Meet Hamptons Matchmaker Emily Holmes Hahn
“LastFirst was born from my desire to create a dating service that was truly discreet and upmarket,” shares founder Emily Holmes Hahn. “I wanted to keep the basic model of a matchmaking business, and elevate it to include not only introductions, but also coaching, concierge services, styling, professional headshots, text message decoding and composing- you name it!” The Hamptons single scene can be tough to navigate so we asked the expert to share some pointers with readers, below.
KDHamptons: You describe LastFirst as bespoke matchmaking, please explain why?
Emily Holmes Hahn: I call my approach “bespoke matchmaking” because a client can literally ask for help with anything that falls under the category of “relationships” or “dating,” and I will find a way to include that in his or her membership. I also wanted to turn matchmaking into a career that young, well-educated, and tasteful people could be proud of. I want to break away from the stereotype that matchmakers are pushy and dominant women, who think that they know what their clients want more than their clients do, and who are willing to expose everything on reality TV! I take a softer approach with my clients, and let them teach and lead me in the direction of what they desire in a partner. Combined with my intuition, my incredible network and my knack for reading people, it’s a recipe for success every time.
KDHamptons: Did you meet your fiancé [above] on a set up?
Emily Holmes Hahn: We actually met socially, at Wilfie and Nell in the West Village. It’s so funny because I spend my days telling people that it’s so rare to meet a quality person at a bar, and yet I did happen to meet my own match at one! I call it the ONLY exception to the rule! I’m just teasing- I am all about organic and fateful encounters when they happen. But, I recognize how rare they are in this big world. Especially with the rise of dating apps, and the facility that has provided singles to basically swipe their thumb and have someone appear at random, I find the need for proactive and targeted matchmaking greater now than ever.
KDHamptons: Will you be matchmaking in the Hamptons? We really need someone talented out here to do that, esp in the off-season.
Emily Holmes Hahn: Life is slower and the settings are ideal for romance out here. But, with this small town coastal vibe comes more space, more privacy, and even less chance for a serendipitous run-in with The One. Year round Hamptonites comprise about 15% of my membership – and in the summer, close to half of LastFirst is back and forth weekly. I’m actually here working from our house in East Hampton almost as much as I work from my office in Manhattan!
KDHamptons: What are three things a woman should NEVER do on a first date, and three things she should ALWAYS do?
Emily Holmes Hahn: There are so many more than three “rules” for each category! But if I had to pick the most important, I’d say….
1. Mention your ex: If your date does ask, the ONLY acceptable answer is “It didn’t work out with him.” Casually transition to the next topic.
2. Talk too much about yourself. Follow the 2:1 rule: For every 2 stories you tell about your own life, ask (at least) one about his. It’s a dialogue, not a monologue.
3. Be a know-it-all: Men love a woman who is curious and open to learning. If you take a “been there/done that” attitude on a date, you’ll come off as blasé, boring, and the opposite of sexy.
1. Dress classically: Fashion trends don’t usually translate to men. You can enjoy them day-to-day, but for a first date, wear something timeless that you’ve had for years and that you feel amazing in. It should balance between elegant and ultra sexy.
2. Take it slow: I find women so quick to judge these days. If you don’t feel an intense connection within the first twenty minutes, that’s ok! Invest a bit of time in your date and give him a chance to warm up. Probably half the couples I’ve matched have not felt that fabled “love at first sight.”
3. Send a follow-up text: Do not wait for the man to follow up, especially if he’s planned and treated you to the first date. Take initiative the next morning and send a “thank you” text. Use it as an opportunity to start a little romantic banter if it went well, too.
KDHamptons: Where are the places for Hamptons singles to meet?
Emily Holmes Hahn: Honestly, it’s tricky in the Hamptons. Too many people come out here and it’s impossible to target the right types. If you’re not working with a matchmaker, I would recommend joining various clubs, taking art or cooking classes, and participating in sports leagues to meet people. If you have a network of single friends, being invited to BBQ’s or dinner parties can be a great way to meet like-minded people organically.
KDHamptons: How do your rates work?
Emily Holmes Hahn: LastFirst’s pricing reflects the significant attention we invest in each of our clients. Prices currently slide based on each individual ‘project,’ and there are different levels of membership that I can offer to accommodate various budgets. I don’t publish rates just because I like to be discreet and I think what my clients pay is very personal to them. Consultations with my team and me, however, are complimentary, and a stress-free way to see if you’re a good fit for the service.
KDHamptons: What does a perfect day look like for you in the Hamptons?
Emily Holmes Hahn: We love to start weekend days with a long run from our house into East Hampton Village. Sometimes I buy iced coffees from Mary’s Marvelous while my fiancé waits for a table at Babette’s. I’ll do a SoulCycle class, or work out on one of the quiet bay beaches with my trainer Blair Small (www.bond6.com). I may do a little shopping at Blue & Cream and Nili Lotan, or Botanica Bazaar, and Love Adorned in Amagansett. In the late afternoon we pick up some rosé from Park Place Wines, or interesting cocktail ingredients from Round Swamp. We have drinks with our weekend guests, BBQ at home, and then jump in the pool or hot tub. We like to stay up late, make dessert or play Taboo or even break out our karaoke machine if the mood is right! When we do go out at night, my favorite restaurants are East Hampton Grill and Topping Rose House, and Moby’s is always a lively scene for pre or post-dinner drinks.