The New York Institute of Art and Design offers an online wedding planning course, and because we do, we like to offer free tips for wedding planners. Enjoy!
Kathryn Hamm is the President and Publisher at GayWeddings.com, the leading online resource dedicated to serving same-sex couples. She also works as an Education Expert for WeddingWire, volunteers frequently, and co-authored a book- “The New Art of Capturing Love.” Kathryn is also a featured expert in NYIAD’s Complete Course in Wedding Planning.
In honor of LGBT Pride Month, we’re happy to share some insightful advice Kathryn gave us for our wedding planning students.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to work in wedding planning?
A: I’m not sure that I really decided that I wanted to work in wedding planning per se. It’s more like it found me. My wedding planning strengths come from having been a counselor and administrator in a school setting, and also from planning my own same-sex wedding.
Q: Tell us about GayWeddings.com.
A: We have supported engaged couples, their families and wedding professionals on all topics related to same-sex weddings. I’m also proud to say that we were the first site of its kind and our current LGBTQ-Friendly directory features more than 120,000 wedding professionals who are ready, willing and able to serve same-sex couples.
Q: Looking back on a time when you were first getting into the wedding planning industry, what’s something you wish you knew then that you do know now?
A: I’ve been very fortunate to have a strong network of kind and smart people who have been willing to teach me. I also love ‘on the job’ training as it serves as a kind of ‘lifelong learning’ for me, but that also means that I make lots of mistakes. So ultimately, approaching my work as a ‘work in progress’ has actually helped me to support the industry, which is also a work in progress.
Q: What would you say was the biggest struggle you’ve faced?
A: The days that have been the hardest are the days when I realize I am stuck and need to do something differently to get a result. Nothing is harder than breaking old habits and playing to strengths to find a solution that lives in something outside of experience and comfort. Nonetheless, the moments that I’ve had these insights and seen them to fruition have resulted in some of the accomplishments of which I’m the most proud.
Q: Why is your work rewarding?
A: Each day I learn myself, but I also have the opportunity to contribute in whatever small way to making this world a better place. I love solving problems and advocating for change that matters.
Q: What is the most important piece of advice you could give to our students, and to all aspiring wedding planners?
A: Remember that working hard for someone else and learning the ropes first can go a long way toward greater effectiveness down the road. Finding a good mentor is key. And finally, strong organizational skills (especially if you’ll be a planner) and developing healthy relationships are important to building trust with coworkers/ clients and being effective in the work you do.