In today’s Chancey Charm Houston Wedding Vendor Highlight, Wedding Planner Skylar Caitlin is chatting with Katherine McCommon of Intelligent Lighting Design and RentMyEvent.com! From crystal chandeliers to LED uplighting, dance floors to pattern projections + monograms, Intelligent Lighting Design can provide you with the services to meet all of your lighting and audiovisual production needs! We’re excited to share some of Katherine’s industry insight + tips for couples below. Cheers, friends!
– The Chancey Charm Team
Katherine McCommon of Intelligent Lighting Design and RentMyEvent.com
What’s your area of expertise?
Event AV + lighting production and stage design; software development; educational speaking
First job you ever landed
My first job was working for a Commercial Real Estate developer. I was responsible for managing incoming calls from tenants and clients, as well as overall team routing for maintenance and repairs. It gave me a great perspective into customer service and the importance of being a good listener.
What brought you to the wedding industry?
I was running marketing and public relations for a foreign currency exchange arm of American Express and developing our integration with social media in the early 2000s – which was unheard of! I remember my colleagues telling me that bringing someone’s Facebook account login into the purchasing process was never going to work. Here we are 17 years later and Facebook integration for account creation is 100% normal. I was recruited from American Express to the position of Vice President of Regional Operations with Intelligent Lighting Design, a national event production company.
A lesson you’ve learned the hard way in the wedding industry
I believe everyday provides us an opportunity to learn a lesson. One lesson I had to learn the hard way is my home/work life balance. Over the past 11 years of my career in the event industry, I’ve learned how important it is to leave work AT WORK and not to bring it home. Home is a place where I can renew my body and spirit, relax with family and gain downtime.
Favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon
I love spending a Sunday afternoon with my husband and my precious pittie, Bagwell. We are a baseball family and attend most home games for the Houston Astros during season – especially on Sundays.
Best piece of advice to someone new to the industry
Honor yourself. If you do not honor yourself, no one will. This means setting your pricing at the adequate level to compensate you for your time – before and after the event. It also means respecting your time and making sure others do as well. This means having concrete office hours and not returning calls after 7 p.m.
Best piece of planning advice to a new bride/groom
Be willing to be unique. Pinterest is a great resource, but allow yourself to collect ideas and then create your own creative expression.
Some words you live by
Marketing is everything and everything is marketing. A wise college professor of mine instilled this in my brain when he taught me that I am my brand. This means that I should always conduct myself to beautifully represent my business – at all times. You are never “off the clock” when it comes to presentation and overall conduct.
Best tip for balancing work + home life
When you walk through the door at home, leave work at the door. Don’t engage your significant other, family or spouse in work stories. Instead, focus your conversation on edifying discussions that are proactive and empowering!
Best moment of your career
The best moment of my career was spending time with Diana Ross. It occurred right after we solidified our relationship with Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros, and we were a part of the production for their annual foundation gala. My husband, the love of my life, arranged a private meeting for my mother and I to spend time with Diana. She was just as lovely as I imagined – warm, friendly and authentic.
Halo Top Chocolate Ice Cream!
Favorite Instagram account
@showlight.es – A fantastic production company out of Spain. They are great friends and I celebrate their stunning designs!
What’s your favorite aesthetic?
Lighting – always. It’s the bow around the gift.
Intimate or Par-tay? What size wedding do you recommend and why?
It depends on the bride and groom. That’s a difficult question. I, personally, had a small intimate destination wedding, but mainly because I’m in the industry and I wanted 12 people or less. On another note, I’m a huge fan of large weddings because it’s a “go big or go home” mentality. If you’ve invited all of your friends and family, why not make it the ultimate experience?
What’s the first thing a newly engaged couple should do?
I recommend that they finalize their wedding planner first before anything else. Your wedding planner is your rock in the storm – he or she will be the one at your side from start to finish. They become your translator – communicating your overall vision to a multitude of vendors.