Rev. Janice Carter

Wedding Celebrant and Officiant in the Seattle area

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Three Generations of Payne

Rev. Janice Carter and her mother and daughter have teamed up to provide three generations of perspectives on life’s problems and challenges.

Rev. Jan discusses the premarital counseling she offers for engaged couples and how the Three Generations of Payne is an outgrowth of that service.  This interview was with Ashford Publishing on June 13, 2012.


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Managing Money

marriage and money

Interesting fact:  Couples fight about money than anything else and it is the cause of divorce even more than infidelity.

Money is about more than being able to buy something (the currency itself).  It is about control, dreams, habits, values, freedom, and security.  Our feelings about money are partially a result of  experiences we had in childhood.  If we grew up in a poor family, we may be very careful about spending any money.  If we grew up in a family where money was not a problem, we may feel much freer about spending it and spending on things like shopping, dinners out, and vacations.

When we get married or start living together, we have to decide how we are going to manage our money as a couple.  Will it all go into one big pot?  Will each person keep their own money and be responsible for certain things?  Or will it be a combination where some of the money goes into a joint account for household items and then each person gets to keep the rest to spend as they please?  There is no right answer and each couple may try several different combinations until they come up with the one that works best for them.

The first step is to sit down and discuss your money situation.  If you have enough money and you are both happy about how it is being spent, you probably would not be fighting.  How much debt do you have?  What are your monthly expenses?  What are your long-term goals such as vacations, retirement, and college for the children?  Face these topics opening and honestly and without blame.

Here are some steps for every couple to take:

1.  List all your expenses and how much you spend each month.  Be honest and accurate.
2.  Make a budget, showing each expense and its amount and listing each source of income and its amount.  Add the expenses up and the income up.  If the expenses are more than the income, you either need to start looking at where you can cut costs or how you can increase your income, or a combination of the two.
3.  Agree on who is responsible for paying the bills each month.
4.  Create a balance sheet.  This is a listing of all your assets (your car, your house, your savings account, what is in checking, your 401(k)s, etc.) and liabilities (your school loans, your mortgage, your car payments, your credit card debt, etc.)  Total the assets, then total the liabilities, and see what your net worth is.  If it is a negative net worth, some hard choices need to be made to get you into positive territory.
5.  Be sure you have the insurance you need, including life insurance, car insurance, and homeowners or renters insurance.
6.  If you don’t have a will, get one written so that you, not the state, will determine where your money and other assets will go and who will take care of the children.
7.  Decide on your long term financial goals (retirement, saving for children’s college, rainy day savings, etc.) and start putting money away toward these goals.  It is important to get started early since the power of compounding is so great.

The article below tells how one couple decided to manage their money.






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Premarital Discussions

Couple 2EricLacey 024


Before we get married, we feel we know our future spouse so well.  Couples tend to view themselves through the lens of how much they are alike and tend not to look too deeply into how they are different.  Yet after the wedding bells, the marriage begins and we start learning things about our spouses that we didn’t know before.  Or things that we thought were so endearing before we married can start irritating us afterwards.

We think we have talked about things before we get married, but it is very different experience to have an outside person asking the questions and each person having to think about and write the answers to the questions.  Many interesting discoveries – both good and not so good – are made during this process.

As says: “Why is it that we argue and fight with the ones we love the most? Couples fight over a variety of issues, but commonly over topics such as finances, in-laws, their children, household duties and sex. Expectations about any of these topics can be broken, leading to disappointment and even resentment.”

I have developed a set of 33 questions which cover many different areas – money, children, goals, conflict resolution, careers, religion, leisure time, where to live, and more – to start exploring these areas that are so important when we are sharing and building a life with another person.

The first question in the list is:  Have you taken a premarital class to prepare for marriage? Why or why not?  I think most couples will say that they know each other so well and get along so well that they don’t need it.  Yet, all the couples who have taken one of my premarital discussion courses have discovered things about their partner that they did not know.  Or sometimes, they comment that they knew their partner felt a certain way, but didn’t understand why they felt that way.  It gave them a greater understanding of the other person’s point of view.  The classes give couples a safe environment in which to explore these different areas.

A line from my all-time favorite comedy play, “The Importance of Being Earnest” is spoken by Lady Bracknell.  She declares, “I am not in favor of long engagements.  They give people the opportunity of finding out each other’s character before marriage, which is never advisable.”  This is funny in the play, but in real life, it is the exact opposite of what should happen!  The more we know about our beloved, the better prepared we will be to build a strong and lasting relationship with them!

To help build a more solid foundation for your marriage, I strongly recommend that every couple takes a premarital class.  The new class I developed is short enough that every engaged couple – or couples thinking of becoming engaged – can find time to take it.   It is merely 33 questions, but these questions cover a lot of territory and can lead to some very interesting and enlightening conversations!  You might be surprised about what you find out about your partner – including some wonderful things that he/she may have been too shy to tell you!

To find out more, contact me at

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It Takes A Village to Support A Marriage

Marriage has its ebbs and flows, just as the ocean does.  It has its good times and its bad times.  It is important to understand that marriage is not always the “happily ever after” affair that we wish it could be.  Our marriage partner cannot read our minds.  Our marriage partner cannot make us happy.  Our marriage partner cannot be everything to us and for us.  It takes a village to support a marriage.

We need to reach out to our friends and family when we are going through difficult times.  Asking them to help us through the difficult times is something we don’t like to do – we want to keep our problems hidden from others – but many times, this is exactly the time we do need their help and support to get through the rough times.  They can listen and comfort us and also give us a perspective from outside the relationship that can help bring things back into balance.

In 2005, I did a radio program on “Leading Lives of Quiet Desperation”.   It is worth the 15 minutes to listen to it.  Go to and listen to the 6th audio program.  It provides insights into the desperate lives both men and women lead when we look behind closed doors.  No one’s life is perfect, although it may look perfect from the outside.  Then we are surprised when the couple with the “perfect life” all of a sudden split up.  What can be done to prevent this from happening?

During many of the wedding ceremonies I perform, I speak to the friends and family of the bride and groom to ask them to be there for the couple both during the good times and the bad times.  They need support when things are not going well and friends to share things with when things are going well.  It takes a village to support a marriage.

Here is an excerpt from a wedding ceremony I did yesterday:
“As family and friends, you form a community of support that surrounds the bride and groom – a Tribe, if you will.  Each of you, by your presence here today, is being called upon to uphold them in loving each other.  Encourage them when encouragement is needed.  Promise to always stand beside them, never between them.  Offer them your love and support, without your judgment.  Promise to encourage them when encouragement is needed, and counsel them when they ask for advice.  In these ways, you can honor this marriage into which they have come to be joined today.”

Every relationship has its ups and downs and it is important to know that we need to work through these times, because the good times will return if we are patient and we work at it.  Many times, marriages are ended too easily when they can be saved with a little work and by being a grown-up.

What do I mean by being a grown-up?  I mean that first of all, we take responsibility for our own actions.  We acknowledge when we have made a mistake.  Second, we take responsibility for our own happiness.  No one else can do that for us.  If our life is lacking something, we are responsible for figuring out what that is and then going after it.  Our spouse might be able to help us to figure out what that is, but they cannot be the one to bring happiness.  Third, we understand that things will not always be perfect.   Fourth, it’s too easy to blame our spouse for our problems.  Sometimes, a little time away from our spouse make us realize what we have.  If that spouse is not there to blame, it helps us to realize that we have to get out of our slump ourselves.  It helps us to appreciate all the things our spouse does bring to the relationship.   Think about what things would really be like if your split up with your spouse – all the problems you would have to face alone, the broken family life, the financial difficulties, the loneliness, the additional problems that would arise with a split.  It is definitely worth the effort to save the marriage.

Make sure to take time out to have romantic times with one another.  This is especially important when we become parents.  We may focus too much on the children and forget to go out on dates with one another and take vacations without the children.  We need to be sure our own relationship is strong in order to be good parents for our children.  This will also give the children a wonderful gift – some special time with their grandparents or friends of the family.

Build a tribe to support you and your family.  Give your relationship a chance.  Give it time to come around again.  Plan some special events that you can look forward to together to help build that bridge again between the two of you.  Change your job if you hate it.  Take up a new hobby.  Go dancing together.  Build memories, take pictures, and reminisce about it throughout the years.  Run off together and do something fun, whether it is taking a hike, going on a trip, exploring a new area of your city,  redecorating a room in your house, reading poetry together, or listening and dancing to music in your living room.  Get dressed up and meet for a fantasy “first date” with one another at a fancy bar or restaurant.  Who knows? You might end up spending a night with each other at a hotel nearby and have breakfast in bed the next morning!

I wrote the following poem, Ebb and Flow of Marriage, and it was chosen as one of the readings for the wedding yesterday.  See if it speaks to you.

We rejoice with you today in your deep love for one another.
We wish for that love to grow and deepen through the years.
Remember, though, a time will come when you feel your love is gone
And instead of being like magnets greatly attracted to each other,
It’s as though the polarity has all of a sudden changed
And you are being pushed apart and cannot stand to be together.
But know that this is part of the natural ebb and flow of love and relationships
And the polarity will reverse once again
And you’ll discover that your love and attraction for one another
Has not disappeared, but is back as strong as ever.
We will rejoice with you in your times of love
And support you in your times of tribulation.

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“Dating over 40” on Ashford Radio July 11, 2012

On Wednesday, July 11, 2012, I will again be appearing on Ashford Radio at noon Pacific Time.  The Three Generations of Payne will be discussing “Dating Over 40”.  To listen, go to and look for me in Studio C.

If you have a question about “Dating Over 40”, or on our August 1st topic, “Life’s Transitions”, please email me at  Indicate whether you would like the issue aired on the radio or answered privately.

July 9, 2012

Press Release

Rev. Jan Carter Returns to Ashford Radio

Rev. Jan Carter and the Three Generations of Payne will return to Ashford Radio in Studio C this Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at noon Pacific Daylight Time.  This week’s discussion will be “Dating After 40”.

The Three Generations of Payne is a unique service that provides three generations of experience and perspective to the problems we all face.

This service is an outgrowth of the premarital courses that Reverend Janice Carter offers to her engaged couples.  Rev. Jan is an ordained minister who is a wedding Celebrant and Officiant in the Seattle/Tacoma/ Puget Sound area of Washington State.   With the current divorce rate sitting at 50%, Rev. Jan designed her premarital courses to promote enlightening discussions between engaged couples to help them discuss the many topics they need to cover before walking down the aisle.

Three Generations of Payne was created because engaged couples are not the only ones who have questions and problems.  Everyone has problems at times in life and they need a trusted person to talk with to get their perspective.  Rev. Jan has teamed up with her 36-year-old daughter, Jill Cloutier, and 88-year-old mother, Charline Payne, to provide a unique service.  Because they each grew up in a different era and have had different life experiences, each of them brings a different perspective to the problem you are facing.

To learn more about this unique service, turn in to Ashford Radio on July 11, 2012 at 3:00pm EST in Studio C to hear from Rev. Jan and Charline as they discuss this week’s topic, “Dating After 40”.  Also, note on your calendar that their next show on August 1, 2012, Rev. Jan, Charline, and Jill will be discussing “Life’s Transitions”.  This includes situations such death of a spouse, dealing with a chronic illness or disability, becoming empty nesters, getting divorced, moving to a new location, getting a new job, unemployment, the birth of a child, and retirement.

To have your problem addressed on the radio, email your questions ahead of time to  Emails will also be answered privately by request.

Join Ashford Radio in Welcoming back Rev Janice Carter on

July 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm EDT in Studio C

Topic “Dating Over 40”


August 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm EDT in Studio C

Topic “Life’s Transitions”


If you have any questions, or would like to order copies of the shows after they air, please call the following number: 516-222-2266.



Ashford Soical Media, Inc.
Ph. 516-222-2266
Fx. 516-493-9548

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Interview on Ashford Radio, May 15, 2012

Many of you know about the work I do with engaged couples, facilitating premarital conversations about various topics that are marriage related.  There are sixteen topics which include children, religion, sex, careers, home life, and finances.  My premarital services provide questions for both partners of the engaged couple to answer, then they share their answers with one another.  After completing two or three topics, we get together to discuss them in a nuturing environment.  The couples who have been through my classes find a lot of value in them – and enjoyable!

Problems come up at times throughout life and sometimes, you don’t want to talk to your family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers about it.  You need solid advice and someone you can trust with your problem.  To fill this need, I have launched a new service called “Three Generations of Payne”.

My mother, daughter, and I make up the three generations.  As I said during the radio interview, “I was born a Payne, my mother became a Payne, and my daughter was never a Payne.”  (A play on our last name!)  We represent three points of view, due to our different life experiences.

If you have a problem you would like some help with, we are providing the service at no charge during our introductory period.  To contact us, send an email to with your problem and the three of us will get back to you with our response.

To hear about the new service, click on the link below, for the 30 minute radio program.

If you would like to know more about the program or new service, email me at  Be sure to take advantage of our introductory period!

I was interviewed on May 8th, 2012 by Ashford Radio on the work I do as a wedding officiant and the premarital conversations I have with my engaged couples.  Listen next Tuesday on May 15th at noon PST on in Studio C for our discussion on Confidential Conversations, which is an outgrowth of my premarital work.