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.