For Randy Hamm, it’s hard to think of anything more gratifying than helping a couple ensure they have everything they need for an “awesome” marriage.
In fact, it’s his passion.
In 2012, the Brooks, Alberta-born pastor, who currently calls Vernon home, decided to take that passion to the “next level” and turn it into a second career as a wedding officiant with Vancouver-based wedding officiant agency, Young, Hip and Married.
“Six years ago I was connected with Young,Hip and Married because a friend noticed that I had a lot in common with the people who ran it — we all just have a passion for helping people build incredible marriages,” Hamm recalled. “I met (founders) Shawn and Erica, and right away I knew I wanted to be a part of what they were doing. We’ve been going gangbusters ever since.”
Initially founded as a relationship coaching company in Vancouver in 2008, by Shawn and Erica Miller, YH&M quickly grew after the couple teamed up with a wedding officiant and began to offer both coaching and officiating to engaged couples. Since 2014, the agency has expanded all across B.C., as well as into Alberta, Ontario and California.
Hamm said the company books hundreds of weddings across Canada each year. It currently includes more than 20 officiants, including Hamm, as well as a number of relationship coaches.
As an officiant, Hamm said he books 30 or 40 weddings a year — each one meaningful to him in its own way.
“It’s really special to be a part of that celebration where you’re guiding these people in one of their most intimate moments. I get super pumped for each wedding.”
Hamm said he is equally passionate about relationship coaching, and it is often part of his role as officiant — provided that’s what the couple he’s working with wants.
“Officiating a wedding is one of those heart-touching experiences that once you’ve been a part of, you want to do it again and again. I love helping people get past the stress of planning and pulling it all together and making sure my couples are in the moment and enjoying the moment, as a opposed to being overwhelmed by the moment.”
Officiating is an “honour” the married father of three said also allows him to demonstrate his creativity, which he enjoys using to help each couple carry out their dream ceremony.
“Whatever ethos the couple wants, I try to help them bring it across. That’s something Young, Hip and Married also prides itself on, and it’s part of what attracted me to it. Each couple we (YH&M officiants) meet, we get to know their story and help them incorporate it into the day.”
To illustrate his fervor, Hamm recalled a wedding he officiated for friends in Fort Langley last summer.
“They wanted a Western-themed wedding, so we wore cowboy hats and Western gear, and the groom lassoed the bride. I also wrote a cowboy poem for them and that was part of the ceremony — it was a lot of fun.”
It was those memorable touches that caught the attention of the judging panel of the 2017 Professional BC Wedding Awards, which were held in Coquitlam on Nov.22. Hamm was awarded Best Wedding Officiant in the province for the first time that night. He said he was thrilled to recieve the recognition.
The BC Wedding Awards attract hundreds of vendors from across the province who vie for the top spot in catering, decor, make-up and hair design and videography.
Hamm is hosting a couples workshop entitled, The 7 principals to Making Marriage Work, on March 16 and 17. To learn more or register, look for The 7 principals to Making Marriage Work at www.eventbrite.com.