the final episode!
the groom butt slap!
Hi, everybody, welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talk about anything and everything that has to do with wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 324, recorded on Tuesday, July the 20th 2021. My name is Clint Hufft. And with me is a gentleman who just told me he's got something to share the one and only JP Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:24
Oh, Clint. I do.
Yes, you do. JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do. I did not have a wedding this past weekend. But you did. And you teased me. Right before we hit the record button. Oh, my gosh, I'm so excited. So hit it.
JP Reynolds 1:08
You know, first of all, here we are the next to the last podcast. And if there was one wedding that could sum up 324 podcasts, I think the wedding I'm about to tell you is the one to sum it all up.
Oh my gosh, let's end right there and let all the listeners just go nuts saying no. That's the cliffhanger of all cliffhangers.
JP Reynolds 1:42
Right, here it is. So it was 150 person wedding at a four or five star resort. The couple booked me six weeks ago. Even though they had been planning this wedding for quite some time, they had forgotten to get an officiant. And we had only one meeting. It was on zoom. And it was while they were driving in their car.
It didn't have the same gravity is most of those zoom meetings.
JP Reynolds 2:26
No. I said to them, I said, I feel like I'm James Corden with his carpool karaoke. And they love the image and they said they loved James Corden. So I had a carpool karaoke meeting with them for about 30-35 minutes. Um, sweet couple, fun couple. Whatever.
There's so many wonderful moments about this wedding. Okay, let's start with, in talking with the groom as an acknowledgment to his family, they’re Mexican Catholic, I had suggested that if his parents have a cord or I call it the lasso, that it would be lovely to have his parents draped them with the lasso and then I would give a blessing. They love that they do. I arrived at the venue I actually run into the parents by accident as we were walking to the actual ceremony site, had a lovely conversation explained how it was going to take place. They had the lasso that they used to their wedding 37 years ago.
JP Reynolds 3:59
I just said it's like so heartfelt. I'm so blah, blah blah to the event planner, blah blah blah. scope out the groom, right and get to the bride. She's in the bridal bedroom. Dressed beautiful. And I happen to notice that the now on the bed is the lasso that belong to the groom's parents and a second lasso.
And, Clint, which lasso do you think was prettier?
Which lasso would look better on the beautiful dress?
JP Reynolds 4:59
Which lasso would look good on instagram? 15 minutes before the start of the ceremony, the bride announced to the parents, I won't be using your lasso.
Oh my gosh.
JP Reynolds 5:16
Okay, so now we have good old fashioned drama. And the event planner is a planner that I’ve done a lot of work with. She just said to me, You need to talk to them.
You mean talk them into using the parents lasso?
Oh, well, well just talk to them in generic meaning anybody on the property who would listen to me to resolve this situation because you can't have people look, I mean, the groom's mother looked like my Irish grandmother, even though she was Mexican. And my Irish grandmother was one of the most miserable looking people I have ever met.
Oh my gosh, no.
JP Reynolds 6:05
Okay, this for me was not happy. Not happy. Anyway. To make a long story short, it was resolved and the bride agreed to use the lasso that belonged to the parents.
Oh, thank goodness.
Okay, but that's just the beginning of the wedding. I am preset Standing at the place the site and the Quartet is stringing away and crouched next to me is one of the photographers. Now this photographer is really hip and happening, kind of had a Eurotrash vibe about him. It was just you know, he was cool. Or, at least he thought he was cool. It's me standing there with him crouching next to me. The ceremony procession hasn't started yet. And suddenly, some man from the first row on the bride’s side out loud says, “you got here really early today!”. Now, I have no idea who he's talking to. Okay. He continues, he says, I saw you. I saw you in the hotel earlier. You took pictures of everybody in the hotel. He's talking to the photographer. Well, if we figured out he was talking to the photographer, and the guy was so flummoxed, he was so because it's like, we are seconds away from the start of the procession. And now you've got this guy who's in a loud voice half yelling thing. I saw you in the hotel taking photos and everybody today.
It's like what do you do with this?
It's just like so much for your Eurotrash Look, buddy. That's not really helping it now is it?
Now the procession starts and the groom looks really debonair white dinner jacket, and he gets to me and the eyes are brimming over with tears.
JP Reynolds 8:53
yeah. And I know I've got a crier on my hands. Right. And I love a man who cries. I just put me on episode 324. Let me reiterate. I don't think there's anything better, more beautiful, sexier than a man crying for reasons of joy. However, Did I ever tell you why my mother married my father?
That was one of the greatest, non sequiturs of all time. No, please tell me.
JP Reynolds 9:34
Okay, my mother one time out of the blue said to me. You know, I like a man who's a man. But not too much man. That's why I married your father. My brother and I have spent our entire lives figuring out what does it mean to be not too much man? So, I share this with you because hey, it's Episode 324. Let's share, all out there.
JP Reynolds 10:02
And also because I realized I like a man who's a crier, but not too much crier. And I'm thinking this guy may be a too much crier kind of kind of guy. But so now we get the groomsmen coming to the groom. They look you know how some groomsmen just look so good in a tux.
JP Reynolds 10:25
I mean, this group is this squad. They looked like they were MI6 agents. They were distractingly handsome. Then the bridesmaids process and they are distractingly beautiful. They are in dresses that's like it's just that just kind of rock this venue. I mean, these people are serious. I mean, there's no messing around.
Bride comes. And so we we do our thing. And now it's time for the Vows. Now I had said to them, you must write out your vows. I said, Please write out your vows. So the groom begins. And he says the bride's name, and then just chokes.
Was that the first word out of his mouth was her name?
JP Reynolds 11:34
First words out of his mouth was, let's say Mary, and he just chokes and he puts his head down, his hand up to his forehead and it's just, it's like, oh, yeah, man. People are going to put an extra $50 into the envelope. This is what they want. This is, let it go. Right? So he composes himself and he begins and few sentences in he choked. Okay.
And suddenly one of the groomsmen runs up, slaps him on the butt and says, you can do this bro. Back to his place. So it's like it's cute. Whenever he continues, right? Few sentences, he chokes. Suddenly, another groomsmen runs up and slaps him on the butt. You got this, man, you got this. Well, the upshot of it all is, how did the vows proceed? It was four sentences choke, butt slap. Now, first of all, I'd be curious to know. I mean, have you ever done a ceremony with butt slapping?
No, I have not.
JP Reynolds 12:59
I thought you were gonna say that. All right. And, I'm standing. And I'm thinking, I know for a fact that several of our listeners have in the recent months, written beautiful articles on like, ways to personalize handfasting. And I'm thinking, I should be writing an article on 10 ways to personalize butt slapping in your ceremony.
This is like I’m thinking, where did this come from? And I'm thinking, do I need my buddies to weep butt slap? I don't think I really answered like you and me when we meet at a networking event. We don't like slap each other's butt.
Doesn't mean I haven't had the impulse. But no, we never have.
JP Reynolds 13:46
I got it. So now now it gets to a point in the vows where his hand drops. That's holding the vows and he just looks get ready for this one. He looks and he says babe. Ah, shite. I love you. That's all I can say. Now he did not say the word shite. He's just a real word.
It's like could we do an instant replay? Did you just say what I think you just said? He holds up the vows. “These are just words. These are words. What do they mean? They mean nothing because what that means is I love you babe.” I'm thinking if you do not get back to script, I will slap you and it won't be on the butt.
So then I'm worried because I'm thinking, Okay, she's gonna cry. And are her bridesmaids gonna start running up and slapping her?
That would be awesome.
Because at this point, I don't know what's happening. I mean, anything can happen. So all right, we move on, they put the lasso on at the end. that all is what the now you may kiss, all right? So sets out like that, okay?
And I'm thinking, Oh, I'm thinking I can't wait to talk with you.
And then I find the groom to congratulate him. And he looks at me. And he comes over and he gives me a hug. And he's crying. And suddenly he lays his head on my chest and says, How did you do with JP? How did you do it?
I'm thinking, I wonder if a groom ever laid his head on Clint’s chest?
I am thinking, Okay, dude. It's like you're married. It's over between us. What we had is done. It's like, Well, how do I do it? Yeah, and it's good question. How do I do it since I only spent 35 minutes with you in the car to put this ceremony together.
But now, okay. There's, it's like sweet, laughing, if only Clint Were here to take a picture posted on Instagram, blah, blah, blah.
All right now I think done. All you need is to get the best man to sign the license. I’m saying goodbye to the event planner, said goodbye to the bride. Now I'm looking for the best man. I can't find him. Of course. Eventually, I find him back at the ceremony site. And pictures, the groom is taking pictures with his squad and get the best man to sign and the groom says to me, JP, could you stick around for a moment? I gotta ask a question. And I'm thinking, even though you say yes, the asking question thinking, Well, since he's wondering how I did it, maybe he wants to tip me, you know? Sure. Let me be practical here. So stick around. And then it's like, I realized that I'm just gonna be held captive here for hours. So I said, Bro, I gotta like, bro, bro, I gotta go. I listen, come here, come here, and he walks walks me off to the side. He says, what do you do when somebody doesn't talk to you?
Oh, no, he wanted counseling. Yes. At that moment, yes.
JP Reynolds 18:10
I said, What do you mean? He says, Well, I don't know what I did. But somebody is mad at me and they won't talk to me. I said, Who is it? He says it's somebody. And I'm thinking, Okay, you know, it's just not the time, man. We just can't, it's just. I said, Look, there's something you need to understand. I said, this is a beautiful wedding. And I know that you are spending a lot of money on this wedding. I said, and so what you have to understand is, no happy occasion is happy until someone is miserable.
You said that?
Yes. So the fact that somebody is miserable right now and not talking to you, that's a sign that this is a good wedding. This is a sign that things are going according to plan. I say respond to that. And I said, is it you just have a fabulous time. And you don't worry about that person because they really deep down are happy. And the only reason why they're not talking to you is because they love you. Okay, there folks, is all of the wisdom that we can distill in 324 episodes.
So when we say at the beginning and at the the end of every single episode that you are a communications expert. This is proof the proof is in the pudding. This is why we call JP a communications expert. No happy occasion is truly happy until someone is miserable.
JP Reynolds 20:08
You know, what could you say in that moment? There was no way to have a meaningful conversation. And it was basically I said, don't let anybody ruin your joy today.
JP Reynolds 20:23
I mean, that is what I also said.
Did you get a feeling that…
I got a lot of feelings.
Did the idea pop into your head that it could have been either the bride or his parents?
JP Reynolds 20:40
Yes, but the parents gave a very warm embrace to the bride when they put lasso over her. Mm hmm. And the bride seem to respond. So I eliminated them as suspects.
Okay. All right, very good.
JP Reynolds 21:03
Now, there was a reading, the reader had not been told that he was going to do a reading. And so when I approached him, and asked if he needed my copy, he said that he didn't know he was doing a reading and he didn't feel comfortable doing your reading without proper preparation. So another friend was recruited 15 minutes before the ceremony started to do a reading. Now I would I would have the initial reader as a person of interest.
Wait, what does that mean?
Well, that reader was upset that he hadn't been told ahead of time. Oh, that he was going to do the reading. Okay. And that might be grounds for not talking.
Right. Okay. Maybe?
JP Reynolds 22:09
Yeah. You know, in order to have grounds for not talking you don't need a crucial reason. As a matter of fact, the flimsier The reason for not talking, the better.
Really, that works the best?
JP Reynolds 22:25
Yeah, like, You raised your eyebrow at me. Why?
That's it. No more for you.
JP Reynolds 22:36
You know, we forget, I think you and I forget that we've done so many of these things that, well, let me speak for myself, there's just an air of anything could happen. And we're just going to kind of figure it out as we go, right. It's kind of like, you just kind of roll with the punches and you figure things out, and somehow you get to the end of the ceremony and hopefully everybody's happy. But the other people this is like life or death. I think I told you about the guy that was suffering from anxiety. I mean, such anxiety that he had flopsweat and so whatever responsibility he had in the ceremony was immediately taken from him. And same type of deal. Well, who can we get to do that thing? Well, let's get Bob. Okay. Hey, Bob. Right, all that kind of stuff. And, for me, it was just kind of this is cool. That's all right. Well, so now Bob's doing it. I don't care. Right. Right. Refer other people. It's just like, Oh, my gosh, it's so serious.
JP Reynolds 23:30
Right. Right. Right. No, I think that it is a form of improv. You know, once you as an officiant once your feet step onto the property. Anything Goes? Anything's possible. You have entered in the escape room.
The wedding ceremony escape room.
JP Reynolds 24:01
Which I do want to create.
Absolutely. Oh my gosh, that's our new business.
JP Reynolds 24:08
Yes, right. Right. Right. Right. Right. Right.
The curio shop is shutting down.The escape room. Look for it. I love it. The next to last episode, we have come up with a nugget that is awesome. The wedding ceremony escape room. Oh my gosh. That's so good.
JP Reynolds 24:33
All right, Clint.
I have to be really careful who I raise my eyebrows now from now on.
JP Reynolds 24:38
I'll wait until the next networking event Clint.
All right, everybody. We have one episode left of the wedding ceremony podcast. You can listen to all of our episodes on our website wedding ceremony, podcast calm, they're archived chronologically, and it's gonna be there for Long time Don't worry, just because we stopped recording doesn't mean those things are going anywhere. Wedding ceremony, podcast calm, the most recent one is always at the top. We have also been putting transcripts on that website. In case I don't know if you want to if you're curious about that, that also is where you can reach out to us. And thank you to everybody the the outpouring of affection and and it's just been really, really moving to JP and I to the people that have well given us their opinion on why we're ending the wedding ceremony podcast, there's a little button, it's actually kind of a big yellow button. It says email us and reach out tell us a story or whatever you want to do. You can also listen to all of the episodes in the apple podcast store wedding ceremony podcast, and that also is where you can leave a review if you would like to that'd be fantastic. Remember JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do. That’s it for this episode of the Wedding Ceremony Podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP, we will see you next time.
Drugs for dogs!
Hi everybody, welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talk about anything and everything that has to do with wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 322, recorded on Tuesday, July the sixth 2021. My name is Clint Hufft. And with me is a gentleman that I'm not sure he realized it was already July, the one and only JP Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:23
Is that a yowza Hello or I knew it was July yowza?
Where's the time gone?
JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do. JP, in the last episode, remember, I told you that I got a ceremony at the last second. And I was going to do somebody else's ceremony. Remember that?
Okay. Well, that happened. And it was lovely. And the couple was lovely. And it all worked out great. But I came away realizing that I love drugs for dogs.
JP Reynolds 1:29
Okay, if someone had offered me a million dollars, and said, guess what Clint was gonna say? I I'd be a man without a million dollars right now. I did not see that coming.
And truth be told the minute that I realized what was happening. I said to myself, JP, I've got a good one. Okay, so here's the deal. This couple had a little dog. We’re of a certain generation. Remember the movie Benji? Can you picture a dog when I say Benji?
JP Reynolds 2:04
That’s your generation. Yeah, I don't remember that. Okay, that's fine.
Anyway, okay. Most people when I say the word, Benji, they can picture a dog. And if they're younger generation, just google Benji, the movie, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Okay, it's that kind of dog. And cute dog. Very cute dog. And normally, well, let's just say this particular dog was fired up. And, from the moment that I walked into the space, and it was a beautiful space, there was an upstairs and a downstairs, almost like, because it's in a canyon, It's almost like a cabin. It had that feel to it. The ceremony was outside on this wonderful deck. And okay, so this dog is barking at everything, not attacking anybody just agitated. Kind of hyped up. And, the first thing when I get a moment with a couple I said, and we talked about this when we zoomed when I first met them, I said Plan B, and they Yeah, we have that, we have my brother and if the dog is barking a lot, he's going to take them away. I said, Great. And I think that that's what's going to happen because this dog doesn't really calm down. Anytime somebody walks into the space, into the prep area, or I guess it was essentially the bridal suite, but it really was the whole upper floor. The dog is barking just barking barking, barking, barking, barking. And so in my head, I'm thinking this dog is going to be lucky if it even makes it anywhere close to the ceremony because it's just going to keep barking.
Then when it's time to start, and everybody is going downstairs except for the bride and groom. There was no wedding party. So last second prep and that kind of stuff. And the dog is there. And there was somebody else in this area. And she calls for her friend and said, Okay, let's do it now, not knowing what that means.
The friend brought over these two little packets almost like oh, fast food condiments. And what are these? Drugs for the dog. I saw really well. And right in front of me. All he did was he opened up the packet, like pealed it all the way back. And inside was this little brown kind of, like a condiment consistency. Yeah. And I said, Have you tried this before? Yeah, we did it last night. I said how’d it go? She said, well. It really kind of mellow him out a little bit.
They brought two of Those. I don't know what the actual portion is supposed to be for the dog, but they had two of them. And the dog smelled it, liked it and licked it all up. They opened up a second one, same thing, the dog consumes all of the paste, so to speak. And I'm thinking, this is awesome. Because I have no idea what's about to happen. I just don't know, I don't know, if the dog is just gonna all of a sudden go to sleep. I have no idea.
Here's the key thing. They wanted the dog to be the ring bearer.
Ah, no. We had already talked about the real rings. No, no, no, no, of course not. I immediately gave strong suggestions. You don't want to put the real rings on the dog. Because when I zoomed with them, they said, yeah, we were thinking of putting like a little pouch. And I said, Well, here's the thing. And I just kind of said, it could go south in a hurry.
What you want to do with your dog, obviously, you love the dog, the dog is kind of like your child, I get it. And you want to tell the story of how important the dog is, by having the dog present the rings. I said, that's great, you can tell that story, let the dog come up the aisle, tell that story. Let me have the rings. And they thought that was a good idea. Which of course in my mind made them better than a lot of couples, they were thinking rationally. Okay, great.
And so they had the person who was holding the dog, managing the dog. First of all, when the ceremony started, he was in the back row, holding the dog, the dog didn't make a sound. And I only thought of it for just a half a second. And then I went on with my business and was distracted with the actual doing of the ceremony, then it was time for the rings. And I said we have a special ring bearer. And the guy put the dog down in the back of the aisle and then the couple calls for the dog, the dog comes up the aisle, comes right to them, doesn't jump up, just happy to see them. They say great. And then the dog just, cuz it's a big deck, right? So the dog just kind of wanders off to look over the edge of the deck. And I just said to the guests, I said, “and this is the traditional ring bearer walk”. And everybody laughed. And then he just kind of lay down. He didn't go to sleep. He was just there hanging out.
JP Reynolds 7:26
Who had the rings, the best man?
No, me. There was no best man. Oh, yeah, there was no best man. I said Who would you like to present the rings? Or would you like me to hold them? And they just said, Well, why don't you just hold them? Okay, great. I know that you like to have somebody present the rings. I just kind of went with whatever I thought was going to be the most functional considering that it was such a last second deal.
JP Reynolds 7:51
Oh, that's fine Clint, that you did what you wanted to do.
Well, thank you, JP. I needed that validation. Thank you very much. So, that's when I became a huge devotee of drugs for dogs. Because it worked out.
JP Reynolds 8:12
Oh, okay. So you know, I think you might at this point in time, have some idea of how my mind works. So my mind is in such overdrive right now. I can't even begin to respond to this story. This is like candy to a diabetic. I’m going into a coma here. This is such a great plot line for a Hallmark movie, where, the drugs are accidentally left left on the table. And the mother in law or the father in law thinks they're candy, or breath mints. And takes them. I never heard of this. I love it. And I think most of the people in the wedding party should be doing drugs before it starts. Absolutely. I love this idea. I love this idea. I was not allowed to have pets growing up. I am sure I've said that before and so I'm not comfortable around active animals of any kind. And I just love I think it's pre eminently sensible.
So you would be the person. You know the story that a typical plot line in a movie where if a burglar wants to get into a house but the house has a dog that the burglar will throw over a piece of meat that's been laced with some kind of tranquilizer, right? You would be the person that would pass out the the laced candies to the wedding party.
JP Reynolds 10:06
Anything to go viral.
Oh, my goodness.
JP Reynolds 10:15
That's why I always say to folks, they'll say to me, Oh, you've seen everything. And I'll just say as you do, I'm sure. I have seen a lot. But I have not seen it all.
My response is, Well, apparently not. Because every podcast, we've got something to talk about.
The other thing that was interesting was, while I was waiting, once take care of your business, then you're just kind of hanging out. So it was a little bit warm outside. So air conditioning is one of the greatest gifts that somebody has ever given to humanity. And I'm in the what was going to be the dance room with the tables and that kind of stuff. And just hanging out, but that also was where they brought the cake. And the mother of the bride was the event planner.
So the cake is brought in, not by the bakery, people. It came all the way from Orange County. Those of you not familiar with Southern California, that's like 50 miles away. Wow. And they entrusted some regular person to drive the cake up. Oh, right. And fortunately, the only thing that went awry was the cake, just rubbed a little bit against the side of the box. And so there was one little part that all you have to do is turn the cake around to the back. But anyway, they were going to put the cake on slices of wood. So imagine slices of a tree, like, what do they call those? Like, if you were take a log, and slice it like slicing a salami, right? So you have slices of a tree with the bark on the outside, you get what I'm talking about? Yeah, they had three of those stacked on top of each other. Not secured. I saw them, they could slide on top of each other. That's what they put the cake on. And, the bride and groom are in the room when the cake is placed on what is essentially the cake platform. And I said to the groom, just be mindful that when you go to slice the cake, it could slide around. So just be really firm with one hand and hold it in place. Because as you can see those discs, they're not slippery, but then again, they're not sticky. And so and I just thought that was assembled by somebody who's never dealt with a wedding cake before. You know what I mean? Right? Right. Because that whole mantra of what could possibly go wrong. I'm telling you, we that we should give those t shirts away for free.
JP Reynolds 13:12
Oh, no. No, no, it's not for free. Nothing's for free.
No, not not in our in our curio shop.
JP Reynolds 13:25
Oh, I love it. I love it. Well, speaking of the curio shop,
JP Reynolds 13:34
Clint as you know, the curio shop is closing down.
Yes, it is.
And so this is very difficult to say, to talk about, however, talk about it we must.
When you and I sat in the corner of that hotel down in Orange County, I just remember it was a roll off into the corner by ourselves. Talking and throwing ideas around about how we could collaborate, we both came up with this idea of the podcast and it was really in the tradition of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. You can be Mickey, I'll be Judy. It was Hey gang. Let's throw on a play in the barn.
I had no idea what to expect and what was going to happen and I really did not anticipate that We would be talking for as long as we have. And that our conversations would be as wonderful and as rich and as wackadoo as they have proven to be over these many years.
However, as the cliche goes, all good things must come to an end. And I am at a juncture in my life right now where I need to devote more focus time to other endeavors and undertakings and commitments.
And so for those of you who are listening, what I am saying on behalf of Clint and myself is that this month of July is going to be our last month for the wedding ceremony podcast as you have known it. And I'll just pause for a moment, you can jump in.
Well, yeah, you and I talked about this a couple of weeks ago, and I've been going over and over in my mind, what should happen next? I've handled from the very beginning, I've handled all the technical responsibilities. And, we've had guests on, certain weeks where you had other things that you had to take care of, and I've made the decision that when we get to the final episode, it will be the final episode, and we'll kind of put a little bow on the wedding ceremony podcast.
And it wasn't that difficult of a decision to make. And there were obviously a lot of options available to me. And in terms of how would I proceed? What would I do? But quite honestly, and I've thought this from the very beginning. There's just nothing that can replicate what you and I have. I’m me, you're you. You're definitely you.
You’re definitely you.
I am, however, dot dot dot. And so, I just think that, we go out on top, so to speak, and, that's just the way it's gonna work.
So as of right now, we have three more episodes remaining. And I guess now would be the appropriate time to welcome everybody to our website, where you can click on the “email us” button. And if there's any episode, or anything that we've talked about, over the last 321 episodes, that really stick in your mind, and you would like us to revisit that as a way to pay, I don't know, homage seems like a bit stuffed shirt for us. But anyway, if there's anything that you would like us to celebrate in regards to something that really stuck with you, as a listener of the wedding ceremony podcast, we would really love to hear from you. Go to weddingceremonypodcast.com and click on the “email us” button, I check it every single day. You've been great to us as an audience and we love the back and forth and everything that has transpired. So yeah, we expect to have a big party in three weeks. JP.
JP Reynolds 19:06
Wait, what did you say? Oh, what can I say? Yes, yes. Great. All right.
I mean, in the meantime, the business goes on and we have more stories to tell. I guarantee.
JP Reynolds 19:27
More weddings to officiate.
Yeah, that's right. This is not the end of our stories. So we have a lot to look forward to. Alright, that's it for this episode. We invite you to share the Word. Obviously on our website. We also have all of our episodes archived right there. They're chronological, the most recent one is at the top, spread the word let everybody know. And the thing that I like about it, JP is that we have created content that is evergreen. Just because we're going to stop recording doesn't mean the podcast is going anywhere. All of our episodes are going to live there as long as the apple podcast store is around, which I think is going to be a really long time. So you can also subscribe if you go to the Apple podcast store and look up wedding ceremony podcast, you can subscribe. Now I realize that after three weeks, we're not going to be posting new episodes, but at least you'll have all of the content available to you. And you can listen in any sequence you want. And I'm going to keep our email up and I'll continue to check it every now and then. We also want to thank the incredible musicians that have played our theme music from the very very beginning, the dacapoplayers.com. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP We will see you next time.
Hey everybody, welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talked about anything and everything that has to do with wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 320, recorded on Tuesday, June the 22nd 2021. That's a lot of 20s. My name is Clint Hufft. And with me is a gentleman that I don't know if he planned all the 20s or if they just happened accidentally, the one and only JP Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:28
I'm not telling.
No. It's diabolical. JP, that's all there is to it. Yeah. JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do. JP, I know that you have stories to tell. And I'm just gonna step to the side and let you take the mic.
JP Reynolds 1:07
Well, I've been making my way through the backlog of weddings from last year. Right. And so I've had a few ceremonies in the last couple of weeks. And I've got like a little platter of goodies to share from the very sweet to the very profound and my instinct would be to begin with the profound.
I'll admit, I'm too lazy. To start with the more silly, but I'm actually going to begin not with a silly story, but something that caught me by surprise. A couple of weeks ago, I did a wedding. The venue that you have officiated at. It's a place called Hummingbird ranch. And it's outside of LA. It’s kind of situated nestled at the foot of not necessarily mountains, but very hilly terrain. It's an isolated venue. It's a venue that has had some very interesting owners, from the beginning on up to the present. And it's very expansive, and secluded venue. And as I think we all know, oftentimes before a ceremony, either DJ will be playing some music, or the strings will be stringing, or the harp will be harping. And most of the time when this music is being played, it's helping to set the tone and they allow people to settle into the moment. Most people though, are simply chattering away and the music becomes really background music.
This couple though, for their music for the ceremony had just one violinist, and he played an electric violin. And so first of all, incredibly, phenomenally Talented. I went to his website, they see that he had awards and has appeared on reality shows, etc, etc. But what he did and, I don't think I've ever seen before. For the half hour before the start of the ceremony, he stood center on the platform where the couple and I we're going to stand. And he actually, in a sense, gave a performance to all of the guests as they were taking their seats and waiting for the ceremony to start. And so it wasn't background music, it was literally center stage, and against the majestic background of the ranch in the hills. I thought I was watching like one of these shows that PBS broadcast during its fundraising events. It was electrifying. Absolutely just stupendous.
Did he play with pre recorded background stuff? Because I've seen some musicians do that. And it really is amazing.
JP Reynolds 5:14
He did but what added to it was the fact that he was standing center stage. But he wasn't off to the side. And that it really became a performance.
He was your warm up act.
JP Reynolds 5:32
And he was. I said that to him, actually. And it changed the atmosphere. And I was taken aback, I was surprised like, well, this is different. And this is not to say one is better than the other, simply to say, Well, this is another way to welcome people to your celebration, and that it really is a pronounced kickoff to your celebration and a pronounced prelude to the ceremony. And then, what I love, love, love love. The cocktail hour was in another section of Ranch House. And he led the guests to the cocktail hour.
Oh, like a Pied Piper type of deal.
JP Reynolds 6:41
JP Reynolds 6:46
And that generated just, again, a fun energy.
That sounds so cool.
JP Reynolds 7:00
It was it was just so dramatic. It really was very cool. And I've never had that kind of sense of a musician being the, quote, opening act.
How was he to work with with you in terms of the cues and all that stuff?
JP Reynolds 7:23
Well, the only cue that I give a musician is to cue for the end of the ceremony. Because at the beginning of the ceremony, everything he coordinates with the event planner, so it was fine. Yeah.
Well, the only reason I bring that up is that what I found is that if there's anything during the ceremony that requires any kind of background music, that kind of stuff. Sometimes the couples want me to ask who presents this woman. And sometimes they don't. If I'm not gonna ask that question. I like the music to keep playing until the couple actually gets in front of me. And everybody sits down. I like to fill that with music. If I'm going to ask the question, then obviously, the couple or whoever's being escorted is going to stop, even with the first row of chairs. And whoever's playing the music needs to know one or the other. Just to kind of set that up. So I was just curious about, I don't know, just interacting with a personality like that. Because I mean, the way you've described it, he's used to being the show, the star.
JP Reynolds 8:36
Then he met me.
He realized there is a hierarchy. Thank you very much.
JP Reynolds 8:46
Oh, no, he was an utter gem and we actually talked about, I was asking the who presents question. And so he knew how to bring the live music to an appropriate conclusion once they reach the first row.
That's cool. Yeah, that's really cool. I've worked with two different electric violinists. And it's just, I mean, I'm sorry to say, for this play on words, but it is electrifying. It really is. To have that kind of sound. And, most of the time, I mean, well, both of those times. They were real performers. Because sometimes you'll have like a quartet or whatever. They're used to playing in an ensemble. They're used to being kind of amongst the orchestra, but an electric violinist. That's a different mentality to that. I mean, that's the way it feels to me.
JP Reynolds 9:50
So, then, I did periodically think of you during the last two weekends. And then kind of shook my head. But leave me alone. But you know the last podcast we talked about tapping into the energy of pre ceremony energy of the groom and the bride and vested persons, etc, etc. And I hear people, it's a very important point. And I was reminded of that a number of times in the last couple of weeks.
I did a wedding on Friday, small wedding, very sweet wedding in that this couple knew each other when they were younger. They really were supposed to get married when they were younger, something happened, I don't know, they didn't get married. They married other people, they had children, life went on. And now, As the World Turns here, they are finally getting married. And there was a real sweetness and poignancy to it all.
Small guest count, no event planner, no day-of coordinator. At a nice venue that did not require an outside vendor. But it's tough when you're relying upon a relative to do that last minute coordination or whatever.
And the groom saunters down and we had only met once on zoom, and because they hired me late in the process. And I said to him, Now listen, I said, You have nothing to worry about. I've got your back, I’m your anchor, I'm going to guide you through everything. Just hold hands, look at each other. And enjoy the moment. He looked at me, he smiled, and he said to me, thank you. He said. I'm not nervous. Just friends and family. And they all love us. So what could go wrong?
JP Reynolds 12:31
I love that. I want to give that man a hug and a kiss. Or at least a hug.
You know, I had two feelings all at the same time. One was, oh my gosh, that's awesome. That's like the perfect groom to have that attitude and feel that way about all your friends and family. But then he said, what could go wrong? And then I thought, Man, that's a can of worms. You went open that?
JP Reynolds 12:58
Well, did you see for him? It was what could go wrong? In the sense of things could go wrong, but it doesn't matter because we're friends and family.
Right. Right. Right.
JP Reynolds 13:14
Now, in that sense, and I as the fates would have it. He did tempt the fates. And so they were having a Sand Ceremony. Now, after 300 plus episodes, I'm going to make a confession I don't think I've made before and I realize I have been co-podding with the granddaddy of the sand ritual. But I am not a big fan of the sand unity ritual. No I'm not. I'm not into sand that much.
Okay, I mean, I’m happy to do sand and I play a game with myself. When I meet with a couple within the first three minutes. I try to guess if they're the sand people or not. Like I met with a couple on zoom yesterday and I looked at her and you're not sand people. And then sure enough when it came up in the conversation about a unity ritual, right. So yeah, neither one sand. I said I knew that. I can just tell sand people.
This couple wanted the sand ritual and it was wonderful. I liked the sand ritual if there are children involved. I like it when there's the children. I think it's a great unity ritual when you have children. So they each had two. She had two boys, he had two daughters. And, man, when you don't have a coordinator, helping you get all this material and everything, It's exhausting. and so she had Last minute rush, put it all together.
And so they go over to the table and I introduce it and the venue is adjacent to a yacht club. And just as they were about to pour the sand a boat starts to very slowly float by, and they are blaring, like some hip hop song, hip hop, rap, whatever it might be. That is the last piece of music you want playing at a wedding. And as the music starts to blare, the kids just burst into laughter. And the couple starts laughing and all the guests start laughing. And I have to say it was the the most joyful sand unity ritual that they've ever witnessed.
I'm imagining what you've described, and the spontaneity of these people that I don't even know if they were even aware there was a wedding going on, if they did it on purpose, or whatever. But the way it played out, do you mind, there's a story I have similar to that.
We're doing a ceremony at the beach. And, right at the very beginning, oh, and this particular place, we're in the sand, but there's an access road in front of the restaurant. So you have to walk outside the restaurant and then go across the street, get to the sand where the ceremony is going to be. So that's open to the public, anybody can drive by. And right as I'm beginning to do the opening remarks, I take a breath and at that very second, there's a pickup truck with a bunch of guys in the back. And one of them yells out really loudly, very clearly, “Don’t do it!”, When he saw that there was a wedding, right? And the couple immediately just started laughing really hard. And it was just, it was one of those things where if I describe it to you, without telling you what the response was, you could be horrified like, Oh my gosh, that must have broken their heart. So how terrible. In fact, it was the opposite. The same way that you're describing it, it was the exact opposite. It turned out to be really funny. It ended up being on America's Funniest Home Videos. For the Valentine show. It was just it was perfect.
JP Reynolds 17:28
Wow. Yeah. Yeah. Sometimes I think when unity rituals are incorporated, that we can overthink, unity rituals, we can overthink our explanation of what this ritual is about, and overthink and overstate the symbolism, etc, etc. And what I loved about this moment was here is what the sand ceremony represents: six people who are family, loving each other and being silly together. There's the ritual. Yes. Beautiful. Beautiful. Yep. Celebrating the love and the silliness. of family. I thought it was as sweet as sweet could be.
That's, that's awesome. I love that. Well done.
JP Reynolds 18:40
I did though, All right. Thank you, Jesus. So I go up to the groom. And we shake hands. And he he's got a very firm handshake. And he pulls me into himself, like pulls me in to his chest. And he leans in, and he whispers into my ear, “Thank you, JP”. It was like, this very intimate moment. And it was like, thinking, Now I know why she married you. Oh. Because I'm such a weird person is whispering in my ear? Because I said, Oh, I wonder, Have you ever had a groom whispering to your ear?
No, I have not. I would think I would remember that.
JP Reynolds 20:00
Cuz I thought to myself I wonder if Clint’s ever had this moment? Because I never had a groom like whisper into my ear because normally they shake hands and say thank you, JP, but this was like, pulls me into it. And like then leans him like, heavily.
I've had couples whispered to me things to me during the ceremony.
JP Reynolds 20:26
Yeah, no, this is different state. Yeah, that's like a question there. I'm whispering or a fear or whatever. I have other tidbits, but I think we're I have no sense of time. I know we are.
Actually your instincts are right, we are about out of time. But that's cool. Because you've teased it now. I'm excited about the next episode. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Well, JP. I like it when there's something. The real challenge is whether or not you or I will remember next episode. What will we talk about?
Yeah, hey, listen, everybody. That's the way this works at the wedding ceremony podcast. And you can be involved if you want to. We want to thank everybody that has been reaching out to us by our email address. And the way you can do that is you go to weddingceremonypodcast.com and click on the Email button, it comes right to it. I check it every single day. You can offer us a story, you can make a suggestion or ask us a question. Whatever you want to do. It's all good. That also is where you can listen to our episodes. They're archived chronologically, the most recent one is always at the top. We've added transcripts for the most recent episodes. And you also if you want to can look up the wedding ceremony podcast in the Apple Store. And then you can subscribe, which would be great because every time we post a new episode, it'll automatically come into your world. That also is where if you want to you can leave us a review, because that's how people find new content. And there's a lot of people out there in the wedding world that I think would have a lot of fun listening to the wedding ceremony podcast. We want to thank the incredible musicians that play our theme music the dacapoplayers.com. Remember that JP'S books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. For communications coaching His website is thebusinessofconfidence.com. His wedding website is jprweddings.Com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com for all of the things that I do. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP We will see you next time.
why won't the groom talk to me?
Hi, everybody, welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talk about anything and everything that has to do with wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 319, recorded on June the 15th 2021. My name is Clint Hufft and with me as a gentleman that has some things to share the one and only JP Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:23
Well, Clint, good to be with you.
And it's good to be with you, too. JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do.
So JP, before we hit the record button, you and I were both talking about how this past weekend we were playing catch up with a lot of the weddings that were scheduled before the pandemic hit, and then postponed because of the pandemic. And now it seems as though we're playing catch up with all of those weddings, right?
Yeah. And, so there's two things that came up, but I'm just going to talk with the front of mind. On Sunday, they were already legally married, they decided that they wanted to get married, kind of similar to what you've talked about with your goddaughter, they needed to get married. And so they got married about a year ago. And I was scheduled to do that. And it turns out that I also did the groom's brother A number of years ago. And so that was the connection. And it was exciting. And then it was not exciting, because they had to postpone it. But because they were already married, I always feel like those ceremonies have almost a deeper emotional impact. Because they know what marriage is, so to speak. And when they recommit their vows, or they do it publicly, right. I don't know, that seems to have a little bit more gravitas. What do you think of that?
JP Reynolds 2:37
I agree with you, Clint. Absolutely. I yes. Amen to that.
Amen to that. But we are still working with individuals with their own unique personalities. And let me tell you a story.
It was at a beautiful place. I like to golf, I'm a golfer. And so anytime I get a chance to go to one of those really nice golf, like country clubs type of deal. Yeah, it's a rush for me. Even though all I can see is like the 18th Green. It's just beautiful. And I just dream of someday wouldn't it be lovely if I got to play that. So that's what this was. It was beautiful. And I've been there before. And for a number of different reasons. I've done funerals there. I've done a lot of weddings there. And so it was neat to go back. And then here's what happened.
So first I checked the site and everything. And then the DJ says they requested a separate microphone for the readers. There was going to be two readers. I said, Oh, okay. But the readers didn't print out their own reading. Or they were relying on me to have the readings printed out for them. And I thought to myself, well, if that's the case, then we don't really need a second microphone because they just come to me, I hand them the reading. They use my microphone. And that just seems to make sense. It just seems to be simpler. He said, Well, okay, but they requested it. And I said, Well, all right. Well, let's just kind of say that my mic is Plan A. And the second mic is Plan B and if we have to flip flop, it's not that big of a deal. It's all good.
So then I go into the room where the groom is, the husband, if you will, but let's call him the groom for our purposes and you can just tell he's uptight, he's nice to me. He's nice. It’s, glad to see you. We know it's so good, and all these really nice things, but I could just tell his energy was nervous and anxious. So it didn't really hit me until the idea of the readings came up. And it turns out his brother, who's his best man, is going to do one of the readings. I said, it's great. There you are. There's a second microphone. Did you bring the reading? Do you have it printed out for yourself? No. Okay, then I'm going to hand that to you. And, then the groom speaks right up. And he says, that microphone is way off to the side. And I said, Well, I just talked to the DJ. And I think what we're going to do is move it a little bit more towards the center, so everybody can see the reader. If it's to off to the side, there'll be some, like a fourth of the of your guests will be able to see the reader. So we're just moving it in.
And he gave me that look, that was really nervous. And are you sure? Because that's not what we rehearsed? And I said, Well, it just kind of makes sense. And all we're going to do is move it like maybe three feet. That's it.
Have you talked to my wife? No, I mean, I'm going to go in there and talk to her after I'm done talking to you. He says, Well, that's above my pay grade. You have to clear that with her. Oh, okay.
In my head, I'm thinking, well, I guess moving that microphone three feet is a big deal. So it turns out it wasn't a big deal. But it was to him. He was really nervous. And, then I said something about, Oh, I know what it was. When I went to check out the site, there were two steps going up to the platform where the three of us would be standing because the wedding party was going to be sitting. And so it was just going to be the three of us up there. But what I noticed is that on the first step, the florist and I have no idea what was going through somebody's mind when they planned this, but they put a bunch of eucalyptus tree leaves on little branches across that front step. Maybe they were thinking aesthetically, adding some greenery to that one step was going to be a real positive impact on the vibe of the wedding. I don't know. All I know is the first thing I thought of is that, okay, that brides gonna walk up the aisle and she's going to step on that in her heels, and it's not going to be solid. She's going to be stepping on foliage, right, before she gets to the top step. Can you picture what I'm saying?
JP Reynolds 7:29
I can. I'm nervous.
Yes, me too. And so I just brought that up. I said, Are you aware that there's some stuff on the first step? He says, Yes, eucalyptus tree. I said, Okay, in my head again, I'm thinking, all right. If they are aware of all of this, then it's full steam ahead.
Okay, so we're lined up for the processional. And I'm going to go first, and he's right behind me. And I do what I normally do, which is I start making small talk with him to kind of calm him down and make sure that he sees and starts implanting his memories. Look at how beautiful the weather is. Oh my gosh, and there were geese. About 20 feet away. Just kind of there's always geese at fancy golf courses. Anyway, there was geese over there. And the people behind him, his parents, They were making little jokes like, Oh, look, there's a lizard. I've heard lizards are good luck. And I just ran with that. Oh, look, there's a bunch of geese Did you know geese are good luck? And, we were having fun, but he was having none of it.
And then finally he just said, Okay, I'm gonna back off now I need to concentrate on what's about to happen. Which means don't talk to me anymore, right? That's never happened to me before.
No, not where it was the imaginary talk to the hand type of a deal. It was the you are not part of my life right now. Oh, sure. You're gonna do a wedding ceremony. Oh, yeah, you're gonna guide us through this magical transitional moment. But as of right now, you don't exist.
And I thought, fine. That's just fine. I turned around. And I just thought to myself, take a deep breath, everything's good. We're gonna do a ceremony and I'm the boss. So that's what I thought.
And then we get up the aisle. And he's standing right next to me. And normally, if there's steps like that, I think it's easier for the groom if we don't climb the steps, that we’re at the bottom of the steps. So that when the bride walks up, and in this particular case, she was escorted by her father, and they stop even with the first row of chairs, He doesn't have to go back down the steps. And because of the eucalyptus branches, and I'm saying branches, but you know what I'm talking about the really thin little Yeah, because of that, I thought The less he has to go up and down or step on that what I thought was not solid footing, the better it's going to be for him. And so I stopped at the bottom.
And then he comes to meet me. And he says, we're going to go up right? With that really intense look in his eyes. And I said, Well, I thought we could wait right here, it would be easier and so that you don't have to go up and down the steps. He says, No, we rehearsed up there, that's what we should do. I mean, that's what we rehearsed. I said, Great, let's go up there. And, that was the vibe of this guy.
And then of course, as soon as the bride shows up, he starts crying. And I just thought, that's who this guy is. Maybe he has some anxiety, maybe that's part of his personality. And then I immediately started to cut back on the normal little things that I do in order to make the couple relax and have fun things that I say off the microphone, little comments, reach out and touch him on the hand or whatever, that I normally incorporate. I thought, this guy will have none of that. If I do anything, it's going to break him out of his pattern. He wants to be completely focused on this woman.
And she was awesome. She was smiling. She was having a great time. She laughed a couple of times during the ceremony. He was stoic, focused, and rock solid on her, which that's to be commended. But he could have had a little more fun. So that was my experience on Sunday.
JP Reynolds 11:37
Well, you know, it's a very interesting tale. Because it speaks to a number of things. It speaks to the nuance of it all. Yes, I did agree with you that if the couple have handled the legal aspect of their marriage, as we're experiencing now, many couples legally got married last year, and now a year later are having the witnessing of their vows by friends and family and the celebration.
On the one hand, I would have to imagine that they have added richness or an added depth to the vows is they gift each other with the vows. On the other hand, this is their wedding. And so, on that day, he wasn't thinking, Oh, I'm already married. And now this is lovely. I feel Oh, I understand marriage so much better than I would a year ago.
This is it. This is Showtime. This is the realistic moment. And he exhibited, so the fact that they were legally married meant nothing to this man in terms of how he emotionally responded to the moment. And I think we need to keep that in mind that that there is no Oh, you're married, and this is kind of a whatever you want to call it. No, you're married, and this is your wedding day.
And in terms of the groom, and the groomsmen, I think the responsibility we have as officiants is to tune in to the emotional temperature of everybody. I let the groom set the, I'll call it the agenda, in terms of how I interact with him. I have some grooms who are so nervous. And, they want to talk to me. I've had conversations with with nervous grooms that I think are bizarre. It's like, really, it's like, why are you asking me this question? And it's like, oh, obviously, he's nervous. And I will say to a groom, I would say that's a very interesting question that only a nervous man could ask right before he walks down the aisle. And then he laughs and it kind of breaks the tension.
And then there are other grooms who it's clear that want to be With their posse, they want to be with their boys. They're happy to see me, that groomsmen are gentlemen in terms of introducing themselves, and I just, I let them be. So, it's really about playing off of the vibe and the energy. And when we're lined up, I typically give the groom his own space. And I don't engage once we're lined up, I don't engage in a lot of chitchat. It's like, you be in your head, you be with your parents, if they're standing behind you. I'm here. I've told you, I'm going to be your anchor, anchor away.
Yes. I understand completely what you're saying. Because every every groom is going through their own unique experience. And what I realized, after I told you that story, and then as you typically do you so eloquently, explain a few things and create a couple of different ways to look at it. I realized that things that I've done repetitively my entire life that are so comfortable for me, other people, it is like their biggest fear. Or, in this particular case, I'm suggesting that he was a little afraid of being in front of people, because I don't think that's his gig. But the other thing was, it was his way of showing how important this was. To Him and to his wife. Yeah, this was his way of taking it so seriously. And that was his expression of love. It's almost like what is that? You know, what I'm talking about? There's that book and the language of love and the languages of love that sort of thing? Are you familiar with that?
JP Reynolds 17:05
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
So I have a feeling that this was his way of, because he was so focused on her.
The other thing that was great, is the way she dealt with him. I mean, obviously, they've known each other for quite a while, and they've been married for a year.
I love it, when either one or the other of the couple recognizes what the second person is going through. And, will address it accordingly within their rhythms. And I just get to observe that we bear witness to a lot of different things that happened with a couple in a wedding ceremony. And that's one of those little things that we don't really talk about that much, but the interplay between the two, and how they work with each other, especially if one is nervous, and the other or one is whatever. And the other person has just dealt with this so many times, and there's a level of comfortableness, I don't know if that's the right word, in the way that they engage with each other. And the other thing I love about it is at that moment, the rest of the world disappears. And it's just the two of them interacting with energy, and emotion as opposed to like words and formality. Does that make sense?
JP Reynolds 18:24
It makes a lot of sense. Makes a lot of sense. And, I think you're spot on in terms of that notion of this is how he's gonna honor his wife in the moment because there are people, grooms and brides who I had a great relationship with. And we've done a lot of laughing when we get together and just relax, vibe.
And then on the day of in the moments before that, there's this rigidity. And I think it's when people believe that there is a set proper way of how to be in a wedding ceremony. And they're carrying out a role that they've put together, piecemeal from movies and religious backgrounds. And the last words their mother said to them before they put their outfit on, it's just, it's weird. And there have been times where it's like, I want it to just stop and say, Alright, loosen up, where did you go? Where are those wonderful, fabulous, funny people that I spent time with? We were snapped out of it. But I don't do that.
And I also want to say that the comments regarding especially focus on the microphone, are a very important reminder for every officiant as well as every event planner as well as every wedding vendor. But there is no item too small to not hold the potential for major trauma.
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.
We look at a microphone and we see a microphone. Groom or bride looks into microphone and sees the weight of the world. On where that microphone is going to be placed.
It kind of reminds me of royalty protocol. Yes. Where that's really important to a lot of people. Yes.
And it's really neat the way we're working through this, because it kind of gives a clarity to me to what could have been going on. And what his motivations were. Yeah. I mean, trust me, everything worked out great. Afterwards, they were all really appreciative and it was wonderful, but it's in the heat of the moment that I have to say to myself, relax, don't pick up his energy. That's another thing. That's another thing where I think over a lot of experience, that discernment, where I have to, in my own way, mentally and emotionally make a separation, so that I don't pick up the energy that the nervous person is giving off or the upset person or whatever.
I like you said, What did you say you're the anchor? Is that what you said? Yeah. And so to take on that role, as well, along with everything else that goes with being an officiant, to be the the emotional anchor, and not get caught up in the drama, I see a lot of that in a lot of different areas, especially back in the day with reality television. They kind of feed off that stuff, and so to be able to recognize it and say, I am my own center. And the greatest service I can offer is to be completely centered and not pick up any of this outside stuff. Yes. That takes exercise man.
JP Reynolds 22:19
It does Clint. Put those sweats on and drop and give me 20.
Well, I'm sorry because I know you had a couple of things you wanted to share, but I think that we're almost out of time.
JP Reynolds 22:38
Oh, don't worry about me. That's okay.
You kids. Go ahead. We have fun.
That's fine, Clint. Thank you for telling your story. It certainly made my week.
Don't you worry about me. I'll just sit here and stare at the pots and pans in the kitchen. You kids go have fun.
JP Reynolds 22:58
No, I was having this was great. Clint. That's fine. If I remember, I'll share my story next week. Unless you have another story next week.
Well, I don't now. I'll tell you that. Next week It's the JP show. I love that. Well, I okay, we're going to wrap this up and here we go.
Alright, everybody, remember the JPS books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. His communications coaching can be found on thebusinessofconfidence.com. His wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com. For all of the other things that I do. You can look at all of our episodes, you can listen to them, you can go to our website, wedding ceremony, podcast comm there are right there on the landing page. They're archived chronologically, so the most recent one is always at the top. That also is where you can get in touch with us. And thank you very much to everybody that has been reaching out to us. I check that email every single day. It's a big yellow button on the landing page, email us and you can tell us a story offer a suggestion. Give us some insights, whatever works for you. If you want to make your life really simple in regards to the podcast, then find us in the Apple store or in Stitcher and click on this subscribe button. That way every time we post a new episode, it'll automatically come into your podcast world that also if you want is where you can leave a review. Reviews are the way that people find new content and we would love to welcome more people into the wedding ceremony podcast family. We want to thank the incredible musicians that play our theme music dacapoplayers.com. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP We will see you next time.
santa is a pirate officiant!
#318 - Keith Carson
Hi everybody. Welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talk about anything and everything that has to do with the wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 318. recorded on Tuesday, June the eighth 2021. My name is Clint Hufft. And with me is a gentleman that is excited about our special guest the one and only JP Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:23
That's all gonna say. Let's keep moving.
JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do. Well, I'm not gonna wait any longer. We have a very special guest all the way from Florida. He is Keith Carson, Keith, how are you?
I'm doing great. I really appreciate you guys having me on.
We're gonna get more out of this than you are. I'll tell you that right now. Okay, so before we started recording, Keith, you explained to us what you did over the last two weeks. Would you mind repeating that for all of the listeners?
Keith Carson 1:17
Well, yeah, I kind of feel like Superman minus the phone booth, doing a lot of quick changes, but I had one couple that bought a piece of property in the middle of nowhere. And during the ceremony, we were watching for snakes.
And that's the end of this episode. Thanks, everybody.
Keith Carson 1:44
Yeah, I'm not kidding. I'm not kidding. So it was very, very casual. They said just, wear some boots and jeans and I did. And then from that wedding, I came back to civilization dressed in much nicer clothing got better groomed, because as you probably saw from the pictures, I do have longer hair and a beard. That changed nicely, did a same sex wedding. And now I'm facing a themed wedding where Captain white beard will be marrying a pirate couple at a pirate festival. And then that will be followed by me putting on my clerical robe and stole and doing a very formal wedding ceremony. I need a valet.
JP Reynolds 2:42
Keith, anybody listening is already fascinated and saying to themselves who is this man? And maybe you could give our listeners some context for all of this, where you're located and how you can go from snakes to pirate ships.
Keith Carson 3:09
You know what that sounds like a good name for a book. So I'm located in the Ocala, Florida area, which is in North Central Florida. I moved up here from Palm Beach County about four years ago. I'm in my sixth year an ordained minister, wedding officiant and I started out actually doing themed weddings that was it. I portray Santa thus the beard I don't have the big belly but I look the part when I get all dressed up. I've married couples as Santa many times. But I would do themed weddings. I married couples as Santa, as a pirate, as a night at Renaissance festivals, as a Western Marshall. You name it. But you know what? It wasn't long before I realized that Most people don't get married in a themed type wedding. More married in a traditional type wedding. So then I started doing those as well. And I have what i have fun doing any type of wedding. No matter what I really do enjoy and love what I do.
Well, it's obvious. The website is your name KeithCarsonWeddings.com. And if you go there, you see, by the way the website’s put together very well. You present yourself very professionally and it tells the story very quickly. And how long have you had that website?
Keith Carson 5:00
That website I launched late last fall. I have another website. I have one that's weddingsforpirates.com. I had another wedding site but I ended up meeting a woman who not only is a wedding officiant, but she also is a website designer, SEO expert, all of those things and I said, I hit the jackpot. And she redid my site, we worked together on it. And I'm thrilled to death with what she came up with for me.
JP Reynolds 5:46
I'm fascinated by your story, as you've just told it. But then even more fascinated to know the story behind the story, meaning, what was your journey to becoming an officiant?
Keith Carson 6:08
Oh, that's actually a good question. So I mentioned that I portray Santa I've been doing Santa for this will be my 16th year. Typically I spend November, most of November, all of December, a little bit of January in New York City as Santa Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas. spectacular. It's a tough job working with ad rockets. But somebody
JP Reynolds 6:38
from New York, I was born and raised in New York, so I sort of
Keith Carson 6:41
maybe, there you go. But I actually had someone reach out to me about marrying them as Santa's back in 2015, in Branson, Missouri. Number one, they knew I was Santa. They knew I was Scottish. And they were it actually happened to be the groom was from Scotland, and wanted a traditional Scottish wedding with handfasting and Bagpiper and the whole nine yards. And I became ordained, they paid for all my travel arrangements to Branson. And I did the I did the wedding, it came off. Great. I loved it. And I said I just I just need to do more of this. And that's really how it developed it was if they had never asked me to do it, I probably would never have even considered doing this. Wow.
We found you because of another officiant who I think is part of one of the Facebook groups, Rachel Griffin is the one who reached out to us and said you need to look for Keith. And she thought that you would be interesting. And the one thing that she did say that I thought spoke to well spoke to you and your personality was how much how much you offer other officiants in these Facebook groups, useful advice, suggestion, encouragement, that sort of thing. Do you see feel yourself as a role model? Or do you feel yourself as somebody who is kind of like a teacher?
Keith Carson 8:18
I do. I've kind of always felt that way. I've leaned in that direction. Because I take pride in what I do. And what Clint what you do and what JP does and what every other wedding officiant does reflects on all of us in some ways. I get tired of hearing the, my cousins, uncles, brothers newspaper boys gardener sister, officiated our wedding and did a horrible job.
Could you repeat that again? Please? Who was that?
Keith Carson 9:10
So a friend of a friend, let's just go with that. I couldn't repeat that in a million years.
But I'm on these Facebook groups, you read all the good stories, but you also read the horror stories. I got to seeing a lot of people posting saying, Hey, I just got ordained today and my first wedding is Saturday. What do I need to know? I see a lot of that and it kind of irked me, because I know how much time that I put into preparing for what i did, marketing and website and learning what there is to learn and I'm still learning. I think we all are.
So I just feel the need to really share, make recommendations. I don't look at other officiants as competition, even if they're in the same area that I'm in, because nobody does what I do, nobody does what you do or what JP does. So I love helping people, give them advice, give them suggestions, tell them where to find information, buy certain things, whatever the case may be. So I spend a lot of time on on Facebook, unfortunately, doling out advice, but it seems to be appreciated. That's how I met Rachel, I believe she's in Georgia. And I've been helping her and others sort of in a maybe in a mentor hood capacity. And I just I enjoy doing it. And I wish somebody was there to do that for me when I started out.
So what is your process? When you get a couple and you have to create a ceremony? Walk us through that? Because everybody's different? Right?
Keith Carson 11:06
Well, I developed a questionnaire that really identifies everything that they want, and everything they don't want. It includes all kinds of information, including how they want me to dress. Now that's within reason, I give them some options. So in Florida, we have a lot of beach weddings. And it could be nothing more than shorts and a tropical shirt and some flip flops, or it could be a little bit more. So it goes anywhere from that casual all the way up to the clerical robe and stole and anything in between from dress pants and a polo shirt to a sport coat to suit and tie to even what colors they're doing so that we don't clash. I'm known for my, my purple sport coat. And I had a bride that said their colors were purple, and everybody was wearing purple. And she was just over the moon when I showed up that way.
That questionnaire really is designed to identify everything. And I do mean everything they want. And more important, what they don't want, I don't want to be standing up in front of a couple and say something and have this look of death come out of them. Like why are you saying that? So once I do the script, I will send them the draft of it for for approval. Most of the time they leave it as is. Occasionally they'll change one little thing here or there. But I know that they're going to be happy with it. And I always tell them if I don't bring you to tears. I haven't done my job.
Oh my gosh.
JP Reynolds 19:01
Man after my own heart.
You couldn’t have said anything more perfect to JP.
JP Reynolds 19:09
Exactly, exactly. But Keith, what you've just described is an approach that is hallmarked by such care and attention to detail that is I think not common in today's world, no matter what the arena might be. And I'm wondering, Did you have any background that oriented you to the power of ritual? It's just very, very moving to hear you say what you just said?
Keith Carson 19:56
No, I really just think it comes down to and I believe wholeheartedly with you, JP, that it's almost like customer service doesn't exist in most industries. And having run my own businesses, that's very important to me. And I just look at what a wedding ceremony is. I mean, it's one of the most important days in a couple's life. And I want to make sure that it's absolutely perfect and that I exceed their expectations. So I take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that that's what ends up happening.
Well, you mentioned some other businesses, where did you come from? I mean, sounds like kind of a long road to becoming an officiant. So what else have you done?
Keith Carson 20:47
I started out, initially as a radio DJ in New York City, I moved to Florida. I never had the the intention of going into this profession, but I actually became a police officer for 25 years.
Oh, wow, that came out of left field.
Wow. Okay, let's all just have a moment here. I love it.
I'm saying someday I'm going to write a book, I have the title. It's going to be called from “rock'n'roll to pest control”, because that really describes the radio career and the law enforcement career, but I retired young, I retired at 46. I've fallen into a lot of things by accident. I didn't intend on being a police officer. A friend who talked me into taking the test with him and the rest is history.
The same thing with Santa. At the time, when I started, I'm six one. I was probably about 180 pounds with short, very dark hair, clean shaven, obviously, the natural choice to be Santa. And a week before a major event that I was part of on the planning committee, the Santa Claus bailed, and now what are we going to do? And I just said, I'll do it. And I ended up portraying Santa for about four and a half or five hours at this event, loved every minute of it and never looked back. And the same thing with, like I said, with the officiant story, how I became an officiant. So I think good things happen for a reason.
What about Florida? Now we live in Southern California. And so generally speaking, December, January, February, we don't get that many weddings. But I've heard that in certain climates It's actually kind of flip flopped on the calendar. What's it like in Florida in regards to the busy season and, JP brought up the idea that there's hurricane season. And what does that all like for you where you are, from a professional standpoint?
Keith Carson 23:01
Well, the area that I'm in, in North Central Florida, we don't get as much effects at all from hurricanes. We have had some stronger winds and such a lot more when I officiated weddings on the southeast coast of Florida when I lived there for a number of years. But I don't know Florida really has a wedding season. A lot hinges on are they going to do an indoor wedding or an outdoor wedding? Obviously. So yeah, I mean, it's hurricane season is something to consider. From June 1 to November 30. In the area that I live in, it can get very cold. Even in the spring, it can be a 20, 30 or 40 degree difference in temperature between night and day. I think most people look at Florida and just say it's ideal to get married there. Any any time of year. Except don't do an outdoor wedding in July or August, unless you want to wear a sponge.
That's excellent. Well, okay, let's tell some stories. We've only got about five minutes left. So Keith, tell us a story. It sounds to me like you've had besides the fact that you had to look out for snakes. Just tell us something that I don't think any of us has probably experienced.
Keith Carson 24:36
Oh, that's, that's a good one. The more traditional I hate to use that word, but when you do a lot of themed weddings, that's the only way I can really explain it. What's the traditional weddings go off Great as you'd expected, but the theme weddings are the ones that are a lot of fun. Oftentimes, those are couples that have been married before. They did the big formal wedding The first time and now they're looking for something fun.
And I did one where I married a couple as Santa. It was an outdoor wedding on Christmas Eve. They were getting married at the end of this dock. And it was just going to be about 10 or so family members who knew nothing about the wedding, they didn't have a clue. They just knew that they were asked to be there. So we came up with this idea, we put the groom at the end of the dock with a fishing pole. With no bait. He just looked like he was fishing. So they went down there. The bride was in getting changed and she was gonna wait. And then I show up dressed is Santa and I walked down to the end of the dock. Now, people give me some questionable like, why is Santa here but not anything out of the ordinary because it's Christmas Eve. And I asked them to gather around and I had started the wedding ceremony with a night before Christmas rewritten. So it was in a city called Lake Wales and it started out towards the night before Christmas, when here on Lake Wales, all the guests, they had gathered having been told some tall tales. And it went on and on and it gave little little hints of what was about to happen. And from my standpoint, it was the greatest thing to watch the guests because they were all going is that they're gonna be until they finally realized that it was going to be a wedding. And then one of one of the bride's children queued the music and she came walking down the dock and they were just big Christmas fans and wanted to get married by by Santa but it was a great, great, great surprise for the family in a real nice Christmas Eve present.
I'm looking at the map right now where Lake Wales is in Florida. And that's that's quite a hike from Ocala.
Keith Carson 26:59
It is Yeah, I think it took me three hours or so to get there. So yeah, the travel time was a lot longer than the ceremony but it was included in the price and of course was Christmas Eve so I had a sleigh And I could get around.
Very good. Very good.
JP Reynolds 27:23
The the pirate themed weddings. I'm presuming it just was a, dare I say, logical extension of the Santa's work.
Keith Carson 27:40
It is and that's where the name white beard came from. I was Santa with a white beard. And that became the captain white beard Who would marry them. I've done so many on ships. And it's just a lot of fun. You can really get creative in the wedding scripts on a lot of these themed weddings much more so than you can on a regular wedding.
Well, we're almost out of time, Keith. And I know that people who are listening to this, there's a possibility that they would want to reach out to you. What's the best way for them to contact you.
Keith Carson 28:19
They can either call me at 352-541-1332 or email me at Keith@KeithCarsonweddings.com. or message me on Facebook. I'm always happy to to help and lend advice. And I learned probably just as much by talking to people as I do in helping people.
Well, that's brilliant. All right, everybody. That's the way this works at the Wedding Ceremony Podcast. Remember, you can listen to our episodes if you want to, on our website, WeddingCeremonyPodcast.com. all the episodes are archived chronologically. So the most recent one is always at the top. We've added transcripts for the most recent episodes. And you also if you want to can look up the wedding ceremony podcast in the Apple Store. And then you can subscribe, which would be great because every time we post a new episode, it'll automatically come into your world. That also is where if you want to you can leave us a review, because that's how people find new content. And there's a lot of people out there in the wedding world that I think would have a lot of fun listening to the wedding ceremony podcast. We want to thank the incredible musicians that play our theme music the dacapoplayers.com. Remember that JP'S books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. For communications coaching His website is thebusinessofconfidence.com. His wedding website is jprweddings.Com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com for all of the things that I do. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint on behalf of JP and Keith, we will see you next time.
Hey everybody, welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talk about anything and everything that has to do with wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 317. recorded on Wednesday, June the second 2021. My name is Clint Hufft. And with me as a gentleman that's been very busy, the one and only JP. Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:22
But I always have time for you, Clint.
Yes, you do. JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do. Well, last episode, we kind of teased a little bit the concept of couples seem to match the personality of the event planner.
And you've had a week to think about that. Do you find that to be plausible?
JP Reynolds 1:09
What do you think? I need another week? Well, it does. You know, it makes sense to a degree. Because certainly I know that I am not the right officiant for every couple. And the couples who hire me, there definitely is some alignment with personality, and not just vision of the ceremony. Because I establish a level of comfortableness. And I think people, I think more than anything, people hire me because there's that high level of comfortableness with me. And I think part of the reason why there's a comfortableness level is because there's an alignment of personality. And so I think it would be true for anybody that they hire. But especially the event planner, who is the event planner, and becomes their therapist and their BFF.
Right, right. That's exactly right. Well, I didn't even think of that. Yeah, it does make sense, there has to be some sort of, I guess, a compatibility between the event planner and the couple, they have to understand each other. I saw a presentation from a photographer that has since gone on to become kind of a celebrity in her own right, not as a photographer, but as an expert in marketing and social media and that kind of stuff, Jasmine Star, and I saw her speak, at the beginning of social media, and she embraced it 100%. And she said that she also embraced the concept that she gravitates towards brides that are divas, she said, because I'm a diva. And I'm a diva, and they're divas, and we understand each other. And so that kind of supports what you're talking about, although I think you mentioned also last time that most of your couples come to you by referral from I'm assuming other event planners primarily or other professionals. And so I've always felt that my business model is similar to that. And I've always felt that, that means that the couples, they’ve gone through some filters, they're pre qualified before they get to us, because somebody thinks that we're already a good match. Does that make sense?
JP Reynolds 3:49
Right. Right. Right.
But I think it's fascinating that when it comes to event planners, and the personalities that a couple, it's just fascinating to me. I mentioned the one that was, well, she looked at the world differently than I do, and seem to be more combative. And here's the quote, one of her couples, completely different mindset than any other couple that I've ever married. Young couple, obviously well to do just based on a lot of different criteria. And I was talking to the groom, and they didn't really interface with me that much. I ended up just kind of creating something for them. And that was fine. They didn't have any interplay. They didn't want to spend any time on the ceremony, nothing like that. But then on the wedding day, there's time to kind of shoot the breeze, the people that you're going through and checking everything. And I've already seen the bride, and I'm talking to the groom, and I said have you seen her? No. Well, she looks spectacular. And he says, Well, she should and here's the quote: I built her from the ground up.
Oh, oh, oh,
I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to do. I remember to this day, just in my head alarm bells are going off. Something was screaming inside me. I didn't know what to do, like, all I could do was just be quiet. And I did say to myself, just do the ceremony. Just do the ceremony. It's gonna be fine. Now, having said that everybody was really nice. But, man, what a unique mentality for both sides of that couple.
JP Reynolds 5:51
Yeah, I have I have other words than the word unique.
Yeah. Yes. And it was with that event planner that also had kind of unique personality. And then I started paying attention to it. And there are some event planners that are gracious and loving, and their couples seem to carry that vibe. There are others that are incredibly hip, almost like a jet set type of deal. And the couple's carry that vibe. I don't know, I just I see a common thread that runs through there. Does that make sense?
JP Reynolds 6:27
Right, right. Well, a really good event planner, an event planner, who has a sense of self and personal and professional identity will not want to work with every couple. I don't want to work with every couple. Right? Because I know that I'm not the right person for every couple. And I don't want to expend the effort in becoming somebody that I'm not so as to make a quick buck with a couple.
Right. I think we do what we do, besides the fact that we get paid to do it. We do what we do, because we're not we're getting rich off of this. We do what we do, because we like it so much. And if you change the dynamics of what we like, then doesn't it make sense that we're not going to have the same?
JP Reynolds 7:31
Right. And that's true for anybody who works for themselves. If you work for yourself, the whole benefit for working with yourself is that you get to work with the people that you want to work with. And I've known some fabulous event planners who have fired couples, they've just fired their client and it's just this isn't working out. And I give them great credit for that. And I think that's a very respectful thing to do for the client and for themselves.
Now, something else happened this last weekend, I did a wedding at a really fancy place. I don't remember ever being there before. It was like a private golf course, like a country club type of deal. And everybody was really nice. And the event planner, we've worked together before and there's just this air of familiarity and everything was just really nice. Do you ever find that when you're hanging with groomsmen? That sometimes the stuff that they say not only to each other, but definitely to the groom veers into the not politically correct, perhaps inappropriate and maybe a few other words that could describe something that you wouldn't repeat.
JP Reynolds 8:52
Which is why i'm not sure that I would say that I hang with the groom and the groomsmen. I make myself known, I check base I will for reassurance. If the groom wants to engage me in conversation, I'm always happy to do that. But when I see that there's a boys club atmosphere. I will remove myself. But having said that, let me directly answer your question. Since I have this annoying habit of not directly answering people's question and say yes, Clint, I have noticed that.
Well, sometimes it just happens because you're taking care of your job. You're you know, going over certain things and whatever. Right this last weekend there was this one groomsmen and Okay, don't get me wrong. Everybody was really nice to me. But this one guy, some of the stuff he said to the groom, and I thought it was kind of like, Well, I think there's an East Coast saying that says he was busting his B’S. And, it really felt like that this is not new. The guy was relentless. And yeah. And it wasn't that it was like a constant chatter. It would just be that there might be a couple of the comments from the other guys. But then he would come in with this zinger. And I could tell by the response from everybody, the groom would just lower his head and shake it with a little grin on his face like that, that's what he gets.
JP Reynolds 10:46
Did you have a chance to know what the relationship was between the groom and this particular groomsmen? Were they related?
No, they were not.
JP Reynolds 11:08
You know, it also speaks to the fact that it is not uncommon for people to invite people in their wedding party because they feel they're obligated to invite them to be in the wedding party, not because they want them in the wedding party. And that was the beauty of a micro wedding. It got rid of all of that drama. It's like there's no wedding party. So there was no politically incorrect banter, because it was nobody to banter with. People do not change their personality because somebody is getting married.
Well, you know how the couple says when you ask the question about the parents, do it again, do the thing that you always ask about the parents.
JP Reynolds 12:13
Well, I always say your parents, alive, deceased together, not together, talking, not talking, or any combination thereof?
Right. And the response that I get from a lot of couples who are dealing with divorced parents is well, they're divorced, but they'll be civil. Right? You hear that a lot. Right? So that tells me that people are willing to modify their behavior, depending upon the circumstances, but you always have the feeling that there's a breaking point. And thank goodness, we leave. We don't hang around for the reception.
Well, there was a moment that was fascinating. So I walk in with the groom. That's the way they choreograph this, I walk in with the groom from the side, and then the bridesmaids are escorted by the groomsmen up the aisle. But before they came in, the parents come in. Now the bride's parents are still married. So the mom comes in, she's escorted, she sits down and then the dad is going to escort the bride. They're the last ones in the processional. Okay, so the groom's parents come in, they're divorced. They're both remarried. I didn't see any open animosity while I'm getting ready, just say hi to everybody, and congratulations and stuff like that, prior to the ceremony.
But here's what happened. So the mom walks in with her husband. And they sit down in the front row, and the mom has the first seat in the front row, and then her husband sits next to her. Then the dad walks in with his wife. And he brings her over to her chair, looks at his son and says, should I hug you? And then he just came over and he hugged his son. It was really sweet. And then he goes to his chair and I very quietly, because the rest of the they're going to change the music and the wedding party is about to come in. And they've got a long walk across some grass and stuff. I had a moment and I just very quietly said to the groom, do you want to hug your mom? I really want to know the backstory on this. But anyway, he looks at his mom, his mom looks at him. The dad just hugged him and is now sitting down. And the groom says to me, no, I've hugged her enough. And the mom says, that's okay. I know where you are. And she didn't get out of her chair. He didn't make a move towards her. That was it. No, I've hugged her enough. Yeah, I know where you are. Right after the father had hugged him, and I thought, Oh my gosh, JP Where are you what I need you?
JP Reynolds 15:04
Well, see because I've learned not to ask that question to anybody.
Well, sometimes they want to do it but they're afraid that they're not allowed to do it because of protocol or whatever, and I just figured, well, If the officiant says it, then that kind of releases them, you know? Right. Right. And I've said it very quietly.
JP Reynolds 15:31
Well, I on Saturday, I had a bride do something that I have always wanted a bride to do.
All the years I've officiated a wedding. I have never had a bride do this.
Okay. I'm fired up.
JP Reynolds 15:58
Okay. I will admit, I love the Sound of Music. That movie. Yeah. My favorite piece of music from the sound of music is Edelweiss.
Oh, yes, of course.
JP Reynolds 16:17
And I actually gave my grandmother a music box one time with the Edelweiss music. And, I say that just so as people know, I can be desperately sentimental and romantic. And I always thought it would be a beautiful piece of instrumental music for a bride to process into. And finally, on Saturday, the bride processed to Edelweiss.
And what I love about what you're telling me is that you probably had no idea and all of a sudden you hear the music.
JP Reynolds 16:59
I had established a lovely, fun rapport with this couple. But we're not old drinking buddies. And I thought, My God, I'm gonna start crying. Here it is. I sent a memo to my nieces and my goddaughter is this is the piece of music, you'll be processing down the aisle to when you get married. I just want to give you a heads up that one part, you don't have to worry about wanting to do your wedding, you will be walking down the aisle to Edelweiss. It was an exquisitely beautiful, magical piece of music. And it was in a lovely hotel venue and it's in a secluded garden on the grounds and it was just magical.
Was it played with live musicians? Or was it a recording?
JP Reynolds 17:52
It was a recording.
Was it instrumental? Or were there vocals or just instrumental?
Not not the lyrics? Oh, man, the lyrics would make it a little weird. Music, that's all I want. It was just the music. So it's like, Alright, I can check something off my bucket list.
See, that's a perfect example of why we keep doing this podcast. Because as long as you have been officiating wedding ceremonies, there was this secret desire I'm guessing it was secret. We've never talked about it before. The Secret desire for you to hear that song as a bride walks up the aisle. And out of the clear blue it happens after all these years. I'm empathizing the emotions that you must have felt that's just so cool. That's so cool.
JP Reynolds 18:46
No, it was just it was exquisite. It was expressing. Then, at that same wedding, I had a moment with the father of the groom, and I have to say, he was one of the most memorable and one of the most gracious fathers I have ever encountered in all of my years of officiating. Wow. And I'll tell you why. Thank you for asking. Yeah.
I was sitting off to the side before the ceremony, as I often do, and just collecting my thoughts and observing people as they were starting to arrive and taking in the energy. And this man in a tuxedo with a boutonnière probably in his 60s walks up to me and he simply stands. I was seated and he simply stands in front of me, and he doesn't say anything, and it's fleetingly awkward, because it's like, dude, I really am not sure who you are. I presume you donated DNA to somebody here, but I don't know exactly who you are. So I stood up, and I extended my hand. I said, I am JP. I'm going to officiate the ceremony. And he hands me his cell phone without saying a word. He hands me his cell phone, like you would hand somebody a business card. And I look down at the phone and the screen has writing on it. And I read it in large print. It says, this is just stabbing in the heart. It says “I have Parkinson's. My voice is garbled. My face is paralyzed. Thank you for coming. I am smiling on the inside.”
Oh my gosh. Holy moly.
JP Reynolds 21:31
And I hand him the phone back and in a very garbled low voice. He says “thank you”. And I shook his hand with both hands. I said it's an honor to be here. And then I remembered the groom had told me that that his father has Parkinson's. And it had not affected his walking. But it did his vocal abilities. Very poignant.
JP Reynolds 22:09
And that he made it a point to come to me. And want me to know that, that despite what his face may look like, in the ceremony that he was smiling, like, Wow. Wow.
Do you think that that was going to be his go to for everybody he met that he didn't know?
JP Reynolds 22:31
You're saying I'm not special?
Oh, you're very special, JP.
JP Reynolds 22:36
Well, just by the way he came over and everything and because it was the timing everything he knew that I was the officiant. Because he would have seen me speaking earlier to his wife. And the way I was interacting with the groom and so yeah, I presumed I think there's a 90% chance that that he knew that I wasn't a guest he didn't recognize
that is so. So cool. Wow, that must have meant the world to his son too, you know?
JP Reynolds 23:24
Yeah. Wow. Yeah. Well, we need to end on that note. So long farewell. Auf Wiedersehen, good night.
Adieu, adieu, to you and you and you. De de de de de, de de de de de.
Someday, America's Got Talent.
All right, everybody. That's the way this works at the wedding ceremony podcast. Remember, if you have a story or something that you would like to share with us, go to our website, WeddingCeremonyPodcast.com and click on the email us button, and you can share whatever is on your mind with us or tell us a story or lead us down a particular path that will bring rewards to everybody who listens to the podcast. That also is where you can listen to our episodes. They're all archived chronologically, the most recent one is at the top. You can also go to the Apple Store and Stitcher and find us and then you can subscribe to the podcast, which is great. That way every time we post a new episode, it automatically come into your world. That also, if you want, you can leave us a review. Reviews are one of the ways that people find new content and our audience continues to grow. And in no small measure to the way that people are spreading the word about the podcast which by the way, thank you very much. Remember that JP'S books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. For communications coaching His website is thebusinessofconfidence.com. His wedding website is jprweddings.Com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com for all of the things that I do. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP We will see you next time. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP We will see you next time.
Hi, everybody, welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talk about anything and everything that has to do with those wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 316, recorded on Tuesday, May the 25th 2021. My name is Clint Hufft. And with me is a gentleman that Oh, if you could listen to what we say to each other when we're not recording the one and only JP Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:25
Oh, man. Okay, we'll discuss that in a second. Right now what we're not what we talked about, but just the idea. JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do. Speaking of which, I'm guessing you have a contact form on your website. Yes or no?
JP Reynolds 1:06
My website is very clear how you can contact me.
Yeah. Okay. So I read something that said, well, a contact form should have a couple of things on it. And I thought, Well, okay, fine. I pay into a service Weebly, and I designed my own websites and make up that what you will, but the contact form has, what's your name? What's your email address? What's the date of the event? What kind of event? Are you having whether it's a baby or a funeral? Or a wedding? And, where is it? And what time of day, so and then if they fill that out, then I get an email that says, somebody filled out your contact form. This morning, I got an email. No, I got a contact form email. And I looked through it and I look at the date and I do everything that I normally do. And then you have to do like a double take, because you're gonna get into just autopilot. And, we live in Los Angeles, or at least the Los Angeles area. And this wedding is taking place in October in Connecticut. So I all I did was send back an email, my regular email where I have some things if you would like free resources. Just to be clear, I'm in Los Angeles, do you want me to go to Connecticut? Or no, I think the way I phrased it was, do you want to bring me to Connecticut? So I have a feeling that there was a Google search, and God bless the internet. But somehow I came across this person's radar. And so I'm just leaving that this is Episode One of the Am I going to Connecticut saga. And then whenever I get feedback from that, I will I will update you on that. Whether she would fly 3000 miles.
JP Reynolds 3:08
Yes, Connecticut in the fall. Very lovely.
Oh my gosh, don't get me wrong. I want to go. I really want to go. But oh my gosh.
JP Reynolds 3:21
Well, you know, that's interesting. Now about the form. I don't have a form like that. And I realized as I was listening to you that 99.5% of my weddings are directly from referrals. Right. Yeah, I don't really have a lot of people who find me that way.
Okay. I did a wedding this weekend. And just a few details from the wedding. And first of all, here in the States at this point in time, there is so much pain and outrage and fear regarding the harassment and the physical violence Against Asian, South Pacific community. And there's just such a heightened suspicion of the other, whoever the other might be, from your perspective. And the wedding on Saturday was so exquisitely beautiful for a number of reasons. One of which was the fact that the groom was Korean American. And the bride was Afghan, a very, very, very unique combination. Yeah, and just to see these two, three distinct cultural groups coming together with ease, and joy, and a spirit of fun, was just exquisite. And it was just experientially and visually just a beautiful moment. And, before the ceremony, I sat off to the side, which I often do before the ceremony, just to soak in the sight, that just visual sight of who was there, and it was just lovely, in a very old fashioned way of saying it was lovely. It's lovely.
Sometimes in a situation like that, you'll see traditional clothing.
JP Reynolds 6:57
There's no traditional clothing. No, people were dressed to the nines in western wear. So that this was not a pageant, but it's just the faces. I do know what you mean, I've had that experience. Also, where mothers or grandmothers especially would be wearing traditional garb or whatever but life doesn't have to be complicated. And love in all of its glory makes life very simple. And certainly that is a truth bordering on a cliche. That is in short supply right now.
Did you hear other languages, did you hear them talking in Korean? And is it Arabic?
JP Reynolds 7:48
Yeah, it's really cool. I love that cosmopolitan feel. I've explained what we do to other people from the standpoint of where we talk about multicultural, interfaith, that sort of thing. I'll say Nowadays, people from all over the world can find and fall in love with each other. And, then, if we're lucky, they decided to get married in front of us, and how we can help them. And sometimes, if you found this, that some couples want to incorporate some of their heritage, or honor their families or their cultures or whatever. And then there are other couples that say, No, that's a powder keg, we don't want to go near it. Let's just keep it as as straightforward as possible. Let's not include any of the traditions. It's kind of like one or the other. Do you feel it?
JP Reynolds 8:44
I guess, yes. And for this couple, earlier in the week, they had an Afghani wedding celebration. Oh, okay. And so the celebration over the weekend was purely the western celebration, right? Yeah. Yeah.
Yeah, that's interesting. Wait, they had a wedding celebration. So did you end up signing the marriage license?
Okay. Yes. Did you talk about to the couple about that? Because sometimes when they say we're going to have a service in the Catholic Church, before we have the wedding, the outdoor wedding or whatever, I'll say, well, you want to ask the question of the marriage license to make sure that whatever is important to you and or your families, that we make sure that nothing slips through the cracks, and we don't have an embarrassing moment, especially from a legal standpoint. Do you have that conversation?
JP Reynolds 9:49
Oh, always. Yeah.
Yeah, there was one couple a long time ago. We were going along, planning the wedding and so on and so forth. And then the day of the wedding, they said very quietly, they were at some fancy Country Club. And they pulled me aside and they said, surprise, today now is going to be a renewal of vows. This morning, we went to our Catholic Church, and we got married. And we want you to tell everybody that.
JP Reynolds 10:16
Yeah. Yeah, it was. Yeah, this is near the beginning of my career. Since then, I've learned a number of things that would call into question. Okay. Did you really get legally married? Are you just telling me that, they're embarrassed because you think your friends aren't going to take this seriously, because I'm not a priest. And they know you're Catholic. And, what's really going on? And, I've only learned that since then, I just kind of took a leap of faith and did the ceremony and went went on, you know what I mean?
JP Reynolds 10:49
Right. I think I've shared this before. But my philosophy is that it's not about competing ceremonies. It's not about what is the real ceremony? And what is the fake ceremony? I always say to couples, your celebration begins. For instance, let's say, you're going to be married in the Catholic Church. And you're going to have a small Catholic wedding the weekend before your big blowout celebration that I will officiate. And I say to them, your wedding celebration begins in the church, with your priest, and the immediate members of your family. And culminates, a week later, at whatever venue in the presence of essentially all of your family and friends. So for me, it's not even over with the renewal of vows which we have met. It’s a continuous celebration that begins in one particular manner, and culminates in another.
That brings into question the word celebration, as opposed to a ceremony.
JP Reynolds 12:25
Well, the ceremony is part of the celebration. The ceremony is a celebration, but the celebration extends beyond the ceremony.
I explained to people that in my opinion, there's four kinds of weddings. There's the wedding of your heart, which, you wouldn't be talking to me if you hadn't already done that. You’ve already committed to each other and you really want to get married. So in your hearts, that's already kind of done. And then there's the social wedding, which is usually what involves you and me, where they invite a bunch of people, and they put on neat clothes. And they publicly say, they want to be married to each other. Then there's a legal wedding, which is the license. And then for some people, there's a religious, cultural and traditional weddings. I try to explain that each is its own separate thing. They can happen on the same day, like we can sign the license on the same day, or they can include cultural traditional rituals within the ceremony. But it starts with each one being its own separate thing. And the reason I explained it like that is to differentiate the marriage license from everything else. Because the way I usually talk to couples is I'll open the conversation with what do you want for your ceremony? What do you not want? And we talked about the ceremony and everything, that kind of stuff, wherever the conversation goes, but then I make a real clean break. And I'll say we should talk about the marriage license. Because I think that's a real important part of our job. Does that make sense?
JP Reynolds 13:54
Yes, yes. And, again, I think it's an issue of we talked about the same thing, but in different ways. What is the marriage? Well, it's about a license. It's very non romantic. It's a legal document, you get a driver's license, you have a dog license, you have a marriage license, and it's okay. Now, if you have the license, and now that someone, perhaps myself will sign that license, and now that you are legally married, and you get all of the legal benefits of that document. Now, the question is, how do you want to celebrate the reality that is captured by the essence of that legal document and that's then when we have the conversation that celebration of what that document in it creates, begins can begin in a church setting and can culminate in a in a large public venue with 200 people. I always want to emphasize that it's No, no, none of the components are competing against each other. Right? It's all integrated, and that I urge the couple to look at it as a seamless celebration.
I think I've shared before my goddaughter, Meredith, back in December of 2019, she and her now husband Cole, got their marriage license, came to my apartment, said sign it. took them out to sushi to celebrate. And they wanted to get married in that way, because she needed his health insurance, right? They were supposed to get married last May, or actually this coming weekend, they were supposed to get married Memorial Day weekend last year. And that was cancelled. But on that Memorial Day weekend, we had a micro wedding, we’re on the beach, it was just Meredith and Cole and their parents and siblings. And that's where they shared, gifted each other with their personal vows.
In November, we're all going up to Santa Barbara. And they're having a 200 person celebration, at which point they will reaffirm their vows in front of all of their family. And so for me, as I said to them, your celebration of the life that you have created and promised to continue to create that celebration began in my dining room, and culminates in Santa Barbara.
Yeah, and in between, there's a marriage. They’re living together, they're married. And so that's one of the things that I love about when there's space like that, from the first part of the celebration to when. And I'm just really happy for you, that you get to be engaged in this type of thing, you get to interact with this thing. And all three of its iterations and the different vibrations. It's kind of like everything you get all the good stuff because you already have a good relationship with the bride and probably by now her husband and of course the families and that kind of stuff. Because you are her Godfather, but the other thing is now you get to share your professional expertise to guide them through what is coming up to three unique ceremonies, and you carry with your own emotional content. I'm really happy for you. I just think it's just so cool that this opportunity has come to you.
JP Reynolds 18:09
Yes, yes. And this weekend, have officiated the wedding of Merideth’s cousin.
Oh, that's cool.
JP Reynolds 18:19
I'm just plowing through the family. So it's actually her cousin by marriage, but be that as it may, so. Yes. I mean, my deepest philosophy is that a wedding celebrates what already exists. I don't believe in people who can't wait until our life starts together. But no, your life started that fateful day when you exchanged glances. And you're saying to family and friends come celebrate the great good that we have found in each other and bear witness as we pledge to continue to create a life giving life. And that's what the marriage is. And that's what that marriage license gives people legal benefits to that to that reality.
I tell couples that whatever government entity issues the marriage license, they don't think it's romantic. You've already said that and I agree wholeheartedly. I say they think it's a business contract, which it is. The couple's going to go in into a financial partnership called state of matrimony.
Switching gears a little bit. I have a wedding coming up this week. And I'm going to a place that I don't know if I've ever been before. And I'm working with a planner that I haven't worked with for quite a while. And the couple hasn't been as interactive with me as other couples usually are. And I'm really curious as to what's going to happen. Now the reason I bring that up is Do you find that couples? And we've only got about five minutes to parse this, but do you find the couples sometimes reflect the personality of the event planner?
JP Reynolds 20:30
Oh, what a fascinating question.
Should we table that?
JP Reynolds 20:37
Oh, I think that's one of the top five intriguing questions you've asked. Over the last 25 years, we've been doing this podcast.
Wait a minute. With that in mind. I think maybe we'll table this Until the next episode. Yeah, but I will give you a little background on it.
Yeah, a long time ago, I would say at least 15 years ago, there was an event planner that had a certain attitude. It was fascinating. And there was somebody who wanted to learn that I was training as an officiant. And I said, Why don't you come along? And, just kind of watch from afar and just kind of feel what's going on? Yeah. And the event planner saw this person, again, from afar, and said, Who's that, and I said, Oh, it's an apprentice. I don't like that at my weddings. And then I started to kind of connect the dots like, and her couples have a unique vibe to them, that follows her unique vibe. I only worked with her a few more times, for a number of different reasons. Not that I rejected her at all, but it's just the point that, things happen. And, I noticed when I went back to my memory of the couples that I had worked with that came from that particular planner, I thought, okay, there's a thing here, I need to start paying attention to this. And I started thinking, and I started just being aware of it, how when you notice a particular car on the road, next thing you know, you see a lot of them, because you're aware of it, I started to become aware of the personality of the the couples, compared to the personality of the event planner. And I started to see like a pattern. So, that's where I'm gonna leave this. And we'll bring that up in the next episode. It's kind of fun, I think. Any last words?
JP Reynolds 22:43
And I want to quickly Okay, so now we're in it, I want to very quickly recommend some reading to our listeners. Oh, if you were on LinkedIn, I urge everybody to go to the LinkedIn page of one of our listeners, a woman officiant named Zita Christian, like the religion Christians Zita Christian, and she has a look, it's still her latest post. I have a LinkedIn profile, in which she describes how she created certain rituals for a couple who met in Italy. And it's a wonderfully written blog post. And it gives us insight into how she creates ritual. And it's just delightful. And I want to give a shout out to see them. And highly recommend. Highly recommended.
Oh, that's very cool. Yeah, maybe we could arrange a conversation with her at some point. Yeah, that'd be fun. All right, everybody. That's the way this works at the Wedding Ceremony Podcast. Remember, you can listen to our episodes if you want to, on our website, wedding ceremonypodcast.com. All the episodes are archived chronologically. So the most recent one is always at the top. We've added transcripts for the most recent episodes. And you also if you want to can look up the wedding ceremony podcast in the Apple Store. And then you can subscribe, which would be great because every time we post a new episode, it'll automatically come into your world. That also is where if you want to you can leave us a review, because that's how people find new content. And there's a lot of people out there in the wedding world that I think would have a lot of fun listening to the wedding ceremony podcast. We want to thank the incredible musicians that play our theme music the dacapoplayers.com. Remember that JP'S books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. For communications coaching His website is thebusinessofconfidence.com. His wedding website is jprweddings.Com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com for all of the things that I do. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP We will see you next time. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP We will see you next time.
Hey everybody, welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talk about anything and everything that has to do with wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 315 recorded on Tuesday, May the eighth 2021. My name is Clint Hufft and with me as a gentleman that, Well, there's a gap in our memories, but we'll figure it out. The one and only JP Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:36
You are very optimistic, Clint.
The figuring out part? JP is an accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. thebusinessofconfidence.com is that website, his wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com, for all of the things that I do.
I talk about the gap. It's because last week, I had a wedding on Thursday and a wedding on Friday. But then that was it for the weekend for me, but then you had one on Sunday, I guess. And I did the first full wedding that I've done in a long time. On Friday.
JP Reynolds 1:21
Yeah. Beautiful. How many guests?
I would say about 100.
JP Reynolds 1:27
Yeah. And I know that you've done a bunch of them. I mean, since the beginning of the year, but I say a bunch. Like what four?
JP Reynolds 1:35
Well, a few Yeah, yeah.
And then the one prior to that was a really sweet story. The couple met in the Navy. They're both currently still in the Navy. He's from like, Louisiana. And I don't remember where she grew up. But I don't know if this has ever happened to you. I zoomed with them a few months ago, in order to get to know you and that kind of stuff. She was stationed at Port Hueneme. But he was stationed in Guam. And I immediately thought of you because did you do time in Guam?
JP Reynolds 2:34
Okay, Clint, you may wanna. I Did hard time in Guam. I lived on an island 700 miles south of Guam.
I know Guam, because that's where we would go. That was the main hub of everything.
Well, that's where he was stationed when we did the zoom. Wow. Yeah, there was a big time difference. I think he was up really late or something like that. We figured it out. Yeah. But here's the thing that was, it was a little embarrassing for me. Because when she's on zoom, her hair is pulled back. She's Navy proper, and all that kind of stuff. And he had a beard. Then on Thursday, she shows up first at this really cool little venue. It's like one of those spaces that is not very big, probably the maximum capacity would be about 100 people. But for this wedding, there was only 10 maybe. And, it's just kind of neat that these spaces exist. The event planner that I worked with seem to specialize in these small, intimate weddings. She discovers these really cool spaces that are like a blank canvas and you can do whatever you need to do in there, usually anyway.
So she shows up beautiful white dress. I'm talking to her going over the normal things. He hasn't shown up yet. And out of the clear blue. I remembered that we had a zoom call, because I started to ask her questions. And then I realized, Oh, we've already had a conversation, haven't we? And she said, and with that look in her eyes. That's kind of like yes. And in my head, I'm kicking myself and my wife says you need to start taking notes. Do you do that? Do you take notes with your conversation?
JP Reynolds 4:42
I do. Yeah. See, after every zoom call. I have a template that they fill out and I have a section on for notes and When I spoke to them, what was the energy? What was the tone? If there was anything particular about how they first met that I would want to mention in the ceremony? Any notes? So yeah. And they do. Let me say, I find it to be very helpful later on.
Do you look at those when you go to the wedding? Or is that your review?
JP Reynolds 5:27
I review it the night before.
Yeah, that probably would be smart for me to like, get my act together and do that, jiminy Christmas. I mean, it turned out great. But that was just an awkward moment for me.
JP Reynolds 5:42
Well, I have it now. So I get no credit for this, that when I show up, I am able to recognize the bride or the groom. I now go to the event planner, and I say, I'm an utter ditz. I only zoomed with this couple. I need you to like, not introduce me to the groom. But I'd love if you could just walk me over to the group. Because there are times where you look and off to the side, it's like four guys standing together. And they all have the same haircut or the whatever. And as you say, the guy could be scruffy on zoom. And of course, clean cut during the search for the wedding, whatever.
I cut myself a little slack on that, because obviously everybody looks different on their wedding day. You know what I mean?
JP Reynolds 6:53
I cut myself slack. But I've learned that I want to just for the sake of smoothness, right?
It's just something I do. Yeah, I will.
If I really don't know, fortunately, the trend nowadays is the groom differentiates themselves, like with a different colored jacket or with a different color boutonniere or, and sometimes just the interaction. Yeah, where you can kind of figure out who's the Alpha Dog here? Who's getting the most whatever, right. And you can also tell, maybe it's a process of elimination, because the groomsmen that are just acting loopy, they're not getting married that day, you know? So, yeah, I look at that kind of stuff.
JP Reynolds 7:38
So I especially got tripped up when, when the groom had a twin brother.
Oh, no, seriously.
JP Reynolds 7:53
I was like, I need more than a boutonniere here.
Oh, my gosh, my dad was an identical twin. And he would tell us stories about what they would do when they were kids, and how they would take each other's classes and all kinds of stuff. In fact, I saw it firsthand, because my uncle who lives in Missouri came out here for their 50th birthday. And my dad loved to bowl. And he sent my uncle in there on bowling night. And I got to watch it. Because everybody was saying hi to my uncle who didn't have a clue as to who anybody was. But you could tell for them It was like turning back the clock and all the shenanigans they did when they were younger. So I would imagine your identical twins are kind of used to that confusion, right?
JP Reynolds 8:43
That's great. That's great.
I'll have the event planner, like I needed to find the mother or the father of the bride. And, really relevant, important people that are going to be involved in the ceremony in some capacity, that really seriously, get lost in the crowd. And so it's very easy for me to say is the so and so here? Yeah. Can you just point them out?
The event planner on Friday started to walk me over there. And I said, No, no, no, you don't have to walk me over. Just point him out, I can figure it out from there. Right? And then I always say what's your dad's name? Because usually that person is going to be involved in a conversation like a social setting. And it's my job to walk up look like the officiant and say that person's name. So that there's an air of formality and we got to talk about some stuff. But I hate the idea of walking into a cluster of people that could all be a dad and not having a clue, that drives me crazy. Right. Thank you for your support on that JP.
JP Reynolds 10:00
The wedding I did on Sunday was for a couple it was their fourth effort to get married.
JP Reynolds 10:17
They had they had to cancel, postpone their wedding three times prior. And they both went to school. In Hawaii, they grew up for periods of time in Hawaii. They met in Hawaii. And I think the bride's family still lives in Hawaii. And so originally they were going to get married in Hawaii. And then because of travel restrictions, etc, etc. They they had postponed and anyway they It was a very micro wedding where it ended up being the couple and the bride's parents and the bride's brother. And I forget the groom's parents were not able to attract level to the wedding. So it was the most micro of micro weddings. And they rented this gorgeous, gorgeous home in the hills of what's known here in Southern California is Topanga Canyon. Yeah. And but as luck would follow them that morning, in a particular section of Topanga Canyon, there was a brush fire. Oh, no. And so one of the main arteries was closed to all traffic. Fortunately, their Airbnb was located was about on the freeway 10 minutes north. But in the background, you would see the fire helicopters. Jumping water on the brush fire.
You could see that while you were doing the ceremony?
JP Reynolds 12:29
Yes, yes, it was it was just, it's like we all had this sense of surrender to the universe. But I give them high props. They hired an event planner. Even though they knew they were only going to have three to four guests. Because the bride said, on my wedding day, I do not even want to look for ice cubes.
Perfect. I love that.
JP Reynolds 12:58
And, she she got an event planner, who typically is doing more elaborate and more traditional sized weddings. And it was really just a wonderful day. And it was just wow, how pre eminently sensible and civilized and it was so gracious, just so gracious and was no anxiety is just very lovely. Just exquisite.
I love it When a couple figures out something that we learned over the years is a better way to go. You know, where a couple just has instincts. I try to tell every single couple, listen, all we want is for the two of you to just be like floating around on your wedding day and everything just magically happens. And you don't have to think about anything. But it's rare that you come across somebody who takes the initiative to make that happen. I love that.
JP Reynolds 14:15
Yeah. That's great. And this was almost like a small compound, where there were two modern designed houses situated on the property. And the groom got ready in one of the houses and bride and her family were in the other house. And so they didn't see each other until the beginning of the ceremony. And they had been together 12 years. Wow. Yeah. Well, they would have been married in their 10th or 11th. You're right on according to plan, right?
Well, it's interesting, isn't it, the way the world works? Because they were gonna get married in Hawaii And due to circumstances, they ended up with you. And they're probably way better for it. In my opinion.
JP Reynolds 15:21
Well, thank you. Yes. You bow before the universe. Yeah, absolutely. The universe.
Yes. On Friday, I got to do the love box again, the love capsule. I don't know what you call it. You call it the wine box? What do you call it?
JP Reynolds 15:47
Well, it is a bottle of wine.
Yes, it does. It's the box.
JP Reynolds 15:53
I call it the wine box ritual. Yeah.
So when I first came across it, it was called the love capsule. And it’s a box, and it's got a bottle of wine. And two love letters from the couple to each other. And then what I usually say, that they want me to say in conjunction with the box is that the letters were written, neither of them have read the letters, and the bottle of wine, and they're going to close the box, and they're not going to open the box unless their marriage becomes troubled. And they need to kind of reset. And then they take the letters, and they separate and they read privately what the other person wrote on the wedding day. So they can rekindle that feeling of you know why they got married, stuff like that, and then come together and share a bottle of wine.
But if, the language says, if you don't need to open the box, then on your fifth year anniversary, and I've heard different variations of that fifth year, 15th year, five year, 10th year, whatever, that you open the box and you share, and then you read the letters anyway.
What was great about it is I don't like the couple to have to touch anything unless they absolutely, positively have to. I want the guests to all be included in what we're doing. So I opened up the box. And I explained item by item, what we're doing, I pulled out the letters first. And I showed them to the guests. And I explained what they were, I put them back in the box. And I said and they're supposed to share. And then I kind of winked at the guests and reached back and pulled out the bottle of wine. And the reaction was fantastic. It was everybody in the audience was like, Oh, yeah, they're going to share a big bottle of wine. And that went way better than I thought it would. But I think the fact that I tried to put the guests, kind of like, bring them on board as if they were part of the deal? I think I made a big difference. Right?
JP Reynolds 17:53
Right. Well, that always does. Yeah, yeah, I will admit, I don't use the wine box ritual, with the idea of the couple reading the letters. Originally, it's like after your first argument, or if there's trouble or whatever, I simply, the couple agree that they're not going to reopen the box until their first wedding anniversary. And in terms of what they put into the box, there's different options depending on how they want to punch up the emotional overtones of it. So the traditional thing is they write letters to each other. Sometimes couples simply say, we're putting our all into our personal vows. And so instead of writing in additional letter, they'll put into the box, the personal vows that they've said to each other.
JP Reynolds 19:06
I've had couples invite the members of their wedding party to write them a note slash letter. And then at the rehearsal, the notes from the bride's attendants are bundled up and tied, so too with the other person's own attendants, their bundle, and then the best man or woman the maid of honor. In the ceremony, they place those two bundles into the white box, and then a couple add their vows or their letters and then the bottle of wine. I've also had other times where it's the parents of the couple write letters. And then the parents come up. And they put the letters into the box. And the couple adds their letters and the one.
The first thing I thought of is that box is going to have to be bigger.
JP Reynolds 20:15
I love it. Let me give you a virtual hug. You would be there with the hammer and so on. There are many sizes to the box. Yes. I do tell them that you want to make sure the box is big enough for whatever it is that you're putting in. Yes, yes. I've had grooms as a gift, hand make the box.
Yeah. Or a relative that's into that sort of thing.
JP Reynolds 20:53
Yeah, somebody like yourself?
You don't want to turn me loose on that? No, no. That'd be like the wood shop project in high school where it's supposed to be a box, but it ends up as an ashtray. That's where I would go. Okay.
JP Reynolds 21:08
All right. So the point of all of this is, is that as I always say to couples, it's like the sand ritual without the sand, and you've got a bottle of wine to look forward to at the end of it. But there's many different ways to play up. I've also had it where the box is displayed as guests arrive, everybody writes a little note, tosses it into the box. So that then a year from now, when the couple reopen the box, they'll have the notes from their guests, plus their letters to each other plus the public one.
See, I think that changes the significance of the box. Yeah, like that, that I have in my choices that I give to every couple. That's interesting. I wonder if I need to add an addendum.
JP Reynolds 22:06
I don't do the whole thing about when you have an argument, because my thought is you're having an argument, you want to take the bottle of wine, you want to smash it against the wall. You're gonna be so mad. It's like, Oh, yeah, okay. You wrote this five months ago? Yeah. Obviously, you didn't mean it. If you're having an argument, go see a therapist, I make it much more of a time capsule rather than a here's something when you're having a hard time. I mean, obviously, they can open the box anytime they want.
JP, I don't know what the listeners feel. But you took a dark turn there. We’re smashed in it. And you can hear the theme music from the rumble on West Side Story.
JP Reynolds 23:01
Oh, yeah. I just like it. Oh, yeah, I say you're gonna keep the eye and then I always say the guests. I say the couple know that when you reopen this box, tumbling out of it. It's all of our loving joy for the two of you. I like that. And then I look at the guests. And I say and when you visit them. Make sure the box is still closed.
Oh, look at you.
JP Reynolds 23:31
Yeah, see, I'm not all darkness.
So let's not smash the wine bottle today. Let's not do that.
JP Reynolds 23:40
All right, I get a little Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
Oh, man, we're gonna end on that note, that's just too good. All right, everybody. That's the way this works at the wedding ceremony podcast. Remember, you can listen to our episodes if you want to, on our website, wedding ceremony, podcast calm. all the episodes are archived chronologically. So the most recent one is always at the top. We've added transcripts for the most recent episodes. And you also if you want to can look up the wedding ceremony podcast in the Apple Store. And then you can subscribe, which would be great because every time we post a new episode, it'll automatically come into your world. That also is where if you want to you can leave us a review, because that's how people find new content. And there's a lot of people out there in the wedding world that I think would have a lot of fun listening to the wedding ceremony podcast. We want to thank the incredible musicians that play our theme music the dacapoplayers.com. Remember that JP'S books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. For communications coaching His website is thebusinessofconfidence.com. His wedding website is jprweddings.Com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or ClintHufft.com for all of the things that I do. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of JP We will see you next time.
#313 - Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer
Hi, everybody, welcome to the wedding ceremony podcast. We talk about anything and everything that has to do with wedding ceremonies. This is episode number 313. recorded on Tuesday, May the fourth 2021. We could probably start right there. My name is Clint Hufft. And normally with me is JP Reynolds, but JP, he's got to do some other stuff. So we have a very special guest. I really am excited about our guest today all the way from Portland, by way of Los Angeles. He is Rabbi Brian Zachary Mayer. Is it Mayor Meyer?
As soon as I said it, I thought I better clear this up. And you are in Portland and you have a kind of a cool business, Religion Outside the Box. Real quickly tell everybody about that.
Rabbi Brian 0:49
Well, our whole mission is to inspire adults in their spiritual religious lives, regardless of what they believe or how they grew up.
Adults, so do you ever talk?
Rabbi Brian 1:05
We'll deal with a kid every so often, but I think religion is an adult game. And when we boil it down and try to make it pediatric, we lose most of the goodness of it.
Wow, that's a podcast all by itself.
Rabbi Brian 1:20
Let's do that later. But today, for your galactic Star Wars Day, we're talking about weddings.
Yeah, we are. In fact, that's how I met you. When you were living down in Los Angeles. I don't know how long ago that was.
It seems like at least eight years.
Yeah. Okay. And every now and then, well, for a while, the first or third Monday of every month, we would get together, a bunch of wedding officiants, and have lunch and shoot the breeze. And that's where I first met you. And that was at like an interesting transition in your life. If the way I understand cuz I interviewed you for a different podcast. So tell me about that point in your life that led to where you are now.
Rabbi Brian 2:09
So I was doing weddings like normal, clergy folk, but I had this theory, Clint, that God doesn't play teams, God wouldn't discriminate based on religious affiliation. And I thought it was time for me to stop doing the same. Because I was working at a standard brick and mortar, regular, congregational Rabbi job, right? I found that not to fit. And to put that into weddings was back in the day, it was taboo for a rabbi to do a wedding if one of the people in the couple was not Jewish. And I just cared that they liked each other, and they wanted to be married. And that freed me up a lot.
I don't know if you've ever met JP Reynolds, my co host on this, but he has kind of a similar situation where he was a Jesuit priest. And same type of deal with the way he phrases it is that his personal beliefs got a little, the church was a little too conservative for him. And so it sounds to me, there's logical ways to kind of parse that language, but it sounds to me like you went through a similar epiphany. But tell me now about because, I texted you a couple of days ago, and I said, are you still doing weddings? And you're in Portland? Yeah. So tell me a little bit about the wedding process or your wedding life as it exists right now.
Rabbi Brian 3:42
Well, couples find me kind of, I didn't always think of it kind of like the A Team. Like they didn't know where else to turn. And then they find me in the most bizarre of ways. And often they want to get married slightly before the Sabbath or they want to be married And they want to have a minister and a rabbi. And so when those people find me, I see if I can't be of help.
You said that they're looking for the A Team. And so in my mind, there are four people on the team. And I was just wondering if you're closer to Hannibal or to Mr. T.
Rabbi Brian 4:23
It depends on the day, man.
Yeah, I guess it would. Yeah. So out of the well, the pandemic is a little wacky, but let's say before the pandemic, when what we call the real world. How many weddings would you do in a calendar year?
Rabbi Brian 4:41
You know, I used to take all the weddings I could. And then I realized that wasn't working well. And also the weddings where it's two Jews matching each other. Let me give that to somebody else to do. And I do about 12 a year now.
Okay, but most of them are interfaith?
Rabbi Brian 5:00
They might even do weddings for no Jews at all. So those are not interfaith right? Just people.
Religion Outside the Box and the way you've constructed it. Yeah. It sounds to me like people would gravitate towards you. If they fell into that kind of thinking, that is definitely not along the normal organized religion deal.
Rabbi Brian 5:22
Often for families where there's Jews involved they want to have a ceremony kind of like a reuben sandwich, which is kosher style, but it ain't kosher. So I give them the reuben sandwich of weddings.
What is a reuben sandwich?
Rabbi Brian 5:38
It's corned beef, a Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut on rye. It's delicious.
Oh, Holy moly.
Rabbi Brian 5:48
Yeah. And then a coronary follow shortly thereafter.
The way you described it, my wife is Jewish. And it sounds to me like that would be heaven for her. The way you described it.
Rabbi Brian 6:00
It's amazing. It's technically not kosher. Due to the cheese with the meat, but Oh, yeah, it's kosher style. And a lot of people want a wedding, they want a rabbi there. And I work with couples, we don't do the wedding That I was taught in rabbinical school. I custom wedding for the couple from the ground up. And if we do Hebrew in it, we do Hebrew in it. But I often say to them, Look, Hey, you got a guy with a hat standing at the front. We've covered the Jewish part. Let's just do the wedding you want and if involves Jewish elements, we do those two.
Now when I think of Jewish elements, I think of wine and seven blessings breaking the glass.
Rabbi Brian 6:47
yeah, we got a few cool traditions in there.
When you went to rabbinical school, how much time did they spend on wedding ceremonies?
Rabbi Brian 6:56
Dude, it's a five year postgraduate course
when it is not. Oh, yeah, it is. Okay, I don't know if you're serious or not. Are you serious? Yeah, dude. a five year just on weddings?
Rabbi Brian 7:11
No, no, no, the whole rabbinical school.
Oh, no, no, I'm sorry, I didn't ask the right question.
Rabbi Brian 7:17
We had lifecycle classes all the time. I can't tell you though, it was an exact hour amount. But yeah, we talked all about life cycles all the time.
Because there are some who have gone to seminary. And when I asked him about doing weddings, I got the feeling that they didn't really spend a lot of time on it, when they kind of figured that the liturgy is already set. And so just release them into the wild and see what happens.
Rabbi Brian 7:47
Liberal Judaism has the idea that personal autonomy, that it's up for people to make their own decisions, there's no clearing house or publishing house that tells us exactly what to say. And as time went on, I had more and more post it notes covering up what was officially in my rabbis manual until now, I pretty much just keep the rabbi's manual for the weddings. And it's basically a prop. So it looks like I'm reading from the book, but I'm not.
Oh, no kidding, is that because you're so familiar with what you're doing?
Rabbi Brian 8:21
I have it all out, I've taken a lot of it and make it for the couple for what fits them. And what fits for me, taking it easy often on God language, sometimes that can be off putting for some people. So figuring out ways of adapting.
Yeah. So when you do this, how much Are you involved with a couple? Do you interview them, have a questionnaire or how does that work?
Rabbi Brian 8:47
Yeah, I meet with them first. I like how this going because everyone's got their own style. So I meet with them often a phone call and then a zoom. And I get a sense of who they are, what they might want. And then I send them a pretty long proposal of here's what it is, I heard you say, here's what I think we could do together. And because we have the internet, I work with them off of Google Docs. And we put the outline of the ceremony together and figuring out all the pieces there.
I really like that. Yeah, you know what, and you know why? I have to admit, it's because I know about Google Docs, but I've never used Google Docs, except for when a couple and this has only happened maybe twice in all the years that I've been doing this, where they'll get like I send them the way I work is that I have a big collection of stuff. And I send it to everybody, anybody who wants it, whether they hire me or they don’t. And then what I do is I instruct them to just delete everything they don't want. Because it's really big, Brian, it's like over 80 pages long and it's everything that I've ever done. And so I think that If we get rid of all the stuff that they don't want them, what's leftover gives me kind of a real good first step into figuring what they do want. But then my process is very interactive, where the couple actually goes through piece by piece with my guidance, and they figure out exactly what they want. And a couple of times, it's been a Google Doc. But that's your system, right is to do a Google Doc. And then so correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard you say is that you have like a framework, which, to me, means the elements like we're gonna do this, we're gonna do this, and you're gonna use rings, and you're gonna say I do. And then you kind of fill in the blanks.
Rabbi Brian 10:37
I come up with the outline with them while we talk, while we're working. And I put that outline into the Google Doc. And from that, so that they can see here we're doing circling, here we're doing wine, but I don't have the whole ceremony written out. I got a tip from a dear friend of mine said, Don't show them the whole ceremony. Have it be so that they can be surprised and so they can hear the words for the first time when they're hearing it and they can be there live. And also, I don't want them word smithing what I'm going to say. That limits me too much.
I get it, I understand. But you do have things that are kind of like in, in your bag of tricks, like if they're gonna do.
Rabbi Brian 11:23
I'll give you an example of one.
Rabbi Brian 11:25
I will often ask couples to name qualities that they would want in their marriage. I said, What are some qualities and I help them and we make a list of 7-10 qualities of what it is that they'd like their marriage to be filled with, hope, love, commitment, all different good things. And, I give them the option that instead of using their traditionally, they're the seven blessings that are said or chanted in Hebrew during a wedding ceremony. And traditionally, they're boring as sin, because most people don't understand the Hebrew. And if you do understand the Hebrew, it has nothing to do with the couple. These are boilerplate blessings. So I said, Well, what if we do something kind of different, and we take your list of these qualities that you want in your wedding, and we ask people who you know, who embody some of these qualities to come up like your great aunt Kathy, and have her come up and give you a blessing about commitment. and have your your folks who are who are all about perseverance, have them bless your union with perseverance tonight. I help the family members, and I help everyone on how to write that blessing. But as I say, to the couple, I can do a good wedding, but I can't hold a candle to Aunt Kathy coming up and giving you a blessing and you're going to cry when aunt Kathy comes up.
Oh my gosh, I've never heard of that before. And I love it. That is amazing. It made me think of two things. Number one, it made me think of a candle lighting at a bar mitzvah, where you know, you have special people that will come up and light a candle and that kind of stuff except for you flip the script. And instead of the kid doing a poem for the person, the person comes up and give something to the couple.
Rabbi Brian 13:07
Yeah, I love that. And I also don't
Rabbi Brian 13:11
know everyone claimed All right.
Cats out of the bag, right? So the other thing that I thought of and this is weird, I wonder why I thought this, but the first thing I thought of is oh my gosh, the ceremony is going to be twice as long as it normally would be.
Rabbi Brian 13:26
And you know what I say to them about that? I will cut out my parts so that aunt Kathy can get some time. Because it's more important than that Kathy is up there, then you hear me give a homily.
Boy, I tell you, I think that you and I could be really good friends.
I thought we were
We're becoming more and more.
I'm with you.
I have to start more podcasts so I can call you up again. So the other thing that I thought was amazing, is how you incorporated the qualities that the couple imagines their marriage will be because you and I both know that it really is imagination if they're getting married for the first time. It's different for people that are either been married before, or they're renewing their vows. That's a different ballgame. But for people that are getting married for the first time, it really is just, I imagine it's going to be like this. And so the fact that you incorporate those hoped for qualities into the seven blessings is amazing.
Rabbi Brian 14:30
And then go even further is we have a ketubah which is a Jewish wedding contract. I'll often ask the couple, well, maybe you want to have those people giving you blessings have those people all sign on the ketubah as well.
Oh, wait a minute. So do you have a system of creating a ketubah?
Rabbi Brian 14:52
Oh, I say to the couple I say I'm gonna send you a whole bunch of links and what it could do but looks like but do you got anyone in your family, any of your friends who have some artistic abilities who can make you something? And I work with them, and I work with their friend and making a ketubah that fits them.
Okay, I need to pause for just a second all of our listeners, if any of you know Rabbi Barry Tuchman, he has gone into the business of making YouTubers. I think it's cool. I didn't know that. Yeah, he's been doing it for a long time, because he got really involved in Photoshop. And so that's his creative outlet is he creates? I know, and so it sounds to me like this is in his wheelhouse. And, and I haven't spoken to Barry for a while.
Rabbi Brian 15:39
I'm in like, eight years.
Yeah, I know. And so I think if anybody in fact, I think I'll reach out to him after this. Let me make a note of that. And then it would be so cool, because this is right, in his Rabbi Barry highlighted this. Yeah. And yeah, if if I'll tell you what it reminds me of, it reminds me of the couple where he was Jewish, and his family was from England. And the bride was kind of a typical blonde beach girl from Southern California. And he wanted to do a ketubah. And we had a meeting before the wedding day, we had a meeting at a Starbucks or something. And he said, thinking about the ketubah. And I said, well bring me an example of what you want to talk about. And so I looked at it, and it says that you're going to raise the kids as children of Abraham, which I interpreted that as saying, we're going to raise our kids Jewish. And so all I did was say to her, I said, Is that cool with you? And she said, no, no. And I thought, well, then you need to modify the agreement so that you both feel good about it. And now what I'm hearing you say is not only do you modify it, so you both feel good about it, you construct it so that, here's what we just want. Second, you construct it so that the people that are integral to the wedding ceremony itself are integral to the contract that you agree to. Does that make sense?
Rabbi Brian 17:07
Absolutely. I love that wedding contract, right? The katubah is now a ceremonial contract or a god license. And it doesn't get filed with a Jewish court. It goes on the couple's walls, then it doesn't matter if you've changed all the words of it. I had a couple they just had, they did thumb prints of all their guests who came in all over their ketubah and it made this beautiful balloon out of different colors. People put their names or initials inside their colorful thumb prints on this thing. And that was their ketubah
This image of a balloon made out of thumbprints had their name and the date on it. And that's it. But that was to me, that's a ceremony contract that works. Why not?
This is starting to remind me of the the Unity rituals that involve sand and that kind of stuff. Yeah, and all the different variations of, do we combine wine? Do we combine whatever it is. And this is another example of the innovation I guess that would come with. I just love this, Brian. I think it's awesome.
Did you come up with it all by yourself?
Rabbi Brian 18:26
Well, it's the Holy Spirit might have had something to do with it. I don't know.
I didn't really.
Rabbi Brian 18:31
I don't know. I'm in doing it. I'm an artist. And so I adapt.
You remember the first time that you said to them, let's put the qualities that you want in the ceremony? Let's say the first time that happened?
Rabbi Brian 18:45
Yeah. My wedding. February 1998. My wife and I decided that that's what how we wanted to adapt the seven blessings.
Oh, see? There you go. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. That's right. I don't know where I pulled that out of my it's all good. Do you have any other innovations or things that you've that maybe a couple has requested of you and you had to figure it out or that you offered?
Rabbi Brian 19:18
Yeah, a lot of things. Like having the couple face each other during the ceremony. I kind of think that's important.
But that's kind of the norm isn’t it?
I see a lot of wedding officiant still have the couple face them. So everyone's just staring at the couple's butts. I think that's just stupid.
I agree. And you know who really hates that? The photographer and the videographer.
Rabbi Brian 19:40
Yeah, I cannot work on that. I always work with them. And I say to them, Look, our photos are gonna last longer than my ceremony. So let's make them good.
Yeah, I always tell to the couple is that when you first get in front of me, and if you're feeling nervous or whatever, and you just want to look at me or look at whatever is behind me, then that's great, but When you say your vows will make sure you're facing each other. And I tell the photographer that as well. I said, don't worry. At the beginning, I don't know what they're gonna do. But when they say their vows, they're definitely gonna face each other.
Rabbi Brian 20:09
I'll give you one more is for most couples, unless they're real introverts. For most couples, at some point in the ceremony, I will say, Alright, stop, I need you to look turn around, look at the people who are here. I need you to look at all these people's faces. I want you to look at all these people who love you, all these people who support you, who honor you. And give them a chance to look at the people who are there. It seems like a goofy innovation to add, but it's really meaningful.
I'm glad that you preface that with unless they're real introverts.
Rabbi Brian 20:44
Yeah, of course, this is all customized. Clint, it's got to be customized. Because I'm marrying the couple. I'm not just doing a cookie cutter.
Oh, man, you're preaching to the choir right now. There have been maybe a few times where I just offered to the couple, when I ask the I do question I actually come around and stand in the aisle.
Rabbi Brian 21:05
I do the same thing with the we do?
No, what I do is, I'll ask the couple the question of basically, do you want to marry this person? I do. But because it's a direct question from me to them, then having them answer my question, but letting everybody see their face. Because to me, that's the pivotal moment where the transition is really happening, they're actually getting married, but only a few times have they thought that was a cool idea. I'm getting more people who will say we hate being the center of attention. And so I like what you said at the beginning about making sure that they're comfortable with whatever you gonna do.
Rabbi Brian 21:45
If they don't want to read their vows aloud, I got options for that, got to have options for everything.
What do you do?
Rabbi Brian 21:53
I give them the heart horror movie option. I say like, horror movie is a terrible analogy, but it always works. In a horror movie, they never show the most horrible thing, because they know you're going to imagine something worse. Oh, yeah, I'm going to ask you guys to whisper your vows to each other and ask the music to play. And all of us aren't going to hear what you're saying. We're just going to see your faces. And just like in a horror movie, where you're imagining something more horrible, everyone's going to be looking at your faces and imagining you're saying more beautiful things then you probably are.
Oh my gosh, that's the Golden Nugget I was looking for. Because on a few occasions, the couple has said to me, when we say our vows, We don't want that to be over the sound system. Right. So what I say to the guests is they're going to exchange their vows. And they're going to do it just between them. So let's all give them this moment of intimacy. But the thing that you just added on that one little flavor that I had never thought of was let's fill it with music. Yeah, yeah, that's a key thing.
Rabbi Brian 22:59
And it makes them go longer to that music does that if the music is playing, it makes a couple say a few extra things to each other. Because they have a chance to talk to each other now.
And they're not they don't write it down. They just kind of talk to each other.
Rabbi Brian 23:12
No, no, I haven't write it down. But they can go off script now.
Rabbi Brian 23:16
They don't have to they're free. They don't they know that the music is covering them.
If they're getting professionally videotaped, and one of them is miked up, it's kind of cool. That could be on the on the video, right?
Rabbi Brian 23:30
And they don't remember about that. That's a good point. I didn't even think of that. I've never had a couple say yeah, but the videographer is going to hear me. I've never heard anyone say that.
They don't know what they don't know. And sometimes I have to say, when the videographer is putting a microphone on the groom, I'll say, Don't worry, that goes straight to the video. No one's ever going to hear anything through that microphone. Great. But I love the intimacy of what you do suggest that.
Rabbi Brian 23:59
Again, it depends on the couple, by the point we're talking about the vows, I've already had some meetings with them, I already have a sense of who they are. And I can say, Hey, listen, the Vows are coming. Look, you don't have to say them out loud. Often I'll give him a halfway thing. I'll say, let's do it this way. Let's pretend like you're gonna say the vows to each other. But at the last minute, we can switch up and nobody will know that you're just reading them silently to each other. So it depends. It depends on who the couple is.
Fantastic. Well, we're out of time, because I know you have Something in about nine minutes. So if you don't mind, Rabbi Brian, tell everybody if they want to reach out to you how they can do that.
Rabbi Brian 24:42
ROTB.ORG. You can find me there. There's Some free things available, for the price of giving me your email address. There's some pretty cool resources.
That's religion outside The box. That's what that stands for. And I am on his email list and I love the things that you send out. And also you do a kind of a zoom service at eight o'clock pacific time, every Saturday morning.
Rabbi Brian 25:12
That also through the newsletter, the newsletter funnels you to all the other ROTB magic.
Brilliant. This has been fantastic. I have a feeling that you have more stories to tell. So we'll bring you back at some time in the future.
Rabbi Brian 25:25
Thank you, Clint. It's a pleasure. And thank you for making time for me this morning.
All right, let me tell everybody else about what we're doing. That is if you want to see all of our episodes, you can go to weddingceremonypodcast.com and you can see that they're all archived chronologically. So the most recent episode is always at the top. That's also where you can email us. You can give comments, you can ask questions, you can tell stories through the Email button. And then if you would want to subscribe, that's great. Just go to the Apple store or Stitcher click on the subscribe button. That's also where you can leave a review if you'd like to. That's one of the ways people find us. Thank you again to our incredible musicians that play the theme music the dacapoplayers.com. That's it for this episode of the wedding ceremony podcast. This is Clint and on behalf of Rabbi Brian, we will see you next time.