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.