An Interview With Brady Donnelly
It seems like these days, we've seen it all! Nothing surprises or impresses us, which is exactly why we, here at H&H Weddings, were in awe of this wonderful website called The Hitch when we came across it! This group of Brooklynites decided to turn the wedding industry around by creating a search engine for venues. This streamlines the process and saves everyone valuable time and money.
I had the pleasure of chatting with one of The Hitch's crew members and here is what Brady had to say...
How did the idea for The Hitch come about?
The idea for The Hitch came about organically. Stephen, our creative director, proposed to his now-fiancé last fall and shortly thereafter began his venue search. The process was ripe with problems: truly unique venues were difficult to find, basic information on any venue was rare, and simply booking a viewing was near impossible.
Ultimately, Stephen brought this struggle to the table and we almost immediately began to explore an Airbnb-like approach to wedding venue discovery. About six weeks later, the Hitch beta was up and running on the web, and shortly thereafter was joined by the iPad app.
What’s the main goal or focus of The Hitch?
The focus of the Hitch is venue transparency. Finding a beautiful group of possible venues is, as I said, only half the battle, at most. Really, the search becomes difficult when you have to gather the information that truly matters — the costs, the amenities, the availability, the mood, and the contact information. Our goal is to put all of that information online in a way that’s easy to digest and organize.
What are your hopes for The Hitch?
We naturally want the Hitch to become the universally adopted service of its kind. When users can discover every beautiful, unique venue in one place, rather than just a small selection, they'll be able to center their entire search around the Hitch. We've already built a dashboard where our users can organize and contact their favorites; what's happening now is that our users are requesting specific, unlisted venues so they can center their focus around the Hitch, which is great.
In the long run, we want to expand through the industry horizontally, adding every piece of the wedding planning process: catering, bands, florists, and so on. Done properly, this will be as powerful to couples as wedding planners, as we’ll be able to shape, say, band suggestions specifically around the venue you choose. Seeing those connections and limitations laid out before you will greatly simplify the planning process. But first, we’re focusing on our core product and will build out more features only after that’s all set.
Of course, we’re interested in your commitment to making all venues LGBT friendly. How did this subject come up?
That, too, was just a natural part of the early stages of building the Hitch. We were discussing amenities and what exactly should be included, and the question arose on whether or not we should list which venues were specifically LGBT friendly. Ultimately, our feeling was that there should be no dividing line — all venues should be LGBT friendly.
How this is handled going forward will certainly depend on some complex legal factors that are not necessarily in the hands of our venues. We want to make sure we’re understanding of what is and what isn’t in our venue’s control and to help them push forward in booking all types of ceremonies regardless.
What is your background?
I've been a producer in digital for about five years now, but I actually began in the technology industry by way of content strategy for publications here in New York. Online content creation ultimately led to my first agency position, which eventually led to my work with Zach and Stephen, which eventually led to the Hitch. The three of us- Zach, Stephen, and I- built products as an agency, Casserole Labs, for two years before launching the Hitch.
Who is the most romantic staff member at The Hitch?
Ha. Interesting question. I’m going to venture to say Zach.
Personal favorite venue that you have listed right now and why?!
This is a tough one - different regions of the US have such different strengths. In New York, I'd have to say Wythe Hotel; on the West Coast, Viceroy Santa Monica; Europe, Furnirussi Tenuta in Italy; Hawaii, the Modern Honolulu.