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 303, recorded on Tuesday, February the 23rd 2021. My name is Clint Hufft. And with me is a gentleman that keeps me on track when I stray off the hip the and with me as a gentleman.
JP Reynolds 0:24
I'm with you. I'm with you. When people would say I'm a gentleman. My name is JP Reynolds.
I was gonna edit that I don't think I have now I like that. JP’S accomplished author. His books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. The businessofconfidence.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 was really lucky that Sunday, two days ago, I got to do an elopement, but it was a zoom deal.
JP Reynolds 1:13
Oh, okay. I'm officially jealous.
Oh, well, then let me tell you a little bit more.
JP Reynolds 1:21
Oh, I've got questions. Yes.
Oh, good. Okay, okay. Okay. So why? Are you going to do one?
JP Reynolds 1:28
No, it's my bucket list. My bucket list is not a very full bucket. But that is one of the items in my bucket list to do a zoom wedding.
Your bucket isn't full, because you haven't accomplished much on your bucket list, or you don't have many items on the list itself.
JP Reynolds 1:46
I don't have many items on the list itself. But you'll recall, we talked about zoom weddings a little bit when I almost I had a chance to do a zoom wedding in New York and then found out because I wasn't in New York, I couldn't do the New York scene. Right.
Right. Right, right.
JP Reynolds 2:02
But now here you are. So yeah, tell me.
Well, first of all, the venue was awesome. It's called the SmogShoppe. Now, those of you who are listening from outside of Southern California, actually outside of LA, would say to yourself, what is that, and it's spelled exactly the way you would think s m o, g. Sh, O p PE, I guess to kind of add a little something to it. And it used to be an automobile repair place. I mean, I'm almost positive.
That's what it used to be.
Yeah, yeah. And they've converted it into this beautiful venue. I mean, gorgeous. It's got an outdoor patio. It's got lots of foliage and greenery. And it's just open and it's beautiful. And then you walk into, I don't know what you call this, you're really good with words like this. I don't know what you call it when the doors have been flown wide open, and an entire wall is open between the indoor and the outdoor. Is there a name for that open space that the transition as opposed to you're not walking through a doorway, necessarily.
JP Reynolds 3:13
I feel like I'm doing a crossword with you now. I don't know. But let me say that What I like about this venue, is that, yes, it's beautiful. Yes, they've done some remodeling. But they have kept the structure of the building. And they've kept that you're in a funky place. Yes, you can walk in and imagine very easily what it looked like when it was functioning as an auto repair shop.
Well, one of the ways that it's easy to imagine that is because the on the wall, how can I put this, there's one section where if you go up the stairs, you get to the bridal suite. And then below that are the restrooms. And, then what I noticed is that I think they have their offices back there underneath. But on the wall above the restrooms, they have at least 200 automobile fan belts, those black belts that go inside the engine of your car, those are all hanging up there. Then when you go into the restrooms, there's old posters, and it's fantastic. But having said that, because I think most people would start imagining like, Ooh, it's probably kind of grimy and dirty. No, it's spotless. And the big room where people gather and big long tables and benches and is just spotless. It's immaculate. It's a beautiful place. I've done a bunch of weddings there with some, I guess what would be considered high profile event planners or whatever. The point that I'm making is that their clientele could go anywhere. But they go here because it's funky, but immaculate all at the same time. Does that make sense?
JP Reynolds 5:10
I described to you the people, quite funky but immaculate.
That reminds me of that movie, The Beatles, their first movie Hard Day's Night. Boy, this is generational. But Paul's grandfather, when everybody looks at him, he's very clean. He's very clean. Those of you that have ever seen that movie as you'll get, okay, so I know. Thank you. Thank you very much. So regarding the zoom thing, it was only the couple, no family, no wedding party, just a couple with an event planner, and photographer. And I think it was combo video-DJ, kind of a guy, obviously, there was no party, per se. But they ran the zoom through him. And so he had a couple of laptops. And what I noticed is there were iPhones on tripods, and I saw two of those. But then in the main room, there was a huge, huge screen, I don't even know like, it took up most of the wall. And that's what the zoom feed was playing on. So he was able to
JP Reynolds 6:28
Okay, this is a little different than I was imagining. So the zoom wedding, so I'm a little confused. On that zoom screen. Were you able to see the guests who were zooming in from around the country?
Yes. Yeah. And the way they did it is they started the zoom feed 15 minutes before we started the ceremony. Gotcha. And so everybody got a chance to log in and see everybody else and say hello, and that kind of stuff. But they didn't see the couple until they came downstairs and then walked to the ceremony site, which was outdoors. And then the iPhones were on cameras, and I told the camera guy, I said, You do whatever you want, anytime you want, wherever you want, I don't care. This is all about you. And we're just going to have a ceremony. So whatever you want to shoot. I talked a little bit to him and to the event planner about well, okay, at first they're going to have me like not centered, though, the groom was really concerned about social distancing. When I talked to him on the phone, or we did a, I think we might have done a zoom thing. Anyway. And so okay, fine, that's fine. I wear a mask all the way up until the ceremony begins. And I take it off, but it turns out, I was at least 12 to 15 feet away from them anyway. Hmm. Yeah. That what happened was it was that time of day, it was around noon. And so there was shade on half of the patio. And so the event planner said, I think we're going to put you in the shade over here. And then they're going to be over there in the sun. But it turned out the timing was perfect, because there was some kind of overhang or tree or something that shaded both of them. Right when we started the ceremony. So from the photographer standpoint, there wasn't that mottled sunshade from if you're looking through tree leaves. It was even, which makes for great photos anyway. And they had a single microphone. As you know, the way I work, they build their own ceremony, they chose to only say I do. That's it. And so they exchanged rings, but nothing was said. And they had two poems, two readings that they wanted me to do with the idea that everybody's watching, so it's not like it's just me and them. There is an actual audience. We've talked about this before, when you're doing zoom. The thing is, is that I didn't have the luxury, I never saw a camera on me. I thought he was going to have one camera that was locked down on where they were going to be standing and I said how close are you going to get? He says I'm going to stay wide just to keep it simple for everybody. I said okay. That means that it was going to be wider than the two of them during the entire ceremony. But then he had a second one that was going to catch them coming down the stairs, kind of like their processional. And then I thought that he said that I'm going to reposition that and turn it on to you because people are going to want to see you. But I never saw that. I never saw that phone turned around on me. And I had to, because it was different and I'm so used to playing to the camera. I had to say to myself, there's no camera on me. Just focus on them. And let's do the ceremony. But it was so sweet. So the groom had both of the rings. And then I said before we started, I was talking to the bride and I always go through this thing with the rings. You know, where are the rings? And then are you wearing your engagement ring right now? Yes. And then I have to kind of shortcut because most brides get all this advice about what they're supposed to do with the ring. You know, put it on the other finger or just put the wedding band on the outside or whatever. And I always go through this, well, here are your options and do whatever you want to do. And I said, when you wear them after today, are you going to wear them as a set on one finger? She said, No, I think I’m going to wear the engagement ring on my right hand. And the wedding band on my left hand. I said, Oh, well, do you want to just put the engagement ring on your right hand right now? And then he'll just put the band on your finger? She said, Yeah, I think I would like that. I said, Well, there you go. If that's the way you're going to live your life, then that's what you should do. That's great. I think it's important to kind of cut through the baloney. Because some people are just so concerned about the rings during the ceremony. Why are you laughing?
JP Reynolds 10:54
Well, you are right, about the rings. And I always say you want to do what is easiest. I always tell them in the ceremony, you will not recognize the rings, you won't know where they came from, you will not know who bought them. You’ll look at them and think they're lovely. You may even think I bought them for you. Please understand I did not. Do whatever works for you. You go girl. Um, and then, in a moment of reassurance, I oftentimes suggest they speak to the event planner, because I think it's a kind of a girl on girl, woman on woman conversation to have.
It's interesting you say that, because I think that sometimes that's what gets in the way. Because what I say to couples, I mean no disrespect to anybody, but this is going to be disrespectful. What I say to couples is you're going to get all kinds of advice, advice in air quotes, right? And I said people mean well, they really do. But most of the time, they have no idea what they're talking about. They're just telling you what other people have told them. And, so my job is to let you know what all of your options are. So you can choose what feels right for the two of you.
JP Reynolds 12:22
Right, right. Absolutely.
I was just gonna say I do think there is a, when you're dealing with a really good event planner, there is a different kind of relationship that develops between the couple and the event planner, as opposed to what develops between me and the couple. Right. So, for instance, in terms of choreography for the processional, I will, based on the information they've given me, make my preliminary suggestions. And then I say to them, that this is all up to the event planner, in the sense that everybody has their own style, they're going to make their own suggestions to you. This is just a preliminary, to give you a sense of how it can flow. So there are certain aspects where I defer to the event planner.
JP Reynolds 13:27
Yeah. And in terms of the rings, you're right, and I do know what you mean. And I have said that to them, that people are going to get a lot of conflicting information, etc, etc, etc. But with the rings, and the fact that and I don't want to belabor this, because we're kind of spending a lot of time on a smaller aspect of it. But, it indicates how people can lose their mind, in every aspect of the wedding is brides obsess about the rings. And I do ultimately say, what ever is going to be most easy for you. Do that.
Right. So you're not worried about it.
JP Reynolds 14:12
Just make a decision. Do it. It doesn't matter. Doesn't matter.
I guess what we're both trying to do is comfort them so they can just relax and enjoy their wedding ceremony. What I try to keep saying is don't worry. I'll guide you through everything. The subtext of that is your brain isn't going to be working.
JP Reynolds 14:34
I say to them, I just need you to get to me. And once you get to me, you don't have to think about anything. Yeah, I said, all you have to do is hold hands and look good for Instagram, and I'll take care of everything.
You say that to them?
JP Reynolds 15:02
Yeah. Oh heads up. Think you might be a little surprised at what I say to my couples.
Well, I was just thinking that that's our new t shirt. Just hold hands and look good for Instagram.
JP Reynolds 15:11
That's it. That's it.
Well, because they only said I do. There was a second microphone. And there was nobody else to like, fortunately, the bride had one of those little trains, where it doesn't really need to be straightened or anything, it just kind of it kind of lays and flows is a little bit of a dragging behind. But it's nothing that you know what I mean. So that took all of the heat off of the event planner, she doesn't have to do a veil, there wasn't any of that kind of stuff. However, it turned out the event planner was in charge of the microphone. Normally, when everybody's right in front of me, I just kind of take care of everything. I move a mic when I need to, I do whatever I need to do in this particular scenario, because of social distancing. I didn't have any control over any of that. I had to stay where I was. And so there was a microphone set up. But I had already talked to the to the event planner and said, all they want to say is I do. She says, I know. I said so you know what, we don't even need that microphone there. When we get to that part of the ceremony, I'll just take a second and you just put the microphone there. And then they'll say I do and then we'll pull it right back out. You know, for the photos over there.
JP Reynolds 16:30
Well, let me ask you in terms of when you were planning the ceremony with them, and they said, they just wanted to do I do. Did you review with them and gently encouraged them to consider saying the vows for each other?
Yes and no. So what happens is I give a bunch of information, I give like a big document that has a bunch of ceremony choices, right? Yeah. And then they send it back to me. And then we kind of go through it. So what I noticed when they sent me, every couple is different. Sometimes they'll just do like a rough draft. And then it's takes a lot of work. But sometimes a couple will just send me a ceremony. And so I looked at it and I wrote back to them. I said just to be clear, it looks like the only thing you're going to say to each other is I do. And the response, return email was That's correct. That's the only thing we feel comfortable with. We're going to exchange love letters at another point during the day. And, that kind of a thing. And I thought, all right, cuz I've done those ceremonies before.
JP Reynolds 17:45
Well see, that's interesting, because when in my conversation with a couple and remind them that they have four options for doing the vows.
JP Reynolds 17:59
Yeah, well, the first is I do, I do. The second is they either repeat a traditional vow after me, or I have them printed on the card and they gift each other with the vow. The third is they write their own personal vows, right? And the fourth is a hybrid where they write personal words, and then conclude those personal words with the traditional vow.
Okay, so I'm hesitating for just a second because I think it depends on the content of their personal vows. What I just heard you say is that maybe you don't always do an I do, but they do personal vows to each other. But I thought in a previous episode, you said, no, we have to make this something, I forget the words you use, but like for real.
JP Reynolds 18:57
In the personal vows, what I was emphasizing was there has to be, I take you as my husband, I take you as my wife.
Okay, we're on the same page. If that's included in the personal vows, then they've made the commitment and they've said husband and wife and so it's all good. They don't have to do I do.
JP Reynolds 19:14
Right. But here's the thing. When sometimes people say to me, we just want to do I do. And I will be upfront on this podcast and say I don't like just I do because if a car horn honks outside the SmogShoppe, the I do vanishes. You're at the beach, a seagull goes overhead and squacks, The I do is gone. And I think that if you are doing what you're doing in this marriage, in this wedding ceremony, that no matter how shy you are, I encourage couples to say the vows to each other. Now, I don't force them to do it. But I do take time to review their options with them and explore their level of comfortableness. And I will say that I could probably count on one and a half hands. Number of couples who have only said I do.
Is that seven or eight, I'm just doing the math in my head. It's an odd number.
JP Reynolds 20:28
Depending on how much where my hand was. But yeah. Well, it's just because I think it is more meaningful and warmer. I have a couple whose wedding is coming up in April and who upfront said to me, we are very shy. I think there was a part of me, that's an introvert. When I was growing up, I was socially awkward, a geek and nerd, pathetic.
You were fine Until you said pathetic.
JP Reynolds 21:17
I was pathetic. I was pathetic. Somebody say I was still in, but it was pathetic. So I do have great empathy for people who say to me that they're shy, and I coach people who were shy and had to speak. I mean, that's what I do when in the business of confidence. So I will respect that. But this couple in April, they wanted to do just I do. And I spoke to them about this, and and laid out their options. And we explored Why just the I do and I very gently put this other option before them. And they're they're going to say the vows to each other.
JP Reynolds 22:11
Because, there are many versions of the traditional vows. Actually, the simplest version of the traditional vows happens to be the Catholic version. And it's really the only simple thing about the Catholic Church. And that's a professional assessment. But the Catholic vow is, I John take you Mary to be my wife, I promise to be true to you, in good times, and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. So that's really like two and a half sentences. And my thought is no matter how shy you are, to gift each other with those two, two and a half sentences, I think is a gift.
Oh, I agree. Absolutely. I think we're kind of saying the same thing. I think what you do is you offer them options, which is what obviously, that's what I do. That's the whole process and you offer them options. And then you explore it, you touch on it, you explain what your things are, but then ultimately, you'll go with whatever they want to do.
JP Reynolds 23:27
Yes, I will respect their vow Choice, right? If they just say we wanted just i do, I do spend time exploring what's behind that I just want to do an I do?
Oh, sure. Yeah. Most of the time, the couple will explain. I bring it to their attention, I noticed that all you're saying is I do. That's all I say. I see what you're doing. I'm just want to bring it to your attention. Is that really what you know? Because sometimes couples will send me something like a first draft or whatever, they're kind of wondering around, they can't see the forest for the trees type of deal. And so when I get that I'll see things that are omitted. Things that they've skipped over, things that are normally in a regular ceremony and my job I think is just to bring it to their attention and say, I noticed that you're only doing this. Did you also want to include this? So I think we do exactly the same. Well, we do similar things towards the same end which is are you sure that's all you want to do?
JP Reynolds 24:32
I may explore it a little more deeply.
Yeah, I think it sounds like you do.
JP Reynolds 24:39
Yeah, in that you need to submit a document explaining why you're doing it.
Yes. I'd like a triplicate.
That's the upper cross punch that I was waiting for. Oh my goodness gracious. Well, then the caveat for those of you that are curious with the zoom wedding is that when the ceremony was done, then they walked back into the building where the big screen was. And then the video guy brought one of those iPhones around so that now they have their own little box amongst all the zoom boxes. And they got to hear everybody say congratulations, and oh my gosh, and so they had that interaction, because while they were getting married, they couldn't see anybody because it was in another room. But it was really heartwarming. It was really special.
JP Reynolds 25:36
This guy, this zoom Meister, yeah. He must have pivoted at some point last year, and provides this as a service.
Yeah, I think so. Yeah.
JP Reynolds 25:57
Right. Because over the last year, most of the people who have, quote, zoomed their wedding did it in, piecemeal, do it yourself fashion, all iPad and iPhones and all that sort of thing. But these folks really went ahead and hired somebody who was able to offer them a true professional zoom wedding.
Right. One of my other podcast is the mitzvah party podcast. And we've been doing it for a few years, and when the pandemic hit, it was similar to what you and I did, we took a little break to kind of figure out what's going on. And then our focus is on the party, as opposed to the ceremony that we do here. This is the party after the bar mitzvah ceremony, we've been focusing on that because my co host owns an entertainment company. And it's been fascinating JP over the last eight months to listen to companies talk about how they not only pivoted, but they kind of like push the envelope in terms of, cuz it's a similar type of deal, we have to have a ceremony with these kids. And then we have the party afterwards. And then how people have been trying to adapt, because a wedding ceremony is a really important deal. But a bar mitzvah is also a really important deal in the life of a family. And so it's the same time and you'd be amazed JP, with all the stuff that's out there, the technology that's been incorporated and Now, another thing, there are virtual spaces where people will go in and they'll have an avatar, and they'll have parties and ceremonies and all this stuff. But it's all virtual online as if you're in a game, right?
JP Reynolds 27:40
No, it is interesting. It's fascinating to see the progression from, let's say, last March, to this March, because last March, the wedding you just described could not have taken place in the way in which it did.
Right? Because people had to be get up to speed. And yes, there's all the iterations of you know, wait, I can't do anything. Okay, maybe I can do a little bit. Okay. Oh, wait a minute now. Yeah, it's fascinating. And I don't think it's gonna stop. I think that as things start to open back up again, all of the experiences that have been developed, technically and professionally are going to be it's like you said, there's, it's gonna be a new normal, and we don't even know exactly what that is, but I'm really excited to see it. Right.
JP Reynolds 28:31
So that's it, JP.
JP Reynolds 28:35
All right. Well, thank you for being your wonderful, funky and immaculate self.
You're welcome. I'm very clean. Oh, there you go, everybody. That's the way this works at the wedding ceremony podcast. And please realize that we welcome you to reach out to us just go to our website, weddingceremonypodcast.com, click on the Email button, do it. I mean, we'd love that when you reach out to us and tell us a story or ask us a question or whatever it is, that's on your mind. That also is where you can listen to our episodes. They're archived chronologically, the most recent one was at the top. My recommendation is that you look us up in the apple podcasts because that way you can subscribe to the podcast and every time we post a new episode, it'll automatically come into your world. And if you would like to leave us a review, that would be wunderbar, which means really good. JP’S books are in the Amazon store and in the Kindle store in Amazon. He is a communications expert. The businessofconfidence.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. Thank you again to the incredible musicians that play our theme music 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.