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 282, recorded on Tuesday, August the 11th 2020. My name is Clint Hufft and with me is a gentleman who just confessed He's got some tidbits. The one and only JP Reynolds.
JP Reynolds 0:21
Hey, Clint. Happy new week.
Happy new week. Let's celebrate whatever we can.
JP Reynolds 0:30
Oh, the people would talk about on their birthday. We made it to a new year. We made it to Tuesday.
JP Reynolds 0:43
Oh JP is an accomplished author. We should celebrate that. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle Store and Amazon. He is a communications expert and that website is thebusinessofconfidence.com. His wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is Reverendclint.com or Clinthufft.com for all the things that I do.
Speaking of, which, here is a little personal information. JP, I don't know if you know this about me, but I don't drink and I've never had alcohol.
JP Reynolds 1:18
Well, okay, that's a big fat lie. So I had communion wine when I was growing up. Well, when I got of age to do communion at my Lutheran Church. And then I was in the nightclub business for 15 years. So every now and then I would see something that looked like it was interesting, or people really liked it. Most of the time, all I would do is smell it. Okay, I'm getting off here. And I've never done any drugs, recreational drugs. So the reason is because I don't like the idea that I might really like it and want to do it a lot. So if I don't start that, somebody told me one time, the best way to quit smoking is to never start smoking. So I've never smoked. But here's this thing called social media. Now, friendly listener. You don't know this, but we actually started recording a few minutes later than what we normally do. And I take full responsibility for that because I got stuck in Instagram. And I lost track of time.
And because I got stuck in Instagram and lost track of time, you now you understand why I've never started drinking. I've because I would get stuck.
Have you ever done that? Have you ever gotten into social media and lost track of time?
JP Reynolds 2:52
No, but I have gotten drunk.
And lost track of time.
Oh man, have you ever had to confront a couple and say no, I'm sorry, but we can't do this.
JP Reynolds 3:13
Okay, did not see that question coming. No, no, I've never seen a drunk couple. And fortunately, I've actually I've never suspected that a groom or a bride was drunk. Although I have seen many a groom, many a bride actually drinking alcohol before the ceremony. And I'm always disappointed with that just because it's like, oh, just be all that you can be in this next 45 minutes. But be that as it may, I have seen drunken wedding party members and drunken family members prior to the ceremony. And during the ceremony? And I've not directly intervened with any of those people. But did confer with event planners for a heads up. What is our game plan should something go down?
Yeah. Right. The one time where definitely, the couple had been drinking a lot and the groom was definitely three sheets to the wind. No, too extreme, but definitely drunk, was for a wedding where I got called at the last second. So it's a venue that I had worked a lot. This is at least 10 years ago, I think. And it was a venue that I worked a lot and they called me in a panic and they said, the officiant didn't show up or called them and said they're not coming or whatever, just kind of bailed. And it reminded me of that thing that our friend Alan Katz, who runs Great Officiants here in Southern California, one time he said something that I thought was just right on the money in terms of officiants that advertise on Craigslist. And their price point is very low. And Alan said, Oh, sure, I'll give you $100 to not show up.
JP Reynolds 5:31
Haha. So, oh, fist bump on that one. Yeah,
absolutely. So I don't really understand the whole backstory. All I know is I said, well, as soon as I could get there would be an hour because of driving time and I was definitely not ready to go. So, okay, fine, just as long as you can get here. Great. And then I get there. Where's the marriage license? Oh, we don't have a marriage license. I thought that that was your thing because that he told us he would take care of that. And I thought, Oh, these guys have been scammed so hard. And so I said, Well, it's gonna be a commitment ceremony. And so we handled it that way. And obviously, they were disappointed. But then once we got into the ceremony, it contained all the emotional components that you would want. And, from that standpoint, they were happy. And I said, Listen, here's how you get your marriage license. And when you get it, just let me know and I'll sign it. Or you can just do it at the clerk recorders office, and it'll be fine. But I would not have felt comfortable. And now that I'm thinking back on it, I might have pulled the plug on that anyway, because the groom was so drunk.
But because it was just a commitment ceremony, let's plow ahead, everything's gonna be fine because there's no legal responsibilities.
JP Reynolds 7:01
Do you recall how big a wedding it was with guests?
Oh, that was a good question. It was less than 100 people. And they were running so far behind that, I think we started the ceremony at least an hour and a half past when they were going to do the ceremony and anytime, and because it was a, it was at the beach, and it's a venue that they make money on, on selling food, right. And so they may charge you to have the ceremony there, but where they really are going to make their money. And this is true for most resorts, hotels, that sort of thing is on the catering. Right. Right. And I always think of, I tell couples, when they're planning their day, I'll say there's only two things that are really time sensitive. Number one is the sunset. Like if you want those photos with the sunset, the sun's gonna go down. No matter what you try to do, it's just going to go down. So you have to revolve your schedule around that but the second thing is the food because the people that make The food, they have a particular point in time where they know it's going to be perfect. And you can just imagine how frustrating it is when somebody walks up to the chef and says they're running behind. They're not going to eat for another hour.
JP Reynolds 8:18
Right. Okay, I have to ask you quick. How did this come up in conversation about the food?
Oh, that's a great question. Okay. So what I've discovered when you were gone for the month of June, yeah. So I had Reverend Joel on for a couple of times. And then I got this idea. And what happened was in social media, I came across a photo. I don't remember exactly. In my memory, this is what happened. I came across a photo of a wedding site. And I couldn't help it it as soon as I looked at it, it was one of pretty pictures where no guests were there. It's just all decorated, ready to go. Yeah, yeah. And I immediately started pointing out in my mind the things that could go wrong. The things that would get in the way of the couple having a brilliant memory of their wedding ceremony. There were things in the aisle, or there were things that are here or things over there and, and I thought, you know what, that would be fun to get a bunch of officiants or any wedding professionals they wanted to play. And so I did a Facebook Live, and I got about 10 photos, just off the internet of wedding ceremonies all set up with no guests and, we just went through a few of them. And I would kind of open it up to the to the anybody who attended, what do you see? You kind of have to develop that muscle.
So now I'm also thinking in terms of being a DJ and an emcee and all the things that we had to do ahead of time in order to make sure that everything flows during the reception. I was doing that for quite a while before I became an officiant. So I brought that sensibility into officiating. And I'm always thinking in terms of, and if we get into the conversation of, obviously before the wedding day with a couple, because I tell them, I'll meet with them as many times as they want. I mean, they hardly ever take me up on that. But if every now and then a couple will ask for a meeting about a week or two before the wedding day. And then we just go over details and logistics and things like that for the ceremony. Right? But if they're talking about, are they going to do a first look, or no, we're not going to do that we're going to do to and then, and then what comes into my head is everybody's staying on schedule. And so I figure that the wedding vendors are going to do whatever the couple insists on unless it's really extreme. But for the most part, if the photographer says, I need you for another 20 minutes, and the couple says, No, we're done. Then they're done. Right? And so that's what I just kind of bring to their attention. There's only two things that are time sensitive and it's the sunset and the food. And you know what? I would say 95% of the time the couple looks at me with like, that look in their face, like oh my gosh, I never even thought of that.
So that's how it comes up. Does that make sense?
JP Reynolds 11:27
Right, right. Right. Right.
I talked to them more about how many bars Do you have set up? And will it be open for me before the ceremony?
You know what you said earlier in this conversation about, you get disappointed if they've been drinking before the ceremony. Because I was in the nightclub business. As a DJ, I talk to a lot of musicians who felt that they couldn't be at their best, unless they were under the influence of something in terms of creating music and stuff like that. And I think that there's a lot of people that say, the dance floor is not going to happen until people started drinking. I also think it's kind of a social peer pressure type of a deal, where perhaps there are some people who think that they need to have a little alcohol and before they can relax in front of everybody, if they're not used to being in the center of attention like that. I'm not justifying it. I'm with you 100% but I'm just thinking in terms of what people think and what they do.
JP Reynolds 13:03
Well, you know, it's interesting listening to all of this because it again reminds me of why I have fallen in love with mini-weddings. And this whole phenomenon that is now popping up of, weddings of 12 guests or under because these weddings just strip away all of what you're talking about and strip away all of that sense of real or pseudo anxiety and Hey, let's have a drink before you lose your freedom kind of thing. And I had an opportunity to do another mini wedding. And they did this just oh, I just it's just such a refreshing experience. Because there's, there's no anxiety. There's no rushing about. It's just the essence of what the day and what the moment is about this couple celebrating in a world gone mad, their love for each other. And it's beautiful. Now, what I think is interesting also is you're talking it's reminding me of Oh my god, yes. This is what it was like pre COVID and at the end of this month, I'm doing my first Old Fashioned wedding. The first that I've done since February, and the couple are getting married at a country club, and they are having 145 guests
where, where can they do that?
They're doing it in San Diego County.
No kidding? And everything's okay?
JP Reynolds 15:25
Well, okay, so it's so interesting, as you know, all too well, in these last months, it was just every, every week we were getting emails from couples postponing canceling, I need my money back. It's just, you needed to hire a secretary to keep track of everything but what was going on and I was doing it pretty much month by month in terms of where my attention was being paid and kind of forgotten about all August and cuz August pretty much vacated A while ago. And then a couple of weeks ago, I looked at my file and there was this couple at the end of the month and it's like, Wow, did they cancel yet? I had no record of them. And I reached out and I said, Hey, I thinking of you and just wanted to know what your plans are. And I was fully expecting them to say, Oh, we we've decided we're just gonna have 10 people on the beach and we look forward to seeing you. Hey, we're back. And they said, everything's great. We've made a few adjustments. But yeah, let's hop on the zoom and review everything and it was full speed ahead. So the guest list originally had been 200 dropped down to 145. The reception was going to be in a ballroom. Now everything is outdoors. Nothing is taking place indoors. There's going to be no dancing. So they got rid of the dance floor and it's now more of a traditional dinner party. But without the dancing. They're having full on wedding party of I think it's like five or six attendants on each side.
What gives me relief is that they're in the hands of a fabulous event planner. So I know that they and all involved are in good hands. But having said that, this will be my first quote true traditional wedding since February.
You know, I have mixed feelings, because I'm excited for you. But it could go south. I don't know. Oh, yeah.
JP Reynolds 18:18
Now this couple I actually officiated the wedding of the groom’s sister eight years ago. Okay, so that's how I became involved with this wedding. And the family, wonderful family and these are not people riding into the wedding on Harley Davidsons for a beer fest. I think part of the pressure was that everybody in the family who's married on both sides had been married in August. Oh, groom's parents, August. Bride's parents, August. The wedding I did for the sister, August. So in order to maintain that tradition they would have to wait another year.
But be that as it may, the venue, the Country Club is on the up and up and has been very helpful and it reminded me that where you and I living here in Los Angeles County, we're so focused obviously on the bubble of LA County, and LA County has been very, very vigilance in its protocol. The reality though is, you know, there's no statewide norm for weddings, and God knows there's no countrywide norm for weddings. And so across the state and across the country, everybody is approaching weddings from a different perspective and with different protocols.
Yeah, and here we are the lonely little officiants that kind of have to roll with the punches, you know?
JP Reynolds 20:43
Well, yeah, well, depending on what county you're in.
Yeah. Well, speaking of that, one of the other podcasts that I do is I interview people that speak at the Wedding MBA conference, and we just got word that that entire conference is going to be online. The entire conference is going to be digital. There's a good side to that in that. Normally, there's about six or seven breakout sessions happening concurrently. And you have to decide, okay, what am I going to miss? What am I going to see? But now all of these are going to be on demand all the way through the end of November, it'll start on the 10th of November and through the end, and they're all be on demand. So you really, you don't have to miss anything. The only thing we're gonna miss, which is really sad, is the camaraderie, the connection and all that kind of stuff. And, of course, the Expo and seeing what's new in the business and stuff like that.
I'm always looking for the silver lining, and the fact that all of that great education is going to be accessible is really cool. But the reason they made that decision is because the governor of Nevada came out with a decree that said, no more than 100 people. And they get thousands of people at this thing. So they just said, let's stay ahead of this. And let's go ahead and make the decision to make it all online.
I got great news that a couple that just cancelled from May that I was going to do in May, at this beautiful place up north, just cancelled boom and I made the decision to refund their deposit. But then the planner reached out to me and they said they've decided to go ahead and get married. And it's just gonna be the two of them and a photographer and the event planner and and hopefully me the officiant on a Tuesday. And it's funny how, depending upon the circumstances, what brings us joy. If you're in the desert, a single sip of water is going to be like the greatest thing you've ever tasted. And so the fact when I got that email and said, Oh my gosh, I get to number one, reconnect with this couple and number two, be with them and actually help them get married. It was it was exhilarating. It's just funny how the context can change all that, you know?
JP Reynolds 23:06
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. No, it's it's crazy days crazy days and Crazy Nights.
Yep. Yeah. It'll be interesting to see how this will how the rest of the year plays out.
JP Reynolds 23:29
I feel relieved but the event planner they have is the event planners they have when I first when they first hired me they had my chosen event planner at that time yet, so I know they're in impeccable hands so I know their in sensible hands.
It makes a difference, doesn't it?
JP Reynolds 23:52
It does make all the difference, all the difference. I actually I found myself yesterday on the zoom call like looking at them and it's like yeah we hear oh wow like wow wow.
well we have a few weeks before that happens but I really want a follow up on that because I'm really excited about that but we've run out of time for this episode.
JP Reynolds 24:24
All right. I'm gonna go start happy hour, I guess.
Where's the bar and can I get to it? All right, everybody. There you go. That's the way this works. By the way, we want to say thank you to Ron from down under in Australia who reached out to us after a while it was so good to hear from you again, commenting on a passed episode. And you can do that too, listener all you have to do is go to weddingceremonypodcast.com click on the email us button and we would love to hear from you. All of JP’S books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. For communications coaching. I recommend thebusinessofconfidence.com. His wedding website is JPRweddings.com. Mine is ReverendClint.com or Clinthufft.com for all the things that I do. Thank you again to the incredible musicians that play our theme music The Dacapo players, 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.