Dallas County Jail To Michael Unit To Greyhound…Leaving The Driving To Others…

As usual, yesterday was a serious strain to my normal carefully orchestrated day. Let’s begin. At 8:30AM, Cindy arrived at WorthamWorld to visit and take notes on upcoming scheduling while going over the pick up and plan to get her daughter, Stephaney to Georgia. 

My son, Robbie or R.C. would arrive at WorthamWorld and drive on of my suvs to Tennessee Colony Michael Unit with a departure time of 9:30AM. Cindy would leave my home at 9:30AM to pick up Stephaney at Trinity Pavillion a JPS Mental Facility approximately 20 minutes from WorthamWorld. My niece was really excited to see her mom again and spend some time with her before she leaves for Georgia.

I should note that any time anyone on my team or family member travel for work or leisure, I handle the travel arrangements. I always have. Traveling by “the seat of your pants” isn’t my style. I orchestrate and coordinate hotels, cars, and in my nieces case, bus schedules. 

Also, I am always the A SUV at destination events and effectively, the leader. In Texas though, when I’m traveling to a Texas Prison, I’ve been known to have either my son, my niece or my twin sister drive one of our suvs while I tend to business on my phone if my schedule is burdened. During wedding season, it usually is. 

Multitasking is essential when I have no days off on weekdays due to Prison Weddings or weekends during wedding season. Tuesday was “one of those days where I had far too much to do and as usual, not enough time to relax and just drive. 

Cindy would also arrive early for this “pick up” with her daughter at Trinity Springs Pavillion and effectively, stay calm regarding what to expect from Stephaney since we never know what to expect when it comes to my niece, Stephaney. 

Cindy was to also “check in” frequently with either my son, Robbie or me while traveling from Fort Worth to Michael and upon leaving Michael with my son after stopping to get bridal photos, heading to Hodge Unit from Tennessee Colony, I would check in myself with Cindy when not with a client. I worried about Cindy and my unpredictable niece. 

Occasionally after a month or more long release from a mental hospital, Stephaney can be agitated and it’s often difficult to keep her medication on schedule. Stephaney is Bipolar One. 

I had also carefully accounted for any and all hurdles as my son drove my favorite SUV while I responded to emails and texts from traditional clients, TDCJ Clients and The Pawning Planners Clients regarding their event last week. 

A few of The Pawning Planners photos were a bit too risqué to post and Leigh Ann (my other niece) was texting why. At first glance, I missed the issue and called her back. It was windy and the bride was posing with the bridesmaids a precariously unique position. Due to the wind, the bridesmaid was overexposed “showing far too much.” 

I instructed Leigh Ann to “crop far left and overexposed bridesmaid” and “save the photo.” For several minutes, Leigh Ann sent additional photos of the groomsmen “mooning the camera” or the entire bridal party effectively “flipping off the camera.” 

Telling Leigh Ann “please do not to send me every troubling photo while I was en route and juggling other more critical things on my plate,” I knew we couldn’t post these photos after reviewing a handful myself. 

I discussed this intentionally inappropriate  “photo issue” with my son. His reply? “I’m pretty surprised that Leigh Ann didn’t say anything. We can’t use those photos. Leigh Ann wasn’t at the rehearsal because she was at the other event. Mom I think you may need to update your contracts regarding inappropriate behavior with photographers. After all, your contracts are so specific about behavior, photography needs to be addressed. The reason you probably haven’t included it is because you don’t do photography. We do.” He was right. 

It’s never come up before but, now I’m going to need to address it. Certainly my niece, Leigh Ann chose not to tell me about photo issues on location because she knew that I was overwhelmed? I decided to call and ask her about it. “Aunt Wendy, we had 6 events in two days. I wasn’t trying to be a tattletale or anything but, I’ve never had anyone at a wedding or anywhere else do that. I was surprised but didn’t want to argue about what they thought was funny that I didn’t.” Hmm, Leigh Ann was uncomfortable but, also unaware of how to react. 

Wearily, I wondered why people do this flipping off type of thing and especially pant dropping behavior in public? My son was right. For a person who shoots for perfection, unusable photos that require far more time to edit and try to salvage during wedding season are far from fun or even remotely funny. I was completely unaware that there were these types of photos at a family event with children on site. 

My son listened to Leigh Ann on Bluetooth to add his two cents in (as usual) Robbie: “Leigh Ann why not admit you didn’t want to tell mom there was a lot going on because she was already overwhelmed and you were too? Why am I the only one that readily admits my mom can blow a fuse when something goes wrong? Because I already know she’s going to get mad but I also know that she will fix it. I haven’t looked at all of the photos because I have my own photos to edit and also because I was at the 3 rehearsals that you weren’t last week because you had family photos and a wedding and you are still working on the weddings from Friday. I went to two rehearsals with mom on Thursday and Friday and I wasn’t lost or late at ANY weddings this weekend either. Update your navigation. You should have said something on location about the photos and issues rather than waiting until right when mom and aunt Cindy are overwhelmed. I’m not even with you and I already know that this “risqué photo stuff” probably started out innocently enough most likely and BECAUSE you didn’t say anything, it got worse.” Leigh Ann hung up. My son and my niece argue on a regular basis. Sigh. 

He was right though. We were both trying to get too much done while taking care of Stephaney and Leigh Ann ALWAYS calls about minor issues we can’t fix when we are dealing with far more important things. Leigh Ann fails to recognize this and she always has. 

This “consistent competition” between my family members literally “lights me up.” Sure, I get upset but I also FIX issues and if I don’t, Cindy does. Leigh Ann isn’t afraid to tell me something. She does it all of the time. Unlike Leigh Ann though, my son walks up on location. I never hear about problems from Leigh Ann until after the fact. 

I have decided to instruct Leigh Ann to go to her mom on location if she thinks I’m going to “lose it over a problem.” I’m not. Lose it? Oh brother. I encounter problems all of the time on location. I’m not running around acting crazy over them because I’m busy fixing the problem. 

We have had a few occurrences over the years of someone being “over exposed.” A few weeks ago, the grooms zipper was unzipped. Such things happen and may happen again but, deliberately being either offensive or even showing too much skin is normally far from intentional. 

On a regular occurrence, brides choose a strapless dress when they should have opted for a halter or strap style for support. 

Having everything up front rely “only on the dress” itself for support is and always will be a “mistake.” If you prefer a corset, try it on with your dress or opt for a strapless bra. Wedding day is a great time for anyone to get a photo on their phones. 

Here’s a perfect example of where a corset or strapless bra or even a wedding dress with a halter or straps attached would have prevented “fallout.”  

I have a photo of myself in a similar revealing pose. The reason? My twin grandnieces kept grabbing the front of my dress and effectively “pulled the front of my gown down.” Although it had boning in it, I should have opted for a corset. Looking back, I wish I had. 

Thankfully, my husband was in front of me hiding the “peek a boo” photo and effectively saving me from the embarrassment of inadvertently flashing everyone. 
Leigh Ann is overwhelmed with 382 photos from an event where half of the photos will most likely be lost due to being unable to use them in her public galleries gifted to clients. Instead, I will have to send such photos directly to the client. Another time consuming task.

We have spent years earning a stellar reputation and therefore, cannot allow unexpected behavior from others to “tarnish our brand or our reputation.” Please do not flip off my photographers and much less, moon them. 

We are on location giving you the event no one else would and such conduct falls under my “Outrageous behavior or conduct from clients or guests that prevent myself or my staff from completing the task that we had been retained to perform.” I.E. Legal Pages pertaining to Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and TDCJ Officiant Services. 

Your contracts are VERY specific pertaining to anything that impedes our ability to work on location including drunkenness or other aspects that no one should be forced to endure while working including myself or my staff. 

Wedding season is a months long dive into unexpected overworked reality for me. I am literally “up and at it by 4:30-5AM daily. For those who ASSUME I have one job at one business, you couldn’t be further from the truth. I juggle numerous tasks and assume numerous responsibilities. 

My twin sister is also my back up and equally overwhelmed. If you call me and I don’t answer, I’m on location. Please don’t continue to call me over and over or Cindy. We are with clients and will return your call when we can. Ten to fifteen phone calls without a voice mail are harassing. 

Wouldn’t you want the same attention from my staff at YOUR event that we give others? Please be considerate and either leave a voice mail or email instead. DO NOT REPEATEDLY CALL, HANG UP and then CALL BACK. 

I’m a professional and cannot tolerate such childish and/or demanding behavior from anyone for any reason. Again, review “outrageous conduct.”

When I’m out of pocket, I also review photography as well as any other aspects of client needs from all three of my businesses including venues I’m on staff with as well as being the matriarch of my family and it’s not a job for the meek or unorganized. 

I create a daily itinerary each and every day of my life. I have to. After all, I’m juggling 4 businesses AND venues I’m also on staff at. What does this mean? It means I have numerous clients.  

A few of ya all have asked about my other businesses. Texas Twins Events was my first business. Years after starting Texas Twins Events, I decided to rebrand and expand by offering a barter option. To do so, I merged Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create a new business, The Pawning Planners. 

Later, I AGAIN expanded Texas Twins Events to include Texas Prison Weddings. I HAVE NEVER ADVERTISED OR HAD THE NEED TO ADVERTISE any Wendy Wortham business. I’m picky. I’m in high demand and 

I cannot and never have been able to control my niece, Stephaney who consistently disrupts my well orchestrated schedule. 

I do not tolerate “crazy, uncontrollable clients or prospects.” Why? I don’t have to. Secondly, I have crazy family members who try my patience all on their own that’s why. Seriously. 

Apparently, a few clients are more than a little predictable with my photographers too but, I cannot be everywhere all of the time on location. 

At the event in question, Cindy was off working inside the venue while I was helping in other areas and apparently, Leigh Ann was busy taking photos that went from posed to disrobed? Dang it! I cannot believe anyone finds outrageous behavior appropriate and will now address this in updated legal pages regarding client conduct. I’m overwhelmed. 

The consistent stress my niece, Stephaney has brought to our family is so incredibly stressful that no one (unless you have ever in your life dealt with a drug addict who relapsed over and over again could either comprehend or imagine). 

Yesterday was both trying AND stressful  for my twin, Cindy solely because I wasn’t with her for support due to my existing schedule that had left today “open” as Trinity Pavillion had given us this date rather than yesterday for her release from JPS. The change of the release date was a huge issue to my carefully orchestrated agenda. 

Because of the change, I now had my niece, Leigh Ann scheduled to pick up Maryssa and Makenna aka “the Twins” from Tison Middle School at 3:30PM in order to free up Cindy to go buy the bus pass to Georgia and make any and all other necessary purchases to accommodate Stephaney’s trip. 

The bus would leave the Fort Worth Terminal this morning at 4:30AM. Due to the early hour, I also located a hotel in Fort Worth for Cindy and Stephaney to go through clothing, toiletries and medication from JPS for Stephaney. 

As usual, my careful timelines had zero margin for error. ZERO. What could go wrong usually does and because of this, I had a Plan B already in place in the event that something unexpected occurred. 

On my phone (as usual) and addressing incoming questions, event changes and rental confirmations for this weekends event schedule as well as calling numerous Units to confirm dates and check in with India (Michael Unit) 2-3 times on my way from Corsicana to Tennessee Colony as my son drove on, construction caused a 13-15 minute unexpected delay. Good Lord. The unpredictability of road construction continues to be a “time killer” on my road trips. 

Aggravated about “losing time” on the road due to construction, and now clock watching and concerned, I sent India a text regarding my later arrival to the Unit at approximately 12:15 rather than the previously set time of my arrival at 12:00 and instructed my son to “bump the speed up from 60-70MPH to accommodate the timeline we had lost near Corsicana. 

My son pulled into Tennessee Colony General Store and jumped out. It was now 12:04. I was 5-7 minutes from Michael. But, road construction would delay my expected travel time. One lane was closed off with a “follow me truck” turned my usual 5-7 minutes into 8-11 minutes to Michael Unit. Damnit. Again? 

Fifteen minutes early is fifteen minutes late for me. Anxiously, I called India to advise her of my “hold up.” 

Pulling into the Unit, I walked around searching for a white Kia. A few rows over, I found my bride. Together, we walked into Michael Unit. The Unit is under lock down. Because of this, we were instructed to wait. Escorted to the Visitation Area, I decided to use our time together to learn more about my beautiful and excited bride. 

My bride had a really interesting job as a “fire watcher.” I’d never heard of this job before and found the aspects of travel interesting. I’m glad we had time to visit together and learn about my client. All of my clients have an interesting back story. 

Since Michael was on lock down, we had a great visit visiting and waiting together. About an hour later, the Law Library clerk advised us if another delay. About an hour and a half later, the clerk returned to advise us the inmate was being cleared at not one checkpoint but three and getting “shaked down.” 

A “shake” is a strip search. Three shakedowns would rattle anyone. I understood this and couldn’t imagine how stressful walking to your wedding and consistently being “cleared” must have been for him. 

By the time our groom did arrive, he was a little agitated. Working to ease his frustration, I took my time during the ceremony to allow him to relax. 

As usual, I brought $9 in quarters for photos. I posed the groom and India in several choreographed positions and finally got him to smile. I’m a lot of fun and weddings are meant to be celebrated wherever they might be. 

Leaving Michael, I picked my son up and headed for bridal photos with India before heading to Hodge Unit. 

Cindy and Stephaney were doing fine and having fun at lunch when I checked in again. I then headed to Hodge then back to Fort Worth to meet Cindy and Stephaney for dinner. 

I will admit that I’m melancholy regarding Stephaney going to Georgia but, I’ve consistently paid for rehab as her mother and tried everything humanly possible to fix her daughter, Stephaney and more importantly, Stephaney’s addiction. 

If I don’t change states, I will eventually be BURYING my niece. I’m a realist. I know this. It’s a difficult choice but, the only choice I have left. I must protect my sister at any and all costs. 

I called Cindy between Units to check on her emotional state and checklist for Stephaney’s trip. Cindy had to purchase numerous items including luggage as well as pick up Stephaney’s medications (30 day supply), buy another cell phone since Stephaney had lost the other new phone we had just bought her prior to being involuntarily committed for the 16th time last month. 

For those unaware of drug induced psychosis, it is often mistaken for mania or mental illness, drug induced psychosis has been regularly and consistently confused with mania regarding my niece, Stephaney as well as the fact that she is Bipolar One and consistently “goes off her medication” and self medicates with meth. These Psych Ward stints with Stephaney began nearly two years ago. 

Police REGULARLY have found Stephaney and subsequently have taken her to JPS. Stephaney gets released. We try to stabilize her. Stephaney finds drugs again. Stephandy is committed again and the entire cycle starts over. 

I cannot even begin to describe how this has affected my family. Specifically, my twin, myself and Stephaney’s twin daughters. If I sound intolerant regarding my family or outrageous behavior from clients, it’s because I am. I hate surprises. 

These “setbacks” with Stephaney are specifically why her mother, Cindy and I are sending her to Georgia. Stephaney knows where to find drugs in Fort Worth. We need her to change her environment and Georgia will. 

Stephaney is (hopefully) finally ready to change her life but it took 16 years to get her here. My sorrow over the number of years lost is quite profound. I cannot change the past but continue to hold hope for the future. 

For nineteen months now, losing Stephaney to the streets has happened over and over again. I’m mentally exhausted from the continued effort to force my niece to get her shit together while her mother is an emotional basket case who is not only waiting “for the next shoe to fall regarding Stephaney” but also, my partner in all of my businesses but also and more importantly, the primary custodial parent of Stephaney’s twin daughters, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney. 

For fourteen years and counting, Cindy has assumed the role and responsibilities of raising her twin granddaughters. This is critical for you to understand because we are not simply “dealing with an addict” while conducting our businesses and our marriages but also raising twin teenagers. 

Anyone who has been through the “teenage years” will comprehend the challenges. However, most of you who have dealt with raising teenagers weren’t in your 50’s and in our husband’s case, your 60’s. 

Now you have a far clearer “picture.” Cindy and I are burdened with a “full basket” of responsibility and unexpected setbacks when it comes to her daughter, Stephaney. 

My father went “off the rails” last year. I don’t know why or how. I may never know. He became convinced people were living in his attic. I became exasperated about continually running three blocks from my home to his to re assure him or answering crazy phone calls and texts while driving to a Unit or on location with clients on weekends. 

It was actually while I was on location at Bell Tower Chapel (working as usual) that my father began shooting his own ceiling. I hate surprises but, nothing prepared me for dad AND Stephaney being committed at the same time in two different mental institutes. NOTHING. 

Cindy and I had  “learned the ropes” regarding Psych Wards specifically from visiting Stephaney. “What’s the patient number? What’s your relationship? You cannot bring black clothing. They can’t do this. Bla Bla Bla. Visiting Psych Wards especially since we work so much was exasperating! 

My father continued to complain “you missed a day” over and over and one day, I snapped. “We run from you to Stephaney to clients to bookings and we missed ONE day? Are you kidding me? We are the only two people bringing you this or doing that and there isn’t anyone ELSE standing in LINE to take our place. We were in Houston working!” 

I also couldn’t stand or tolerate continued phone calls and or idiotically “advice” from other relatives “about dad” who didn’t bother visiting themselves but wanted to tell us what else CINDY and I needed to do with dad OR Stephaney. 

The “Psych Ward Circus” of both dad and Stephaney from my “ring leading relatives” the past 19 months, have aged not only me but also my sister.

I now rarely bother to take calls from my “full of advice but completely devoid of action relatives” anymore. Why? I’m still mad about their idiotic assumptions. They had no idea how stressful these “visits” were with not only one but two relatives involuntarily committed were actually like for Cindy or I. They never will. Why? It’s easier for them to sit in the comfort of their home while we run around like lunatics that’s why. Attention relatives: if you want to be helpful, stop calling Cindy or I and telling us what we aren’t doing while you do nothing. The rampant stupidity of your advice is annoying, offensive and intrusive. 

This Georgia trip was and is our last effort to get Stephaney help. The reason we put her on the bus was solely to “test her.” If Stephaney does not make it to Georgia on Greyhound, after 16 years of dealing with the horrific pain and sorrow of consistent disruptions that Stephaney had brought into our lives and households, I and my twin must walk away. I know, you’ve heard it before. I’m hoping it won’t come to that. I’ve tried EVERYTHING. Cindy had tried EVERYTHING. We are frustrated and desperate. 

By 6:34AM this morning, my niece wasn’t answering her cell phone. Assuming the worst (as usual) that she had left the Dallas Terminal and found drugs again. Cindy called me crying and I threw up. I couldn’t just couldn’t go through this “cycle” with Stephaney again. 

This next statement MAY  offend a few of you but I AM honest, blunt and forthcoming and therefore will admit that during 16 years of my nieces meth use, on more than one occasion, my sister and I would have been actually been relieved if she had died. Why? What? You can’t believe I just said that. Get over yourself. Walk a mile in OUR SHOES. We are raising twins. We are running to Psych Wards. We are working 7 days a week. We are bleeding money on rehab and have been for years to attempt to save Stephaney. We also don’t want to die going through this again and again and again. We are nearly 55 years old. When will Wendy and Cindy finally be able to live a normal life? Now, you know (whether you accept the above statement or not) where Cindy and I are “at” in our lives and why we work 7 days a week to occupy our minds and focus on work rather than on Stephaney. 

After that collect call, I left my home office to go get my Xanax. Sick that Cindy was in Weatherford while I was in Fort Worth, I feared my sister would have ANOTHER heart attack due to her daughter, Stephaney. 

Cindy and I were calling each other and while trying to call Stephaney for over an hour, my sister was crying while throwing up while we both thought and assumed that we had “lost Stephaney again.” I cannot even describe how devastating this was to both of us. I can’t. 

You will never fully comprehend the damage and devastation an addict brings to your family and your life UNLESS you have been through it or you are currently going through it. Don’t judge me. I’m weary. I hate addiction. I don’t understand how addicts cannot comprehend the “sea of devastated victims” they leave in their wake. 

My mother was a heroin addict. I’ve lived through a childhood of addiction and for 16 years, I’ve been an adult who should be enjoying my life alongside my sister who couldn’t due entirely to her daughter, Stephaney. 

I’m unfamiliar with the Greyhound Terminal in Dallas. But, knew that if there were drugs, they were (most likely) available “in the area” around or near the Terminal. 

Angry at Stephaney and fearful of going to look for her again or keeping my promise to give up and FINALLY forget my niece (a joint decision by Cindy and I) because I couldn’t take or tolerate yet another relapse, it would be a collect call from Dallas County Jail that changed my furious anger to sadness instead. 

Like anyone getting a collect call from jail, I needed a credit card and subsequently ran over 2k feet across my home to go find my purse and a credit card while the recording droned on. 

Prison and jail phone calls are expensive. The ONLY person who has ever called me collect from jail was my niece, Stephaney. Waiting on more prompts and losing my patience, my niece FINALLY said “aunt Wendy I didn’t do anything wrong.” I’ve heard this so many times that not surprised to hear it again, I started screaming. “Why do you keep doing this to your mother and I? What have you done this time? I was trying to help you get a fresh start! Don’t you want to see your kids graduate? Get married? Have a baby? I cannot do this anymore. You are killing my sister. You are destroying any degree of peace in our family.” 

I was furious. Disappointed. Scared. Angry. Inconsolable. And, I had to tell Cindy….God. Another devastating blow to my fragile sister. 

I sat down on the floor of my entry hall of my “perfect home that was anything BUT a mirror to a perfect life” crying and screaming about hurting my sister even further by yet another unexpected call ABOUT STEPHANEY. My sister who has given her entire life up to care for others. My sister who took on the responsibility of raising Stephaney’s twins. 

My sister who has been drug into putting her own needs last her entire life. I’m fearful of dying not because I fear death. I’m fearful of dying because no one will attempt to protect my sister as I have over my entire life doing. I’m brutally honest. I can’t leave Cindy because I’m the strongest person in my entire family. I’ve always protected my sister. I will always protect my sister as long as I can breathe. I hate to hear my sister cry. 

At 6 years old, a family member (my grandfather) sexually abused both my sister and I. No one cared. At fifteen, we ran away together. I was pregnant. I had again protected my sister. Think about this statement. Now you fully understand and may possibly even comprehend how important protecting my sister is to me. The background of our lives is “enlightening for those who may not fully comprehend” the dynamics of our relationship. There is a reason for everything. The “reason for our inseparable relationship” has a long and painful history. 

Stephaney “collect called” her mother and as expected, had a similar conversation about “not doing anything wrong” with her mother. We are SO worn out over dealing with dad and Stephaney. WORN OUT. 

I called my niece, Leigh Ann to drive Cindy who was absolutely hysterical. I was frightened about Cindy having a heart attack coming in from Weatherford and already calling my entertainment attorney to locate a criminal attorney. I had no idea what had happened. I also had no idea there were so many Jails in Dallas. Who would? Stephaney hadn’t told us where she was. That’s right. Nothing in our lives has ever been easy. EVER. 

Stephaney continued to call either Cindy or I. We continued to be angry. I told Leigh Ann to meet me at Frost Bank as I knew that this would be another $1k-4K “Stephaney incident.” I went into the bank vault and withdrew 10 “just in case.” Jonathan called me back with “details” I was too angry to hear from my niece. 

I called Jonathan back as Stephaney was again trying to call me. All of our children and grandchildren do this first- call Wendy then call Cindy then call Wendy then call Cindy. They always have. Stephaney was doing it over and over while I tried to understand what Jonathan was describing to me as the reason for the arrest. 

An outstanding warrant in Oklahoma. A felony warrant. Omg. How did this happen? Everything was going so well. Cindy and Steph had a great day together. Steph was excited to be getting a fresh start but, Stephaney’s probation payment had been lost in the mail. 

Also, my niece had been beaten at the bus station and when the Dallas PD ran her license, the felony warrant from Cotton County “popped up.” Rather than calling an ambulance, my niece was arrested. 

Stephaney was trying to push one suitcase and pull the other with her purse around her neck when she was attacked and beaten this morning at 6:24 at Greyhound Terminal in Dallas, Texas. A victim of the knockout game. Targeted solely because she was struggling and an effectively “easy target.” 

Stephandy WAS ACTUALLY trying to get on that bus! But, Cindy and I had suffered so many setbacks with Stephaney that we were programmed to expect the worst and never imagined that while we were both calling her cell phone, my niece was being beaten. I’m sick about this. Cindy is equally sick about this. 

We for the first time ever WERE wrong about Stephaney? And, we were angry and screaming at her AFTER she had been beaten and arrested. We may never forgive ourselves for jumping to conclusions either. But, we have been programmed to expect or believe the worst from Stephaney. For years. 

Due to Stephaney’s probation payment in Cotton County being lost in the mail, Stephaney (although she was the assault victim) was subsequently arrested and taken to Dallas County Jail. 

My niece who was so proud she had made the decision to finally seek help and “win her twins love and trust back” was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After years of choosing to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Stephaney was a victim rather than a drug addict. 

Jonathan suggested I call Cotton County and pay Stephaney’s entire probation balance in full. I did. I trust Jonathan and a probation violation would put my mentally ill niece in prison for 10 years due to the violation. It would effectively kill my sister. Having their mother in prison would also embarrass Stephaney’s twin daughters too. The rock thrown in the pond has a “ripple effect.” I was in quick sand AGAIN on my only day off months out. A day that I had planned to spend with Cindy and Stephaney preparing my niece for a fresh start. 

I HAVE NEVER BEEN LUCKY. Cindy hasn’t either. Each and every time someone tells me this “lucky” shit, I want to slap the crap out of them. “You two are so successful and lucky.” The idiocy of such a statement infuriates me. We have never been lucky. What we are and have been are two of the most resilient MF’s I’ve ever met or encountered. That’s the truth. That’s the accurate fact regarding our “success.” Not luck but driven determination. 

In Stephaney’s case, Cindy and I have consistently failed to be successful at achieving any degree of success. 

Meanwhile, I also had Cindy contact Trinity Springs JPS to fax Stephaney’s release papers (less than 24 hours prior) to Cotton County to prove she had just been released from a Psych Ward and couldn’t call to check in with Cotton County because she was involuntarily committed AGAIN over a month ago. 

Then I called Dallas County Jail and after making the payment in full to Cotton County and thanking Jonathan while crying and driving at the same time, headed to Dallas County Jail with Cindy. Or so we thought. Trying to wipe her eyes and stop dry heaving, my sister showed me her phone. Omg. There were SEVERAL detention facilities. We were losing it in Dallas, Texas. How I didn’t wreck my SUV or suffer a stroke, I have no idea. Thanks Xanax. 

Stephaney called again. I screamed “where are you? There isn’t one jail in Dallas! We have no idea where we are going! We are losing our minds.” Stephaney: “stop screaming. I don’t know where I am.” Jesus Christ. I cannot begin to describe how upsetting this was. Pulling over to dry heave myself, I told Cindy “pick one. We will go to all of them.” This was the worst day off I’ve ever had in my entire life. 

On route, I again called Cotton County to confirm the teletype that would rescind the warrant to Dallas County had been sent to them. Cotton County and JPS, God Bless You both for being so helpful while my normal composure flew out the window. I couldn’t even pump my own gas. Cindy has never seen me so upset. I’m the strong one. My sister finally pumped the gas for me. We were both crushed. I called Georgia still crying and advised them of the situation. Finally we got back on HWY 30 to Dallas to the FIRST Detention building on Google. 

The location from my niece? “It’s next door to Greyhound.” This information was so sketchy that I hung up AGAIN. Cindy got out and walked into numerous buildings. I finally parked and we walked the entire area around Greyhound together. We couldn’t find Stephaney. I cannot even describe our wild eyes, lost expressions or the devastated reality of our situation. Homeless people moved AWAY from Cindy and I. We were the scary and unpredictable people for a change. Crying, screaming and back in my SUV. A homeless guy with brass balls walked up to my drivers window. This wasn’t a “hey buddy have you got a dime (or dollar)” time to hit me up. BUT- maybe this guy knew where another jail actually was? We sure as Hell didn’t. Guess what? He did. He had just left the jail and gave us articulate and well informed directions. I gave him $20. We pulled out and headed to the North Tower Detention Facility Dallas, Texas.  

Crying all the way, we finally managed to get to the jail and wait in line an hour only to find that after hours in holding, Stephaney was still not checked in. Due to this, she could not be checked out. I asked “how long will the process take? Cotton County has been paid in full and rescinded the warrant.” The clerk looked at me and said “this is Dallas County Jail ma’am it could be late tonight or early in the morning before they process her in and tomorrow or Friday before they process her out.” Stunned, my exhausted and emotional sister and I had no other option other than to drive back to Fort Worth and wait. My eyes still burn from crying harder than I ever have all day long. Thank God I didn’t have work commitments today! 

I’m picking up my Hobby Bride tomorrow at 7AM to drive her to the Unit myself and now concerned that Stephaney will be released while I’m in Waco. I blame myself for not flying Stephaney to Georgia. Cindy is so upset about this that I nearly had to carry her upstairs to put her in my guest room. We are both weary. I have no idea how long it will take Dallas County Jail to process her out but, when they do, I’m taking my niece to Baylor or Harris for medical treatment and filing a police report. Less than 24 hours after being released from Trinity Springs, my battered and helpless niece is waiting for her mom and I to save her. After all of these months of trying and failing to save my niece, nothing prepared me for this. I don’t believe anything could have.

I will be flying Stephaney to Georgia instead as soon as she is well enough to travel. We have no idea how badly she’s been beaten. 

I now wait for my niece to be released. Like my clients, the waiting is the hardest part… 

Scheduling Your Prison Wedding & Why Waiting On I60’s Are Worth The Wait…

Patience during your “Prison Wedding Planning Process” is difficult but a necessary part of marrying an inmate in a Texas Prison.

The I60 Request For Marriage Form is the one last thing we have to wait on. Today, while sitting in a parking lot (as usual) and writing this blog on my IPhone 7 Plus because I hate updating my phone, I was yet again waiting for someone “running late” with the rest of the bridal party and decided after getting a text from one of my brides, to “go over” the often infuriating wait for an I60 to be Approved.

The I60 can REQUIRE up to 6 signatures. If someone is out sick or on vacation, the I60 isn’t “magically” forwarded to the next Department. Quite the opposite. The I60 sits and waits on the signor to return before following the “route” to the next signor. Once again, if someone is on vacation or out sick, the document sits and waits on the signor. 

Because neither you or I or even the Unit itself can impede or change the “Paperwork Process,” we are NOT in control regarding the timeline of the I60 being signed off on and FINALLY moved from the Wardens Office to the Chaplain who is in charge of scheduling. 

Every timeline for an I60 is different. I remember being shocked when Miguel Martinez was Approved within 7 days of his gorgeous bride calling to book me. 

Traditionally, an I60 takes 7-21 days UNLESS there happens to be a DENIAL or DELAY. These case by case scenarios are rare but… they happen and have happened and will continue to happen in rare circumstances. 

Let’s go over a DENIAL. It’s every prospective Bride or Groom’s most devastating phone call. No one expects it. NO ONE. 

You cannot “simply be DENIED” because the Warden felt like it. There are (mainly) legal reasons or TDCJ regulations outlining why an I60 is either APPROVED or DENIED.

It’s essential to comprehend that a DENIAL IS NOT FINAL. Stay calm. Call me and we will go over the issue and more importantly, how to refile the I60 AFTER correcting the issue that it was DENIED UPON. 

First- You aren’t on the visitation list. Easy fix, request to be added. 

Second- You have been an inmate or you are currently a TDCJ employed at THE SAME UNIT you are attempting to marry an inmate at. This IS A PROBLEM. I’ve married many guards to inmates over the years but never and I MEAN NEVER have I married a guard currently employed at the same Unit the inmate is incarcerated at. Solution? Transfer Units or change jobs.

Third- Common Law Status AKA CLM to someone OTHER THAN YOU. This is the most WIDELY COMMON DENIAL  ISSUE over and over and over. 

A few months ago, a prospect wondered why I ask so many questions? I have reasons. I need to know. Upon further questioning, he said “I might be common law married.” MIGHT? I then asked him why he thought he might be married. “Well, we signed an affidavit of informal marriage.”

This gentleman aka “prospective client” was hoping I would tell him that a common-law marriage was not as good as a ceremonial one. I let him know a common-law marriage is just as good as a ceremonial marriage if the Affidavit is filed at the clerks office. 

Surprised? Don’t be. Effectively, it is also a “sucker punch” to the bride or groom who had no idea their fiancé had listed himself or herself as being Common Law Married to someone OTHER THAN THEM. 

In Texas, many people are aware that Texas recognizes common-law marriage. However, not everyone I meet with is aware of what it takes to meet the Texas statutory requirements of being common law married or why it is important.

Let’s go over and review Texas Common Law Marriage- Common law marriage, also known as marriage without formalities or informal marriage, is a valid and legal way for a couple to marry in Texas.

Section 2.401 of the Texas Family Code states that a common law marriage may be proved by evidence that the couple:
“agreed to be married”; and
“after the agreement they lived together in this state as husband and wife”; and they “represented to others that they were married.” 

It’s “tricky” to prove Common Law Marriage WITHOUT FILING an Informal Marriage Affidavit. So difficult in fact that meeting the elements WITHOUT this Affidavit can be nearly impossible. 

Most inmates and laymen alike fail to realize that such Informal Affidavits filed at a TDCJ Facility ARE NOT VALID OUTSIDE TDCJ. Texas Department Of Criminal Justice DOES NOT and CANNOT file an Informal Marriage Affidavit at the clerks office. Only both parties IN PERSON can accomplish this legally binding task. An inmate CANNOT leave prison to “run to the courthouse” and file this valid document in person. Also, and more importantly, “claiming to be living together when one party is incarcerated and you (for obvious reasons) were not living with them in prison gives you far better enlightenment as to why TDCJ REQUIRES an Informal Marriage Affidavit FOR THEIR RECORDS. Meaning not Vital Records or the clerks office. 

Of course, if an Informal Marriage Affidavit was in fact, filed at a Clerks Office with both parties present WILL legally bind a marriage that will require a divorce. The clerks office is the ONLY way a CLM is or can be legally binding. 

Such documents are (outside of Prison) called “Informal Marriage Affidavits.” If the above scenario at the clerks office with BOTH of you present HAS OCCURRED, you ARE LEGALLY MARRIED and will require a dissolution of your marriage. AKA, divorce. 

HOWEVER, this IS NOT the case within TDCJ although TDCJ recognizes a CLM Affidavit as binding. Why? Because two parties signed this document in order to OBTAIN CONTACT VISITS in the first place! 

A CLM is Notarized. Why is this important? A notary seal is used on legal documents. I.E. A CLM INSIDE TDCJ WILL PREVENT AN I60 APPROVED STATUS to anyone OTHER than the persons listed on the CLM. 

Pay attention. I go over this “CLM Sucker Punch” at least once a week trying to explain in detail with clients who feel (and rightly so) angry, betrayed and outraged to be denied based on a CLM to someone “other than them.” Secrets destroy relationships. No one “forgets” signing an affidavit that entitled them to have a contact visit. NO ONE. They might not have realized that it was binding within the TDCJ system but, they knew damn well they were signing it I can assure you. 

Frankly, I am mad for my clients! Hiding this “enlightening fact” and thinking someone (my client) a person who is giving up everything in order to marry an inmate is one of the many reasons that I’ve advised more than a few clients not to marry the inmate or at least rethink their decision before “jumping in.” Trust is essential to a working marriage. 

Although outside of Prison, this “piece of paper” won’t hold a couple legally married, inside a TDCJ Unit, it will. Solution? A Corrected Affidavit voiding the initial Affidavit filed. Or, find a partner you can trust. Let’s face it, the person on the outside MAKES all of the sacrifices. If the person on the inside cannot be forthcoming about such an important element in the Prison Wedding Planning Process, it might be time to step away and reevaluate. 

Let’s review: A Corrected Affidavit? Wendy what is that? Follow closely because you will need to understand how this unexpected hurdle occurred and more importantly, how to overcome it unless of course, you want to go attempt to locate the other party and CONVINCE them to do it. It’s best to have the inmate do it himself in the Law Library. 

An Affidavit of Correction can assist you in correcting an error on a government or court record. … The document provides notice of an error in a prior document and offers the correct information. The Affidavit of Correction is a sworn statement, so you’ll need to have it signed and sealed by a notary public. 

For all of my spies out there trying to duplicate or replicate, or copy me by obtaining my hard earned knowledge regarding legal remedies, you ARE NOT A CLIENT so go figure it out yourselves!

For my clients, don’t cry. Call me, we will work through it together. Yes, I’ve used this formula successfully again and again but unlike my snoopy spies, I know how. 

“Wendy how do you know everything there is to know?” Because dedicated clients and followers, I was reading law books in 6th grade and in my spare time, dictionaries. 

Due to a chronic stutter as a child, I rarely spoke so, to entertain myself, I read. I didn’t speak at all from 6 to 11 years old. Instead, I read. No one had the patience to listen to me try to speak so, I stopped trying. My twin sister was the only one that I even bothered to attempt to communicate with who had ANY degree of patience for my speech impairment. Also, she spoke for me (when necessary) during those years. 

Yes, there was a “reason” that I stopped speaking coherently. The reason was that on our 6th birthday while the rest of our family was off on East North St planning our first ever birthday party, my grandfather sexually assaulted my sister and I. I hated my family for not protecting my sisters and I. Somehow in my own way, I believed that by ignoring them as they had ignored what was happening to us is what they deserved. 

The impatience of having people (especially the one who had hurt and continued to hurt us) scream “spit it out! I don’t have all day,” was why I chose to not bother speaking at all. Cindy loved tv to escape while I chose reading. 

At 11 years old, I spoke for the first time after reading aloud a number of years to myself and singing along to songs when I was alone with my sisters. The first sentence? “Take one you cheap bastard.” I was reading a cigarette case which belonged to my grandfather who actually was a bastard. Even at 11 years old, the irony of reading a cigarette case to the very same person I knew to be an F ing bastard was a moment that I had spent years waiting for. You see, I listen and because I listen, I often “spot” things such as that innocent cigarette package and then wait for an opportunity to disclose my knowledge in often surprising fashions. I notice all of the details and can recall documents years after reading them once. While other children were playing, I was preparing for life. 

A life that would put me in a position to be earning over 100k by the time I was 23 years old. Not because “I was lucky” either. That’s one of the stupidest assumptions I’ve ever heard. If anyone knew the actual details of my life, they’d realize right off that Cindy and I are the Five Percentile. Never heard of it? Most sexual and physical abuse victims become alcoholics or drug addicts if not suicides. Five percent of these individuals can effectively disassociate the trauma. It’s quite rare and in fact, had we been older at the time of the initial abuse, we might not have so easily overcome it. If I’ve ever been lucky, it was because I could put what we had survived away in a box and lock it in order to represent to the world that I had a worry free life. This was essential in order to model and do commercial work. While others were snorting cocaine, I was reading law books from other countries. Lucky? What a cheap and insignificant term. 

The abuse from our grandfather would go on until we left home at 15 with the clothes on our backs. Buckle Up- I was pregnant. Many of you already know how. I will spare you the details. My family wanted an abortion. I didn’t. Cindy fearful of me running away to be homeless and alone, joined me. When others question why we are so close, they have no idea just how close we actually are.

We lived in a homeless shelter and I lost the baby. We were never going back. We both took jobs as waitresses and got by until my first commercial with Mel Tillis for Whataburger. I was 18 years old. 

Yes, I’m a survivor. My sister is too. The greatest gift I’ve ever had was the death of my grandfather who had destroyed so many lives and yet, was never held accountable. 

My twin and I are passionate and obsessively empathetic SOLELY because of where we have been and what we have survived. 

You will never meet anyone who cares more about you as a client than my family and I do. We treat clients like the family we wish we had but didn’t. 

The things people don’t know about me are far more enlightening than what they assume. I knew no one could take an education from me and at a young age, began learning everything I could. If I couldn’t find something, I even read phone books but, my mind stayed occupied to move my focus from the environment that my sister and I were effectively forced to live within as a children. 

I’ve always studied every element of any industry that I have ever worked within. I knew how to file warranties, special orders and every element of any industry often better than anyone including the owners or manufactures. I could whip through a GM Certification test (while selling Cadillac’s) in 17 minutes. Other salesmen? Hours and even days. They finally passed by failing it so many times they got it right. While begging me to help them, I also taught a few smart asses on the sales floor that 1. I don’t have friends at work. I’m not there to make friends or date and 2. I’m the hardest working MF they would ever meet. I’m so GD dedicated that I never ever left a sales floor to go to lunch. I ate and sold and the same mother fucking time. You will never encounter anyone in your life as dedicated to their clients as I am. EVER. 

While the other salesmen were gabbing on the phone or reading newspapers, I was reading manuals. I had the time because unlike them, I also hired a photographer and ran my own ads at Country Clubs direct marketing consumers who could afford to buy. They bought from me. I was the North Texas top GM salesperson every year I worked for Cadillac. The salesmen laughed at my ads. I laughed all the way to the F ing bank. Yes. What you don’t know about me is that I have never been lazy. I left Cadillac and started my own business, Debt Lawsuit Survival LLC. In 2012, I sold it and started Texas Twins Events. No one in my life has ever GIVEN me anything. 

I’m self made and successful because my clients all of my years in sales, followed me and continued to buy from me long after the sale. Cadillac Clients booked at Texas Twins Events. Shocked? Don’t be. People and education are valuable commodities that no one can take from you. Trust me. I know this to be true. 

Unlike my spies aka “other Officiants,” I also know how to file an Amended Marriage License too. 

Before you start Googling, I will explain what an Amended Petition actually is. By the way spies, I HAVE NEVER MADE A MISTAKE on a marriage license because unlike you “other Officiants” when I initially “went into this business 9 years ago,” it was after reading any and all laws pertaining to or associated with signing a marriage license as well as educating myself to “unique situations” such as an Amended Petition. 

In California at a Destination Wedding for Texas Twins Events, the groom asked a question and disrupted me as I was supervising both of the witnesses. 

Here’s are a sequence of photos capturing the “moment.” I always have a camera pointed at me so, we will go in sequence. Watch the bride.Below though, the bride instantly realizes the second witness “marked out” her old address. The bride is well aware (because the clerk had enlightened her) that any marks outside the lines and heaven forbid, corrections would void the license. 

You CANNOT CORRECT a legal document. Meaning, you cannot mark through anything previously written. 

My bride immediately started screaming “you just ruined my wedding!” The second witness, horrified and unaware of the magnitude of the issue, apologized. But, an apology will not correct a legal document. Only I can do that. 

With over 200 guests staring at my traumatized bride who was also furious at her brothers girlfriend, I “whisked her” into a private area to explain how I could fix the issue. Photo below. The bride recognizing I knew exactly how to resolve the issue and now no longer upset, returned to the party. 

Note: It took me five or 6 minutes to explain the remedy. I’m everyone’s mother and also the “fixer.” My production company had me  change clothes to film this conversation for another film project. I’m in my vestment specifically for this reason. Naturally, I didn’t allow filming to commence until I had assured my bride and calmed her down. This is why the photo is taken of her back and my face. I always put my clients needs first. You will never ever be filming a project with me where you are seen upset. I wrap my arm around you and whisk you off instead as I did in California.

I change clothing up to 5 and even 7 times during filming. It’s irritating but, its show business. PS- this was supposed to be a perfect wedding and, it wasn’t.

But, the bride was now confident that she needn’t worry and, as always she was correct. 

My numerous roles are serious. I’m beyond educated as to ANY situation. I’ve also officiated over 2k wedding ceremonies worldwide. Moments after enlightening my bride, the party went on.As you can see of the photo of me above (far left black skirt) I wasn’t worried at all. 

The following week, I flew back to Santa Barbara County, Amended the license and drove to film for Lifetime in LA with Cindy and Cat Deeley. 

I can laugh because I’m smart, I know what I’m doing and I never make mistakes. “Other Officiants” often do but, rest assured that everyone on MY TEAM is well educated by me. I’m a helluva teacher. 

While my spies are out there “winging it” and screwing up marriage licenses, I was (as usual) laughing about anyone (other Officiants) stupid enough to believe that by signing a legally binding license without realizing the legal ramifications associated with their “role” isn’t serious because it is.
The continued rampant stupidity of my spies “other Officiants” continues to tickle me. “It’s just a piece of paper. How SERIOUS can it be?” You IDIOTS. It’s a Life Event. 

Also, screwing up a wedding license can and will get you sued. What? If you make a mistake and ruin someone’s wedding who hired you while spending tens of thousands of dollars, you (spies) are going to get sued. However, I readily realize you “newbies” don’t have the client base I do so you are protected in that you will never find yourself at such high end events as I’m regularly retained to Officiate. I earned my client base the hard way by my stellar reputation. 

I’ve taught marriage fraud classes and I’ve also been a premarital counselor with Twogether In Texas from the inception of the program. 

FYI spies, if you make a mistake on a marriage license, after your 3rd “mistake” you lose your right to perform a marriage ceremony. 

Also, if you FAIL to file a marriage license within 30 days of signing it, it is a criminal offense in numerous states including Texas. 

While I would LOVE to expedite the process of the I60, it’s something even I cannot control. I appreciate your patience and look forward to your wedding day just as much as you do….

“Don’t BE like a BLISTER, showing UP, when the WORK is ALREADY done”

Yesterday, I was told I was “lucky.” Somewhat offended, I responded “luck has nothing to do with success. Quite the opposite, luck is a fairy tale. Success comes from hard work, dedication, passion and perseverance. I’m a workaholic and overachiever who pioneered my way into an industry where no one and I mean absolutely no one was either helpful or insightful.” I didn’t need anyone’s help. 

This acquaintance who I’ve known since 2012 then asked why I didn’t send him client referrals? Well now, first I’m lucky and then you want to share in my successes? What the? I didn’t get where I am today from someone else’s efforts. I got here on my own. I didn’t ask anyone for help. I studied the industry. There isn’t anything I don’t know or understand pertaining to my numerous roles and job duties. I didn’t “learn” everything through hard work and dedication to make life easier for my competition either. This acquaintance was only buddying up to me to get leads for clients who didn’t contact him. Instead, they contacted me. 

Referrals can bite you in the ass to begin with. What if the referral doesn’t work out? Think about it. You referred someone to someone who wasn’t honest or fair. You referred them. I’m cautious because a referral can and will bite you. 

Let’s say my neighbor comes over and has a plumbing problem “your husband is a builder and developer. Can he just send one of his contractors over to fix MY problem?” Hell no. It’s your problem buddy. We don’t need your monkeys over here. “I’ve seen his contractors at your house. Just send them over.” I get this kind of stuff all of the time. Usually though my neighbors aren’t asking for a referral especially, this neighbor. 

This lady (the neighbor) is not only a narcissist but, she also only comes by when she wants something. I don’t need friends on my block. In my opinion, she should either get a job or find a husband mine isn’t for sale or lease and neither are his employees. 

Last weekend, the same neighbor stopped me yet again. “I was talking to our neighbor Suzanne, and she didn’t know you did LBGT marriages and prison weddings.” 

I was literally exhausted and, it was past 9. Coming home from a weekend of 6 events, having my bitchy neighbor spreading what she perceives as being “controversial gossip” about me, I knew she was stirring the chili. But, I didn’t give a shit. I never do. Let’s go over why. 

My neighbor isn’t going to hire me for anything and NEITHER are my neighbors. If they tried to book me, I’d say I was busy. In fact, I turn DOWN “traditional bookings” all the time. Why? Because I am busy as F for one and 2, rich people are the type of clients I prefer NOT to work with or FOR. They always “want it all but, never want to pay for it.” They are a problem. 

In 9 years now, I’ve performed over 2K events. If there is a situation I haven’t encountered yet, it would be a shocking surprise. From the “Bouncing Check Broken Tooth Bride” to the “Banjo Playing Boyfriend” to the “Tardy Party Bride” I can assure you that if there is a scenario or “incident” out there that my team and I haven’t encountered yet, the possibility is slim if not rare or remote. 

I’m “recognized” all of the time. “Hey, I saw you on Hot Bench with the Tardy Party Bride who lied. You did one helluva job on that lawsuit.” Yep. I over prepare. 

Let’s go over the factual details of “Tardy Party.” She lied to get a police discount. She was over an hour late to her own wedding and, she wrote me a hot check. I sued her the following Monday in Tarrant County, Texas. Here’s a photo of me on the set of Hot Bench.

When I tell you “I don’t suffer fools lightly” I’m not kidding. From Hot Checks to Texas Twins Events Clients “changing the terms of their original contract with add ons, I have seen it all.” 

If you “other Officiants” think that being dishonest is acceptable behavior, you are not only an unethical idiot, you are also going to feel the fire when I turn it up a notch and hold you accountable.” I’m good at it.  

“Dear LORD please BLESS the PEOPLE that CONFUSE, ignorance WITH righteousness.”

Cindy Daniel

A few of you have been on Texas Twins Events and saw this disclaimer (below). That’s not for LBGT Clients or TDCJ Clients. It’s there to warn “traditional clients” not to get rowdy or demanding. 

Last year I had my ribs broken at an Open Bar Event/Brawl trying to separate the groomsmen. Yes, I sued for medical expenses. Yes, I won. I’ve never been hurt at a LBGT or TDCJ event. EVER. 

I’ve also had to sue “rich people” who didn’t pay their balance. When I tell you I have had far more problems with “traditional clients,” I’m NOT KIDDING!

In fact, throughout my lifetime, if I have no other option than to sue you in order to hold you accountable, you can rest assured that I have never lost a lawsuit in my life. In State or Federal Court. 

I now (and have for many years) hire my own attorneys because 1. I can tell them what to do for me and it’s far more convenient and, 2. I don’t have time for idiots as well as 3. I have plenty of money and don’t have to work to earn a living and haven’t in over 7 years. 

I up charge “traditional clients” 300% or more when I do take on their event booking. It’s still not enough. Why? “I need security, photographers, video, Bla, Bla, Bla.” When I tell “traditional clients” how much these “additional services are going to cost (PS I love this part) they are shocked? “I thought you had a Team. Aren’t they part of the deal?” No dipshit. 

You don’t hire an Officiant or Planner or both and get a FREE team to work their butt off for free just because you asked. I don’t have this kind of stupidity with LBGT Clients OR TDCJ Clients. Catching on? I turn down 20-30 “traditional clients” all year long. I’m usually laughing when I do too. If I’m not laughing, I’m on location with a client and, laughing later.

Having “other vendors” tell me I’m too cheap is funny because I am when it comes to TDCJ Clients or LBGT Clients. Why? Because I don’t have to work and also because I have a good time with them. I PREFER LBGT or TDCJ CLIENTS. 

To prove how much fun I have with my clients, I’m adding photos…eat your heart out haters. 

Before I came on the scene doing Prison Weddings, it was a sellers market. They could charge whatever they wanted and people were either not getting services they had paid for or paying outrageous fees. 

I changed all of that. I changed it for my clients who had been victimized by people who were trying to make as much money as they could without a care in the world for their clients. I gave the “other Officiants a wake up call.” They are lit about it. F em. 

“A LIE travels AT the SPEED of SOUND, meanwhile the TRUTH moves AT a WALKING pace, SEARCHING for an EAR to LISTEN.”

Cindy Daniel

“I’m taking YOUR Clients?!” The people you took advantage of. The people you never returned calls to? The people who trusted you?” Someone needs to close the tent on all of the clowns (aka “other Officiants”) running around wondering why THEY are losing THEIR CLIENTS to ME.

“GRATITUDE is the DIFFERENCE, between APPRECIATION, and a SENSE of ENTITLEMENT.”

Cindy Daniel

I’m rarely home because I work all of the time. I do have clients come to my home if they live nearby and I do have film crews of 3 or 4 suvs with sound equipment or camera equipment show up over here. 

I’m the “busy neighbor.” I’m not the neighbor watching maids clean my home or expecting someone else to take out my trash. My neighbors and my unique clients have nothing in common. 

Everyone in my neighborhood has either seen production companies lugging equipment into my home OR caught a glimpse of Texas Twins Events Clients or Pawning Planners Clients or even TDCJ Clients coming into my home. Whether they are interracial, LBGT, hillbillies or one of my vendor friends driving up in a Rolls Royce. My clients don’t give a shit about my snooty neighbors staring at them and I don’t either. You never know what you will see coming or going from WorthamWorld. 

Everyone in my neighborhood is on a high horse. I don’t know why and don’t care either. After all, I live here myself and try to be nice to these idiots but, if you can’t take your own trash can back from the curb, don’t expect me to. 

My neighbor always leaves her trash cans out and has for years. I leave it there. It’s hard. I’m OCD. 

But, I ignore her trash can while walking Foxy solely because on the few (rare times) that I have brought it in, she expected me to take it out and bring it back. 

Walking Foxy and looking at that trash can annoys me week after week. I am intolerant of laziness and/or entitlement. I have strong opinions about people that expect others to do THEIR dirty work FOR THEM. 

No good deed goes unpunished. 

Last Sunday’s irritating conversation with my neighbor? “Well, we don’t believe in LBGT Marriage or Prison Marriage and I wanted to tell you about it.” Exhausted, I snapped. “You know what? My clients don’t give a shit about your opinions and I don’t either. I don’t care why you spy on my production team either. Mind your own GD business and stop snooping around my house or hitting on my husband. If you can’t change your own light bulb, go hire someone to do it. I hate judgmental jackasses like you who think you know it all or people care about your opinion.” 

The average house in my neighborhood is $600k and up. I don’t have a maid but everyone else does. I clean my own house and always have. I rarely sleep. I’m OCD.  

But, people will try to use you as long as you let them. I learned not to let someone else put their monkeys on my back. My husband had learned this years before me. 

But, I had “friends.” My husband doesn’t have friends or want them. My husband also doesn’t travel with me either to film or drive to Texas Prisons. My twin, my son, and my niece do.

My husband will tell you “friends are expensive and a lot of work.” He isn’t too far off. All of my life, my “friends” have either had me paying for everything or loaning them money they never paid back doing everything else for them. I’m leery of friends because I have good reason to be. 

In 2008, I copyrighted and in 2012 sold “Defending Debt Lawsuits LLC.” My original concept and formula for forcing non suits on third party debt collectors was unique and effective. 

Every debt lawsuit defending attorney wanted a copy of my solution but, nothing has ever been free to me and it wasn’t free to them either. I sold my rights and the formula to Defending Debt Lawsuits to the highest bidder. 

Since 2012, Defending Debt Lawsuits has been copied and revamped over and over again. 

Even today, consumers continue to hire attorneys to fight their debt lawsuits are paying upwards of $1200-1500 dollars per lawsuit. In most cases, these attorneys still “advise their clients to settle. By doing so, debtors literally create a new agreement and “new paper” while other collection attorneys continue to file new lawsuits. It is truly a sick Merry Go Round of money and victims. 

I had created a way (Defending Debt Lawsuits) that effectively forced non suits against third party collection lawsuits that put a halt to the train wreck. 

I also advised debtors to freeze their credit reports to prevent further lawsuits too. 

Prior to me coming up with a creative and effective solution, everyone involved in  either “fighting” lawsuits or, filing them were living the high life while defendants were committing suicide or facing the dissolution of their marriage due to the stress. 

I have no grey areas in my life and a blatant disregard for anyone victimizing others who lack integrity, ethics or a conscience. 

By the way, from 2008-2011, I provided my 100% effective formula for free to consumers on the internet. 

If you happened to be an attorney just seeking my hard work to financially benefit yourself though, I had my web Team track your URL and refused to provide a password protected download. 

I am intolerant of “Sneaky Pete’s” aka the attorneys financially benefiting from the literal FLOOD of third party lawsuits who continually take advantage of the misfortune others. 

You know, the folks who can’t afford to be taken advantage of in THE FIRST PLACE. 

What debtors didn’t and couldn’t understand and may never understand was that their Failure To Appear resulted in a Default Judgement that would never go away. Years later, their checking accounts were garnished. They never filed an answer or an appearance. They later regretted their decision. But, you can lead a horse to water and never make him drink.

The spiral of debt lawsuits came into play specifically due to the recession. When money gets tight, cockroaches aka Debt Attorneys crawl out of the woodwork. 

Consumers have no idea that by responding or agreeing to make a payment on a Time Barred Debt that they are effectively reopening and re aging the original debt. 

Debt lawsuits are so predominant that the previous “capped” amounts in JP Courts have been raised in order to account for the hundreds of lawsuits filed each week in courts across the United States. Cattle calls for defenders flood the courthouses everyday across America. 

Last Thursday, I witnessed yet another “cattle call” of confused consumers going to the wrong door or limply dragging off their belts, their hats and their shoes to go to court. The Debt Collectors in cheap suits with smirky smiles await these lost souls. 

Secretly, I pray that all debt collectors who chose to earn a living by destroying someone’s life solely to make a buck will burn in Hell for all eternity. 

Debt Collection attorneys are sharks, parasites, and one day, they will be held accountable for their crimes against humanity and the innocent victims who had no idea how to fight back. In my opinion, “the day of reckoning can’t come soon enough for Debt Collectors.” Why? Because I’ve seen the people they’ve destroyed that’s why. I’ve seen their sneaky tactics of re aging time barred debt or creating “new accounts” in order to age debts with the help of Transunion, Equifax and Experian. I’ve helped thousands of debtors but, I couldn’t save everyone. No one can. 

Collection attorneys will bully and intimidate their victims into signing an Agreement. This agreement will be “new paper.” It will also include fees, court costs and interest to the initial debt as well as late fees and other exorbitant costs to the defendant. 

It’s a tragedy but, consumers as a whole have no idea how to prepare interrogatories or admissions much less an answer.

Debt collection victims are lost in a sea of paper from collection agents and it’s not uncommon to be sued over and over for the same debt since the paper can be bought over and over again.

Happily, last Thursday, I was meeting two sets of clients for photography and wedding ceremonies. Gone are my days of trying to help people by educating them about debt lawsuits. 

Gone are the days of everyone expecting me to clean up their shit. Instead, I was at the courthouse having a good time. Thank God.

Few people realize that my extensive knowledge spans courthouses but, it does. For twenty plus years now, I’ve studied law both criminal and civil. 

During my divorce and child custody battle, I also studied family law. Sadly, many consumers are NOT aware that education is essential in order to understand the dynamics of a courtroom. You don’t “wing it” in a courtroom. 

Gone are the days when a farmer can simply plead his case and walk away with a win. What you don’t know can hurt you in a courtroom. There are timelines, deadlines and Rules Of Procedure that if you happen to think are “easy to do” are (in fact) far from it. As a Pro Se Litigant, you are expected to know and understand these Rules.

A few years ago, one of my friends, came to my home and announced “I’ve decided to stop paying my credit cards.” Alarmed and shocked since I pay for everything from lunch to shopping whenever we are together, I asked “why? You have no debt. They will sue you over and over again.” 

Turning to me, my friend said “I’m old. I don’t own a home and besides you know everything about debt lawsuits there is to know. You can help me.” Help? WTF? “Helping” became opening my mailbox to a Manila envelope chock full of collection letters AND lawsuits against my “friend.” Those were HER MONKEYS not mine. 

I walked away from courthouses and clerks years ago. The LAST thing I wanted to do was help someone who had literally stepped in shit and wanted me to clean her shoes. I was angry and questioned my friendship with people who always wanted something from me. I began to wonder and realize if every person I assumed was a friend was instead a user? I was pretty close to finding out. 

Months later, I came home to the first lawsuit filed against my frenemy in my mailbox. How convenient for my frenemy to drop her problems into my mailbox for me to prepare her Notice Of Appearance and General Denial. Weeks later, another lawsuit. Then another and another. 

My friend or frenemy was sued 15 times over her initial Default of 40k. By the eighth lawsuit and non suit, I was overwhelmed dealing with my friends pile of shit. Now, she was conveniently also leaving IRS letters on the “income” earned by not paying her debts too. 

Meanwhile, my father was getting sued for back taxes and I was ready to rip my own hair out. 

Instead, I went to my friends house and took all of her mail back in a paper bag. I also told her “hire an attorney, file bankruptcy but, your problems were created by you. I’ve had more than enough of coming home to a mailbox full of your problems or worse, my father’s. Both of you can do what I now do and hire your own attorneys. I’m out of the clean everybody’s else’s shit up business. It’s sucks and it doesn’t pay a dime. Also, filing fees aren’t free. Hours preparing YOUR paperwork consume my time and rather than appreciate me fighting my way through a sea of paperwork, you don’t thank me but instead bring me more of your shit. Our friendship is over because I don’t need friends that take advantage of me, my knowledge or my soft heart. Based on your lawsuits, the initial $40k is going to follow you for the rest of your life. You will be sued over and over again and you will continue to drop more problems into my mailbox. I don’t want your problems. I don’t have problems. You do. File Chapter 7 and stay out of the mall.” My father got the same conversation. 

I cut ties from both of them and stopped getting everyone’s problems or piles of THEIR shit dropped off in my mailbox. Goodbye and good riddance! 

After years in courtrooms, I put the faces of people who were unwilling to help themselves and their sad stories far behind me. I NOW PAY ATTORNEYS and don’t “help” draw up lawsuits. 

If you step in SHIT, don’t call me to clean it up “just because I can” or because “I’m so good at it.” I’m out of the lawsuit business and have been for years! Sure, I can do it but, no one GAVE me the knowledge on how to do it. I figured it out MYSELF. 

In fact, I can draw up a lawsuit blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back but, I’m damn busy and not interested in solving everyone’s problems “just because I can.” 

My husband and I sold our home and I moved on to a place in my life where I had assumed 10-14 hour days would be long behind me but, success isn’t for couch potatoes. 

While at the courthouse, I turned away from the weak and the weary marching into the gates of Hell. Those “courthouse days” are far behind me. Instead, Leigh Ann and I met our wonderful clients and enjoyed hours of fun with them. Here are the photos from the Courthouse-Denika & Tasha Fort Worth, Texas.

For everyone calling me to do their dirty work or do all the work for them that expect to benefit from my sacrifice, here’s a great lesson for ya all, “F Off.” 

If you think that I’m lucky you are full of shit. I’m the hardest working most loyal son of a bitch you are ever going to meet but, I’m not stupid. In fact, I’m highly intelligent. 

When I expanded Texas Twins Events to The Pawning Planners and later to TDCJ Weddings, I didn’t do it to benefit my competition. I did it to help people. If you cannot get your own clients, that’s YOUR LUGGAGE and YOUR TRIP. 

I’m not going to tell you how to make your business successful because mine is. I know all about “shopping competitors.” I also know all about unethical people who have taken advantage of people who eventually found me and I married them instead. 

Frankly, they wouldn’t have been looking for me had you been doing your job in the first place. I hate liars, losers, con artists and smoke or mirrors. I also hate unethical people who cry “she stole my clients!” Bitch please. You lost your client because you kept lying and misleading them. Get over yourself. 

No, I’m not going to send you MY CLIENTS because I earned their business by being fair and honest and upfront. I made TDCJ Weddings affordable and the rest of ya all can stop the game playing and pity parties. 

“You get all of the clients because you are so cheap.” Whatever. I don’t have to work remember genius? Hell excuses are like assholes. Everybody has one. 

Stop wondering why I’m on top of Google without paying to be there or how the Hell your clients found me after you screwed them over. I wasn’t soliciting clients- I never have had to Sherlock. These clients  started looking because they realized you “other Officiants” were screwing them around.

“Don’t CRITICIZE my PARTY, if YOU showed up, UNINVITED and WITHOUT a GIFT.”

Cindy Daniel

PS- I know who subscribes to my blogs, visits my sites, spies on my social media and all the other childish crap you “other Officiants” are doing to try and copy me. I just don’t care. You aren’t me. You can’t be me and you sure as Hell have never operated a business like me either. 

Pretending to be a prospect is one of the stupidest ideas I’ve heard of yet. Did you think my competition hasn’t been “shopping me” for years trying to get a piece of my clients? I’m well aware of your stupidity and your phony phone calls. I simply play along but, you aren’t wasting my time as Cindy and I listen in on Bluetooth. Why, because we are headed to MEET yet another one of YOUR FORMER clients that’s why. Put that in your pipe and smoke it smart ass. 

I’m ethical, honest, reliable and I’ve never disappointed any client in my life. If you want to copy something, you might try copying MY integrity…. 

TDCJ Bridgeport Unit To Allred & Good Times With Great People…

Getting my beautiful bride approved for her wedding at Bridgeport Unit took some time. Often, clients have no idea how long the Prison Planning Process actually takes. 

From the ID to getting up to 6 signatures on the I60 Request For Marriage Form, marrying an inmate isn’t a quick or easy process. 

The “process” can take 3-6 weeks and, if there’s a Lock Down, longer as weddings are not permitted during a Lock Down.

At a few times during the Prison Wedding Planning Process, my Bridgeport bride nearly gave up altogether due to her frustration regarding the process. 

But, I walked and talked her through the process and we “hung in there together” awaiting good news. 

Last week, the Chaplain finally gave us a selection of dates. It was a celebration for not only my bride but also, the Grooms family.

The bride and groom grew up together. They lived only 3 blocks from each other most of their lives.

The couple went to middle school and high school together and were friends long before “Lock Up.” 

Occasionally, I refer to my clients unique situations as “love locked down” because it is. Waiting is the hardest part. 

Bridgeport is a privately owned TDCJ Facility. Because of this, wedding photos are not offered. Privately owned units “dance to the beat of their own drum.” Although they fall under TDCJ, the rules can be different from one Unit to the next. 

Guests are very rare at Prison Weddings and sadly, the Grooms parents and sisters weren’t allowed to witness the ceremony but, happily waited on the bride and I while inside.

Since the parents missed the ceremony, I am mailing them a copy of my wedding script as a courtesy and memento along with photos taken after the ceremony. 

How rare is it for visitors to be allowed to witness a Prison Wedding? The ONLY unit in my years of officiating Prison Weddings that has ever allowed “guests” has been Sanders Estes Unit. Guests are normally prohibited at every Unit I Officiate at including privately owned facilities. 

However, Estes has made exceptions for parents on 3 occasions the past 2 1/2 years which obviously thrilled the parents. 

For all of my other families, I’m sorry but the “odds of visitors” being allowed at a wedding are so slim that it’s best to accept you won’t have guests other than me beside you on the “inside.” 

Walking back out to the parking area, there were three vehicles of excited family members awaiting my beautiful bride and I which is unusual but was a delightful and joyous experience for not only her but also, me. 

Families who “wait together” on the release of a loved one are both are strong and resilient. Due to freezing Texas temperatures, I quickly decided to “caravan the families” on our way back out of the unit to a nearby hotel and unload my “traveling photo prop” loaded SUV. 

Normally, I use hotel lobbies if it’s raining or freezing because 1. Hotel lobbies are public places and great for photos and, 2. Hotel employees are accommodating and friendly. The receptionist at Econolodge was so friendly and helpful yesterday that she opened the conference room for our group. 

Today, I’m mailing her a gift card and thank you note for being so helpful and kind.My bride hadn’t packed a coat and I happened to have one on hand to “gift her” on wedding day while also loaning her my hat and gloves. 

I had loaned the same coat to my Ferguson Unit bride. It was cold and rainy the last time I headed back to Ferguson Unit and my bride was happy to try on several coats including a mink I had packed for fun photos. I bring an eclectic array of photo prop items as a courtesy. But, winter is nearly over and my Bridgeport bride needed the coat far more than my inventory did. It was also a “perfect fit.” I’ve listed the mink coat I had purchased for winter weddings this year at Texas Twins Treasures. 

I’d also purchased a Mr & Mrs throw pillow that I presented as a wedding gift. I’ve used it a lot this season and, it needed a new home.

Since I’m always asked why most of my bridal or groom photos shoots are outdoors, if the weather is permitting, the lighting helps with clearer photos. Most outdoor photos are taken near the unit.

The wide variety of my custom created bouquets gives us several different photo options. I generally bring 5-8 various bouquets in different colors to accommodate additional guests or family members as well as boutonnières. 

My Hutchins State Jail bride (below left) loved that I had so many different bouquets and props. Although she had told me that she wasn’t comfortable taking photos, she quickly shook that off and had a blast with my niece, Leigh Ann and I. 

I loved spending my day with my amazing group of family members at Bridgeport. 

In fact, I’m putting this wedding right up there with my top 3 favorite prison weddings. That’s saying a lot for a person who performs Prison Weddings every week Monday through Friday. 

My weekends and evenings are spent accommodating “traditional clients.” Yes, I work 7 days a week. Not seasonally either. Prison Weddings don’t have a season. 

I’ve met hundreds of families at Prison Weddings and all of them are thankful, courteous and kind to not only me but also, my staff. Leaving the hotel, our caravan headed to lunch at Jorge’s in Bridgeport. We saw two painted walls that made perfect backdrops and decided to snap a few fun photos to finish our day of celebration together before lunch.After lunch, our group walked over to another festive mural a few block over to throw flower petals at the bride for our last photo of the day together. 

I had seen the colorful mural while driving with our caravan to Jorges restaurant and loved it. We backtracked to snap a few fun photos. While we were at lunch, I reviewed several emails but, the one from Mary caught my attention. 

I review emails and take calls all day from Units regarding scheduling as well as new client inquiries and traditional event service requests. My phone is my greatest “work tool.” 

Mary has been waiting to marry Lester at Allred Unit. Mary also did a news television show about their “unique union.”

What made it “unique?” Mary was one of the jurors that sentenced Lester to life in prison. I was concerned about the publicity and backlash with good reason. Why? Because I knew not everyone would accept or warm up to this “love story” and also because Prisons don’t enjoy film crews on the premises either or publicity either. 

I had also declined to be interviewed as I knew that it wouldn’t be a “good idea” based on the circumstances. 

I’m the “minister” but, after the Dallas Morning News interview, I’m far more selective about who I talk to or my clients. 

For those who don’t know what happened after Jeff Mosier interviewed me for being an “Openly LBGT Friendly” event business in Texas, death threats and hate mail were the “bonus” of the interview for not only me but also, my staff. 

I’m cautious regarding reporters and “their angles” for damn good reasons. They sensationalize the story. Jeff Mosier didn’t and look what happened to my team and I. Years of death threats. Did it stop me or my staff or change my beliefs? Absolutely not. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Opinions don’t dictate my decisions either. 

A few months ago, my Hughes Unit bride told me while waiting on our armed escorts “you should know he’s a reality star. He was on Episode 4 of I’m A Killer.” Surprised, I knew once again that reporters would call me and, I was right. I declined all interviews knowing that the general public would get “opinionated.” A few concerned connections emailed me because they recognized him in photos. They were concerned about my safety. 

I’m at no time without armed guards present. I’m safer in a prison than anywhere else. The fact that “Happy Holidays” was behind me in that photo made it seem as if we were anywhere other than a Prison. But, we were in the Visitation Area of Hughes Unit. A guard took the unit photos. For the haters and trolls out there wondering about it, the answer is yes, I also Officiate LBGT Prison Weddings. 

My clients are a melting pot. If you don’t like it, it’s “not my luggage- not my trip.” 

Mary told me that after the segment was aired, Lester was getting death threats. I was saddened to hear this but, hopeful that once Lester and Mary were married, things would settle down. 

If you missed the interview with Mary and Lester, here’s the link– Juror Plans To Marry Inmate She Sentenced To Life In Prison. The title alone would give others the impression that Mary alone rendered the verdict. She didn’t. There were 12 jurors not 1. 

Yesterday, Mary emailed me that the Warden wanted to talk to her prior to scheduling the wedding at Allred. 

This is somewhat unusual but, the Warden effectively runs the Unit and is therefore in charge of either Approving or Denying an application to marry at the Unit. 

I’m back at Allred March 6th and look forward to finally meeting Monica in person. Usually, my ceremonies are stacked at Units. This saves me driving back and forth twice a month but, if Mary gets scheduled on March 20th, I’m happy to make the drive to Wichita Falls twice in the same month. 

Mary missed a February 20th and March 6th scheduled wedding at Allred because Lesters I60 Request For Marriage Form hadn’t made it through the “6 signature trail” to the Warden’s desk at the time Monica got her Approval for March 6th. 

My Michael Unit bride had also emailed me crushed about being Denied on her I60. I was deeply saddened about this but the groom had failed to list her on his visitation list. 

Because of this, getting on the visitation list will take a few weeks which is a setback but, thankfully a minor one. 

In order to marry an inmate, you MUST be listed on their visitors list. There are no exceptions to this rule outlined in the Administrative Directive pertaining to inmate marriage ceremonies. 

I’m hoping to get scheduled for Wynn Unit, Crain Unit, Coffield Unit, Luther Unit and Beto Unit this month for my “clients waiting on dates.” But, I’m already scheduled at Stiles, 3 Huntsville Units, Jester, Hobby and Buster Cole as well as several county jails this month. 

Perseverance and patience is required for my clients awaiting dates AKA those “on the outside” as scheduling takes time. 

Traditionally, timelines are 3-6 weeks start to finish on scheduling your Texas Prison Wedding. Remember though that a Lock Down will affect timelines.

I look forward to meeting all of my clients soon and wish many years of love, joy and happiness to my newest newlyweds ?

Why Vow Renewals Are Not Offered At TDCJ Prison Units…

This evening after returning home from a long drive to Huntsville, Texas, I had a message through my FB Page, Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham regarding Vow Renewals. 

The Administrative Directive is specific pertaining to inmate marriages and a requirement on “wedding day” is a marriage license from the County Clerk as well as your state issued ID or passport. 

Because you cannot legally marry the same person twice, Vow Renewals are a popular way of celebrating your life together. 

However, since such ceremonies aren’t authorized by TDCJ, I came up with a new way to celebrate Clients anniversaries by having them print a Vow Renewal for their years together or if I’ve married the couple, providing one myself as a courtesy.

There are a number of sites with free downloads to say “I Do” all over again and, inmates are thrilled to receive these certificates in the mail. 

If you’d like to check out one of my favorite sites for free downloadable certificates, here’s the link– I Do Still Free Download Vow Renewal Certificate.

All you need is a computer and if you like, you can buy luxe paper to print on at Office Depot or other retailers. 

Congrats to all of my TDCJ Brides and Grooms on their upcoming anniversaries and looking forward to Vow Renewals for my previous clients who have finally made it through the storm and freedom. My team and I look forward to meeting ya all again at your celebrations this year.

I’m all over in March from Allred to Hobby to Stiles to Bridgeport to Coffield and numerous Units in Huntsville and Tennessee Colony. Mid month bookings have been moved to accommodate existing bookings that already have been assigned dates.

Due to my schedule, bookings are on a first come first book basis. If you are booking mid month, your wedding will be scheduled the following month. The timeline for Prison Wedding Planning is generally 4-6 weeks. 

The ID often takes up to 3 weeks on its own. The TDCJ ID will also need to be notarized. The Law Library at all Units is where the inmate will get the notary seal. You will also need an Absentee Affidavit which will also be notarized in the Law Library. Using both of these documents, you will purchase a marriage license. 

After the inmate has obtained notary seals of both the ID and the Absentee Affidavit, you will have him or her go back to the Law Library to file an I60 Request For Marriage Form. The I60 Form requires up to 6 signatures and your TDCJ Approved Officiant MUST be listed on it or it will NOT be APPROVED. 

Since the I60 Form requires so many signatures, it is passed from signee to signee. If a signer is on vacation or our sick, the form waits for them to return and sign it before passing it to the next signer. Because of this, there is no set timeline for a marriage ceremony to be Approved. The Warden is the last person to sign off on this document before passing it to the Chaplain who then contacts me to go over my availability before “setting” the date and time.

I require all clients to sign a contract. My reasons for this are that I almost never have met my TDCJ Clients in person until wedding day. Your behavior reflects on me as you are my client. Because of this, my TDCJ contract outlines all of the possible “no no” situations ahead of time. From what to wear to what you can or cannot bring to respectful behavior inside a Texas Prison as well as when to arrive, my contract covers all of the bases. This is key to us enjoying a worry free wedding day with no surprises. 

As my client, you will at no time be alone or without me by your side once we enter a Prison or Jail. Unless of course, you need to use the restroom. In such cases, I will wait for you outside the restroom. 

Most clients are nervous on wedding day because no one expected to be marrying at a Texas Prison. You will be okay. I will make sure of it. There will also be guards to escort us and the possibility of the Warden, Chaplain or both witnessing your ceremony. Focus on your fiancée and don’t be nervous. 

There is no open mouth kissing, groping or inappropriate contact allowed. You can hold hands, hug and kiss (closed mouth) at the end of your ceremony.

Certain Units allow a brief visit following the wedding ceremony of 10-20 minutes but, this varies from Unit to Unit. 

Certain Units offer photos of your Prison Wedding. Again, this varies from Unit to Unit. However, if photos are offered, I bring $6 in quarters and purchase 2 photos that I copy and mail clients as a courtesy. Clients can purchase up to 6 photos (if they are offered).

If you are marrying at a Death Row Unit, the circumstances are completely different than those mentioned above. Traditionally, the location is in the Visitation Area. However, Death Row Units often do not allow the inmate to leave the cell area. No photos are allowed in cell areas. Please be aware of this.

The ring issue continues to “come up.” However, the Administrative Directive specifically forbids the exchange of property to an inmate (Section K). 

As my client, I must insist that you DO NOT attempt to sneak anything into the Unit. Such behavior will suspend your marriage and your ability to visit.

Because I’m committed to giving you a worry free wedding day, I’m once again revisiting the wedding ring issue. But, only a special exception from the Warden can override this rule and in three years, I’ve never seen an exception made regarding a ring exchange. 

However, you can wear your ring in and hand it to me mid ceremony thus allowing the inmate to put it upon YOUR finger. If desired, I can also bless your ring as part of the ceremony. I’m happy to do so and love creative input from clients making their ceremony unique and memorable.

I strongly encourage all of my TDCJ Clients to write poetry, scripture, song lyrics or something you haven’t said before in order to make your ceremony as special as you are. By writing something yourself, you extend our time with your fiancée as certain Units only allow us to have the ceremony and then leave without the benefit of a brief visit. By writing things down and handing them to me prior to entry, I can hand them back to you and extend our visit by 5-10 minutes based on the length of your notes. 

Complimentary Bridal or Groom Photography is offered to all of my TDCJ Clients as a courtesy. I have a rolling photo booth of props, bouquets and more to bring fun to your photo shoot. I make double prints of photos as a courtesy so clients can send their new spouse copies.

Wedding dresses are RARELY allowed at Prison or Jail Weddings unless it’s a minimum security Unit. It’s so rare that a bride is allowed to wear a wedding dress that I’m pointing this out. 

However, if you wish to change clothes for your photo shoot with me, I encourage you to bring your dress with you. 

Visitation Attire is expected at your Prison Wedding. Please do not wear tight or revealing clothing. The last thing you want is to be handed a cafeteria smock. It’s happened and it always breaks my heart. I don’t want my brides crying on wedding day so, I strongly discourage anything that might be deemed “risqué.” The Unit has the final call on Attire. 

While guests are rarely allowed at maximum security Units and especially, Death Row Units, occasionally at minimum security Units such as Estes, the guest exception has been granted but, it’s only ever happened at Estes.

If you’d like to bring friends or relatives, I encourage you to because it makes your drive far more pleasant and because they are welcome to join you in photos after we leave the Unit.

Laying Out. What is it and what does it mean? I ask all TDCJ Clients to have the inmate lay out the day prior to the wedding. My reasons for this are that if the inmate is in class or working on wedding day, it’s difficult for staff to locate them on the premises. It’s not uncommon to wait up to 3 hours for a Unit to find the inmate. If the inmate has laid out, they stay in their cell and are easy to locate and move to the Visitation Area. 

You cannot bring a change of clothes for the inmate. This rule is also specifically addressed in the Administrative Directive under “offender property.” I know you’d like your loved one to wear something other than state issued attire but, we cannot change the rules. 

Please do not drink PRIOR to your Prison Wedding or bring anything onto the property that shouldn’t be there. Leave mace, wasp spray and other similar items at home. Your car may very well be searched and the last thing you need on your wedding day is a problem with something in your vehicle. Even if you own a firearm and are licensed to carry it, you CANNOT under ANY circumstances bring a firearm or cell phone into a Prison Unit. 

By knowing what to expect at your Prison Wedding, I’m hoping it makes your day seamless and as close to perfect as we can get it. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled wedding time to allow a search entering the Unit. 

If you wear a wire bra, corset or other lingerie with metal, you may be asked to go to the bathroom for a private screening. Please be courteous to staff during this process. The guards are following protocol and it will always be a female or if you are a male, a male guard conducting a private search.

Your hands and feet will also be screened. Because of this, I can help you remove your shoes but once cleared, I cannot assist you putting your shoes back on. There are generally benches or seating available to give you a place to sit and put your shoes back on.

Please be aware that expired ID will not be accepted to enter a TDCJ Facility. If your ID is soon to expire, I strongly encourage you to replace it. Passports are accepted as ID as well as state issued drivers licenses.

I always ask clients if they wish for me to file their marriage license? There are valid reasons for this. First, marriage licenses have a shelf life. Once signed by me, they must be filed within 30 days. If you wish to file your license in person on your own, PLEASE do so quickly. If you’ve lost your license, contact me immediately and visit the clerks office as I will need to sign a duplicate. 

It’s best to allow me to file your license as I file them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week. If your license is from a clerk more than one hour from my location in Fort Worth, Texas, I mail it Certified/Return Receipt in order to track it and ensure it arrived timely and safely to the clerks office. 

If you have any other questions, comments or concerns not addressed in today’s blog, you can email me directly wendy@texastwinsevents.com I answer emails every 1-2 hours. 

Many clients and prospects are messaging me on Instagram (wendywortham) or FB. My FB page alerts me to new messages while Instagram does not if you aren’t following me or I’m not following you, Instagram “hides” your message. Because of this issue, a delay in my responding to you might occur. Please email me or call me (682-229-6838) if you have messaged me on Instagram and more than a few hours have elapsed. My clients are important to me and a priority. The last thing I want is for someone to assume that I’ve overlooked them or weren’t addressing their needs immediately.

I’m inside Units Monday through Friday or traveling to Prisons or Jails. If I don’t answer your call immediately, I assure you as soon as I get back in my vehicle, I will. 

Weekends are workdays for me too as I own Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures and The Pawning Planners as well as work at numerous DFW based venues I’m on staff at. If you are contacting me on a weekend or evening, I may be working and occasionally, my twin sister, Cindy will field calls and take messages for me.

Responding to all inquiries is important to myself and my staff. Exceeding our clients expectations will always be a priority to us. 

Strong Prison Wives, Husband’s & Families Who Continue To Keep The Faith…

Nearly everyday I hear from someone interested in a Prison or Jail Wedding. The number of inquiries would surprise you but, there are many people in love with an inmate and although the majority of my Client base for Texas Prison Weddings is compromised of females, there are also males marrying female inmates. 

Yesterday, Our House Media sent an email asking about families living together awaiting the release of an inmate. 

After reading the flyer, I agreed to share it on my FB Page– Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham. I also asked OHM “if LBGT Couples were invited to apply since a large portion of my TDCJ clients happen to be LBGT.” OHM answered that “all families are invited to apply.” 

I’m familiar with OHM because they worked on a sizzle reel three years ago about my family owned and operated event businesses, Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners as well as documenting how our Texas Twins Treasures storefront effectively “flips” trades bartered through The Pawning Planners. 

The barter option continues to surprise people but finding ways for ANYONE to afford services was the reason that I decided to create The Pawning Planners by merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures together. 

Families who couldn’t “write a check,” scheduled an Appraisal Appointment and invited my twin sister and I into their homes to “find something of value instead.” Cindy and I love digging through trash to find treasure. Especially when our hunt is to help a family. 

Three years ago, prison Weddings weren’t “part of our event service options.” Regardless though, OHM did a great job trying to tie together a package aka my family into a 3 minute video also known as a “sizzle reel.” 

I became a TDCJ Officiant shortly after Our House Media created a sizzle reel outlining how four generations of my family work together to make Dream Events a reality. 

My twin sister is my partner and my son and his wife work together as an Officiant/Photography team while my niece, Leigh Ann works as an Officiant or Photographer at event bookings. 

My twin grandnieces worked as flower girls and ring bearers for years for “tips or flips” but now work as princess characters at birthday parties. 

Evolving, expanding and rebranding was essential to our growth and also how a creative request three years ago for “an Officiant at Sanders Estes Unit” would bring a new change and direction to our already wide array of options at Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners.

Misty was having difficulty finding anyone willing to Officiate her wedding. The problem? First, it was at a Prison and secondly, it was an interracial marriage. It’s sad to me that anyone would “judge” or “screen” but the truth is that there are a number of Officiants and even photographers who regularly turn away prospects solely because “they are different.” 

My family and I have always welcomed anyone and while Misty’s situation was unique, I was willing to undergo the process to become a TDCJ Approved Officiant.

Did I know that my business was about to boom with Prison Weddings? No. Who would? I had no idea that there were so many consumers seeking inmate weddings. But, my weekdays are now spent at Texas Prisons and County Jails. 

Before inmate weddings, my weekdays were spent evaluating trades or delivering Texas Twins Treasures sold items when not meeting new clients. 

Three years ago, all of our bookings were either on weekends or in the evening. Today, my entire team work seven days a week due to the new bookings at Texas Prisons and County Jails. 

My son, daughter in law and niece traditionally handle county jail weddings while I address all Texas Prison bookings. Cindy and I travel across Texas on a daily basis to Texas Prisons as a Twin Team. 

While I’m inside a prison, Cindy shops for bargains at area thrift and junk stores for new Texas Twins Treasures items. 

After the ceremony is over at the prison, my Client and I meet back up with my sister for impromptu photo shoots that all of our TDCJ Clients enjoy. Photo shoots are fun and bring the celebration to wedding day. 

Cindy and I pack a number of bouquets and props as well as clothing changes to keep our shoots fun and full of variety. Over the years, my twin sister, Cindy and I have filmed several sizzle reels with production companies. But, finding a production company that can “successfully” tie my unique blend of businesses into a box hasn’t been easy. 

Obviously my “wide array of services” doesn’t fit in a box. I’ve been told that “prison weddings” are controversial but, real life isn’t controversial and love isn’t either. 

My TDCJ clients are all educated and fully accept the challenges that loving an inmate brings to their lives. It’s not an easy path. Loving an inmate is expensive for the person or family “on the outside.” The phone calls and long drives to visit are tough on families.

Last week, I was once again at Sanders Estes Unit. This time for a wedding ceremony on Valentines Day which was unusual since wedding ceremonies normally take place on Friday’s twice a month. 

The wardens secretary told me she had asked if the wedding could take place on Valentines Day because “it would be more romantic.” My Sanders Estes Client had arrived with the Grooms parents and was thrilled about the Warden allowing the mother and father to join us in the visitation area for the ceremony. The Warden at Estes literally made this families day after a long drive from Austin, Texas to Estes in Venus. 

There ARE FAMILIES awaiting the release of inmates. There ARE FAMILIES who live together while waiting for the release of an inmate. OHM has a great idea to document the visits, the phone calls and even, the lengthy process of waiting. The waiting is the hardest part. 

Prison Marriage or even Prison Love might be “controversial” to people who cannot understand the concept but, controversial or not, Prison Visitation Areas are becoming wedding chapels two days a month in Texas and other states. 

Inmate marriages are on the rise and as families and loved ones await the next visit, the next phone call and finally on the day of release, there are also happy endings… 

Valentines Day At Estes Unit Venus, Texas…

Valentines Day is one of my busiest days of the year. From Vow Renewals of previous clients to new bookings, juggling new requests required putting my entire team to work. 

Meeting my niece, Leigh Ann and her daughter, Madyson at Blue Bonnet Bakery to pick up the cake for our 3PM wedding, Cindy and I were “buckling up” for a bumpy day as the Texas Twins “hit the road.” 

As usual, Maddy jumped into my SUV to play with the balloons I had bought for my brides photo shoots today. Leigh Ann and Maddy had a full day of events that ended with picking up my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna from school and a “dinner date” following while Cindy and I were road tripping. 

Of course, Maddy enjoyed her favorite cookies from Blue Bonnet for a treat after her speech therapy early this morning. Maddy’s hearing issues went unnoticed until a year ago. 

After surgery for tubes in her ears, Maddy has picked up speaking but at a slower rate than other toddlers. Because of this, speech therapy is helping to bring her up to speed. It’s great that Leigh Ann and Maddy both enjoy the sessions because Maddy can be a handful now and then.

I had purchased a grouping of Valentines balloons not realizing that one of them was a Minions “I’m with stupid” balloon. Although the s and t had been crossed out, I’m glad that I noticed this and cut the possibly offensive balloon from the bunch. 

Saying goodbye to Leigh Ann and Madyson, Cindy and I checked in with my son and his wife on their schedules officiating at county jails and two venues today. Everyone was running on schedule so Cindy and I hit the highway to head forty minutes away to Venus. 

I frequently check in with my son or niece when the team is split in numerous directions. If I’m unavailable, they call Cindy for advice or insight. Cindy and I have been handling events together for nine years now so it’s hard to surprise us with something unexpected but, it happens. 

Arriving in Venus, Texas, I dropped my saucy twin sister at McDonald’s and headed  ten miles away to Estes Unit. 

My bride looked beautiful and the Grooms parents were excited and thrilled to be able to join us in the visitation area for the ceremony. 

The ceremony was short but sweet and I was surprised to learn that Estes doesn’t sell photos for $3 each anymore. Instead, they mail photos as a courtesy which is a nice surprise but, my bride was a little disappointed to be leaving without wedding photos. Hopefully, they are emailed by next week.

Leaving Estes Unit, my bride and her new parent in laws followed me to pick up Cindy and scout a few locations for photos. 

I found two hotels nearby and decided to make use of their lobbies while fielding calls for new bookings at Coffield, Beto, Garza East, Ferguson and Allred. 

My phone never stops ringing. I handed it to Cindy to field my calls and emails while searching through my traveling photo booth for fun props. Trying to find a beautiful backdrop in Alvarado, I showed my bride how to jump by example. I’m not great at jumping but, occasionally I try to show Clients unique ways to incorporate fun into their photo shoots. 

Cindy and I weren’t “thrilled” with the field as a backdrop and decided that the hotel lobby for Holiday Inn Express and Days Inn would work better and, they did.

It’s not easy finding great locations near Prisons for photos. Often, I use Google to check out locations ahead of time. 

I found several bouquets and props and even decided to make use of the elevator. By 2:00PM, I had a variety of shots with not only the bride but also the Grooms parents. They loved that I had packed tiaras, bouteniers, bouquets and other fun props. It was nearly time for me to pack everything up and head back to Fort Worth. My timeline was pretty tight today. 

Celebrating wedding day after leaving a Prison can be a less than “celebratory” occasion. I change that by offering complimentary photography and an opportunity to “feel like a bride or groom.” My clients love photo shoots with me. Many tell me it was their favorite part of wedding day. 

Heading back to Fort Worth to Bell Tower Chapel, Willow Lake Event Center and Mercado Event Center for an evening of weddings, Cindy and I decided to hit a Starbucks and saw a man selling Bonsai trees nearby. I bought one for my husband hoping he would enjoy it as a Valentines gift. 

Multitasking our way back from Venus, Cindy called to check on Leigh Ann and all three of her granddaughters while I called back prospects and checked in with my husband and son. Our cell phones ringing all the way, Cindy and I had a great day and are looking forward to taking Friday off before gearing up for a busy weekend of Texas Twins Events bookings. It’s rare to have a day off but, when we do, it’s time to recharge our batteries and gear up for more adventures….  

Saying Yes To The Dress- Allred Unit To Tarrant County Jail…

Right up to wedding day with my Prison brides, I review options for clothing as clothing can be closely scrutinized at Prison Units. 

Yesterday’s adventure began in Wichita Falls as I rolled out of my driveway with my son and his wife joining me on a road trip to Allred Unit. Robert and Stephanie had the day off and I enjoy company while driving across Texas. 

My son and his wife are preparing to move into their first home in a few weeks and we spent the time driving going over details of what to keep and what to sell. I hate moving and know how chaotic moving can be. I bought my first home in my late 20’s not knowing the unexpected expenses that could occur. From hail storms to an A/C needing to be replaced, my first home was a money pit. I loved the fireplace but had no idea that the logs purchased at the grocery store would require chimney sweeping either. I learned a lot in my first home with the most important lesson being to put money back for the next unexpected surprise. Warily, I warned my son to plan for a rainy day because owning a home is an expensive endeavor. 

Dropping Robert and Stephanie off at Walmart some ten miles from Allred, I headed on to meet Flor. We both arrived at noon and waited patiently. Flor looked stunning in a beautiful white dress that I hoped wouldn’t be deemed “too tight” or “too sheer.” White is tricky at Prison Weddings. Attire for your unit wedding falls under the visitation dress code and although it’s your wedding day, Wardens have the final call on your clothing.

Thankfully, Flor had no issues with her gorgeous dress yesterday. Another bride was waiting on her Officiant. This normally wouldn’t be an issue but, as usual, “the other Officiant” was thirty minutes late which forced Flor, myself and the volunteer chaplain to wait on “the other Officiant.” I have no idea why “other Officiants” are always late but, they are. It’s unprofessional in my opinion and at Allred, everyone must wait to enter together. Flor was becoming nervous as was I since I needed to be back in Fort Worth at Tarrant County Jail to meet another client at 4:30PM.

After the “other Officiant” finally arrived, we lined up to walk into the Prison towards the visitation area. Normally, photography is offered and photos are sold for $3 each at Unit weddings. My last two visits to Allred though were without photos offered which upset both of my brides. I’m going to inquire about the photos and try to determine whether Unit Wedding Photos have been discarded altogether. If they have, I’m sorry for my clients as these photos are the only opportunity to have the couple in photos together.

Waiting on the Groom, Flor looked stunning and told me that the Grooms parents were planning a party for her back in Dallas. I was happy that Flor would be celebrating her wedding and had a strong support system in place.

Leaving Allred, I had Flor follow me to a road near the unit for impromptu photos. The rain had stopped but, the overcast sky affected the lighting. 

Flor and I had fun stopping traffic on the remote road to allure a few bridal photos to remember her day. I had packed my SUV with a variety of tiaras and bouquets to bring the fun and loved the way my fur stole accented Flor’s strappy sandals. Congratulating her with a hug, I jumped into my SUV to run and pick up Robert and Stephanie to head to Fort Worth. They had both enjoyed a mani/pedi and were looking forward to grabbing lunch.

My son drives to Wichita Falls frequently for Mr G’s and told me there was a gas station with a Steak & Shake outside of Decatur. The gas station had beef jerky and an assortment of other interesting items similar to a truck stop. I love truck stops because you never know what you will find. 

Answering emails for me, my son noted that an inquiry for Jordan Unit brought up two very different locations. Google listed Jordan Unit an hour from Fort Worth while TDCJ listed Jordan Unit over five hours away. Due to the confusion, I had my son confirm the unit address with Melissa. 

My fees are based on distance and a five hour one way drive with 1-2 hours inside the unit is a full day for me. Please include the actual address on unit inquiries to alleviate any confusion. PS- Congratulations Melissa. I look forward to meeting you soon. 

I’m back at Coffield and Estes Unit next week. My Estes bride is thrilled to be marrying on Valentines Day. Due to the holiday, I’m packing festive balloons for her photo shoot. This is unusual as I normally only bring props but, my bride is so happy about Valentines Day that I’ve decided to do something different. 

I’ve had a few questions regarding courthouse steps weddings and Vow Renewal Ceremonies. The location can be a park, Prison, courthouse steps, parking lot or just about any location for a wedding. A Vow Renewal is simply a “do over” of the wedding ceremony. Normally with friends and family present. 

Elopement packages offer intimate options for clients who aren’t planning a “big affair.” If you wish to do a private ceremony, I suggest the elopement package. We offer photography and a wide array of discount options for an Officiant/Photography Package to Firefighters, Active or Retired Military, Police, First Responders, Teachers, and LBGT Couples. 

While a few of you might question my LBGT Discount option, it should be noted that years ago when I started Texas Twins Events, the LBGT Community welcomed Texas Twins Events with open arms. 

Due to their loyalty, I’ve offered discounts on all services at all of my businesses to LBGT couples for nearly nine years now. I’m looking forward to meeting my latest TDCJ LBGT couple in May at their prison wedding and being a part of their happily ever after. 

I was recently asked by KTVT why my business “shifted” from traditional events to predominantly TDCJ Events or LBGT Events or a combination of both? The reason is I enjoy working with people who appreciate our help. Over the years, I’ve had more than one bridezilla and quite frankly, I no longer work with difficult people. Why? I don’t have to. The clients I choose are wonderful to not only me but also, my Texas Twins Events Team. 

While a minute amount of clients opt to barter through The Pawning Planners, it’s a very small percentage. The barter option exists in order to address a wide array of clients from nearly any any economic situation. 

Whether a client is barteting or booking directly through Texas Twins Events, creating another way to have a life event for families who wanted one took creativity on my part. I merged Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create The Pawning Planners. We don’t “only do weddings” either. We also do baptisms, funeral ceremonies, birthday parties, quincineras, and numerous other services including estate liquidation and home staging. I have a staff that includes four generations of my family members to address large or small events. 

Nearly all of my TDCJ Clients book Vow Renewal ceremonies upon release of their loved one from a Texas Prison. Their celebration of Love After LockUp is shared with family and friends. 

I’m headed to Luther Unit today and looking forward to “road tripping” with my twin sister, Cindy and searching for a few treasures at junk stores along our way. Finding time to spend with my family by creating a unique and diverse events business was and always will be one of the best business ideas I’ve ever had. 

It Takes Grace To Remain Kind In Cruel Situations…

While headed to San Antonio for an event this weekend, I was surprised to see a post about my bride, Mary Martin who was a juror that decided to marry Lester who was sentenced to life in prison. 

Of course, I had concerns about Mary and Lester agreeing to an interview about their plans to marry because I warily realized that not everyone could or would understand their fairly unique love story and, I was right. 

Public comments broke my heart as I hoped that Mary paid no attention to them. Mary is a sweetheart and although her love story isn’t for everyone, it’s her love story and by being interviewed, it’s now a story that everyone is talking about. 

If you are one of the people who happened to miss the story, here it is– Wedding Planned Between Felon Serving A Life Sentence And A Juror. The “tag line” alone is an “eye catcher.”

Marrying someone serving a life sentence with no chance for parole is a tough choice. It’s a choice that leaves the “person on the outside” making a lot of sacrifices. What are they? Long drives to the Unit, expensive phone calls and putting money on an inmates books for commissary. Loving an inmate is expensive. 

As a TDCJ Approved Officiant, I’ve seen my fair share of surprising unions. From former guards marrying inmates to attorneys marrying their previous client, it’s tough to surprise me anymore. Love knows no bounds. 

Dropping my niece, twin sister and all three of my grandnieces at Fiesta Texas, I headed over to the River Walk to meet my clients for the rehearsal dinner with “Mary on my mind.” I had emailed her back and forth yesterday about dates for her upcoming wedding and her paperwork that hadn’t made it to the Chaplain’s office just yet. I60’s Request For Marriage Forms require up to 6 signatures at Prison Units. It’s a time consuming process for my clients. 

I decided to order myself a drink while waiting on my clients and worrying about Mary and hoping the negative comments aren’t getting to her. 

I love the river walk in San Antonio. From the mariachi bands to the riverboats, it’s another world from Fort Worth.

Since I’m asked “what percentage of our client bases are traditional?” The answer has changed over the years. In the beginning, a large percentage of our clients were LBGT. After merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create the barter option with The Pawning Planners, the number of Pawning Planners bookings in comparison to Texas Twins Events or Texas Prison Weddings is remarkably small. But, addressing every economic class has been essential to our growth and success. I’ve never been afraid to take a chance on an idea and neither has my twin sister, Cindy. Did we expect that Prison or Jail Weddings would take over my calendar Monday through Friday year round? No. Who would? But, my bookings went from evening and weekends or seasonal to year round because I was willing to rebrand and expand not only once for The Pawning Planners but twice to expand Texas Twins Events to include Texas Prison Weddings. 

Everyone asks about LBGT Prison Weddings. The answer is yes, I also Officiate LBGT Prison Weddings. My businesses are diverse to say the least and we continue to have a strong presence in the LBGT Community. Did I expect a “boom” to our business from being open minded? No. But, my goal has always been to treat every client like family. To celebrate their differences and successes and treat them as the individuals they are. 

I’ve had several new bookings already this month and I’m at Bell Tower Chapel as well as Willow Lake Event Center and the wonderful Mercado Event Center. The one thing I enjoy perhaps the most is my versatile Client base and I’m never worried about getting bored. 

Variety is the spice of my life and with four generations of my family working with me to make “Dream Events a reality one family (or barter) at a time from Fort Worth, Texas,” I can assure you that resilience and perseverance along with an open mind and heart are how my team and I have weathered every storm and are still going stronger than ever rolling into our 9th year of more adventures, more families and more fun. 

I’m at Allred Unit this Wednesday with several clients and hopefully, Mary’s paperwork will be moved through the channels in order for her wedding to be approved by February 20th this month. 

At this point, getting Mary and Lester married as soon as possible might just put an end to the widespread comments regarding their unique relationship. 

The continued emails regarding my Hughes Unit Groom and his Bride continue. Yes, I know that he was on I’m A Killer Episode 4 and no I don’t google anyone who happens to be an inmate either. My TDCJ Clients aren’t obligated to disclose the reasons their loved one is incarcerated AND I don’t ask either. 

For those of you who realized that “you had seen him before” that felt compelled to email me and ask for his name, the reason I didn’t use names on the post was specifically because the Bride told me about the “I’m A Killer” while we were waiting on the groom. 

I was unaware of the show prior to booking the event but, even if I had known, it wouldn’t have altered my decision to marry the couple. Television rarely holds my interest. I prefer to read when relaxing and enjoy learning new things and spending time with my family. 

While in San Antonio for this wedding, I am enjoying spending time with my family. The luxury of creating my businesses was to not only help others needing event services but also to spend the time I had missed all of these years working for someone else with my family which is why I created Texas Twins Events in the first place. 

The twins and Maddy had a great time at Fiesta Texas and I’m looking forward to seeing them later for a late dinner. 

My niece, Leigh Ann is handling photography at the wedding tomorrow and my twin sister, Cindy will be taking care of her three granddaughters while Leigh Ann and I spend a few hours on location with our happy couple. 

Leigh Ann loves her new SUV and it is really coming in handy for our road trips too. We now have four suvs and two trucks. My team have learned that cars just don’t cut it in the event business. A few months ago, one reader asked why “most of my brides don’t wear a wedding dress?” The reason for this is that Prison Visitation Dress codes often limit what my clients can wear and at certain Units, even a dress isn’t allowed. 

Other Units are more flexible. I always wear a suit and often sandals or easy to remove footwear as I’m screened along with my Client which requires removing my shoes upon entering a Prison. If a bride wants to do a photo shoot in a wedding dress though, she changes clothes AFTER leaving the Unit. 

Trishelle wore jeans and a tee shirt to her Michael Unit Wedding but, changed clothes for her photo shoot. Most of my brides bring a change of clothes and if they bring friends or family, they wait for us while we are “inside a Unit” and then join my Client and I later for photos.

“The waiting areas”  for friends and family members tend to be cafes, thrift shops and occasionally gas stations as Prisons are often in fairly remote areas. 

I don’t ask questions about inmates. Whether it’s a male or female, I don’t judge anyone or their circumstances. 

For those who like me had never heard of “I’m A Killer,” here’s the link to episode 4– I’m A Killer Episode 4 Miguel Martinez. 

Let me add that Mr Martinez was a perfect gentleman to me who even let me borrow his readers since I’m only allowed to bring one pair of glasses into a Unit and I don’t wear bifocals. 

In fact, many inmates share items including readers. My groom told me that there are very few luxuries like reading glasses and was happy to look ke hid in order to read the fine print in my new wedding book that was difficult to see. 

The older I get, the bigger font I need and due to my fear of eye surgery, things aren’t going to get better unless of course I can drum up the courage for corrective surgery to my 50 plus year old eyes. 

Every inmate I’ve ever met when walking into a Texas Prison has been cordial and kind to me. Miguel was also friendly to me and thrilled to be marrying his beautiful bride for the holidays. 

Miguel had a welcoming smile and jovial laugh that immediately put me at ease. Although a number of my readers are concerned about my safety, you shouldn’t be. I’m not in a room alone with an inmate at any time. 

Marrying an inmate can be far more nerve wracking for my clients than it is for me because no one expects to be marrying in a Prison. It’s different than what anyone might have expected. There aren’t any flowers. There are rarely any wedding dresses. There aren’t wedding cakes, music, toasts, drunk guests or chaos either. 

I like the structure and predictability of Prison Weddings. Why? I’ve had 8 years of unpredictable clients and guests that’s why. 

Although I may never be planning a Vow Renewal for Mary or Lester, I will do my best to make their ceremony as special as they are. 

Hopefully, Mary and Lester will live happily ever after regardless of the circumstances that drew them together in the first place. 

I’m at Allred and Parker County Jail this week and Coffield and Estes Units next week and looking forward to meeting my amazing clients and their future spouses… 

Marriage License Mistakes, Timelines, Deadlines & More-Finding The Right Officiant Is Critical…

Last March, my Beto Unit Bride was arrested. I was shocked and horrified about this but, helpless to change the outcome. There were several “tips” about a troubled day in Tennessee Colony regarding this particular bride as I had three other brides on the same day at the same Unit. 

It’s imperative that everyone be at least 20 minutes early to check in but, the bride in question wouldn’t answer her cell phone in order to give me a reason she was nearly an hour late. Both the Warden and the Chaplain expect me to know where my clients are. If your phone is going to be turned off, your wedding day is the WORST time for this to occur. FYI.

By the time my last bride of the day arrived at Beto, she was walking somewhat precariously but, I believed it was her shoes that were causing the issue. I was wrong it wasn’t her high heels. My Bride had been drinking. I now have contracts for TDCJ Clients that specifically address drinking on wedding day because of this particular incident. 

Hours after leaving the Unit, my Bride was arrested and spent her honeymoon in jail. I always ask if the client would like me to file the license and my Bride insisted on taking it with her. What happened next was that I didn’t hear from her until bonding out nearly a month later. She asked if I had copies of her wedding photos via email? I did and emailed them to her as a courtesy. Frankly, I felt so badly about one of my clients spending their honeymoon in jail that I was more than happy to do so.

Yesterday, my “honeymoon in jail” bride called me. This time it was regarding signing a “Duplicate Marriage License.” Apparently, the original license was damaged when her car had been towed and the clerk had her call me to get consent to sign a duplicate. This is rather uncommon. 

I asked the bride to mail me the Duplicate and assured her that I would priority mail it back. Most weddings are celebratory even when they take place at a Prison or Jail. For me, the melancholy reality of this bride has stuck with me for months now. I’m quite sad about the circumstances of my previous client and due to her “particularly unique situation” also created a contract to specifically address similar instances at Prisons and prevent them from occurring again.  

Prison Wedding Clients rarely meet me in person. The reason for this is that many are flying in from other states or hours from my location in Fort Worth. Because of this, most correspondence is done by phone or email. We won’t meet in person until the day of their event. Meaning- I have no idea what to expect. Reeling in the unexpected is done via the new contract. As a client, the Warden and other TDCJ Staff expect me to keep a “handle” on Clients. 

My responsibility is to get them there early, appropriately dressed and coherent. Throughout the process, I assist them with necessary paperwork and tips on what to wear or bring. The Prison Wedding Planning Process can take up to three months if there is a lock down during the process of obtaining up to six signatures to get permission to marry at a Texas Prison. 

I take my role very seriously when it comes to marriage licenses but, not everyone else does. Today’s blog will revisit why hiring the right vendor will save you time and trouble down the road. 

The option of couples to file the license themselves does exist although I frown on it. Why? Because people forget the timeline involved. There is a shelf life. I file licenses Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week. I also file in person if the clerk is within one hour of Fort Worth or via certified return receipt mail outside DFW with tracking. 

In Texas, failure to file a marriage license is a crime. It’s essential that I keep records to prove any and all licenses that I’ve sent arrived. I’m meticulous about licenses. But, occasionally, the client insists on filing it themselves which opens the window of unexpected issues such as the Beto Bride who couldn’t file her license because she had been detained. 

I could never have known that my bride would be arrested when agreeing to let her file her own license. Who would? Trusting her to file the license in a timely fashion was obviously a mistake on my part. 

But, if a client is hellbent on filing their own license, I can’t change their decision. It’s an option of course that few clients choose because it puts additional stress on couples to get it done and get it done quickly. 

I often find myself trying convincing a client that it’s best to let me handle it because of the short shelf life to file licenses. It’s important to me to know it’s filed and I double check with reminders when clients choose to file on their own. 

I’ve only Amended one Marriage License in eight years. But, I will never forget the circumstances that took my attention from the witnesses. Although I try to get the paperwork done as quickly as possible at weddings and secure the license in my brief case. There was just too much going on at that wedding. 

Normally, we have a quiet moment to get the paperwork done but, at the Lompoc Wedding, the groom had been caught in the lights, the wind blew an SUV door shut locking a toddler in a car, one of the guests passed out on the dance floor and someone else was upset about being cut off at the bar. 

During the window of all of the above occurring, someone else wearing a short dress was inadvertently “flashing” guests on the dance floor because she was also commando, numerous guests, the videographer and others were shocked and upset about this “incident.” The guest was also rather intoxicated. 

Trying to address all of the above by directing my twin sister and niece, Leigh Ann to handle the matters that I obviously couldn’t while supervising the license was stressful for me to say the least. 

I’ve never had so much chaos at the same time at the same event in my life. Quite frankly, I hope I never do again. 

The Officiants job includes overseeing the signature of witnesses. I was carefully  addressing the signature of the first witness but, the guests had  started drinking after the ceremony. Drinking can cause a host of unexiected issues at weddings. 

I now insist on security when there happens to be an Open Bar because over the years, drinking is the primary cause of  “surprises.”

The second witness was signing when the groom asked me a question. My sister was motioning me regarding the guest on the dance floor while my niece was waving her hands regarding the toddler in the locked SUV. 

In the moment it took to answer the groom, I turned away from the second witness for seconds. This was exactly the same time frame of the second witness “correcting” her address. It also caused an issue with the license. 

The bride was immediately upset about the error knowing that any markings outside of the lines or “corrections” were a no no. 

The county clerk had advised the couple of this when they had purchased the license. I quickly took the license to my rental and assured the couple that I would do whatever it took to ensure the license issue was resolved. I meant it. 

Having a bride upset that her “license had been ruined” by the witness altering her address, it was essential for me to calm her down at the wedding. 

Two weeks later, I flew back to Santa Barbara and filed an Amended Petition in order to rectify the marriage license issue. 

I called the bride to let her know that the issue had been resolved and the paperwork would be mailed. The happy ending was that the couple were married and lived happily ever after. 

As an Officiant and Planner, I’m the “fixer.” Whatever it takes, it’s my job to ensure that unexpected issues don’t affect the legalities of any union that I’ve officiated. 

My twin sister, Cindy and niece, Leigh Ann were working the wedding with me. In eight years, the Lompoc Wedding was the most chaos filled event that we have ever done. I’m being serious. 

It’s difficult to “top” a few of our events over the years but, Lompoc did. No one looking at the “polished photos” or videos would have any inkling of the drama or chaos but, believe me there was PLENTY. 
The lesson I learned that day was to get the witnesses to sign before visiting the bar and to keep my attention directly on the witness. But, I have learned that witnesses and guests can be unpredictable. 

Also, trying to be everywhere at once at larger events requires more than Cindy and I with Leigh Ann. 

We now have a minimum of 4 Team Members to address parties of 100 or more as well as at least one security team member at events with Open Bars. 

My Beto Bride was full of surprises too but, I’m hoping that things start looking up for her. Today, we will revisit Marriage Licenses, the role of the Officiant and why filing a license quickly is critical to the license not expiring. 

What’s the difference between a marriage license and a marriage certificate?

A marriage license is a document that you must obtain from the county clerk before you get married. A marriage certificate is a document that proves you’re married.

How do inmates obtain a marriage license if they are incarcerated?

They don’t. The person on the “outside” must get the person on the “inside” to get a notarized ID and a notarized Absentee Affidavit. Using both of these documents, the person on the “outside” will then purchase the marriage license.  

The person on the “outside” will also locate a Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiant to conduct the marriage ceremony inside a Texas Prison or Jail. 

Marrying an inmate is significantly more complicated. There’s paperwork. There are rules. It’s a confusing process to someone who has never gone through the motions. Often, there is a lot of hand holding on my end because the wait for a date can drag on. 

Typically, couples obtain a marriage license, hold the wedding ceremony, and then have the officiant file the certificate in the appropriate county office within days. 

The married couple will then receive a certified copy of the marriage certificate.
Most states require both spouses, the officiant, and one or two witnesses, to sign the marriage certificate. This is often done just after the ceremony.

Can I marry anyone I want?

Most states require both parties to be 18 years old or older. Otherwise, they must obtain consent from a parent or judge. The most common situation for consent is pregnancy. In these circumstances, the judge often requires proof that the couple can financially support themselves.

People who are already married, even with a lengthy separation, can’t get married until they get divorced.

Both people must have the mental capacity to enter into a contract. If either person can’t or doesn’t understand what it means to be married because of mental illness, drugs or alcohol, or other issues that affect judgment, then that person lacks the mental capacity to consent to the marriage.

The two people can’t be blood relatives. Sometimes they can’t be closer than third cousins. Many states allow first cousins to marry if they are of an elderly age and no longer able to conceive.

Same-sex marriage became legal in all 50 states immediately after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Obergefell v. Hodges ruling in 2015. Prior to that ruling, same-sex marriage was left mostly to state law.

Where do I obtain a marriage license?

The Officiant DOES NOT provide marriage licenses. You will apply for your marriage license at any county clerks office in the state in which you want to be married. 

Traditionally, couples arrive together to purchase a marriage license. If you are marrying an inmate or military personnel and one party is alone to apply for the license, you will need an Absentee Affidavit in Texas. 

Some states require you to apply in the county clerks office in which you want to be married. Most states require a small fee, and receiving your marriage license usually takes a few days.

Typically, your marriage license will expire 30 days after it is issued. If this happens, don’t panic; you can apply for a new one. 

However, most states imply a waiting period from the date of the issuance of your marriage license until the date of your actual ceremony. The idea behind the waiting period is to allow the parties to change their minds. 

Texas has a three day waiting period. However, a premarital class from Two Together In Texas waives the waiting period while also discounting the license by $60. You can take the course online directly through Two Together In Texas. 

This waiting period can be waived for good cause, such as one of the parties being deployed, or only arriving in town the day before the wedding. 

Can anyone officiate a marriage?

No. The officiant must be qualified by the county. However, civil unions, which are non-religious, are performed by a judge, justice of the peace, or a court clerk. 

Sometimes, people will be given temporary legal authority to perform marriages by a judge or a court clerk. 

Weddings that are religious ceremonies are conducted by a member of the clergy. This is usually a priest, minister, or rabbi. 

Native American tribes can designate certain officials to perform weddings, but usually the tribal chief performs the weddings.

I have to tell you, that this issue of marriage license “mistakes” from other officiants continues. Phone calls from frantic couples who have hired someone outside my staff only later to realize they weren’t legally married continue to shock me. Friends shouldn’t ask friends to Officiate their marriage. They don’t know the legal ramifications of making a mistake and they have no idea that by being ignorant to their role as an Officiant that they can also ruin a wedding. In eight years now, I’ve officiated marriages that should have never required another license and another ceremony because the “other Officiant” failed to file the license or made an error on the license that went unnoticed until the clerk notified the couple. 

Many problems have occurred over the years from other wedding officiants who put the wrong information in the wrong boxes, to ministers not putting the right denomination in the box, to wedding ministers losing or forgetting to file the marriage license. 

I know how to handle a duplicate or Amended license issue. I also supervise witness signatures (when not being disrupted) in order to prevent any witness errors. There cannot be any errors or corrections on a marriage license. 

You need someone aware of what to do to correct the problem. That’s me. I’m up to date on all changes or updates pertaining to marriage laws in any state I Officiate weddings within. 

If you are contacting me because you’ve hired someone else and later realized that you ARE NOT LEGALLY MARRIED, you will need to purchase a new license and have a new ceremony. 

A marriage ceremony must take place in order for me to sign a license. I cannot and will not “simply sign a license.” My signature is an affidavit that a ceremony actually took place. It adds the date, the location and the time. Meaning, I officiated your ceremony at a certain place, on a certain date and at a certain time. There is no “signing” a marriage license without a ceremony however brief the ceremony might be. 

I suggest our elopement package. You cannot keep the original date of your marriage because there are no backdates regarding a marriage license. Please be aware of this. 

If couples choose to opt for an Informal Marriage License, this type of instrument skips the need for a ceremony but, also holds the same weight as a legally binding union. 

If you have more questions regarding Informal versus Formal Marriage, please contact me via email wendy@texastwinsevents.com I’m happy to go over the options available to clients.

Many brides and grooms have called me in a panic even though it was not me who messed up the original marriage license. For them, it’s an emergency. For me, it’s a scheduling issue. My calendar is booked months and occasionally up to two years out. Working an “Emergency ceremony” into my schedule isn’t always possible. However, if I cannot find time to Officiate a short notice wedding, I have five other Officiants who can. We have a full staff.  

These requests fall under my Emergency Officiant Fee Structure. Why? Because I don’t have emergencies. My schedule is structured. 

One couple was horrified to find that their marriage license issuer who made a mistake on their wedding license died and prevented them from getting a duplicate license required that would have required the other officiant’s help. They had to find another Officiant and buy another license then have another ceremony in order to legalize their union. 

Circumstances of a lost license require me to authorize a duplicate. If the license has something spilled on it at the wedding, it will require me to sign a duplicate or in California, amend the original license. Each state handles a license issue differently. Knowing how to rectify an unexpected problem is essential for an Officiant who regularly signs marriage licenses. 
I am very proud to say that I have never been placed on probation or suspended and that my relationship with the County Clerk’s Office is a respectful one. 

I visit see Clerks office at least several times a week because I am one of the only officiants who hands each signed marriage licenses to the wonderful folks who work at the Tarrant County Clerk Registrar. 

I don’t trust the mail, and it’s important to me that each signed marriage license and certificate get hand delivered to make sure that they are received by a human, and that you get your marriage certificate copies in a timely manner. 

If the license is from another county an hour or more from Fort Worth, I mail the license via priority mail with tracking to ensure it’s arrived at the Clerks office. 

Hire a professional. I know how to handle a duplicate or Amended license issue. I also supervise witness signatures to prevent errors. 

Texas does not offer Confidential Marriage Licenses. California does. Please be aware that marriages in Texas are public filings.

You need someone aware of what to do to correct the problem. That’s me. I’m up to date on all changes or updates pertaining to marriage laws in any state I Officiate weddings within. 

You cannot keep the original date of your marriage because there are no backdates regarding a marriage license. Please be aware of this. 

I want your event seamless but, people can be unpredictable…