Loyalty, Love, And Laying It All On The Table. Marriage, Mergers & Messes…

It’s not uncommon for me to get a “problem call” on wedding day. In fact, it’s common and a regular occurrence.

For two months now these “problem calls” have been rolling in. They aren’t coming from my clients in numerous states marrying an inmate either.

Instead they are coming from my “traditional clients.” Standard bookings from Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners, or a venue I’m on staff at.

My traditional clients are and can be my “trickier group.” Why? Because during this pandemic the changes they’ve been forced to make in order to get married have left them anxious and occasionally event angry. “They had a plan. They had a guest list.”

They had thought of everything and what they missed I had thought of for them.

Neither my clients, my staff or myself could ever have “planned for Covid-19.”

What was today’s problem? My bride decided that she didn’t want her mother in law to be walked down the aisle by the groom aka her son.

I was advised by the bride to advise the mother of the groom of her “change in plans.”

I had questions as to why what had been rehearsed was now being changed at the 11th hour?

Apparently, last night at the rehearsal dinner held at a restaurant that wouldn’t allow more than 25 guests at a time, an argument broke out about who could go in. This is a rather new problem since restaurants in Fort Worth have reopened. For a month and a half the rehearsal dinner was swapped for a backyard barbecue or Uber eats.

I’m “new” to these pandemic changes myself and didn’t attend the rehearsal dinner although I was invited because I had another commitment and because I haven’t eaten in a restaurant for over two months now. Like many others, I’m cautious about being out in public. I need to stay healthy for my clients. I cannot risk getting this virus by being with large groups of people. Since there was a “sideways shuffle” regarding who could get in the restaurant and who couldn’t, I’m THANKFUL I took a pass.

My bride was adamant regarding “putting her mother in law in her place because it’s my wedding.” I hear this all of the time spoken by people who take possession of the frivolity but take a pass on the expenses.

Sadly, the mother of the groom was the person who hired me AND effectively my actual client.

This type of “who is the boss” is so common with my traditional clients that after ten years of being the “go between” I should be accustomed to “awkward situations” but I’m not.

Sitting in my Sahara at Tom Thumb to get emergency flowers to create Bouteniers for the florist who had already sent me a text that she was “short” on flowers for the wedding party, I took a deep breath and called the mother of the groom to broach this change to the procession. Ugh.

My client answered on the second ring. “I was just about to call you. She’s impossible! The florist is also short on bouteniers for the parents of the couple can you take care of that?”

I was in the process of “taking care of it.” The number of times I’ve had to cover another vendor who didn’t cover their own obligations making their job mine is always a thorn in my side.

If you are a florist get it together and go over your order. Stop expecting everyone else especially me to CYA (cover YOUR ass) on wedding day.

I waited and listened to my client relive the entire rehearsal dinner fiasco. “I’m the mother of the groom. I’m writing the checks and even offered to pay for the rehearsal dinner and I’m not invited? What the hell is wrong with her? She’s writing checks her mouth can’t cover. This wedding is going to be stressful for me you know my mother is in the hospital. Wendy what can we do to soothe these ruffled feathers? I’m not in the habit of handing my credit card to someone and then being told I can’t attend a dinner to celebrate my son.”

Whoo the treacherous landscape of the life event business. Clients, chaos and a literal circus without the midway or the corn dogs.

Someone is always feeling slighted. Someone else is acting arrogant. Still someone else is feeling taken advantage of.

I often hear Cindy humming her big top theme music whether she’s sitting next to me or not.

My twin sisters famous quote “close the tent this circus has too many clowns” rang in my ears with the circus music fading away in the background. No rides. No corn dogs but plenty of suspense.

I checked my Corum watch to view the “countdown.” Two hours and counting. Damnit. The bride would be in hair and makeup. The groom would be killing time taking calls. Giving directions to the venue. Probably having a quick drink with the groomsmen.

I finally respond and explain why I called to my client aka the mother of the groom offended by the consistent arrogant behavior of the bride throughout the planning process.

“The bride wants to change the procession for the wedding. She’s decided that she wants you seated prior to the procession. I’m really sorry as you know to have to relate this rather odd request and don’t know how you wish for me to relay your response or what can be done to meet in the middle. Because you are my actual client though I’m going to suggest speaking to your son who is most likely unaware of this possible change of plans.”

I often calculate or guess who might be the “best candidate” for a buffer to work with in times of conflict.

On the one hand I have a mother slighted. On the other hand I have a bride acting like a Bridezilla. In the middle I have a groom trying to make his mother and his bride happy.

The groom holds a unique position of being able to put out this fire. However, it will be I who “broach this subject” rather than his mother in order to remove the possibility of chili stirring outside of the immediate problem.

I’m certain the groom has heard plenty already from all sides regarding that rehearsal dinner gone wrong.

I’ve encountered Groomzillas before but I’m lucky this morning. This groom is mild mannered and knows exactly what he’s dealing with.

His parents are divorced making his position even more stressful. His mother and father don’t want to be anywhere near each other.

The father of the groom isn’t paying for anything the mother of the groom is. She holds a position of power, custody and control and she knows it. She’s graceful about it but she’s writing the checks and anyone unaware of this fact is quickly enlightened by my client. She’s self assured. No nonsense. She wants everything perfect and she’s happy to pay for it.

She also offers to call her son for me but I quickly brush off the idea. I need her focused on relaxing and getting ready. I also don’t want an argument between the mother and son hours before a wedding. I will handle this myself with kid gloves.

“I will call your son in just a few minutes. I’m at Tom Thumb covering the florist so give me a few minutes. You go focus on getting beautiful and I will see you at the venue.”

I needed those minutes. Going into a wedding day knowing the possibility of a blow up exists isn’t for the faint hearted.

I’m reminded of the father of the bride in California who was offended about the pizza party rehearsal dinner. He wasn’t paying for anything but he sure was complaining about everything. “This is a cheap out on so and so’s part. It’s embarrassing. Pizza and no alcohol either. Do something. Tell them how unhappy I am about this.”

Umm hmm. First I was going to give this father of the bride a few options since he was so embarrassed. Stay tuned ya all because what he was expecting me to do and what I did were wholly and entirely surprising.

“I understand your frustration. As a planner and officiant, I often find myself in the middle of conflict. I’ve got a great idea though and it’s for you to offer to cover the cost of the rehearsal dinner which would also give you the opportunity to change the location. Where would you like to have the dinner? I will advise the wedding party of the location change.”

Tennis. It’s always shocking when you hit that ball right back into someone else’s court.

“I don’t have any plans to cover the cost of the rehearsal dinner. That’s the grooms families responsibility not mine.”

Sure you don’t. What you want is to complain and shame the other family who are on a limited budget and try to force them to pay for something they can’t afford. Sit down and shut up. The rehearsal dinner went on at the pizza parlor and everyone except the father of the bride had a great time. The salad bar was amazing too.

Yet another father of the bride in Dallas managed to get under my skin a few years ago. That event was crazy too. The mother and father were divorced. There was also a stepmother and godmother. Everyone wanted their “own wedding without so and so involved.” Four weddings for one couple? On a timeline and frustrated about this outrageous demand, I came up with the solution to limit this chaotic craziness on location to the father. “You want me to perform the same ceremony four times? Aren’t you and the stepmother married? That would be three ceremonies. First for the mother. Second for you and your wife. Third for the godmother. My fee for three ceremonies is $$$.

Tennis. It’s a game I play nearly everyday although not on a court. My game is with people.

“I wasn’t planning to pay you for three ceremonies. I was planning to pay you for one. I just don’t want to be around my idiotic ex wife or her former best friend aka the godmother.”

The number of times people tell me what they want but aren’t willing to pay for would astound you. It always astounds me.

“I’ve got a solution. If your wife is willing to pay for one ceremony and you are willing to pay for another, I will ask the godmother how important a third ceremony is to her. Your guests weren’t planning to sit through three ceremonies. It’s August and it’s hot. Let’s consider their needs.”

The godmother and mother agreed to “share a ceremony.” The father begrudgingly took the second ceremony after a coin flip to be in the first ceremony.

I called my groom leaving Tom Thumb to “broach the ceremony details.” As usual, whenever I’ve talked to him he was good natured and “aware of the situation.”

“What can we do to make my mom feel special and included?” Well, there are a number of things but what was important to her was to walk with her son. “I know you haven’t considered this before and may be able to communicate it to the bride for me but one day you will have children. One day your mother will be a grandmother. One day this day will be in the past but not forgotten. I’m going to suggest speaking to your bride and advising her of the marriage investment your mother put into this day because her parents couldn’t afford to. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the forest for the trees but everything your bride wanted has been addressed by your mother. She deserves to share this day with you. She earned it.”

I gave him a few minutes to ponder my thoughts on what was just and fair. He was in a precarious position of being the man in the middle. It’s not an easy position. It’s a position my son had years ago and it’s stressful. You can’t make everyone happy all of the time but you can be rational on wedding day. You can be respectful and you can be thankful for those who contributed to the expense of your wedding.

“Ms Wendy you’re right. I know that __ has been a bit tough to deal with throughout this process and I thought that once the wedding was over she would settle down but maybe I should talk to her and tell her it’s important to me.” Good plan.

The wedding went off without a hitch and the bride had an eye opening enlightenment regarding her new mother in law being an ally rather than an enemy vying for the attention of her new beau. One day she will be a mother and her parents who bothered to show up at the wedding but didn’t bother to do anything else will probably show up at the birth of her child but her new mother in law will be involved. Excited. Shopping for her new grandchild and an active part of its life.

Why parents push the person their children are marrying away I have no idea. Marriage is a merger. It merges families. It blends people who may not blend well.

I’m glad we were scheduled so early today as I head to my next “socially distant ceremony.” I’m happy that things worked out and I had time to enjoy my coffee while sitting in the parking lot watching guests take selfies and wait their turn to congratulate my couple.

“When KINDNESS is CONSISTENT it becomes CONSTANT.” Cindy Daniel

Socially distant weddings are so odd to me. I miss being in a room crammed with guests and family. I miss the party environment. The celebration. The precious moments.

What I also miss the most are my prison weddings. I can’t wait for visitation to reopen. There are no arguments over rehearsal dinners or the procession. There are no issues of entitlement. There are amazing people who are thrilled to be getting married and thankful for the opportunity…

On The Inside Looking Out. Green Bay To Marlin To McClennan County To Mercado To Belltower To Omni…

I spend 3-5 days a week inside state and federal prisons as well as county jails, venues, military bases, backyards and other locations. I am the busiest Inmate Officiant in the United States. I’m also not limited to Texas. I’m licensed and certified to conduct inmate ceremonies in numerous states. 

What I’m not is “available to anyone.” I’m picky. I regularly turn down “traditional requests.” Why? I can and if it isn’t fun for me I’m not interested. I’m on staff at numerous venues and for years now the only traditional clients I’ve had were booked from a venue I am on staff at or repeat bookings. 

Frequently people “who found me on the internet” contact me. These people are neither prospects or interested in retaining services. These people are production companies, reporters or even others “who saw how successful I am and want me to teach them how to do what I’ve done or educate them regarding what I “do or who I do it for.” 

I’m not in the education industry. I’m an entrepreneur and expert in the prison weddings industry. If you’d like me to educate you, hire me as a consultant. If you’d like me to create competition I don’t have move along. 

I’m out of the demanding diva business. Instead, I focus on helping people who are thankful and appreciative. I can assure you none of my traditional clients send Christmas cards or check on my sister. 

My clients marrying an inmate are honest, real, raw, passionate and down to earth. I prefer working with them. I prefer driving down the road listening to music on another adventure. I don’t prefer working with divas. Thanks anyway. 

I don’t work for money anymore I work for fun. However, I’m not a volunteer and my time, experience and knowledge are valuable. I know my worth. 

Standing inside a prison with my clients gazing at razor wire glistening like diamonds in the sun, I’m often on the inside looking out. Literally. 

A few months ago, I married a client on the outside who had been inside for twenty years. Johnny had been to three TDCJ Units. I knew all three. I’ve been to them many times over the years. Johnny is a success story. He is an amazing husband and good friend too. 

Johnny was beginning life after lock up. I met Johnny and Brenda and drove them to the clerks office to buy their license. My team and I loaned the flowers and set up their backyard for the wedding. On February 3rd I had first met David at the Tarrant County Clerks Office. He was nervous about buying the license. Most of my clients are. 

Since I was filing licenses from my weekend of weddings, I told David to meet me at 9:30AM. David like all of my clients was excited and nervous. 

The clerks office can be intimidating but Tarrant County is one of the friendliest clerks offices in Texas. The number of times I’ve met clients at Tarrant, Dallas and Parker County Clerks Office’s surprises people. But I’m by far more than “just an Officiant.” My role is that of an advisor, a hand holder, the mother of the bride and often in such cases as David, a mother figure walking him through a complicated process. 

Today at Marlin Unit, David married his best friend. Their joy was evident. I’m performing their Vow Renewal in just a few months in Fort Worth. I love happy endings. 

I get things done. I have a jam packed schedule and I’ve never advertised. Each and every ceremony is custom created for my clients. Their ceremonies are as special as they are. 

I am detail oriented and OCD. I’m a list maker, task taker, pioneer and trailblazer. David like all of my clients had “heard about me.” My reputation is my calling card. He knew he could entrust me with the complicated process of getting him married and he was right.

This morning as I headed to Green Bay Unit for an 8:30AM wedding, I took a call from someone who had listed my name on paperwork at Allred but HAD NOT HIRED ME. For weeks now, phone calls from this someone who thinks I’m going to alter my schedule to accommodate her needs without following my booking procedures has been stressful. I don’t need stress in my life. I enjoy what I do and I don’t have to work. I certainly don’t work for anyone who hasn’t bothered to hire me. 

I cannot stress this point enough.., if you haven’t hired me I will not be conducting your ceremony. 

Due to the workload of a Unit often spending weeks to process the I60, Allred Unit will now call me to verify client status. I advised the caller today of my tight schedule and why attempting to schedule herself on February 19th at Allred wouldn’t work. I’ve had this discussion before with her regarding February 5th when she failed to hire me and also failed to show up. I don’t have time to play games with anyone. Pay me don’t play me. 

My patience with this young lady as well as the Chaplains patience at Allred Unit have been with paper thin. I CANNOT and WILL NOT commit to anyone who has not committed to me. Arguing with her after learning she had called Allred and attempted to put herself on my schedule February 19th when I obviously don’t have time since I’m at Roach on the same day was an escapade in Futility. My schedule is tight. 

On Wednesday after consistently telling the two people who used my name without hiring me to send money or stop contacting me, I posted the following update to enlighten anyone unaware that Cole to Allred or Allred to Roach or Cole to Hodge or Hodge to Ferguson are an all day affair of driving for me and why I will not commit to anyone who isn’t a booked client to clarify… 

Attention TDCJ Allred Unit Clients, after a lengthy conversation with Chaplain Redwine and due to my schedule which often has me at other Units on the same day (Roach, Cole and Goree specifically), the Unit will NOW CALL ME rather than you to schedule. Why? Because a number of people have been using my name and credentials without hiring me to obtain a date at Allred Unit. 

Each couple has 20 minutes. My schedule is TIGHT. I allow for 20 minutes per couple in each Unit. I must factor time inside the Unit as well as travel in order to address additional clients on the same day. 

I can’t just “add someone” because I’m on site. That’s not fair to my existing clients and certainly won’t work with my schedule. 

On February 19th I have a confirmed client and only one confirmed client at Allred. Why only one? Because this client was initially booked on 02-05 but didn’t have her marriage license so we rescheduled. After rescheduling at Allred, another client was Approved at Roach. Because of this and the distance between Units, I knew that I only had time for one wedding at Allred before heading to Roach.  

Because I am also at Roach Unit on 02-19, I must leave Allred no later than 12:15PM in order to be at Roach by 2:30PM . Roach is 106 miles from Allred. 

Adding another client at Allred would effectively add another 20 minute ceremony at Allred. Because of the timeline I have I’m not adding anyone else on February 19th onto my schedule. I know my limitations and know who I have on my roster at Allred. If you aren’t on my roster though you aren’t a booked client and will need to book services. You will roll to March too. I have zero flexibility for any other weddings on the 19th at Allred. 

Since I have discussed this “time crunch” issue regarding several units on the same date at length with Chaplain Redwine, we are working together in order to make your Dream Event a reality at Allred Unit. 

Timing is critical for me. I’m never late and I never rush my clients. Whether I’m moving from Cole to Allred or Allred to Roach or Hodge to Goree since all of these Units use Wednesday’s, my schedule is carefully planned and mapped out. 

While Ferguson is also a Wednesday Unit, I rarely (if ever) schedule another Unit on a Ferguson Wednesday day. Why? Because Ferguson schedules at 1PM and after. Unless the other Unit is Goree, the possibility of moving from Allred, Cole or Roach to Ferguson on the same day isn’t even a remote possibility. Goree and Ferguson are close enough to be a possibility and schedule on Wednesday’s as well. 

The distance from Cole to Ferguson is approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes. The distance from Allred to Ferguson is approximately 4 hours and 22 minutes. The distance from Roach to Ferguson is approximately 5 hours and 43 minutes. The distance from Cole to Ferguson is approximately 3 hours and 19 minutes. The distance from Ferguson to Goree is approximately 30 minutes which makes a shift from Ferguson to Goree even possible on the same date. 

I know the exact distance between Units because I have to. While it’s possible to move from Tennessee Colony to Huntsville to Livingston, it’s not always possible to move from a Unit outside the distance of 2 hours to another Unit without careful planning. 

Only once have I moved from Huntsville to Gatesville on the same day. Why? Because the distance is nearly 3 hours. I prefer Units be within 2 hours on the same day to give me some degree of flexibility. Moving from Allred to Cole or Cole to Allred or even Cole to Roach is far and beyond two hours which is why I would never book Allred, Cole and Roach on the same date. It’s humanly impossible. 

Subsequently, I would never book Allred and Ferguson or Goree or even Hodge on the same date. The distance from Hodge to Allred is approximately 4 hours and 19 minutes. 

I prefer to book Hodge when I’m scheduled at a Huntsville Unit. Why? Because I can easily move from Rusk to Huntsville. Approximate distance between Rusk and Huntsville? One hour and thirty nine minutes. 

For a few years now in Texas, I’ve had Units and even people I’ve talked to that didn’t book services call me “about a date.” If someone or the Unit is calling me “about a date” and I don’t recognize the name, the person isn’t my client. This is a real problem and it continues to happen. 

To correct this continuing issue of people listing me on I60’s without bothering to book me, Units are working with me to stop working on paperwork for a wedding that isn’t going to happen. 

Last year, Hodge Unit called me “about a date with my client.” I didn’t have anyone on my books for Hodge and advised the Chaplain of this fact. The Chaplain at Hodge Unit gave me the contact information of this person and I called her. She had expected me to officiate her wedding without hiring me and was surprised to hear that “I wasn’t in any way obligated to drive 3 hours one way simply because she found my name on the internet.” After a phone call with her and carefully explaining why “I wouldn’t volunteer to drive 6 hours round trip at my own expense because she found my name on the internet and used it on the I60” I called the Unit and cancelled. 

For anyone unaware of this, an Approved I60 with my name on it for someone who hasn’t hired me is a problem for them because I can cancel the wedding. Using my name and not bothering to book me doesn’t obligate me in any form to show up hours away. Why? Because I have booked clients that followed procedure expecting me on site at their wedding and if I’m not on site there won’t be a wedding. 

If you aren’t my client, don’t expect me to drop everything and volunteer. I drive 1500-3k miles a week. I’m busy. I’m driving to meet clients who actually HIRED ME. 
Further, I cannot and will not “move another client” who has followed my booking procedure and has been waiting for 1-3 months aside just because “someone else” who hasn’t followed booking procedures expects me to do so. 

Don’t ASSUME my schedule or my availability. Don’t assume that you are more important than someone else. Everyone waits. If you are holding a contract and haven’t returned it, I can assure you that calling me about a date isn’t going to go well. I know exactly how many clients are on my books each and every month. Many roll over during the waiting process. Meaning that as well as roll over clients I have new clients each month. 

At any given time I have up to 30 clients waiting on dates. I limit new bookings in order to be available. I never overbook myself. This is to ensure my availability. 
My priority is the booked client. My priority is getting to my next Unit in time. My priority is keeping my promises. I ALWAYS KEEP MY PROMISES. 

What my priority isn’t is accommodating someone or even several someone’s who were aware of my being on site at a Unit and expecting me to simply “add them into my schedule as a courtesy.”This isn’t how my booking procedure or my schedule work. 

Let’s review how and what create a client relationship one more time. 1. I mail you a contract. 2. The contract outlined the terms of the deal and requires a deposit. 3. When a client returns the contract we create a client file and return a receipt and signed contract to the client. If you are returning a contract without a deposit, the contract requires a deposit. Because this has occurred in the past I’m going to go over why we hold a contract and wait on the deposit prior to creating a client file, I cannot commit to someone who isn’t committing to me. 

My contracts are very specific and require a booking deposit. 
Expecting me to officiate your wedding simply because you are aware I will be on site is not only line jumping but also arrogant. 

My booked clients and my schedule are my PRIORITIES. 

If you are NOT ON MY BOOKS YOU ARE NOT ON MY SCHEDULE. 

If you have not returned your contract AND your deposit, you are not a booked client and not my responsibility. I cannot be clearer about this. 

I do not advertise. I do not book more clients than I can address and I regularly bump new inquiries for bookings to the following month in order to ensure availability for my existing clients. 
Many TDCJ Units are now requiring the last 4 digits of my drivers license number to limit people pulling my name and then using my credentials to obtain a date for marriage at a Unit. This has to stop. It creates work for the Unit and surprise phone calls for me. I don’t like surprises and Units don’t either. Without an Approved Officiant on site there won’t be a wedding. 

The paperwork on a Units end to process an I60 is time consuming. Because of this, processing paperwork for a wedding that isn’t obviously going to happen without an Officiant, Texas Units will now requesting information about me that isn’t listed anywhere on the internet or having me contact to confirm. If you are not my client, I will advise the Unit of this and “your date” will be cancelled. 

While driving to meet my client at Ferguson Unit, one of the people who had listed me on the I60 at Allred but not bothered hiring me at Allred called me. Driving along I prepared to go over why and how rescheduling on the 19th weren’t going to work for her. 

She has now had three weeks to actually book services and still hasn’t bothered to do so. 

While she’s holding that contract though my schedule continues to book up with actual clients effectively bumping her opportunity to actually book services AND obtain a date with me. 

Since this bride had been on the schedule 02-05 as Chaplain Redwine has added her knowing I had four other clients on the same day. Chaplain Allred was unaware I was also at Cole on the same day. 

She had bothered to call Allred to cancel 02-05 but didn’t bother contacting me regarding this matter as she assumed my availability and somehow assumed she didn’t need to book services either. 

I confirm bookings at Units. Why? Because my schedule requires planning that’s why. First, this bride doesn’t book or retain services THEN assumes she can reschedule her wedding and my schedule without retaining me? What the? Now you are catching on as to why obtaining your Officiant and services is and should be a priority. Without following procedure, I can assure you that no one else is going to officiate your ceremony either. 

Frankly on 02-05 I had “timed to the second” my actual booked clients at Allred and the drive time necessary to get to the Unit along with icy roads. 

The timing was critical as I had not only clients at Allred but also clients at Cole on 02-05. I could not be LATE to either Unit. I am NEVER late. 

I advised her of all of the reasons that assuming she could just show up and I would have time to address her although she had made no commitment to me wouldn’t work on 02-05 OR on 02-19 AND she still hadn’t booked me EITHER. 

On 03-04 I’m at Cole and Roach. I advised her that she would need to actually booked me for a secondary date in March and that 03-04 wasn’t an option either as I don’t have time for Cole, Allred and Roach on the same day. I’m being serious. Cole to Allred is 3 hours. Allred to Roach is 2 hours. 

Pertaining to my actual clients at Allred, the arrival time at Allred is going to be changed after 02-16-2020 to 10:30 check in for 11AM ceremonies after 02-19-2020.

Outside of the McClennan County Jail waiting on my clients, Allred Non Client called me AGAIN. She had sent another text that read “Chaplain Dooley won’t believe me. You have to call him.” Why would I? She still hadn’t booked me and quite frankly I don’t want to be a nervous wreck adding another client at Allred on a really tight scheduling day.

I don’t have to do anything for someone who hasn’t hired me going behind my back and attempting to piggyback my tight schedule. 

Because I had 41 text messages by the time I walked out of Marlin today, I had my Apple play app read text messages as I drove towards Waco. It’s easier to talk text and drive and safer. 

Persistently pesky non client continues to disrupt my day again today. What she didn’t do was send money. I had ignored her latest text. Why? Because at 10:44AM this morning I had already told her to wire money. I meant it. Chaplain Redwine and Dooley are well aware she hasn’t hired me. How? I told them. 

I would not call the Unit an add her onto my burdensome schedule UNTIL she paid my fee in full. By the time she left the text while I was in Marlin Unit, she had finally realized that she couldn’t simply add herself to my schedule. Yet she refuses to send money? She’s a waste of my time. I know it, The Unit knows it and I’m guessing she knows it too.

She has consistently refused to follow protocol. NOW she was texting me? On a 7 Client day? My contracts require payment in full SEVEN DAYS PRIOR TO THE EVENT DATE.

Either you are serious about marrying an inmate or you aren’t but I can assure you that I’m not going to cut a booked clients event short or risk running late because someone who has consistently failed to follow my protocol assumes they are entitled. They aren’t. 

You are either a booked client or you aren’t and if you aren’t, you are not on my schedule. PERIOD. 

Due to the consistent misuse of my credentials by people pulling my name off the internet, Units are now requiring me to contact and verify client status.

I’m leaving Mercado Event Center to head to Belltower Chapel before heading to Omni Hotel for a midnight wedding. I have another full weekend of events. What I don’t have is time to deal with people who cannot or will not follow my protocol. My time is valuable. I don’t waste time on people who aren’t worthy of my time or my attention…

In A Society That Has You Counting Money, Carbs And Steps, Be A Rebel And Count Your Blessings…

We are all fighting our own battles. Many of us want to be thinner. The majority of us want to be wealthier. For my inmate wedding clients though their wish is to be together. Separated by glass, isolated with loneliness, exhausted from long drives to the Unit and expensive phone calls it should be noted that loving an inmate requires tenacity, dedication, resilience, strength and stamina. Big journeys begin with small steps. The Prison wedding planning process is a series of steps. 

I have several clients on my books who will not have the luxury of a contact wedding. It’s something neither they or I can control. Why? An inmates status warrants contact or non contact ceremonies. The glass is a permanent fixture for “lifers.” It’s also present for a G4 or G5 inmate in Texas. The glass can be broken on the base or edges from the fist of an inmate who became angry. Such cracks or marks bother me. I always wonder why or how someone became angry at a person that drove miles to a visit? Usually, I’m bothered to such an extent that I ask the officer to move the inmate to another cube. If the glass is dirty, I also request a move. It’s a wedding and I want everything as close to perfect as I can get it ESPECIALLY if the ceremony is non contact.

The phone won’t work or the inmate cannot hear me? A request to move. Correctional Officers are always helpful and pleasant to me because I’m respectful to them. No one likes the glass. We accept the things we cannot change.

Contact weddings are structured. Two closed mouth kisses. Hand holding. A brief embrace.

The variations of contact or non contact are the ability to touch. Non contact ceremonies are bittersweet. There is no kiss to seal the deal regardless of what state or Unit I happen to be at.

I was driving from Huntsville to Livingston Tuesday when someone from a production company called me. This isn’t unusual. Not knowing anything about my beliefs and compassion regarding my clients? Also not unusual. 

People “find me on the internet.” Whether they are reporters or production companies though the one thing they have in common is lack of research. You don’t know anything about me or my journey and yet you want to pitch me on a show concept or idea or interview me at YOUR convenience? How convenient. 

Last year, I was sent a message on Instagram during the height of wedding season by someone claiming to be casting a prison based show. This person was fairly demanding and assumed that doing his job for him at his convenience was “my luggage and my trip.” It wasn’t. 

I demanded a contract. The contract gave me everything I asked for. What? Stay tuned because this guy was a Charleton, a chameleon, a con artist and an opportunist. Chris and his phony contract were a first for me. I’ve been in the entertainment industry since I was a teen. It’s tough to shock me. Chris did. He also didn’t sign this “contract.” 

Why was he playing me? Because trying to find people in a relationship with an inmate is difficult. They are a very private group. They don’t trust strangers and over the past few years, I’ve been contacted by Love After Lock Up to find people interested. 

Unlike Chris though, Love After Lock Up producers were not demanding of my time or leading me on with a carrot. I had asked my clients if they were interested and shared the producers information to them rather than vice versa. A few of my clients have even applied to Love After Lock Up. 

Chris wanted my clients and was attempting to use me as his gateway to get to them. He was willing to fabricate a phony contract to do so. My dislike of liars is well known. 

Chris thought he had found a hillbilly in Texas to do his job for him. At his convenience and at his demands. A contract giving me the moon and the stars he didn’t bother to sign? Check and double check. During my busiest window of the year, Chris wanted me to find him the talent he couldn’t find on his own. Humph. I’m not a paid talent scout. I’m also not a casting producer. What I am is a very busy person who works seven days and week and doesn’t have time for smoke and mirrors or bullshit. Chris was full of all of the above and consistently demanding. 

I wasted a week of my life last March answering his phone calls, texts, and emails. During the same window, I was scheduled to marry Mary Martin to Lester Butcher, orchestrate a camouflage themed wedding and 9 other events. 

The worst time for a casting producer or journalist to “hit me up” is “in season.” Chris and his unsigned contract became an email suggesting that if he cast any or one of my clients for his “show,” he would pay me $1k. Sure he wouldn’t. This email offer was sent to replace the previously emailed unsigned contract. More smoke and mirrors. I blew him off after a week of being told my clients weren’t pretty enough or interesting enough. 

Chris was picky. So picky in fact that his prison based show never came to fruition. Go figure. His promises of fame and fortune to my clients behind my back through Instagram messages are why I no longer tag anyone. 

The last thing my clients need are a carrot on a stick or false hope. I protect my clients from “industry people” attempting to use them, their story or their journey for their own tag lines or log lines. These people are already fragile. These people are like my children and need to be protected from anyone “leading them on with promises of fame and fortune.”

Casting producers are always looking for “the talent.” It’s their job not mine. My job is to protect my clients. 

At about the same time last year that I was contacted by Chris, Elena Lindemans contacted me. Unlike Chris, Elena was straightforward and honest. I met Elena in Houston a few months ago with Cindy. Her project is far more interesting to me. Why? Because she’s passionate about sharing love stories of pen pals and women married or planning to marry an inmate. 

A few months ago, Jannette with the BBC contacted me. Cindy and I Skyped with her regarding a show concept. We discussed frankenbiting and creative editing. We discussed why protecting our clients and their journey is important to us. I also discussed the fact that a large percentage of our clients are LBGT and asked about whether documenting my diverse client base would involve clients from not only inmate bookings but also bartering bookings and traditional bookings? Why? Because stateside production companies think our diversity is “controversial.” To whom?

Cindy and I liked Jannette off the bat as we did Elena. Honesty and candor go a long way with me. 

Everyone is looking for a story. A pitch. A concept. Aside from Elena and Janet as well as investigative journalist, Ella who spent the day traveling to Units with Cindy and I a few months ago, finding anyone willing to accurately describe ourselves, our clients and our determination to make Dream Events a reality for anyone isn’t easy or cut and dry.

For our clients being contacted by a “producer” or “director,” we encourage you to ask questions before sending photos or sharing your story. Protect your heart and know that there are people who will pitch you who are credible but there are others who may tell you what you want to hear while leading you along with a carrot. Know the difference. Don’t believe everything you hear ladies and gentlemen because Chris was the first person I’ve ever encountered who was willing to send me an unsigned contract and believed I was dumb enough not to question it. Chris underestimated me. 

I’m more than a little familiar with both contracts and liars who will use anyone to get what they want. Ask who has the green light? Which network? If someone tells you they are casting a show, don’t take their word for it. 

Protect yourself from wolves in sheep’s clothing because I can assure you that not everyone contacting you or even me are “casting a show.” Many of them are pitching a concept that may never get picked up and are wasting your time. Chris wasted mine…

“SOME people WANT to TIE you DOWN, and EXPECT you, to PAY for the ROPE”

For over a year now, I’ve had surprise emails, texts and phone calls regarding “a date at a Unit for a wedding” with people who are trying to tie me down and expecting me to provide the rope. For “anyone out there” shocked about the blatant honesty of the “rope statement,” it should be noted that this isn’t my first rodeo. 

“WE don’t have a date if you didn’t bother to check my schedule before argreeing to a date offered to you by the Unit Chaplain.” 

Scheduling of Texas Prison Weddings generally occurs 10-14 days prior to the event. Nearly ALL Texas Units use Tuesday and Thursday as their primary dates. Whether it’s the first and fourth Thursday or second and third Tuesday, you should realize that over 100 Units in Texas use the same or similar dates. 

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are prime time booking dates. PLEASE contact me to validate availability before emailing or texting me “WE have a date.” 

You were given a date and you assumed my availability. There is a difference. There is also a possibility that I’m already scheduled  hours away at ANOTHER UNIT ON THE SAME DAY. Communication is key and subsequently essential to my schedule.

When Cindy and I started Texas Twins Events, our goal was to give others the Dream Event that Cindy and I had never had. We wanted to create affordable options and we have. 

We have NEVER ADVERTISED. EVER. Our businesses were built on dedication and referrals from happy clients. 

Texas Twins Events was the FIRST people over profit based endeavor in the events industry. My idea to help the people no one else in this industry wanted to help have a Dream Event was based entirely on personal experience. How so? Neither Cindy or I could afford the flowers, cakes, vendors and other “fun stuff” for our own weddings years ago. My Officiant charged $450 for the wedding ceremony alone. Fees for Officiants should be affordable. 

Cindy and I both knew that affordable options were non existent. We also set out to change that. Not everyone has parents to foot the bill and we didn’t either. We became the people we had never met in an industry where prior to Texas Twins Events, the “Average Joe” had previously been forced to marry at the JP due entirely to lack of finances. 

After starting Texas Twins Events, the Average Joe called the Texas Twins instead. 

We helped anyone. We welcomed anyone and we did it at prices people could afford. There’s a reason for our success in the event business and the reason is that NOT EVERYONE has tens of thousands of dollars to throw at a Life Event. 

The majority of consumers live paycheck to paycheck. Many don’t even own a credit card. A few folks coming to us had no money at all. How could we help anyone? Even folks with no money? The Texas Twins yet again found a solution. 

Six years ago, Cindy and I merged Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to CREATE a barter option, The Pawning Planners. AGAIN, this was a FIRST.

Cindy and I are PIONEERS in the events industry. “We had effectively created a window than no one else in this industry realized existed. Cindy and I came from poverty. We knew we weren’t alone. We recognized that others had limited incomes. We fought to find a solution for them that we never found for ourselves when planning our own weddings years ago. We pitched our tents and welcomed anyone from any background.” 

I will never forget a production company executive in LA telling me “you girls are great! You have huge personalities and I love the Prison wedding angle BUT no one is really interested in helping poor people and prison weddings are controversial.” 

Hmm. Controversial. He called us. He then told us that our journey, our clients and our story weren’t “jazzy enough.” Save the fabricated storylines and frankenbiting. We don’t NEED a show. Production companies contact us frequently and have for years. The problem? Their idea and our reality are completely different. Also, unless it’s a docureality format, we have no interest. Controversial? To who? Scripted “reality TV” is controversial and it’s also not real. A group of writers sitting around a table came up with characters and personalities and then found people willing to fit their mold. I can assure you that Cindy and I are not going to fit into anyone’s mold or fabricated concept. My twin is loud, unfiltered and hilarious. She is a comedian. I’m not. I’m quiet, reflective, and organized. We are Compensating Personality Twins. Two halves literally make a whole. 

I’ve worked as a commercial and print actress but if you want me to act don’t expect me to read a script regarding my businesses or my life. There isn’t a script for a day in the life of the Texas Twins. People are unpredictable. We’ve met thousands of people over the years and can assure you that scripting their story would be impossible. 

It is tough to surprise me anymore and yet it continues to happen from production companies. “Wendy I’m casting a prison based show and need to find the talent.” Wait. What? You want me to do your job for you?! “Wendy you and Cindy would be great for TV. We need you to do over the top events though.” Really? No thanks. 

Did we realize that there were so many others out there seeking affordable options? No. But, we knew there had to be at least a few people. In fact, there were thousands. We are now national regarding inmate weddings.

Nearly three years ago, we AGAIN rebranded and expanded to offer Prison wedding services. No one including my husband or even my twin sister or even I could have guessed that inmate Officiant services would become our primary booking source? 

Prison weddings NOW compromise 85-90% of all Texas Twins Events bookings in numerous states. Upon release, previous Prison wedding clients rebook Vow Renewal Ceremonies. Repeat bookings Wendy? Absolutely! 

“Traditional” Event bookings literally became the minority rather than the majority of our bookings. We prefer real people. We prefer amazing love stories. We don’t need fluff or “over the top drama driven Divas.” THEY BELONG ON TV. Going nuts over minor details? Check. From bouncing checks to bawdy demands, if we never booked another “big event” Cindy and I wouldn’t miss it one bit. We have been there and done that for years with “affluent folks” who want it all but never want to pay for it. I turn down “traditional bookings and inquiries” on a regular basis. Daily, weekly, monthly. I no longer work as a planner for an Officiants pay either. Rich folks often “thought my entire staff came at the price of an Officiant fee.” Give me an Average Joe any day of the week! At least they are reasonable AND pay their fees. I’ve never had so much trouble getting paid as I have with “over the top” bookings. EVER. These clients are the most difficult people I’ve ever encountered. How so? I could go on and on here. After all, for years prior to prison weddings, someone would book for an Officiant then add on two photographers, set up and tear down and then balk when I issued a new contract AND a new bid. One “client” even handed my twin sister and apron to serve food? I can’t make this shit up. You don’t hire a singer and get a band. I turned my back to the choir of people contacting me and CHOSE to focus on the congregation of people who were worthy of working with instead. WHAT A RELIEF. Clients don’t interview Cindy and I anymore. We interview THEM. 

Prison Wedding Scheduling has become incredibly complicated due to a number of people putting either my name, Leigh Ann’s name or Cindy’s name on Texas I60 Request for Inmate Marriage Forms WITHOUT  retaining our services. This is a very real issue. 

UNLESS you have followed our booking process YOU are NOT a client. I refuse to advertise in order to limit bookings because we are already juggling too many booked clients and addressing new inquiries on a daily basis. 

I limit and cut off new bookings mid month every month to keep flexibility in Texas. Why? Because each Unit has only 2 days per month for a wedding ceremony available. 

Last night while walking to my gate with Cindy to return to Texas from New York, a text from Gary regarding being scheduled on September 24th came through. I was already scheduled at Ellis on the same day.

I emailed Ellis Unit to move the date and accommodate Crain Unit and Gary at 2PM. 

This morning, Gary sent another text that read “they’ve moved us up to September 10th @2PM.” What the? 

 ALARMED– I sent a text back that read “I am at 3 Units in Tennessee Colony on September 10th and confirmed these weddings with the Unit! I CANNOT MOVE CONFIRMED DATES. Tennessee Colony is three hours from Gatesville. I cannot be in Tennessee Colony and Gatesville at the same time. 

Gary sent a text that read “well that’s the date the Chaplain gave.” I called Crain. The inmate had moved the date NOT the Chaplain. I advised the Chaplain that I was already scheduled at Tennessee Colony Units and had been for weeks. Therefore, I could not and would not be at Crain when I was on schedule at Beto and Michael. 

Attention TDCJ Clients… The I60 leaves the law library to inmate records. It then leaves inmate records to Huntsville. It then leaves Huntsville to the Unit Warden. It then leaves the Warden to the Chaplain to schedule. You MUST contact me to check availability on the dates. No exceptions!

I then called Gary again to advise him that the inmate and not the Chaplain had moved the date AND I’m going to use this example with Gary to educate anyone else assuming they know my schedule that they don’t. 

Without a TDCJ Approved Officiant on site- I can assure you that your wedding WILL NOT take place. 

If an inmate isn’t having my client contact me FIRST to check my SCHEDULE you have CHOICES. First, I will refund you and wish you well if you want or expect me to cancel an EXISTING and confirmed date in order to accommodate your own. 

Secondly, if you have not paid your deposit, your date will not be confirmed. If I am unavailable because you assumed that you “knew my schedule better than I do,”  you will need to file a new I60 with Cindy as your Officiant. I cannot be in two places AT THE SAME time.

Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Clients PLEASE CONTACT ME PRIOR to choosing a date. I cannot stress this enough. Get THREE POSSIBLE DATES then call me to check availability. 

I’m juggling up to 20 Texas clients each and every month. Texas unlike my other states only has 2 available days for each unit each month. Many of these dates are the same dates as other units. 

Whether it’s every other Tuesday or Thursday which are primary booking dates or another day of the week, I can assure you that I will not move a confirmed date at ANY UNIT to accommodate you because you failed to check your day with me first. 

If Cindy and I are BOTH BOOKED at existing Units in Texas and unavailable, Leigh Ann can  fly to Texas for your TDCJ wedding but be advised that booking with Leigh Ann will incur additional travel fees. 

STOP CONTACTING me saying “we have a date” without validating the date with me first. I hate surprises. 

If you fail to contact me and check availability of or if you listed my name on an I60 without bothering to follow booking procedures, I will be forced to contact the Unit myself and cancel the date if you haven’t followed my REQUIREMENT for booking procedures and paid your deposit. 

If you are a booked client and HAVE followed my REQUIRED booking procedures, the date that “you assumed that I had available in Texas on my books” MAY or MAY NOT be available on my calendar. ASK before agreeing to a date. If you don’t run a date by me first, you are running the risk of a forced reschedule. You are doing so at your own risk. Call me. Text me. Email me. Whatever you do communicate with me.

We can easily alleviate scheduling conflicts by CONTACTING ME FIRST. GET MORE THAN ONE DATE OPTION and if you aren’t a booked client, STOP using my name and credentials to obtain a date behind my back and assume I will show up. I won’t. 

What I will do though  is contact the Unit and explain why and how you were Approved by pulling my name off the internet. Nearly ALL TDCJ Units NOW REQUIRE verification from me due to the consistent misuse of my credentials from strangers who are NOT clients pulling my name off the internet. 

“We are different. We are passionate. We are dedicated. People forget words and remember actions. We are versatile. We are open minded. We are also remembered for our dedication.”

Today’s blog will outline why I insist on my booking policies being followed. I live on timelines and deadlines. Cindy does too? A free day? We haven’t had one in years.

I assume a great deal of risk each and every time I leave my location. I could be in a car accident, my windshield could be broken, my car could break down in the middle of nowhere. If I’m taking on all of the responsibilities of getting to your Unit, you must be taking on the responsibility of booking me first. 

Who goes to Walmart and leaves with bags without paying? You don’t fill up your tank without paying for gas. No one in the Prison wedding industry drives 10-18 hours a day to provide a service without compensation. If there is an Approved, Certified or Accredited “volunteer” Prison Officiant out there, I’m wholly and entirely unaware of them. 

The Unit Chaplain cannot and will not conduct a ceremony in Texas or many other states. Obtaining an Officiant is a requirement for your Prison wedding. 

Last week, I reviewed yet another email that ludicrously stated “I just need you to conduct my ceremony. It won’t take more than 30 minutes.” Let’s review this. The Unit is hours from my location. HOURS. I cannot snap my fingers and arrive on site. I spend $1000 every 9 months on tires alone. 

I don’t risk a flat or blow out on the road. My vehicle is an investment. Without it, I obviously cannot be where I need to be. I don’t skimp on necessary components of my job description. 

The time “inside a Unit” is entirely up in the air. We don’t rush the Unit. We wait. We could wait up to 3 hours at ONE UNIT and I have. “Thirty minutes” minimizes what is required of me to such great lengths that  each and every time I see this statement, I am shocked that anyone assumes that what I do “only requires thirty minutes.” 

From having my vehicle serviced to loading my car to getting my affairs at home in order or consulting with other clients, time is the only thing in my entire life that I have far too little of. I can’t buy time. I must use my time wisely. 

Certain people must stop confusing ignorance with righteousness. Let’s review righteousness for people unaware of the term. I’m honest, I’m dedicated, I’m reliable. In this industry, experience, reliability, honesty and integrity don’t come free. If I’m dropping everything in my life to accommodate your needs, I expect you to put some skin in the game. I.E. Pay your deposit. Sign your contract. 

Run possible dates by me PRIOR to agreeing to a DATE with a Unit Chaplain. 

Certain individuals are shaking my tree without being willing to eat the fruit that falls. Arrogance speaks without forethought. 

If you are assuming that you are more important than my other clients who have adhered to my booking requirements, without retaining my services, you aren’t my first priority. 

My booked clients are and always will be my first priority. Don’t assume that I have free time on my schedule. I don’t. 

Character becomes questionable when certain individuals expect others to accommodate their needs rather than those who were already standing in line when they happened to stroll up or contact me. 

Cindy, my twin sister creates iconic quotes for Pawning Planners Apparel on a daily basis. These quotes are based on real life situations. 

Here are a few truthful insights. “Without common sense, your wealth today can become your poverty tomorrow.” There aren’t any rest areas on the road to success. I don’t take short cuts. 

“Don’t expect to cherry pick a withered branch from a barren tree. People’s generosity eventually runs out. Gratitude is the difference between appreciation and a sense of entitlement.”

Now, let’s address production companies….if you are contacting me or my twin sister for casting, “we don’t hand over our paychecks to people who didn’t earn the income.” Don’t expect us to do your job for you. 

Also, investigative journalists and casting producers wishing to disrupt my day and address your needs, your sense of urgency is YOUR luggage and not OUR trip. We are busy addressing OUR CLIENTS NEEDS. “Even baggage handlers expect a tip.” 

I am paid consultant with GLG. From marketing to consumer merchandise to luxury cars and even warranties, I get paid to share my knowledge with industry leaders.

People constantly ask me “how did you come up with this idea and make it work without ever advertising? Tell me how I can do what you did.” Hmm, hey buddy, why would create competition that doesn’t exist? Answer? I won’t and don’t. 

BUY OUR book. It’s going to be chock full of surprises, twists, drama, real life people, stories and adventures. No one could fabricate a journey like ours in a million years. 

“We had an idea. A concept to create a business to help people no one else would. Others thought we were crazy. No one cared enough to help low to middle income families have a Life Event. What we wanted and strived be to do for others had never been done before. Effectively, we took coal and squeezed into a diamond. We became the people we had never met. Along the way, we met amazing families. We had inspiring adventures and the time to spend together that our former careers had taken from us. Our success is literally an amazing story.”

Truth beats the shit out of scripted “faux reality” any day of the week. Our story is genuine, riveting and real. But no one told us how to succeed. Most people laughed. We do the laughing now. 

If you aren’t passionate, driven and determined I can assure you that you don’t have the stamina to be me. Cindy and I make a helluva team. We are scrappy and resourceful but most of all– we HAVE NEVER BEEN LAZY. Lazy people might get lucky now and then but luck doesn’t last. Perseverance does.

I am also an expert in the wedding industry and the most knowledgeable Prison wedding Officiant you will ever encounter. I know Prison policy and procedure within each and every state I conduct ceremonies within. No, I didn’t “wake up one” day with this knowledge. Instead, I educated myself and continue to educate myself at my own expense. If you need something from me, get your checkbook out. My time isn’t free. I get paid to talk and people listen. I don’t get paid to listen to people pitching me. Networks do. Go pitch them. Schedule a meeting. 

“We just need to talk to you about an idea or concept.” We are BUSY. Email and schedule your Skype or conference call at OUR CONVENIENCE. “Don’t EXPECT me to EDUCATE you, WITH my EXPERTISE, without PAYING the TUITION.” 

“If you want the honey from the hive, don’t complain about the stings that come with it. Getting what you want is painful. WITHOUT RISK, DEDICATION AND PASSION, you will never begin and without perseverance you will never finish.”

Cindy Daniel

 

Sunday Morning Surprises, Event Set Ups, & Security Alarms In Saginaw. Sagas & Setbacks…

At 3:47AM this morning, the alarm company called my husband regarding one of the model homes in Saginaw. With model homes in several cities, the alarm company is now a regular caller. There goes another good nights sleep at WorthamWorld. 

My husband assumed that “one of the subcontractors must have been in the model home last night because there wasn’t a forced entry.” On a Saturday night past midnight? In a model home? Why would a subcontractor be at a model home at that hour? Hmm. My detective skills on this mystery would come up off base but, I gave it a shot as my husband explained the alarm company telling him “the garage and front door are open.” Alarmed, he hightailed it on over to Saginaw. 

The same development that all year long has had too much rain continuing to slow down the building process. Every weather report of rain literally “hits Saginaw.” 

Here’s my guess on the latest alarm company call, they were either drinking or using the model home for a tryst? A secret meeting? A date night? 

My husband didn’t like any of my ideas or wild guesses and instead went looking for a more “appropriate answer” to the mystery. 

At 8AM this morning, Matthew drove over to Saginaw to put his own detective skills to work while assuring me that none of the contractors or subcontractors would be snooping around a model home. 

Apparently, the salesperson had not secured the garage which apparently slid open during the evening and effectively also set off the alarm. 

My theories on how the alarm was set off this time were (apparently) far more exotic.  In defense though, these late night alarm company calls have been coming in for years now. 

My husbands job can be an interesting mix now and then. A few weeks ago, another builder came by offering to hire his subcontractors while on the job! I found this to be wildly shocking. Apparently, competing homebuilders will do anything to find good help days. WOW. 

I’m going to address a few questions regarding Vow Renewals in this blog for clients trying to find creative ways to budget. First, there’s no requirement for elaborate centerpieces. In fact, you can get creative by renting large or tall candlabras and simply adding a bit of foliage that will drop down from the top tiers. You can use silk or fresh foliage to create the same effect. No candles allowed? No problem, use electric candles. Simplicity can still be elegant. For clients wishing to borrow centerpieces, I generally keep 19-24 centerpieces in stock. 

Centerpieces I have in stock are multi color and no, I can’t “cover 37-52 tables.” What I can do is suggest mixing your own centerpieces with what I’m loaning to you.

Try “mixing in” money trees or even photos of the couple on the surrounding tables. Going tall on all of the tables can and does pose problems for photographers and videographers.

Meanwhile…when I had booked my Grapevine Botanic Garden Bride a month ago, I had also asked “do you need to borrow floral designs?” 

At the time, she only needed one bouquet for herself and a boutenier for her groom. No bridesmaids. No groomsmen. Last night, seven days before her wedding, this changed. She now has a maid of honor and a bridesmaid as well as a best man and a groomsmen as well as the groom. 

For all of my dedicated readers, if you are planning to borrow my inventory for your upcoming Vow Renewal, it’s critical you ask what I have in inventory PRIOR to assuming that I have everything you need. I work seven days a week and cannot “whip something up on short notice and at my OWN expense.” 

I keep one full set of bouquets and bouteniers in stock each year but I do not keep full sets of all of my bouquets for wedding parties. My bride wanted the pink multi which I had a coordinating bridesmaids bouquet and two coordinating bouteniers of. 

Changing the number of bouquets and bouteniers a week prior to the wedding would normally be impossible without changing to my full set of red, white and black. Why? Because my bride wasn’t booking me as a florist she was booking me as an Officiant. 

I am the only Officiant and planner in this industry who has created an inventory to loan clients. That’s right. I said LOAN. My clients BORROW my inventory at no cost to them as a courtesy. 

However, if you want to choose your colors or expect me to create new designs in your colors or more bouquets or bouteniers because I don’t have the number you need in stock, this isn’t a free request. 

It’s time consuming to create floral designs. It’s also expensive. My Grapevine bride “got lucky.” How so? Because last week my Darrington bride asked if I had two bouquets for her sisters that would be traveling with her to her Prison wedding that would coordinate with my pink multi. 

Since I only had one coordinating bouquet, I checked my floral baskets and found that I didn’t have enough silk flowers to create a 3rd coordinating bouquet and “started fresh” on two more bouquets that would work with the pink multi last Tuesday. 

The 2 finished bouquets will work with the pink multi well. I had a few additional flowers so I made 2 coordinating bouteniers. 

Because I had created two more bouquets, I could accommodate the “add on” bouquets and bouteniers for Grapevine next weekend. If I hadn’t, the only option would be for my bride to either “switch” to the red multi or to provide her own floral designs at her own expense. 

Rolling into another full week of prison weddings, an inquiry from North Carolina came in. Demetria- We don’t currently service North Carolina but this may change over the next year. 

Expanding our services to other states works like this… We stack clients in states outside of Texas and marry numerous couples on the same day in major cities of other states. The reason for this is to reduce travel expenses to one client. 

If we are traveling to Oklahoma, Arkansas or Louisiana (all states within close proximity to Texas), we have a bit more flexibility to keep costs low by driving rather than flying. 

If the Unit is in a state that requires flying, we wait until we have a minimum of 3-5 clients wishing to marry in the state outside of our standard service areas. 

I am hoping this explanation clarifies why our other clients in states beyond driving distance from Texas wait on their ceremonies. They are stacked with other clients in the same cities or close proximity in order to limit travel and expenses.

Many institutions in other states and have different policies and procedures which vary. Certain states including Texas allow the use of an Absentee Affidavit while other states require that the inmate cover expenses of transportation to the clerks office to purchase a marriage license in person. 

Many states only allow inmate marriage once or twice a year while other states require a 3 month premarital course. In Texas, prison weddings are scheduled two days per month at TDCJ Units. 

Due to scheduling and our existing staff, Texas is and always will be our busiest Prison wedding booking state. 

However, due to requests and inquiries from states outside of Texas, our service area has expanded and continued to expand to other states. 

Availability is key to addressing new requests and bookings outside our standard service area. If you are willing to wait until we book more clients in your area as our other states do, we can make accommodations once we have enough clients to make the trip worthwhile. 

I do not currently have a vendor in North Carolina that I’m familiar enough with to refer you to because I’m cautious with referrals. If I don’t know someone’s track history or work ethics, I DO NOT REFER THEM to others. My reasons for this are that there are people out there taking advantage of single income families and I’m well aware of the issues people wishing to marry an inmate face on a single income. 

The last thing anyone planning to marry an inmate needs is to be taken advantage of. Be cautious. Ask questions. Get a contract. I’m well aware of someone else servicing Arkansas that refuses to help you through the paperwork process. 

A Prison wedding planner should be assisting you through this complicated process and if they aren’t and simply planning to show up, you need to factor their contributions accordingly and ask yourself if they are worth your investment? What’s their track record? Will they show up on wedding day? Can you trust them to be on time? 

Anyone planning to marry an inmate is entitled to have their questions addressed and answered. If your Officiant is saying “I don’t know” or “that’s not my job” is that really the person you want to entrust your Life Event with? 

Weddings are Life Events regardless of where they take place. You deserve to have your questions answered and your concerns addressed. 

I’m going to once again revisit and define how borrowing my inventory works. Over the years, I’ve had to explain to clients borrowing my inventory “you cannot throw or keep my floral designs” again and again. Throwing them damages them. Also, the person catching them wants to keep them. 

I don’t have a “Flower Fairy” gifting me with new inventory. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and countless hours creating my inventory. 

Please be considerate of my investment and efforts put in place solely for your benefit. 

If you want custom designs or colors, Cindy and I no longer sell designs or take custom orders. You will need to hire a florist to accommodate requests for items we do not have in stock. If you aren’t a client, I do not and will not consider loaning my property to you. Loaned items are solely for booked clients and at my discretion. 

Loaned inventory is a courtesy to our booked clients. I didn’t go to the trouble or the expense of creating my inventory in order to loan it to strangers booking with another vendor. Instead, I created an inventory for my own clients to borrow. Loaned inventory is what I have in stock. Custom colors or custom designs are custom orders that clients will need to provide at their own expense.

Wendy M Wortham

Twelve Hours On The Road And The Expenses Of Being A Prison Wedding Officiant. Risk, Reward & Reality…

When people come to me seeking an Officiant many of them say the same thing. What is it? “I just need someone to walk in and officiate my wedding.” The problem? Your prison wedding location is 5 hours or 6 or more from my location ONE WAY. “Just walk in?” You are “simplifying the process of getting there” far too much my friend. 

Travel is expensive. When you drive as much as I do, it doesn’t take your accountant to point out the facts. Driving 2k-3k miles a WEEK is a hefty investment of my time to walk into a prison and officiate your wedding ceremony. Leading up to wedding day, I’ve talked to you numerous times. I’ve answered your emails. I’ve addressed your concerns and I’ve committed myself to simplifying a very confusing process. I’ve overcome any and all issues to assist you in getting your marriage license by sending you to another county clerk or refiling an I60 that had previously been denied. Education and experience are key elements to a Prison wedding Officiant. If you don’t know what you are doing, this isn’t the business for you. 

You aren’t “just hiring someone to officiate your wedding.” You are hiring someone to plan it and someone to drive hours to get to it too. 

You aren’t just hiring an Officiant. You are hiring a driver. A planner. You are hiring someone who will take your calls for weeks or months. Someone knowledgeable about the rules pertaining to inmate marriage is DIFFICULT to find but you found me. I didn’t advertise because I didn’t need to either. My reputation is built on my dedication to making your Prison wedding as close to perfect as it can be.,

“My MORALS, are LIKE a GOOD set of TIRES, everything I HAVE is RIDING on THEM, and you can TRUST me to perform the task I’ve been retained to perform.” 

My brother in law, Steve is a truck driver. For fifty plus years now he’s been paid to drive someone else’s truck. He’s paid by the hour to roll across highways nationwide while dealing with muscle aches from doing so. Steve doesn’t pay for gas, repairs or insurance. He’s paid to drive. A traveling prison Officiant is also paid to drive. In fact, I drive up to 3k miles a week. 

What you REALLY need is to know is that whoever you hire to officiate your inmate wedding will show up. That your officiant will be on time, realiable and have adequate transportation. That your officiant will take your emails and phone calls while answering and addressing your questions and concerns. That your officiant will walk you through an often confusing process. That if you encounter a denial to your inmate marriage that your officiant can educate you as to how to have the inmate refile the I60 or correct the issues of the denial. The last part of your Prison wedding process is knowing that your officiant will show up on time and ready to go to work. 

My role is far more than just showing up to officiate your wedding. I’ve spent weeks and months talking to you, calling the Unit and guiding you through the process before gassing up my vehicle and risking another broken windshield. The cost? $350 plus for the windshield alone. Tires? Michelin Defenders at $995 a set. Mounted and balanced? $1127. Synthetic oil changes? $69 plus $19.99 for the filter. Gasoline? $35-40 a tank. I don’t “cheap out” when it comes to “getting there.”

Hours on the road? Both ways? Easily a minimum of 5-12 hours A DAY. Miles on my vehicle? Tens of thousands. When I worked as a brand marketing consultant, I was paid forty nine cents a mile. See where I’m going with this? 

By the way, I’m on my third SUV in two and a half years for those wondering just how much time I spend driving. In fact, in 25k more miles to Texas Prisons, I’m getting another SUV. I don’t keep SUVs beyond 100k miles to ensure I don’t have mechanical issues or problems. It isn’t inexpensive and much less easy to be me. I read each and every Administrative Directive update specifically to read educated to protocol within ANY state I conduct inmate marriages within. For those who assume my role is easy or fluid, a wake up call is in order here. My role is by far more involved than anyone realizes. 

For anyone thinking “I can do that” you will need the education to overcome unexpected issues during the prison wedding planning process. You need to know the rules and policies. You need to have the clients. You need to have income set aside for unexpected expenses and you need to be able to support yourself getting into this business. It looks easy to others because they have no real idea what my role entails. 

I’m sought after for solid reasons and I earned my reputation. This isn’t a job for the meek, the halfhearted or folks who plan to get rich quick at a single income families expense. 

Being a Prison wedding Officiant is a job for someone dedicated, financially sound and honorable. This is a job for someone who has the answers to questions. This is a job for someone willing to take calls and address concerns at any hour of the day. This job takes planning. Preparation. Patience. Your are the clients best friend. Their advisor. Their go to. Their strongest advocate. You are bold, brave, resilient, educated and responsible OR you won’t last long in this industry. These are facts that anyone following me and assuming that Cindy and I run from one fun filled day into the next need to understand and more importantly comprehend. I know policy and procedure within any state I officiate prison weddings. I have to in order to overcome a hurdle a wrench in the prison wedding process solely in order to overcome such issues. My clients encounter hurdles on a regular basis. From chaining out to catching a charge to being listed as CLM to the law library refusing to notarize an Absentee Affidavit to the county clerk refusing to issue a marriage license to the Warden denying to request to marry, I’ve seen it all and I’ve solved it all. I know how. This isn’t a “flying by the seat of your pants” endeavor. This job isn’t for anyone planning to “wing it.” Your clients count on you to know the answers and address their concerns. You need to be well versed on marriage laws as well as policy and procedure. You need to take calls from clients devastated about a denial and find solutions. You are in it for the long haul. A Prison wedding can take weeks, months and in my Torres Clients case even a year to plan and execute. Patience and perseverance are only a part of what I do and whom I do it for. Dedication is a requirement. 

Are you willing to put your clients needs above your own? Are you righteous? In the heart of a Public Servant there must a regard for others whom you serve as being more important than yourself (cf. Phil. 2:3 ff.). God requires that leaders whom He appoints to govern a country, His ordained Institution of the State (cf. Rom. 13:1) be a blessing to the people it serves — benefactors to the world in which they live. Ecclesiastes 8:9 specifically speaks to the selflessness a leader must possess in his job: A man has exercised authority over another to his own hurt. This is a powerful way of putting it: a leader is to be so selfless that it hurts him or her. 

Being a Prison wedding planner and Officiant REQUIRES putting your own needs last. Your other clients and even your own family can take a back seat when a crying phone call comes in that requires your immediate attention. I’ve answered crying phone calls from clients at all hours of the day or night. My clients know they can count on me to solve problems. My clients call me first because they realize they can trust me and that I will drop everything to find the answers they need. 

Let’s take my Ellis Unit client, Amanda. The Unit wouldn’t notarize an Absentee Affidavit. The Absentee Affidavit is a requirement to purchase a marriage license in Texas. An Unsworn Declaration will not and cannot be accepted in place of the Absentee Affidavit. 

TDCJ Administrative Directive
IV….

Notary Public Services
Documents: Under both federal law (28 U.S.C. § 1746) and state law (Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 132.001), offenders incarcerated in Texas may use an unsworn declaration under penalty of perjury in place of a written declaration, verification, certification, oath, or affidavit sworn before a notary public. 

A. Documents for which notarization is requested by an attorney, documents specifically exempted from the laws on unsworn declarations, and documents destined for another state or country requiring notary public service shall continue to require notary public service.

B. Scheduling: Offenders may request notary public service by submitting an I-60 to the unit ATC supervisor. Offenders requesting notary public service shall explain why an unsworn declaration will not be legally sufficient. Requests shall be acted upon, either denied or provided, within 72 hours of the receipt of the request.

In order to obtain the notary seal on an Absentee Affidavit, the inmate must provide reasons why an Unsworn Declaration is insufficient. If you cannot buy a marriage license, you aren’t going to be getting married. After overcoming the Units refusal to notarize the Absentee Affidavit, Amanda encountered not one but two county clerks unwilling to issue her marriage license. I instructed her to go to Walker County where she was finally issued a marriage license. A Prison wedding planner and Officiant needs to know what to do and how to do it. 

See where I’m going with this? Many of the “I can do what she does” folks have no real idea of what I can do. What I’m aware of or the length of time spent reviewing and understanding policy and procedure. 

What you are paying for is hiring someone reliable who you know will be there. Someone who hands over the responsibility of walking their dog to their husband or having their husband eat dinner alone while I’m on the road. 

My home life and my other clients booking traditional events on the weekend are all part of my life. In any given month, I’m literally juggling 10-15 prison Units and clients. Each and every client is important. I treat all of them with the attention they deserve. I never decline calls. If I’m on duty, Cindy answers texts, emails and phone calls for me. 

 “CHARACTER can be DESCRIBED in THREE words, ATTITUDE, HONESTY and ACTIONS” God bless us all.

Cindy Daniel

What you are also paying for is someone who doesn’t drive ten to twelve hours across Texas alone. My twin sister, Cindy accompanies me and has her household run by others while she’s away with me. My husband isn’t comfortable having his wife driving across Texas alone for 8-15 hours in a day. 

My sister is not only my copilot and navigator as she is also my secretary on the road. “We’ve got Goree Unit asking about the law library filing the I60.” My response? “Call her and I will walk her through checking the status with inmate records.” A text comes in. Cindy reads it “Buster Cole needs to reschedule because the Unit is requiring a letter from her P.O. And she can’t get it before the wedding.” My answer? “Call Buster Cole so I can reschedule.” After rescheduling, I call the client to tell her exactly what I need her letter to say on the rescheduled day of her Unit Wedding. My Gib Lewis client calls and I answer on Bluetooth. “We have been denied.” I must find out why in order to better understand what needs to be done. I ask questions. An I60 is a very specific document. It doesn’t simply read Approved or Denied. I call Gib Lewis while driving then call the client then call the Courts in Huntsville. Twenty four hours later, the I60 is Approved and I schedule the wedding. 

Anyone riding in my SUV would be surprised at the number of times my cell rings or a text comes in. It’s shocking. From family to clients to Units to venues to inquiries, my phone literally never stops ringing. A joyous call from my Michael Unit client to schedule her Vow Renewal? You bet. I’m the first person any client calls when the inmate makes parole. Why? Because I have a strong bond with my clients and also because they want a real wedding and want me to officiate. They want their friends and family. They want to wear a wedding dress that doesn’t cover their shoulders. They want more than two peck kisses and hugs at their ceremony. They want it all and for previous clients who married at a Unit, they get it all. These Vow Renewals ARE and ALWAYS WILL BE a true celebration to the testament of love enduring all things while overcoming all things. 

The amount of time I spend driving to a Unit is surprising since my clients and I only have 25 minutes “inside” for the ceremony. Getting approved and getting there are only part of my day with a client. 

Upon leaving the Unit, Cindy and I find great areas for bridal or groom photos and unload my loaded SUV full of bouquets, bouteniers, tiaras, furs and more. We love our photo shoots with clients and our clients love them even more. I’m always asked “why do you provide free photos and why did you go to the expense to create an inventory for your clients to use at photo shoots?” The answer is that Unit photos are disappointing to my clients. They are also $3 each. I buy 3 Unit photos on wedding day and give them to my clients. 

Having anyone be “thrilled” with their Unit photos on wedding day has never occurred yet. A few of my clients have even cried about the often disappointing quality of wedding day photos at Prisons. 

To overcome the problem, I decided to do my own photo shoots for clients and gift them bridal or groom photos as a courtesy. Cindy is often the photographer while I grab a new bouquet or change my clients tiara or go find a fur stole I think would coordinate with the bouquet. We work as a team on location. 

My husband likes to have me home regardless of what hour it might be. I never rent a hotel in Texas although I always do in our other states. Why? To keep my TDCJ Clients costs lower that’s why. Outside of Texas clients incur lodging expenses. 

My brother in law drives 8-10 hours a day. It’s not uncommon for me to drive 8-12 hours a day. Steve is regulated on driving hours. If he goes over his hours, his company pays for a hotel as well as an hourly rate for Steve to sit and wait to drive again. 

What you are paying for is dependability. You might have hired me AFTER hiring someone else that let you down on all counts but… you chose to take that risk. You gambled on someone else giving you the same quality of care that I do. You also lost your money by placing that bet to the “other Officiant.” Get it back. Demand a refund. THEN CONTACT ME. 

For over two years now, brides and grooms planning a prison wedding have come to me AFTER INITIALLY hiring the “WRONG OFFICIANT” in Texas. This “other officiant” who didn’t bother show up also took your money. 

The “other officiant” you have already paid who should have been doing all of the above I’ve described is also guilty of theft of services. These “other Officiants” ALSO owe you a refund. Get it and THEN call me. 

By the time a few of you have come to me, you have almost always “lost money to that other officiant.” Get your money back. I cannot stress this enough. Verify your Officiants credentials and track history while you are at it too. Educate yourselves. Quality, Consistency, Reliability and Loyalty are what make Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Treasures and TDCJ Officiant DIFFERENT. WE KEEP OUR PROMISES! 

“Don’t EXPECT a BLUE chip EXPERIENCE, from a BOTTOM of the BARREL business. RELIABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY and EXPERIENCE matter.” 

When you hire myself OR my staff, you can rest assured that unlike these “other Officiants,” you will never have to worry about us returning your phone calls, addressing your concerns or much less and Heaven Forbid– showing up on wedding day. You can count on us which is far more than I can say for these “other Officiants.” 

Cindy and I are stopped all the time by others reading banners on our SUVs for Texas Twins Events and TDCJ Officiant. When we tell these folks that we perform prison weddings, they are at first shocked then intrigued then interested in how we can teach them to do what we do. True story. 

Cindy and I have been interviewed by production companies, radio stations and news media about how we made this work and how we got into this business. We give people the weddings we didn’t have. The flowers, the photos, the attention to details. 

One interviewer actually asked me “can you elaborate and tell others how they can get into this business?” My answer? “No. Why would I create competition that doesn’t exist?” I meant it. 

While others including a few of my own family members laughed years ago about “my plan to create affordable options for event services,” Cindy and I didn’t. 

Perseverance pays off. Merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create a barter option? More laughs but, the people NO ONE ELSE wanted to help came to us. 

From rich to poor, we literally covered every base. From LBGT clients to others wanting to marry an inmate, we have never limited creative requests. Quite the contrary. Instead, we’ve rebranded and expanded to address any and all creative requests. We’ve also earned a stellar reputation in an industry of no show Officiants AND Planners who take no pride in their OWN performance. 

Today’s blog will outline why making the mistake of hiring someone else isn’t my luggage and it isn’t my trip. Quality and reliability aren’t inexpensive. You get what you pay for. If you’ve paid the wrong person, get your money back and then contact me or my staff. I cannot stress this point enough. 

The expenses of being a traveling prison officiant are expensive. The vehicle, the repairs, the maintenance, the hours on the road and the role of an inmate Officiant are many. You have questions I have answers. Experience matters. Experience isn’t inexpensive either. 

Reliability and consistency aren’t inexpensive and I can no longer take on everyone else’s previous client at a discount because they hired the wrong person to begin with making your burden and subsequent mistake my expense. 

Before you hire someone to take on the role of your prison wedding Officiant, understand that this is a serious job that requires a hefty investment of my time, product knowledge of marriage laws as well as policy and procedure at Units within each state I officiate as well as my vehicle and my pocketbook. I prepare for these trips by ensuring I have no mechanical issues that would impede my ability to be there on time and ready to work. 

Leaving home in the dark and arriving home in the dark are very long days. Unexpected broken windshields are an expense to anyone driving across back roads to Prisons. Tires, gasoline, and even the possibility of an accident and more are part of the expenses of being a prison Officiant. 

When a traditional client books me to officiate their wedding within the DFW area, I ask “is there a rehearsal?” Why? Because there is an additional fee for a rehearsal. Do you know why? Because I’m driving to the same location twice. A rehearsal is a separate ceremony. 

There’s a reason that I also ask “what is the location?” Because there is an additional fee for travel. Time spent driving is time that could be spent doing something else like spending time with my family. 

My time is valuable. My time on your wedding day is spent making your Dream Event a reality. 

The fee for a JP to officiate your ceremony in Texas is $100. The Judge isn’t leaving his job to travel to you. Instead, you travel to them. 

These days everyone wants or thinks they can be a prison Officiant. The MANY WHO THINK MY ROLE IS SIMPLY TO SHOW UP are mistaken about my job being easy. It isn’t. It’s complicated. It’s knowing where to send you to get that marriage license. It’s knowing marriage law. It’s understanding the Administrative Directive to find solutions to YOUR PROBLEMS. It’s answering crying and hysterical phone calls 24/7 from someone who encountered a problem either with a CLM Status or a Denial on an I60 Request For Inmate Marriage. 

There are many “who think they can do this job” but there is only one of me. While I have others on my staff who are authorized to officiate your prison wedding in many states, it is I who have the answers to unexpected problems. When someone on my Team encounters something unexpected, they call me. I know what to do. I didn’t “suddenly wake up educated to finding solutions” either. I educated myself spending hours pouring over policy and procedures in numerous states as well as Texas. I’ve spent hours and hours and hours reading and retaining knowledge to overcome the unexpected. Corrective Affidavits? Yes. A Warden unaware that a CLM couple are entitled to a legal wedding? Hang on while I fix this and contact the Courts to call the Unit. Visitation revoked, let me tell you how to file an Appeal. Yes, I know what to do. 

These “other Officiants” BELIEVE THEIR ONLY RESPONSIBILITY AND REQUIREMENTS are to show up on wedding day. These “other Officiants” are often guilty of failing to even do that! I’ve had a FEW FOLKS contact me after making the mistake of hiring someone else. If you want someone to get the job done, you hire me or my staff FIRST. We don’t have mistakes or excuses. We know what to do and how to do it. We exceed client expectations and give you a beautiful day with beautiful photos as a courtesy. 

WE DO YOUR EVENT DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE WE CARE WHEN THESE “OTHER OFFICIANTS” DON’T. 

I can’t tell you how many clients have told me “I want to do what you do.” But, these folks have no real idea of what’s involved or the expenses of what I do and more importantly who I do it for. They don’t realize that knowing what to do or how to do it are based on education and experience. They fail to realize that it takes money to make money. Operating a business or even several is a hefty expense. I do not and will not advertise. Why? Because this expense would result in raising my fees and I don’t market new clients. My role is to focus on existing clients first. In fact, I limit new bookings specifically to keep from spreading myself too thin for existing clients. 

It’s impossible to work another job and officiate inmate weddings. Why? Because you must be available that’s why. You must have reliable transportation and you must have knowledge of the Administrative Directive when problems arise. It’s also your job to be the fixer. It’s your job to overcome a snarky county clerk refusing to issue a license to your client. It’s your job to hold someone’s hand unfamiliar it’s the process and the timeline involved. It’s your job to mail that license, maintain your vehicle, juggle your home life and family and make it all work. 

It’s your job to exceed expectations and earn a stellar reputation in an industry that these days has everyone jumping on the bandwagon to become a prison Officiant with little or no clue as to what is actually involved. Unlike these others, I’m well versed. I’m educated. Knowledgeable. Reliable. Consistent. 

I don’t find my clients. They find me. Many find me AFTER they’ve hired and paid someone else. I can no longer make exceptions and or discount YOUR fee because YOU hired the wrong person to officiate your prison wedding. 

My soft heart has cost me money again and again. How so? Because I’ve made exceptions based on your story. I will no longer “make exceptions” because you’ve hired the wrong officiant. You chose to make an expensive mistake. Experience is a great teacher. You’ve learned but your mistake cannot and will not be my burden. 

Frankly, it’s unfair to my other clients as well as myself and staff to do so as well as a financial burden to me because you’ve trusted someone else who let you down. GET YOUR MONEY BACK FROM THE “OTHER OFFICIANTS!”

Get your money back but don’t expect me or my staff to make special exceptions because you’ve trusted the wrong person. We operate a business. This business has Expenses. This business also has a web designer, accountant and other factors as well as time, insurance, vehicle repairs, gasoline, tires and windshields or EVEN the possibility of having an accident while driving to your prison wedding. 

Today’s blog is an update to changes for people coming to me who paid someone else then expected me to discount my fee because they had done so. 

“UNLESS you have MADE the JOURNEY, never ATTEMPT to OFFER others, DIRECTIONS for their TRIP”

While going over event details with a client from my home office last night, my husband overheard me suggest hiring an outside bartender and security for an upcoming prom themed birthday party for 110-120 guests in November. My husband was getting a martini at the bar in my office. Occasionally when dealing with other vendors, I need a drink myself which is why I chose one of our three dens with an adjoining bar as my home office. True story. 

Many vendors will chase a dollar to make a dime. They lose businesses everyday over their inability to retain and keep clients. But, I don’t have the time to buy a venue and am therefore cautious with clients needing one. I ask the questions because I need the answers. My role as a planner is to make Events as affordable as possible. Budgeting is key. There are no friends in the events industry that can gain my client based on our relationship of friendship. Here’s how they can though- by offering the best value for my client. Sounds simple but, believe me it isn’t. Brand loyalty is built. 

Years ago, my husband bought not one but two Cadillac’s from me before getting the courage to ask me out to dinner. I also had advised him of ways to cut the costs of buying a luxury vehicle. I’m honest. My clients wouldn’t buy from anyone else at Cadillac, GMC or Hummer. Why? I earned their trust and whenever possible I also found and made the best car deal for them. 

My husband and I met while I was going through a divorce. It was a war. My ex had taken the car I believed he had bought in my name back and effectively left me without a vehicle. I had a son to get to school. I had to get to work. I also had to pay my lecherous attorneys. The solution? Visiting the dealership that serviced my vehicle. You know the one that I thought I owned and didn’t. I pitched myself as a salesperson. I also obtained a position within an industry that I had never worked in before. I had sold furs, jewelry, filmed commercials with Mel Tillis and worked as a high end print and commercial model for over twenty years at the time I married. 

But, I needed a car. Luxury car dealerships provided demos. I needed one. I also needed insurance and an income. Cadillac gave me all three. Building a client base required thinking outside the box. The old dogs on the sales floor had established clients. I needed my own. To overcome this obstacle, I hired my former photographer and ran my own print ads. Not just anywhere though. I ran these ads in area country clubs. Targeting consumers who could afford luxury cars. 

The same people at country clubs just like my rich and soon to be ex husband who played golf at, had drinks in the Men’s Only club at and dined at while I was effectively chasing a dime to make a dollar. 

The first ad at Ridglea Country Club shocked him. “Working as a car salesmen? What are my friends going to think? Come home and stop this. We can work it out. I will give you your Deville back. I don’t like everyone at the club seeing my wife in an evening dress pitching cars!” Hmm, I didn’t care. After all, my ex took the car he claimed to have bought me in my name back leaving me afoot with a son. He did this to force me into crawling back. Instead, I crawled away. 

That first ad sold 11 Cadillac’s, 2 Hummers and 3 GMC SUVs. I was smiling all the way to the bank. My ads brought clients in. My honesty sold them. My reputation earned me award after award. I was sought after. When people walked into the dealership holding a flyer from Ridglea, Colonial, Shady Oaks or Rivercrest Country Club they weren’t looking for my competitors on the sales floor, they were looking for me. If they didn’t have an appointment, they waited on me to be available too. 

I had also done something in the car industry no one had ever done before and I could support myself in style because of it. I didn’t need my Deville back. I needed an income, a vehicle, insurance and independence. Cadillac and my ability to think outside the box gave me all of the things I needed. My history surprises people. I’ve never been lucky. I’ve always been resilient. Did I expect to find a husband at Cadillac? No. I wasn’t looking. It was the first time in my entire life that I wasn’t worried about my future. I didn’t date. I wore my wedding ring to work and even had a photo of my ex in my office. I was all business all the time. 

My current husband had bought an SRX from me a year before walking into the dealership to tell me he hated it. I had another client in my office and asked him to wait in the lobby. I was concerned about him being upside down in the SRX and trying to find a way to save him money while closing a sale on an XLR. My solution? A demo. They are thousands less than new cars and carry a warranty. 

I brought him in and explained why I thought it was in his best interest to flip out of the SRX and into the Cadillac Escalade demo that I had been driving. “I’m not concerned about the cost. The SRX reminds me of my ex wife. Your husband must adore you and be so proud of you. I saw your billboard on the highway. You’re smart, successful, honest and upfront. He is a lucky man.” 

Snap. My faux personal life of being happily married was crushed and exposed. I started crying in my office on the salesfloor in front of all the salesmen. Damnit. My acting skills and my life were off fleek. Caught with my guard down. I had successfully created a faux personal life away from work that was so believable that I nearly believed it myself after years of faking it through my divorce. I’m a helluva actress but, Matthew broke my charade. 

I looked up and explained. “I’m not married. I’m divorced. I pretend to be married because I’m here to sell cars not find a date. It’s easier to pretend to be married.” This was how I met my husband. Shocking but true. I retired from Cadillac a year later. I didn’t need Cadillac anymore and started my own business instead. 

My new husband wanted me off the sales floor 50-60 hours a week and enjoying life with him, my son, my twin sister and new twin grandnieces. 

A few folks in the DFW area may remember my twin ad for Escalade “Got a big family? Get an Escalade.” Yes, even my family members were in my print ads. THAT ad sold the heck out of Escalades for me. Two sets of twins is a big family. My son and his equipment for sports was also used in another ad showing how much room for friends, kids and equipment the SRX had while being a crossover vehicle. 

My entire family became “models” during my years at Cadillac but, the twin ads and ads featuring me were my best car selling advertising. 

No one had ever been as creative at marketing as I was. But, poverty can define you or empower you. It empowered me. I was a survivor. I walked away from two marriages in twenty years with no money. I walked away with no vehicle both times. I would never do it again. All of my vehicles are paid for in cash and in my name. Although I can trust my current husband, I’ve learned to be independent and will never be dependent on anyone again as long as I live. My husband knows where I’ve been and understands that I refuse to be controlled. In fact, my agreement to marry years ago included a few rules. What were they? 1. I would own my own vehicle outright. 2. I would keep my own checking account and credit cards. 3. I would leave if infidelity ever occurred. 4. I would leave if violence ever entered our marriage. I wasn’t going back to where I had been and was very clear about the terms of committing myself to another husband. 

I don’t think like other people because I’ve also been a buyer. What would sell me? What would create brand loyalty? I’ve been a brand spokesperson for twenty years. I’ve pitched furs, jewelry, couture clothing and even Whatsburger. Building value in the product is essential to building a brand though and it’s difficult to create a great salesperson. Exceptional salespeople are born to sell. Although I’ve been in sales my entire life, I’ve never oversold a client. I’ve always tried to save money or offer discounts whenever possible because I’ve been on the other side as a buyer myself. What makes your product valuable? What makes buyers inclined to buy from you? Honor, integrity and treating my clients like family is why and how I outsold my coworkers in ANY industry I have ever worked in. They treated clients like numbers. I treated clients like family. I’m different. I care. If you’ve ever bought from me, you realize this. Previous clients buy and book with me over and over again. They also refer their friends and family to me. I’ve never advertised after leaving Cadillac and starting my own business. I’ve never had to. 

Kelley (a venue owner) had sent me a DM regarding renting her venue. The catch? Kelley REQUIRED using her own bartender and security. This would significantly “up the cost” to my client. Why? Because I have friends that work as bar tenders as well as retired military and police officers that work as security. Negotiating the additional cost to use Kelley’s security and bartender might or might not be a deal breaker but, due to the distance from the city to her venue, she would certainly need to be open to negotiating her “in season” fee. 

A lot of people fail to realize that there is an “off season” in the Events business but there is. Half of the year leaves venues like an abandoned motel, deserted and lonely. An experienced planner uses this knowledge to her clients benefit and, I often do. August is often too hot for anyone to book a venue with an outdoor area. October and November can be “iffy” too vecause Texas weather is unpredictable. 

Kelley was attempting to pad the bill by adding requirements to rent the venue. I knew it and she knew it too. Chasing a dime to make a dollar. This up charging was why I continued to get other bids from other venues. Kelley’s venue is remote. At least thirty minutes from Fort Worth and an hour from Dallas. 

If you have a venue in the country, lower your prices. Convenience is worth the upcharge to my clients and their guests. Seriously. I know a Burleson venue owner as well as an Azle venue owner that constantly call me to send them business. If your venue business is in the boonies though, attempting to charge the same rental rates as city venues is why you aren’t booking events. 

The client I’m planning the October/November event for has a son in the military. He’s coming home from Germany in late October to early November. She wants to celebrate his birthday and since he missed the prom years ago, incorporate the theme. She also wants a bar with beer and wine. She knows a friend with a barbecue restaurant that can handle catering. We need a building. Decorations. Bartender and security. Photography. DJ. We also have a budget and I always stay within my clients budgets. I will locate a building for her and it will be a building that is within her budget. 

Today after Estes Unit, I’m going to 3 venues. I’m also using this “venue hopping” to price out an anniversary party for August 31st for 70 guests with no bar and a budget remarkably close to the prom themed event. Meaning, the Vow Renewal with far fewer guests and no alcohol will be far easier to come in under budget on. An open bar can easily add $2k and up to the overall budget. Catering can run $12-25 per person and the Vow Renewal client is by far well within the budget he’s given. It’s going to be a stretch with the Prom Themed Birthday Party with an Open Bar and up to 120 guests. A tight stretch. A make every penny count stretch. If the client can secure catering outside of the budget she’s given me, it will be far easier to pull this off but, if she can’t, Wendy and Cindy will be shopping venues first and shopping everything else second since the largest expense is the venue rental. 

Both clients need a venue first. The venue being the most expensive investment. One of these days when I have time, Cindy and I will buy our own venue to alleviate the need to find one for clients but it won’t be this year. We are overwhelmed. 

A few years ago, Kelley called me to send her clients. I thought this was funny. Why? Because Kelley has never referred our services that’s why. It’s always ironic to me that folks who never throw you a bone want you to throw them a steak. 

Luckily though, I don’t need referrals from venue owners. I’m on staff at Belltower Chapel and have been for years. I limit my affiliation with other venues. Why? Because Belltower supports ACH and foster children. I donate 70% of my fee to ACH. 

Other venues outside of Belltower are all about the money. That’s okay. It’s business. 

But- my clients ARE MY BUSINESS and therefore, building value for their buck is why I don’t pitch them a venue just because I know the owner. Instead, I shop them. 

My clients warrant value. I don’t have any “friends” owning a venue who can supersede my clients. I don’t want any friends expecting me to pad their pockets at my clients expense either. 

Last year, another venue owner called me. “We are going to go out of business. We doubled our prices and can’t get any bookings.” I sat my coffee down to rerun what I just heard. 

If common sense was spare change, a few folks couldn’t afford a coffee. “Perhaps you should lower your prices. If a product doesn’t sell, you discount it.” The venue owner wasn’t interested in solving her own problems. “Amazingly, you have never advertised and have grown year after year. Send me your clients. We will even take on LBGT couples. We need what you have.” What the? “Take on LBGT clients?” I was offended. 

My affiliation within the LBGT community was EARNED. Also, I don’t pass around my clients like peanuts at a bar. Humph. How to be politically correct in an obviously incorrect conversation? I went to my office bar and poured myself a chocolate martini. 

This was going to be a LENGTHY CONVERSATION. “Our clients are loyal to us because we are loyal to them. Inflating your costs is why you are losing clients. This should be common sense. You cannot squeeze everything WITHIN THEIR BUDGETS OUT of them. Venue rentals are a buyers market. As a seller, you need to be affordable and when building your brand, you need to be open to other events and clients outside of solely weddings. Weddings have a season. Off season though, you can promote corporate events, family reunions, birthday parties, Christmas parties and other bookings to sustain you through the off season.” 

Of course, this “intelligent and knowledgeable advice” fell on deaf ears. As a businessperson, if you are a business owner, wake up. I can’t wake you up. I can however shop your venue in my clients best interests and budget. “Don’t ask me for an apple and expect me to bake you a pie.” 

Other vendors ARE NOT MY CLIENTS OR MY PROBLEM. MY CLIENTS ARE MY PRIORITY. If you haven’t figured this out yet, I can’t help you. Loyalty is always directed at my clients not people AKA vendors who are crazily expecting me to BUILD THEIR BUSINESS. 

This morning while organizing my floral arrangements for Michael and Coffield Units Tuesday, I took a call for Salano State Prison in California. 

Our existing bookings in California are stacked meaning finding time to travel to a Unit 6 hours from LA, San Diego, Santa Barbara or even Lompoc (all cities Cindy and I will be at during our trip to meet clients, film commitments and family) is tricky. I ran the distance several times from several cities. 

This Unit is at least five hours from any city that Cindy and I will be at in August. Normally, this could be factored in to an off day during our travels but we have two destination event bookings as well as a family reunion and meeting our sister at Magic Mountain on one day as well as filming a sizzle reel on another in LA. I.E. this is another jam packed trip for the Texas Twins. If I can get to the Unit and find time though, I will. 

Leigh Ann is taking over California Prison Weddings however, she will be based in San Diego August and September while her husband, Alex is in training at the Naval Base before moving to base housing at Point Mugu. 

California like Texas is a big state. Because of this, my stepsister, Tammy is also going to be handling Prison Weddings. 

Due to Cindy and my schedule while in California on this trip, trying to judge distance from cities on our itinerary to the location of the prison may or may not work out for me to personally officiate your Prison Wedding. However, if I can’t, Leigh Ann or Tammy can. I’m moving my bookings to predominantly Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri as the majority of my bookings are in Texas. 

Because of the burgeoning schedules of Cindy and I, my son and his wife are also coming on board to address Oklahoma and Arkansas bookings as well as county jail requests in Texas. 

I’m going to go over stacking because it’s essential if you are stacked at a Unit that you are on time. Tuesday, I have two clients at Michael and two at Coffield. These two Units are within 7-9 minutes of one another. Because of this, I frequently move from Michael to Coffield or Coffield to Michael. 

However, if you are running late on wedding day, other clients at the same Unit or the Unit I’m moving to are going to be inconvenienced due to your tardiness. Please be considerate of other clients and arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled wedding time.

UPDATE ON MICHAEL UNIT CLOTHING- Dresses are now allowed but you cannot wear solid white. Why? Inmates wear white. Please incorporate color or patterns to white. Please keep hemlines not shorter than 2 inches above the knee. Please wear a cami of your dress reveals any cleavage. Please wear a slip if your clothing is sheer.

I’m off to shop venues, meet clients and looking forward to meeting all of our new clients soon at your Prison Weddings and especially excited to see our former clients at your Vow Renewal Ceremonies with Cindy and our Team in the coming months.

As always, we appreciate your trust and your loyalty. We are thankful for the opportunity to meet amazing people from all walks of life and to have the ability to finally spend time together that my career in sales as well as Cindy’s career took from us both for over twenty years. Texas Twins Events gave us the opportunity to give the gift of Dream Events one family at a time while subsequently giving us time to spend with each other. 

For all of the clients that the twins or Maddy jumping into your photos laughed with us, God Bless You. Our grandkids always thought a camera was meant for them. Maddy still does. 

When I look back over the hundreds of families and good times we’ve shared with ya all over the years on location for your bridal photos with my grandnieces hugging your leg or holding your bouquet, I’m reminded what amazing people you are. The love and kindness you’ve brought to Cindy and I as well as our children and grandchildren is a gift. Creating Texas Twins Events was a partnership. Cindy and I knew affordable options didn’t exist. Cindy was also taking on the responsibility of raising her twin grand daughters. Cindy had given up her income as a salesperson to raise her grandchildren. My twin sister is selfless. She is hilarious and she’s never met a stranger. She is also my best friend. Texas Twins Events gave us the opportunity to load up our kids and grandkids and go off to meet wonderful people who wanted a Dream Event. Amazing people who welcomed not only my Team but our entire family. People who became far more than clients. People who became the fabric of our lives. We love ya all… 

NOBODY Can BREAK Your Spirit UNLESS You HAND Them The REINS…

I’ve been working in film since I was eighteen years old and filmed my first commercial with Mel Tillis in Fort Worth, Texas. Other members of my family AKA Team? Not nearly as long. Certain members of my client bases? Rare if ever. 

I worked as a commercial model for twenty plus years. While some might think this job was exciting, the truth is that I was basically a hangar. I was better at selling high end clothing, jewelry and luxury cars than any of my other coworkers AKA models were. How so? I had the unique ability to have been “born to sell.” 

While other models might have had a better body, I had a by far better personality. Selling is about relationships not seeing someone frowning at buyers and behaving haughty while walking a runway. 

Only twice has my current husband ever seen me “own a room” on the catwalk. The first time he was amazed at how I managed to notice every buyer in the room. I pay attention to details. Walking off the stage, I also walked the buyers tables and gave them an opportunity to touch the fabric or my opinion on why this fur or that evening gown would be a good investment as a timeless treasure to “the right buyer.” I have always learned every aspect of any product that I have ever sold. I still do. It’s essential to be knowledgeable. 

If I believed in a product, I could sell it all day long. If I didn’t believe in the product, I refused to attempt to sell it. I have never been desperate enough to sell a product I wouldn’t buy myself either. I’ve never had to be. Why? Because I’m a helluva salesperson that’s why. 

I don’t see clients as numbers. I see clients as relationships. Friendships with my clients have lasted for years after a sale. My clients are like family to me. 

In today’s world, trying to find anyone in a store that even knows their own inventory is an escapade in futility. A few weeks ago, I went to Academy searching for camo clothing. Three salespeople told me “we don’t have anything because the season is over.” I continued to search and found an entire aisle of camouflage pants, shirts, jackets and accessories. Did I buy? No. But the reason was fit. The pants were cut for a man and I’m an hourglass shape. Why buy something and pay to have it altered? Instead, I went to my tailor and had an outfit made. Manufacturers need to realize that most women are not built straight up and down because we aren’t. 

As a retailer though, it’s essential your staff knows your product. Sadly, this “I don’t know what’s going on” type of scenario has been happening for years within the retail industry due to a consistent high turnover or inadequate pay or even both. 

Go out to a store on your lunch break and try to buy something while asking questions regarding the product and see how it works out for you. No one on the salesfloor has a clue anymore. It’s no wonder why people shop online because at the very least they can find what they are looking for. Think about it. 

In 2004, I was the top Cadillac salesperson over and over for years until I decided to hang up luxury car sales. How did I do this? By educating myself about the product and then bringing clients to me. Not the dealership but specifically my office.

I was willing to think outside the box and did. While other salesmen were reading newspapers or outside smoking or taking personal phone calls, I hired a photographer, bought evening gowns in various colors and ran my own print ads in country clubs. 

Making money takes money. I was investing in myself and knew I could make a profitable return on my investment. 

I was effectively direct marketing consumers who could afford to spend $110k on a Cadillac XLR. That’s right. I studied advertising and marketing and knew that “bringing just anyone” into the dealership wouldn’t sell high end cars. Why? The majority of consumers don’t spend $50k-100k on a vehicle. 

Bringing the “right person” in to the dealership would sell high end cars and, I was right regarding an “idea” that the other salesman found hilarious. I let them laugh. I’m a businesswoman and smarter than the “peanut gallery.” There’s a reason they have the “cheap seats.” 

I am a pioneer. I don’t “fit in any box” and I never will. I laughed all the way to the bank while other salesmen laughed at me. They weren’t laughing long. People often laugh at my ideas or concepts until they realize how thinking outside of the box works. Then, they want my expertise. Then, they want me to train them. But, I don’t work for free. Knowledge is power. Experience is priceless and without risk there are no rewards. 

The number of times someone has contacted me to ask me to “teach them how to do what I did” would astound you. From venue owners to salespeople “who heard about the lady that was a model and created her own print ads” to others who recognized that my success was based entirely on being different. As a child, being different was never “a gift.” As an adult though, my resilience and strength were my formula for success. 

Others have contacted me for years because they “want to learn how to do what I do.” It is surprising. But, the people “asking for an apple and expecting a pie” cannot understand why and how I make anything I involve myself with successful. It’s actually the “key” to my success. 

I am fearless. I’m not afraid. I’ve never been afraid to fail first to succeed second. Ever. I can afford to take risks. When you learn anything the hard way by doing it yourself, you remember every detail. 

Sure, I’ve taken a fall now and then on a bad investment but who hasn’t? I get right back on my horse and ride on. Fear is failure.  

The stock market literally bores me to death. Put me in a casino with lights, music and excitement. I’d rather gamble than watch the stocks. My husband does the long term investments. 

#cindyism “FAILURES are the SEEDS you SOW, before REAPING a HARVEST of SUCCESS” God bless us all.

I have a photographic memory. I’m also dyslexic. I taught myself to read and escaped by reading. I’m different. People who want to do what I do aren’t. They cannot be me because they have never endured the struggles I’ve overcome. 

My sister and I weren’t afraid to leave home at 15 with the clothes on our backs. We weren’t worried about where we would go, where we would sleep or how we would survive. At 15 we were also eating out of trash cans behind convenience stores. Now you can comprehend and fully understand why I’m not afraid to be different. Cindy isn’t either. We had nothing and I mean nothing to go back to. No one to help us. No one who cared about us. Our family? Humph. They didn’t care if we starved. We ran from the Hell we left behind. RAN. Cindy and I don’t owe anyone anything. We are survivors. 

We both jumped into our first marriages and we both regretted our decision. If someone were to try and hit either of us today, I can assure you that it would be a mistake. We left a violent home as teens and assumed every wife was beaten because we didn’t know anything else. Violence was a normal fact of life for us as children. But, we learned as adults that “our normal” was in fact “abnormal.” So, we left again. 

Years ago, other models could not for the life of them understand how I outsold over and over at every single show thought they should sell more solely because “they were thinner.” Being thin doesn’t make you an incredible salesperson whether you are in print or at a style show. It wasn’t unusual in those days for a buyer to purchase whatever I had worn strutting down that catwalk right off my rack. In fact, it was a frequent occurrence. Everyone wanted to be me at a style show. I was the most confident and carefree model I’ve ever met. 

Often I was also wearing heavier makeup to mask a bruised eye or swollen cheek from my jealous husband the day before. No one knew this other than my dresser. I wore Christian Dior butterfly sunglasses daily to hide most of my face walking into make up. 

When I wore something while modeling, I owned it. I made it more than soft, luxurious fur or a piece of expensive fabric or high end jewelry. The moment my dresser said “go,” I was transformed from all of the problems waiting for me at home (I had a violent first marriage) and because of my inate ability to compartmentalize, when I was on a runway or in front of a camera, I was in also in another world. 

Modeling was a world where no one would hit me or call me names. In a world where I was the star of the show while others assumed that they were. I was a chameleon who shed my beaten down victim shell the moment I walked my rack with my dresser. The second I knew each and every change on my rack or racks, I had already decided what liked best about this or least about that. Buyers would ask and I would answer. I knew the fabrics and I knew the products. 

I became an actress rather than a hangar and I walked through those backroom drapes and half dressed models to a room full of buyers as if they had been waiting for me all of their lives. I was “on.” The other models never stood a chance with me. It took time for them to realize this but, they did. 

I’m a paid consultant and whether I advise you for ten minutes or twenty, my bill rate is by the hour. That’s right I get paid to talk and the buyer listens. I’ve marketed and represented Kodak, P&G, and many other other household name based brands that are highly recognized. If you want my advice or insight or direction on how to sell something you call me. But, you also pay me. 

Cindy is a pioneer too. We both had to be our entire lives. Years ago, Cindy was working at Hawk Electronics. She had broken her back in a horrific car accident and couldn’t walk a salesfloor so she took a job scheduling home security alarm appointments. Like me, she was an innovator. Cold calling sucks and to get $25 per sale, Cindy read newspapers and got crime reports to directly find areas of high crime and called them instead of wasting her time and her breath calling the “wrong people.” Cindy had a 99% closing rate but, the “old dogs” aka salesmen she handed the leads to cut her out of the sale and collected $150 for “finding the lead.” Within weeks, Cindy noticed her commissions were going down and went to payroll to question why. When she was told the names of confirmed sales and recognized them as her own leads, she “whipped out her own records.” Because the old dogs “had already been paid on Cindy’s sales,” my sister learned a valuable lesson. 

A few days later, one of the salesmen walked up to her desk and said “have you got got any leads for me?” Smirking Cindy said “no but, I do have a news flash. I’m working with payroll and from now on, I’m giving payroll a list of all of my leads names and phone numbers and addresses as well as the date I contacted them. You won’t be stealing from me anymore.” Two days later, the unethical scoundrel quit. My sister though continued to CYA and got paid to do so.

There aren’t any “friends as coworkers” in the sales industry. Sales are a cut throat business. While other coworkers attempted to copy, replicate or duplicate our ability to outsell them, Cindy and I laughed all the way to the bank. 

Originality and creative thinking as well as our ability to think outside the box are only a few of the reasons we have always been successful in ANY sales based industry. If we failed, we went hungry and we both knew it. 

My experience in film and print modeling propelled me into the strongest selling high end luxury car bracket there was. I also left Cadillac “on top.” 

Looking back, those “old dogs” on the salesfloor needed a wake up call. I literally gave them one by bringing my own people into the dealership rather than waiting for the people to come to the dealership and hoping to “snag” a possible client in a position to buy who was actually only “pulling up to window shop” and effectively wasting my time or my “up.” 

My ads weren’t for the dealership. They were for me and if you saw my ad, you ONLY came to ME. I worked solely by appointment. Yes, I was THAT busy. 

By the way, prior to Cadillac, I had never sold cars in my entire life either. I can look at a business any type of sales driven business and find a niche. 

I’ve been a brand ambassador for so many brands that I’m also an expert consultant for GLG and have been for many years. What people don’t know about me shocks them. But, I’m a survivor. I saw a need for affordable event services and created a People Over Profit based event business. No one else was willing to take such a risk but, I could well afford to and I did. Maybe to a few that was a crazy idea but, while they laughed, my business model became stronger and stronger year after year. I laugh now as I have many times before. I laugh because I’m driven, I’m passionate and I’m determined. I don’t give up. I’m also a twin. Yes, together we actually are unstoppable. 

The continued interest in my client base or even my life garners phone calls, emails and site inquiries week after week after week. The problem? Trying to educate someone who knows very little about me. It’s a really time consuming task. While talking on the phone to them, I almost always have a client attempting to reach me. In other cases, I am on location with a client when one of these inquiries “roll in.” 

I’m the type of person who researches everything. I’m OCD. I’m articulate and I always have a back up plan for disasters in location too. I think in a circle. Literally. 

Today’s blog will go over the most unusual and invasive questions I’ve come across yet. A few of them may surprise you. Others may offend you but, I can assure you that I have no problem being honest, transparent and completely open about my life, my clients and my businesses. I have nothing to hide and neither do they. 

Leaving my office after going through yet another round of inquiries from production companies and Europe based networks, I am going to literally “kick off” today’s blog with enlightening news you can use if you are not BOUND TO ME BY BLOOD OR BUSINESS. 

Listen up and pay attention as I rarely if ever repeat myself. I would repeat myself but I simply don’t have the time during wedding season. I’m far more inclined to be patient when I don’t have a burdened schedule to be honest with you.

Contacting me and assuming that you are going to schedule a Skype interview or conference call at YOUR CONVENIENCE is one of the craziest ideas that I’ve ever heard of yet. You’re busy? You are asking me to drop everything to accommodate your schedule? If I have time for YOU outside my own schedule, such Skype or even phone interviews will be scheduled AT MY CONVENIENCE NOT YOUR OWN. 

Furthermore, asking me to “Face Time” you from the road while traveling or while I’m on location, isn’t going to happen today, tomorrow or forever. The ONLY time I use Face Time is with my grandnieces. 

Frankly, no one (unless you are in your 20’s) looks good on Face Time. I have no desire for anyone to use film from Face Time to either “pitch or promote” me. 

I’m hoping that I’ve clarified the best way to get what YOU want from ME, I will also take a moment to once again ask that anyone attempting to contact me STOP contacting venues I’m on staff at and instead use one of my sites, my email or the same phone number I’ve had for fifteen years to contact me rather than continuing to call me at a business I do not work at on a daily basis. 

I.E. the number you are calling isn’t to CONTACT me instead, the number listed on the internet is to BOOK ME. The venue is busy too. After all, it’s wedding season. 

This “calling me at a venue I’m on staff at” continues to happen and also is continually disruptive to the business you are contacting. Please stop. 

I have five websites with contact us links and my phone number as well as my address are literally “all over the internet.”

Now, let’s get down to today’s parking lot blog and reiterate that all of my blogs are typed with one finger on an iPhone in a parking lot waiting on a client. For those who assume I pay a writer, you couldn’t be further from the truth. I do not hire creative content writers. I create my own content. Also, I have no interest in blogging for someone else because “you need an experienced blogger.” 

Please do not use any of my sites to contact me to either pitch a product or for any reason other than Event Services through Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners or TDCJ Weddings in Texas and outside Texas. 

I don’t need “more clients” or “marketing” or “engaged social media.” I have all of those things and handle my own social media. 

I’m an overachiever and a workaholic that hasn’t needed to work to earn a living in years. I’m also not “relatable” to most people due to the fact that while others were working as little as possible in their twenties, I was working 2-3 jobs. 

Most people don’t put 120-150% into their career. Why? Because they are lazy and entitled. Also, they have a family to fall back ON nearly all of the time too. I didn’t. My sister didn’t. We are DIFFERENT but, the difference between our stellar work ethics and others is based entirely on our unique circumstances and ability to survive and thrive. We thrill our clients. We treat them like the family we weren’t born with. Our clients are and always will be our first priority. Personlized service is difficult to come by these days but, when you book with the Texas Twins, you are the star of our show. 

If you have hired my sister or I in any capacity over the years, you were always surprised at our stellar work ethics. Cindy and I were thrilled to “become the employee you wished you had ten more of.” We were also honored and ecstatic to exceed your expectations because you also paid us to “perform.” This type of dedication is rare. 

However, for my former employers that cut our commissions “because we were making too much money,” we also left you and worked elsewhere. Loyalty is earned. I’m always amazed that expecting someone to sell your products without offering them and incentive or adequate compensation continues to “confuse business owners as to why their numbers are down” but, if you have a helluva salesperson, be smart enough to keep them by compensating them rather than punishing them and effectively “cutting their income.” It’s common sense. 

“Pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.” Cutting your sales staffs commissions is the stupidest and greediest thing I’ve ever encountered. It’s happened to me many times though by managers who were upset that I earned “more than them.” 

If I quit to take another job, you forced me to do so by affecting my earning capacity. I don’t look back. I look forward. 

Work is my salvation. I’m happiest when working. My twin sister is too. 

The Texas Twins Events “umbrella” for Prison Weddings and/or other states outside of Texas inmate Officiant services also fall under Texas because I am based in Texas. I’ve been asked “why don’t you have different sites pertaining to different states you operate within?” The last thing I need is to add more sites for each state I operate within. I already write blogs for five sites and juggle numerous clients and have no need to redirect traffic to another site. I also work solely by referral and always have so there is no need for me to create a new site for a different state we service. In fact, destination event services have been booked through Texas Twins Events for YEARS. 

If you are contacting me or having your freight company contact me regarding a purchase or pick up for Texas Twins Treasures, please do not use TDCJ Officiant to do so. This particular site has nothing to do with Texas Twins Treasures. Items sold at Texas Twins Treasures are scheduled for pick up or delivery through my site or via direct email or phone. Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Let’s get started on why anyone in the entertainment industry assumes that a bride or groom planning to marry an inmate is either a hillbilly or biker and in either description also uneducated. This “preposterous idea” of anyone marrying an inmate leaving the trailer park to do it is not only offensive to my clients but also myself and my staff. 

My clients know the decision they are entering to marry an inmate is serious. They realize that it will be one sided and they are willing to accept those terms. In nearly all cases, many of my clients never actually “planned to marry a Prisoner.” 

Because of the continued ignorance of others, I’ve decided to use my production site, Texas Twins TV to specifically share the stories of clients who have an interest in even considering auditioning for any type of television format pertaining to their lives, their journeys and their decision to marry an inmate. For a link to Amanda and her journey, click here- Wendy Wortham Interviews TDCJ Client, Amanda.

These individuals are educated, wholesome and passionate. They are also brave, strong and resilient. If you are unaware of this and assume that our California Prison Clients are “beach bums” or that our Texas, Louisiana and other adjoining states Prison Client Bases are hillbillies or swamp people, save your ignorance and spare my time. You are incorrect on all “assumptions.” 

I had one production company ask me last month “can they talk though? Do they speak intelligently?” What? Are you kidding me? Turn off that television and recognize that they have obviously spoken to me and therefore can and do hold intelligent and articulate conversations on a daily basis. Can they talk? WOW. 

I could not believe yet another idiotic statement last week that ironically came (as usual) at the worst possible time for me while on location with a bride having a meltdown at a high end venue from yet another production company “we saw you with shotguns and wearing camo in Texas on the internet. What do you mean you aren’t a hillbilly? You looked like one.” 

Let’s add the photos shall we? I’m the most versatile person you are ever going to encounter. I can go from a barn to an exclusive venue within hours and I do. First- the  camo client had hired my staff specifically for a themed wedding. Do your research. Second- Dream Events are just that. The client wanted to incorporate her daughter into the wedding as the groom had been acting as her father since birth. This was a very emotional ceremony for all concerned. 

The bride had asked me to wear camo and like anyone else asking me to do something outside my usual scope of services, was a referral. I had never previously owned anything camo in my entire life. So, no, I’m not a hillbilly. I don’t live on a farm and I don’t ride a horse to work either. 

I thinks it’s interesting that people jump to conclusions without doing more research but, they do. What is this “I’m a hillbilly” or my clients are “hillbillies” synopsis coming from? Could it be based solely on living in Texas? I’m confused. 

Here are other photos of more “traditional clients” solely to enlighten you. Yes, they are “regular” clients not to say that any of my clients are “irregular” I am actually quoting yet another production company. “But, Wendy do you have any regular people? You know that aren’t LBGT or marrying an inmate or so poor that they have to barter? You know like regular people?” Obviously, that production company employee was either 21-27 or had miserable grades in English and Literary Composition. 

Usually, a production company has someone so young asking the questions that I almost feel sorry for them. Almost. Why? Because they live in a bubble and obviously need to get out more that’s why. Maybe if these “youngsters” would put down their computer or phone and meet real people in real life rather than trolling Instagram, they might realize that being different isn’t weird or antisocial? Just a thought. 

Maturity in your 20’s is obviously not easy to obtain when your world is on social media rather than out in the “real world.” 

Anyway, we do destination events on a regular basis. These are scheduled on weekends and evenings of course because during the week I’m at a jail or prison. I don’t find this nearly as “unique” as production companies do. Why? Because I’m meeting clients I’m simply meeting them at a different location. I book high end end events too. Surprised? Don’t be. I’m not cheap either. If you want to book me or get on my books, you get in line. I’ve had clients reschedule THEIR EVENT to ACCOMMODATE MY CALENDAR. It’s a fact. 

If you want honor, integrity, and a team committed to making your Dream Event a reality regardless of your income because we also barter, then you come to us. We don’t advertise. We never have. We have also never needed to. If I’m cocky- bet your butt I earned the privilege. No one GAVE me a successful business plan. In fact, I created it myself. My family joined me. I wasn’t trying to be like everyone else because obviously that market was entirely saturated. 

When I’m asked about my affiliation with the LBGT Community, it isn’t because I’m LBGT. But, one production company assumed my entire family was? “I saw you and your family at a gay parade on the internet. Does homosexuality run in your family?” Hmm. Again, WOW. Common sense is like breath spray. Most folks don’t realize they actually need it. By the way I did answer “no” before waiting with baited breath on the next question while my twin covered her shocked face. PS- it’s LBGT not gay. That word is offensive to the community as a whole. 

Let’s go over this stupid assumption in a question format regarding my sexual orientation one more time. Production Company– “are you a lesbian? I saw you on CW33 at a LBGT event.” And you assumed everyone there was LBGT why? What about mothers, siblings, friends? Do you believe that every LBGT event is solely for LBGT people? Hmm. 

The photo below was taken by Adam Bouska immediately prior to being cut off attempting to visit friends I recognized at the event by a CW33 NewsFix team and subsequently, they barn stormed my family and I with a camera and microphone stuck right into my face while my grandnieces and sister were being pushed out of the way by CW33 NewsFix at the same time. 

If you HAVE NOT seen the CW33 interview, you missed seeing how terrified my grandnieces were. Don’t look at me. Look to the right at them. Maryssa and Makenna were both shell shocked while Cindy angrily looked on. To enlighten you, in adding the link– Wendy Wortham CW33 NewsFix Interview NOH8 Dallas, Texas.  

The safety of having Cindy and I beside the twins is most likely is why the twins both didn’t start crying or screaming when that herd of reporters came running at me and effectively, pushing at the twins and Cindy at the same time. 

Children who are unfamiliar with reporters are always “uncomfortable.” I can say this though, every production company that we have ever and I mean ever signed with was kind and friendly to our children and grandchildren. It’s very important to me and my twin that film crews understand we have family that includes younger children and even pets that are an intricate fiber of our lives and business. God bless the production companies for realizing we are a family and often with our grandchildren since reporters obviously don’t for one second consider that I have children with me when charging into the scene.

Our children and grandchildren are no longer intimidated or uncertain with barn storming reporters, cameras or microphones. Why? Because they have spent a large amount of time with over 9 production companies and also have been on location for numerous other film projects. The twins are seasoned and no longer concerned about cameras or microphones although someone charging at them might rattle them, it will not intimidate them anymore. 

The difference between the CW33 NewsFix Interview for my grand twins then and today is experience. The twins and my entire family are now (years later) not only familiar with cameras in our faces and microphones in our bras but also more than “used to the process” of filming. It’s just another day for us. 

Reporters this is for you- children are not accustomed to barn storming. If you would like to interview me or my sister, for God’s sake do not corner us when we have our granddaughters with us on location. 

My youngest grandniece, Madyson is 3 and like the twins years ago, completely and wholly unfamiliar with reporters, microphones or the type of barn storming the twins encountered on the CW33 interview. Did they think I planned to run to the nearest exit for a quick getaway? Who knows. I don’t run with children in tow. No one does. 

A few years later at the same NOH8 Campaign, the twins were not nearly as nervous when KTVT approached us at the event. Why? Because by then they had filmed a television pilot and numerous other film productions. I.E. the twins were now “familiar” with cameras in their faces. See photo below…

I’m not a lesbian but I have thousands of friends who are. The “other woman” was my twin sister. Ironic that everyone assuming that we were partners failed to realize we were twins isn’t it? 

For years now, I have sponsored the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association Parade. You should know that the parade for YEARS was held in the red light districts of LBGT clubs. To make the parade a “family friendly” event where children felt welcome, a group was established, Fairness Fort Worth to fight politicians and get families the opportunity to bring their children. My accountant, Tom Anable started Fairness Fort Worth. Sadly, Tom took his own life after the Raid At The Rainbow Lounge. I miss him. I will always miss him.

“I’ve never met anyone like you and find your use of foul language to be something I didn’t expect.” F Off. I don’t need your approval. My clients don’t need your approval and I don’t give a shit about what might offend you. After all, you contacted me remember? I grew up with a heroin addict for a mother and bumped around with my siblings for years. If you want “fluffy,” find it somewhere else. I’m not fluffy because I’m real.  

“What does “bound to you by blood or business” mean?” It means that unless you are part of the primary concerns in my life, you are a fly in my soup. Don’t attempt to “guide” me during an interview into making me something I’m not. You can’t pay me enough to be fake or phony or worse, your version of what you expected. 

“How do you manage to keep one client base of yours from being offended by the other?” Offended? Hmm. By what I wonder? That I’m in a Prison one day and in location with affluent people the next? They aren’t going to be at the same event together are they? Well then, why would it matter? 

Unlike “other people” who aren’t my clients, the majority of my clients do not and have not ever compared or judged each other or their differences. Except once in all of these years. That’s right. Once. 

In one (that’s right ONE) instance, I had a TDCJ Client effectively fire me due to my affiliation with the LBGT Community. Because of this and the apparent confusion since I’m a well published and public supporter of LBGT families, I refunded the former client and updated each and every Wendy Wortham site to address ANYONE trolling that I not only perform LBGT ceremonies but ALSO PRISON WEDDINGS. If my occupation or client bases offend anyone, it’s NOT MY LUGGAGE NOT MY TRIP. Get over yourself. 

I hope this blog not only educates but more importantly enlightens everyone who spends 2-5 minutes googling me without spending the time to do more research.

As for this weeks brides and grooms, congrats kids! We made it. It wasn’t easy but it’s now time to celebrate. I look forward to seeing you at Units and sharing your joy. 

To all of my Texas Twins Events & Pawning Planners Clients following TDCJ Weddings, I will see ya all in the coming weeks at backyards, venues, and PS, my team and I are excited to once again be back on the tarmac at Carswell AFB on a C-130 officiating another unique and creative wedding ceremony. If you missed the video of our C-130 Wedding on our last visit to Carswell AFB, click here- Wendy Wortham Carswell AFB On Location With Texas Twins Events.

God Bless America and although my staff and our amazing clients may not be what you either assumed or expected, I can assure you that we are all GOING TO SHINE ON regardless of what you think or assume… 

“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….