on your wedding day: This might be hard to believe, but actually no! Of course there were times I got stressed while we were engaged, and I was planning a wedding while finishing my senior year of college. But on that day, all I cared about was marrying Nathaniel! We began dating in high school, so it had already been 6 years at that point, and we were ready! I really did enjoy every moment, (and have the photos to look back on thanks to my fabulous photographer), and I couldn’t wait for our 10 day honeymoon with no phone service!
What are the vendors brides and grooms should definitely prioritize in their budget: Of course I am bias, but I think the majority of people can agree you need a wedding photographer because that’s all you’ll have left after it’s over! And a wedding coordinator can make your life and day easier, so I don’t know who wouldn’t want that? I think it comes down to what you value the most, the budget you have, and prioritizing your team based off of that! Every vendor helps make your day what you dreamed of, but at the end of the day what matters is the marriage! :)