I sleep very little during wedding season. For years, my Team and I “caught a break” off season to address refurbishing trades from Pawning Planners Clients sold at Texas Twins Treasures. Inmate wedding services changed our “off season.” How so? We no longer have an off season and are booked year round. Prison weddings took the place of “off season” for the Texas Twins.
A few folks (including my competitors) wonder how on earth my first Prison wedding literally shifted our client base 300 percent?
The answer my friends is NOT BY ADVERTISING. The answer is by exceeding clients expectations, earning their trust and gaining their loyalty.
A few of our competitors are jealous of our success but, “you can’t profit from the harvest if you don’t plant the crops.”
In April 2017, Misty emailed me regarding performing a Prison wedding at Sanders Estes Unit. I underwent the process to become an Approved Officiant in order to help Misty.
I have never marketed myself or paid for advertising in the event industry. I HAVE NEVER NEEDED TO ADVERTISE PRISON OFFICIANT SERVICES either.
Due to this new expansion of our services at Texas Twins Events, I didn’t anticipate the surge in new bookings because at the time, I was unaware that the market and subsequent demand for inmate weddings even existed.
But, A few months after Misty’s wedding at Estes Unit in April 2017, I was with another client at Michael Unit in September 2017.
In October 5, 2017, I was with three clients at Estes Unit. By October 7, 2017, I was with another client at Ferguson Unit.
By December 28, 2017, I was at Darrington with a client who had originally been at Jester Unit and hired Jo Anne (a competitor) to officiate her ceremony.
This same client told me “Jo Anne can’t officiate so she told me her sister would but the Warden won’t allow her to. I need someone to marry me.” She hired Jo Anne but now Jo Anne was telling the client her sister would officiate? What was going on with my competitors?
The Jester inmate was subsequently transferred to Darrington. I drove to Darrington and married the client who wanted a reliable Officiant after being run around by my competitor. As usual, I exceeded her expectations and provided prison wedding Officiant services.
My goal and the main reason for starting Texas Twins Events was to help people. By helping Misty with a creative request for services, over the first year of performing inmate services, bookings continued to roll in. I didn’t need to advertise Prison Weddings. I leveled the playing field in an industry that prior to me was charging exhorbitant fees to consumers simply because they wanted to marry an inmate. While my competition was being greedy, dishonest and misleading, I was being honest, affordable and most importantly, reliable.
Prior to prison weddings, I had been in the event business many years prior to expanding my business to include prison weddings and had never advertised our services and more importantly, didn’t need to long before offering inmate Officiant services.
Frankly, at the time Misty contacted me to marry her, I was juggling 50-75 existing through Texas Twins Events as well as being an Officiant on staff at Bell Tower Chapel and addressing clients Bartering through my sister business, The Pawning Planners.
I was also a consultant for GLG and under contract with my twin sister with production companies and filming numerous projects at the same time within the same window.
I.E. I was busy but, if people needed help marrying an inmate, I was willing to find time to help them. Since prison weddings are scheduled Monday through Friday leaving my weekends free for traditional and existing bookings, I easily could take on more inmate weddings and did.
Prison weddings were a “perfect fit” to my existing schedule and more importantly, didn’t interfere with existing client bookings on evenings and weekends.
Although I wasn’t “marketing inmate Officiant services,” word of mouth expanded my inmate Officiant business over and over from April 2017 to now. In fact, we now cover several states.
Jo Anne (a competitor) had began trolling my sites since 2017 and following me. Although Jo Anne had been performing prison weddings for two years longer than I have and should have built her reputation, she had disappointed the previous clients who subsequently hired me instead.
Over two years and running now, Jo Anne also recognized and realized that she was losing her clients to me. I didn’t steal her clients. Her clients like everyone else found me. If you lose a client to a competitor, you lost them based on your own behavior.
With the Darrington and Stiles clients, Jo Anne couldn’t perform their weddings due to being rescinded. I called her about “this issue” myself since her previous clients continued to find and more importantly, hire me.
Throughout this two year window, more and more clients would book with me although again it should be noted that I never advertised to generate new clients.
Clients found me because they had heard about me or because the other Officiant they had hired let them down. Unlike my competitors, I didn’t let anyone down. I treat each and every client like the star they are.
One sunny afternoon while I was on site with a client at Belltower Chapel & Garden, another call (and previous client of Jo Anne) came in regarding a wedding at Stiles Unit from yet another person who had hired Jo Anne and was unhappy. “She doesn’t answer her phone and when she does, I can’t get any information. “I hired her but I’ve heard about you. Will you help me?”
Stiles Unit is an all day drive to and from my location in Fort Worth. However, after speaking with this young lady, I committed to marrying her myself.
I also advised this young lady to call the Courts in Huntsville to verify whether Jo Anne was approved. The new to me client called me back to tell me “Jo Anne wasn’t Approved.”
Due to this shocking information regarding my competitor, I called Huntsville myself. My client was right. I quickly posted the contact information to the Courts in Huntsville on my FB business and personal sites in order to warn ANYONE planning to marry an inmate in Texas to verify Officiant credentials with the Courts PRIOR to retaining an Officiant.
Immediately following my FB warning post, one of Jo Anne’s “clown posse” called the Courts in Huntsville to “file an erroneous and false complaint” against me regarding my simply stating the facts regarding my warning to anyone considering hiring a TDCJ Officiant.
Of course, a false and erroneous complaint from my competitor, Jo Anne and her posse regarding my honest statement had no impact whatsoever on my stellar reputation with the Courts in Huntsville.
Heads up folks I’m nothing if not blatantly honest. I went into this business to help people. Jo Anne HAD BEEN IN THE PRISON WEDDING business for two years prior to me. Jo Anne has had every opportunity to be a success at this point.
I wasn’t promoting myself or advertising to TDCJ bookings and I wouldn’t need to. Honesty and client satisfaction built my Prison wedding client base.
Obviously, Jo Anne and her sidekicks false complaint regarding me warning consumers to call and verify credentials neither impacted or impeded my credentials in Huntsville. “We have other Officiants and I’m calling the Courts to file a complaint against your post regarding Jo Anne.” Sound familiar Jo Anne?
You know, my post about people needing to know whoever they hired was QUALIFIED to perform the job they had been hired to do in the first place? If the truth bothered you, why didn’t you advise people retaining your services that you couldn’t perform their ceremony in the first place? If you hadn’t let your clients down and they hadn’t found me, I also wouldn’t have known there was an issue with your credentials either. Think about it.
Our prison Officiant and planning business have literally boomed regardless of the sneaky tactics Jo Anne and her “clown posse” continue to pull.
In February 2018, I was at Coffield Unit when a call came in from someone who needed an Officiant at Hodge Unit who had originally hired Jo Anne. These continued victims of my competitors continued to find me. I knew there was a problem because my new clients told me what they had been through dealing with my competition. Unlike my competitors though, I made their former clients day at a prison seemless, pleasant and memorable.
In March 2018, I was at Hutchins Unit with another client when as usual my site was being consistently visited by Jo Anne.
In March, I was also at Beto Unit when my website Team advised me that Splendora, Texas continued to hit my sites. I track every visitor to all of my sites. Jo Anne began paying for placement on google.
Cindy and I flew to California to film This Time Next Year with Cat Deeley while also working destination events booked through Texas Twins Events. I.E. we were too busy to worry about Jo Anne. In fact, we always have been.
We HAVE never been too busy to save clients who hired the wrong Officiant before coming to us. We MAKE time for people who need help. For Jo Anne’s former clients, we’ve made time again and again.
In April 2018 I was back at Estes Unit before travelling to Stiles Unit on April 19, 2018 and marrying the bride who needed my help AFTER hiring Jo Anne first.
Since becoming a TDCJ Officiant April 2017, due to the number of clients coming to us for help, we have rebranded and expanded to address the growing need for inmate wedding services. I’ve been the second Officiant over and over because the first Officiants AKA my competitors have consistently let their former clients down. These “other Officiants” could have done the right thing and chose not to. They also lost their clients to me because they failed to provide services they had been paid to perform.
A few days ago, Jo Anne drove traffic from her own page to my page by tagging me on FB.” While booking in these new clients, I asked “how did you hear about us? We have never advertised. So, can I ask who it was that referred you?”
The shocking answer of my new clients and how they found me over the past few days was ironically not from previous client referrals but instead from my competitor? Jo Anne.
While Jo Anne was busy talking about me on FB as well as tagging me, she was also inadvertently promoting me. Amazing isn’t it?
New bookings that had never even heard of TDCJ Officiant, Texas Twins Events or Wendy Wortham until my competitors couldn’t stop talking about me? Finding me due to posts from my competition about me? Increased traffic that crashed my site due to my competitors?
Ironically, because life is ironic, my site crash and subsequent “new Prison bookings” wouldn’t have happened this week without “help” from my competitor, Jo Anne.
In March of 2018, I decided to buy a trademark for Texas Prison Weddings. By September 2018, I realized that I had hired the wrong attorney to do so. I was never interested in limiting myself to Texas in the first place.
I decided to abandon my March 2018 trademark filing and focus on clients in several states instead. Texas Twins Events is national so why limit ourselves?
Since all of our services including prison wedding services are available in several states, I knowingly and willingly abandoned the trademark for Texas Prison Weddings. My competitor subsequently picked it up.
The trademark was approved for Jo Anne a just a few days ago, my competitor aka Jo Anne cannot stop talking about me or stalking me. But, everyone is listening including prospective new bookings. While Jo Anne is busy talking I’m busy working. I don’t care about that trademark and gave it up knowingly, willingly and intentionally.
Trademarks don’t earn you business. Only you can do that. Limiting myself and my staff to Texas? NEVER. We travel baby.
The inept trademark attorney I had hired to file the trademark was a blessing in disguise. How so? The name would have “put me in a box of only performing prison weddings in Texas” but, fate and my ability to overcome obstacles along with a dash of divine intervention and entrepreneurship are why and how I didn’t care about a trademark or a name that would have effectively limited our audience and subsequently, our services to Texas.
I effectively threw that “geographically limiting” Prison trademark idea straight into the trash instead.
Prison weddings occur even in other countries, I love to travel and I love to meet new friends. Worldwide prison weddings? Count me and my Texas Twins Events Team in. We will see ya all at the prison!
Our services are available to many states and our success has a few folks shaking their fists but, our success comes entirely from happy clients, referrals and stellar work ethics. Loyalty is earned.
My competitors, spies and internet trolls should take a page from my playbook and treat each and every client with the same degree of attention that we do but, common sense is like breath spray. The people who need it the most refuse to use it and get up in your face anyway. Jo Anne’s hometown friend attempting to discredit me with an erroneous complaint regarding my honest FB post and subsequent warning “advising anyone hiring a TDCJ Officiant to first verify their credentials with Huntsville” was surprising to say the least but the “clown posse” and their antics have continued and even accelerated the past few days. Who cares? I’m working with the clients my competition COULD HAVE HAD if they had bothered to perform the task they had initially been retained to provide.
“Trust, Honor, & Integrity are the building blocks of success. “Your CHARACTER says a LOT about YOU, even IF you aren’t LISTENING, everybody ELSE is.”
Jo Anne followed up her FB tagging Wednesday morning with more trash talking of while I was with a traditional client in a meeting and preparing to drive to Ferguson Unit immediately afterwards.
While still with my client, a negative review notification from someone who “just happened to be friends with my competitor, Jo Anne AND even lived in the SAME town (Splendora) as Jo Anne aka the “competitor.” The notification came through to my cell phone.
Jo Anne and her friend “aka the derogatory reviewer” who’s never retained my services or even spoke to me (although she said that I was rude in her review) both live in Splendora, Texas. Now Jo Anne and the clown posse were making up fake reviews.
This “reviewer” who had never hired me or my staff or at the very least even had ANY degree of contact with Texas Twins Events OR TDCJ Officiant whatsoever apparently thought that “leaving a derogatory review for a business you’ve never had any connection to was acceptable behavior.” It isn’t.
The first Splendora, Texas derogatory and defamatory review would later be followed up by a former client of Jo Anne’s.
Jo Anne and her posse were too busy laughing with themselves to recognize that “tracking the common denominator of these fake reviews was being conducted” while I was driving to Ferguson Unit.
The common denominator? Jo Anne and her FB post tagging me. Stirring the chili and getting her friends fired up to unjustly attempt to sully my name.
Here’s a tip ladies, I keep records of every phone call. Every email. Every text message. Every visitor to ANY Wendy Wortham site and I had NEVER had any INTERACTION with EITHER OF YOU.
Also, phony reviewers, you were both “late to the party” attempting to hide your friends list connecting you both to Jo Anne.
The first derogatory and unscrupulous “review” was posted to my page “Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham” was within an hour of Jo Anne tagging me on FB regarding that trademark I had let go months ago.
Jo Anne just can’t help herself. She trolls my social media, visits my sites several times a day and even subscribes to all of my blogs. Jo Anne is obsessed with me, my twin and my staff as well as her previous clients smiling at photo shoots after we marry them. On one occasion, Jo Anne even called her former client from Hodge Unit after seeing that I had married her. WTF?
Jo Anne is literally obsessed with me AND her former clients. But, unlike most crazy stalkers, this competitor and her “friends” weren’t going to ruin my day with their preposterous antics.
Fake reviews from her own connections? The childishness never ends but, makes it obvious that my stalking competitor has far too much time on her hands.
Before arriving at Ferguson Unit, one of Jo Anne’s former clients left ANOTHER derogatory review. This type of rampant stupidity is why 24 hours later, my site would crash due to heavy traffic. All because my crazy stalker wanted to draw attention to me? Yes.
Who needs a publicist or marketing person when your stalker aka competitor Jo Anne cannot stop talking about you and subsequently directing traffic and new bookings to you.
Hell, Jo Anne, if you keep talking about me, I’m going to be forced to hire more personnel.
By tagging me on FB and effectively, redirecting YOUR own traffic directly to my services, aka Jo Anne had increased my bookings from 1-3 clients this past week to 12.
Due to this “redirected traffic,” from FB tagging and trash talking of Jo Anne and her two cronies, my site crashed with an overflow of new business inquiries and bookings between 05-15-2019 to 05-17-2019.
Had my Jo Anne NOT HAVE TAGGED ME, my newly booked clients might not have even found me on FB. After all, they were on her page FIRST.
I was at the Tarrant County clerks office Friday at 2PM helping my client, Payton get her marriage license and completely unaware of website issues when a call from a Le Blanc prospect that I had spoke with on Tuesday while driving back from San Saba Unit came in.
Thankfully, my client was thrilled to get her license and can’t wait to get married Sunday.
Since visitation is on certain days, Payton took the online Twogether In Texas course to waive her waiting period.
My Le Blanc client had also attempted to follow up and contact me through TDCJOfficiant.com regarding planning her Prison wedding Wednesday while I was at Ferguson Unit. When she didn’t get an answer, she called me “I emailed you a few days ago and haven’t heard back from you.”
Alarmed, I called my site manager to find out what was going on and resolve the issue. I would spend all night Friday contacting everyone that had attempted to use the contact us link at the same time.
I’m really looking forward to meeting my latest bookings and especially my Le Blanc client who saved the day for me by giving me a heads up.
Jo Anne has to have paid placement on google. She “has to” because I don’t need to and continue to outbook her over and over.
My creative content and quality websites put me at top placement in google search engines. I’m there for free and have been all along. Paid placement? No thank you.
My twin sister and I have filmed a television pilot based on our business, The Pawning Planners, we have signed with seven production companies regarding show concepts about our businesses and we are currently negotiating with other production companies and networks as well as writing a book and continuing to rebrand and expand.
While juggling our numerous responsibilities, inmate wedding services have continued to grow beyond any expectation I could have anticipated. We now service inmate weddings in several states.
Had my site not crashed due to this “redirected traffic” from Jo Anne, the timeline of the “site occurrence” wouldn’t be so “easy to pinpoint.” But, it was. My web designer tracks visitors and urls. The moment my competitor tagged me, my site traffic increased. Boomerang clients? You bet. What goes around comes around.
I will (as usual) give these new clients the care and courtesy they should have gotten from my competitor who was far too focused on attempting to tarnish my reputation to realize what she was doing.
Truth is always stranger than fiction. My reputation is why I’m successful. So successful that I’ve added TDCJ Officiants and expanded into other states.
Client loyalty is a priceless commodity in business. Earn it and you won’t have time to stalk me Jo Anne. Stop trying to figure out why I’m successful and start trying to figure out how to be successful instead. I know, it’s a totally new concept but, try it. Stop stalking me and start focusing on you.
For those unaware of how I got started in the Prison wedding business, it’s actually an interesting story. A creative request to officiate a prison wedding a few years ago and my willingness to undergo the process to help a stranger literally changed the dynamics of our bookings. True story.
I have never once even considered advertising because at the time I agreed to become a TDCJ Officiant, I already had commitments to my existing clients on the books from Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. My evenings and weekends were booked out nearly two years and I didn’t see how I could possibly squeeze new clients into my schedule.
I had expected my first prison wedding to be my last request for an inmate wedding because I didn’t realize there were other people who just like Misty needed a TDCJ Officiant. I wasn’t planning to rebrand and expand again. But, due to the demand, it happened. Texas Twins Events expanded and rebranded a second time in five years to include inmate weddings.
Inmate weddings actually opened a new door and took us into a completely new direction. An adventure of rebranding and expanding with new business bookings based entirely on my first happy Prison Wedding client, Misty at Estes Unit.
I helped Misty with her prison wedding and by doing so, I was gifted with new opportunities and a new direction.
For those unaware, I merged Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create a barter option aka The Pawning Planners in 2014. As usual, Cindy and I were pioneers. No one in the events industry had ever considered bartering. We did it first. We have never been afraid to invest in ourselves or finding solutions for others. We are entrepreneurs.
While our competitors in the events industry laughed at the Texas Twins and the idea of bartering event services, we flew to Hollywood and filmed a sizzle reel. Laughter is the best medicine other event vendors who also troll our sites.
While our competitors stalked us, we filmed a television pilot. While others expected us to fail, we continued to expand and rebrand. WITHOUT EVER ADVERTISING! The need existed to find a way to fund Dream Events and my twin and I found a solution. The need also existed for honesty and transparency in the Prison Wedding business and again, we grew to address the requests.
As usual, the moment other event vendors who used to laugh at our idea to create a People Over Profit based event business only to later offer a barter option, no longer laugh. We help ANY income level.
These same vendors who thought “Prison Weddings were controversial” also thought (years ago) that being openly LBGT friendly would destroy their business are now (so they say) LBGT friendly. Better late than never ya all.
As other event vendors hid their affiliation with LBGT clients years ago, my Texas Twins Events Team welcomed anyone from any background. Yes, we are different. We are fearless and undaunted by haters who cannot understand why our unconventional business methods are far more effective.
How our businesses that have never advertised or paid for promotion have continued to succeeded, grow and thrive surprises everyone. Our clients are our priority. Their loyalty is why year after year we continue to grow. Surprised? Don’t be. Referrals are priceless.
Building a client base requires YOUR dedication. Welcoming ANY client? ANY request? We have and our dedication and resilience within the events industry is a story all of its own.
From weddings to purple unions to estate liquidation to flipping trades to prison weddings, birthday parties and baptisms, my family and I didn’t care about the people laughing. We cared about the people coming to us for help. We focused on our clients.
We took the risks no other event vendor was willing to and we would do it all over again. We have continued to grow because our clients are family to us. They are a fabric in our lives. Our relationship doesn’t end after an event. Quite the contrary, our relationships are friendships with our former clients.
Inmate weddings take place during the week and therefore wouldn’t interfere with existing bookings on the weekends making adding prison weddings to our services the “perfect fit.”
Since I began offering inmate wedding services, we have continued to grow based entirely on our reputation and client referrals. There is no need for me to advertise nor has there ever been.
Cindy and I think differently than our competitors. We have never “fit a mold” and we have always educated ourselves about any aspect of any product that we have ever sold. Product knowledge is essential in ANY industry.
My sister and I are both survivors. We left home at 15 and made our own way in life. We didn’t have friends or even family to help us. The reason we started Texas Twins Events years ago was because we didn’t have anyone to help us with our own weddings. Why not? Our mother was a heroin addict who abandoned us as children. We came from a broken family and had no friends or family to help us plan our own weddings. We started our business based on our own experiences. True story. We wanted to give people the weddings we didn’t have ourselves.
What we DID HAVE was the tenancity to succeed. We are passionate and resilient. We are dedicated and determined. For our competitors, we are also a force to be reckoned with. Client loyalty has expanded our business year after year after year.
For those wondering how we got here, a little background…. At 18, I was a commercial actress with Mel Tillis doing Whataburger commercials.
When I needed nice clothing, I became a model to create a fabulous wardrobe and go into high end sales. To sell, you need to look successful and I did. To sell, you need to earn a clients trust and I did. My twin and I had no one to fall back on. We only had each other and we are the most honest salespeople you will ever meet. If we wouldn’t buy it, we didn’t sell it.
People buy from us because they trust us and we don’t ever let them down. Cindy and I have never been afraid to roll up our sleeves or get our hands dirty either.
The Pawning Planners (Texas Twins) can put up fences or strip, stain and reupholster trades and more. This twin team knows the value of hard and honest work. We have helped people that no one else was willing to help on more than one occasion. For YEARS.
The broken fence (below) was a request for help from someone who had no money or barter but, needed our help. We jumped in and rented a truck to pick up free panels and poles to help someone we had never met? Yes, we most certainly did.
You’ve never met anyone like us because we care about others. We are passionate and perseverant. Finding someone to donate panels and poles? Sure on Craigslist.
The person contacting us for help with a broken fence didn’t have a truck. We went to Home Depot and rented one.
The fence person came to us “because she heard we help people.” We do. Occasionally, we give insight to people in order for them to help themselves too. Cindy and I are entrepreneurs who became successful because failure was never an option.
What made Cindy and I “different” made us sought after. We are the people we would like to meet.
“You cannot buy a referral OR a happy client. You earn their business by dedication and exceeding their expectations.
Throughout my life, only once have I needed to advertise and it was within an industry I had no prior experience with. What was it? Luxury car sales. I can sell anything.
During a divorce, I needed a car and upon realizing that luxury car sales offered free demos, took a job at Cadillac. In order to gain my own client base in a wholly new career path, I used my previous experience as a former print and commercial model to run my own ads in Country clubs across Texas. This “type of advertising” had never been done before in the car sales industry but, I’m a pioneer and my creative advertising campaign paid off for me as a Cadillac salesperson.
Direct marketing specifically to consumers that could afford to buy luxury cars was the most successful investment I had ever made at that time in my life. Even I was shocked at the success of my unique idea to market myself. I generated clients booking by appointment and I had more clients than I could handle.
While other salesmen laughed at marketing campaign, they didn’t laugh long. Clients generated through my creative marketing campaign referred their friends and family to me.
Within a four year window, I was awarded again and again for customer satisfaction and excellence. I retired from Cadillac “on top.”
My reputation sold all of those vehicles. I earned the trust of my clients and their loyalty.
After two years, I no longer needed to pay to advertise. I had more business than I could handle because I was willing to be different. To do something different. To invest in myself and stellar work ethics. I knew if I could bring clients in, I would sell and sell I did.
I don’t fit in a box. Clients I had previously sold Cadillac’s to booked again. This time for event services.
Former Cadillac clients book new services and ALL of our clients for Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, The Pawning Planners and Prison Weddings ARE REFERRED CLIENTS.
Dedication and dilligence are how we have grown year after year. Happy clients continue to refer their friends and family to us again and again. We build relationships not sales numbers.
You can’t afford to buy loyalty or referrals. No one can. Loyalty and subsequently, referral business is earned only through building trust with a client.”
Cindy and I stay busy with interviews. After all, there isn’t a business as versatile as ours anywhere. We especially enjoyed a radio interview together Thursday afternoon regarding people over fifty starting their own business.
The most important aspect of any business is to expect a learning curve. I didn’t expect to rebrand and expand in order to address low income clients but the need existed and The Pawning Planners was born. I didn’t expect to rebrand and expand again to address inmate wedding services either but, a creative request for an inmate wedding is why and how Texas Twins Events rebranded and expanded again. I’m open minded.
From rich to poor, our clients are the biggest mix of people from any background you could imagine. But, by rebranding and expanding, our services became available to any income level for any service.
I’ve been in sales my entire life and the key to sales is building quality in the product and establishing a relationship with the client. Unlike my competitors, I have.
Although we are based in Texas, Texas Twins Events has offered destination event services from the inception. We’ve never been limited to Texas. We have no plans to start now either. The Texas Twins Travel!
I’m not ONLY familiar with competing businesses because at WorthamWorld, I am also familiar with competing neighbors.
Friday morning, I was kicking off my morning at 5AM, and I was surprised to see Maria (the maid next door) walking towards Foxy and I. After all, I’m trying to walk my dog in silk pajamas unnoticed. I had a long day ahead of me and wasn’t planning to deal with my entitled neighbor or her brow beaten housekeeper, Maria.
Ninety nine percent of my neighbors don’t work. There’s a lot of “old money” in Westover Hills, TX. From old mansions to exotic cars and a 90 year old grocery store that sells items 50% or more above “traditional” grocery stores, watching maids walk from the bus to work every morning is a regular occurrence.
I like Roy Pope Grocery and I realize convenience is expensive so, I enjoy walking to the market with a parking lot full of Maserati’s, Porsche, Mercedes and Rolls Royce vehicles. These folks could walk too but they prefer to drive and leave their cars running.
If you were a car thief, my neighborhood is the neighborhood to “score” at. Occasionally, I will drive my Santa Fe SUV or my Nissan Rogue over to Roy Pope if I’m returning from a booking.
My “flawless neighbors” in full makeup and fancy cars give me the stink eye though for a number of reasons but mainly because I work and they don’t.
Also, watching film crews and clients come and go at WorthamWorld raises a few eyebrows around here. My neighbors are far from liberal or open minded.
I occasionally pity my neighbors the same way I laugh back at my competitors who once laughed at me. The “affluent housewives” looking down on others would certainly have a fairly tough time surviving on their own should their their husband’s ever leave. I’ve seen it happen. I will see it happen again.
I’ve never looked down my nose at anyone because I’m old and I’m wise and I happily say hello to my “Beverly Hills Wannabe” neighbors on a regular basis.
Apparently though, my snootiest neighbor had seen me leave my driveway with Foxy Friday morning and had sent Maria over to ask me “have you called the city about mowing the estate next door to you?”
I (momentarily) considered marching over to my neighbors house and getting snappy but poor Maria was just a messenger. Her mistress (most likely) would take out her frustration on Maria if I had.
A few times over the years, I’ve driven Maria home. Maria is hard working and supports her family. Maria is too good for her mistress who “likes to keep up appearances” in Westover Hills with perfect makeup and clothing to go check her mail or drive to the Country Club. She’s an Instagram neighbor. Her life on social media looks envious but, reality isn’t social media ya all.
Insta life and real life are far from the same. My neighbor is most likely depressed and struggling with alcoholism. I remind myself daily to pity her rather than resent her but, her treatment of Maria bothers me to no an end.
If I ever cave in and allow my husband to hire a maid, I’m going to save Maria from being under the thumb of my neighbor. The house next door to me upsets everyone in my neighborhood. But not to the point of them taking any action other than telling my husband or I to “do something about it.” They all have lawn men and could easily send their workers over but, have never done so. Instead, they complain to us to “do something.”
A few of my “entitled neighbors” have all day to call the city but in my neighborhood, it’s regularly expected that my husband and I do it for them. “Your husband is a developer. He knows everybody downtown. Surely he has a few minutes to take care of this for the betterment of the neighborhood Wendy.”
The rambling eyesore next door to my home bothers me to such an extent that I’ve hired yard men for years to clean it up. I’m currently on strike though as the neighbor on the other side of it has decided to pay yard men to “cut only four feet into the abandoned estate because you hire people to handle that yard.” Humph. This statement lit me up.
Six years of paying yard men to clean up someone else’s property and the attitude of all of my neighbors expecting me to continue to pay for the upkeep are what actually led to my strike. Mowing four feet of that yard is ridiculous. When I pay yard men to clean up that estate, I don’t tell them to “just do my side and leave the other side.”
My husband is equally sick and tired of maintaining the adjoining property with no benefit whatsoever as well as running construction on his numerous developments and dealing with the city regarding the abandoned estate next door is the last thing he wants to do although it happens to be “related to our neighborhood as opposed to his development neighborhoods.”
My husband and I are on strike about paying to upkeep a property solely because we are forced to look at it next door. What’s wrong with that neighbor? He could sell the lot within days for easily $500k but chooses to let raccoons move in and trees to overtake the property. I don’t get it.
I told Maria I would call the city on my way downtown and report the three home decaying estate next door to the city again rather than telling her what I REALLY thought about her boss while my haughty neighbor looked on at both of us.
Poor Maria rides the bus every morning then walks to my neighbors estate. I see her as I’m walking Foxy. I’ve always felt sorry for her.
Once she arrives at work, her mistress makes her change into a maids uniform. It’s belittling to her. I know she hates wearing it as much as I hate seeing her wear it.
A few of my neighbors would benefit from manual labor and a good days work. The neighbor Maria works for is one of them.
Often I think a few of these neighbors must be so far upside down in debt that I nearly expect to see the repo man coming over to pick up their fancy cars but, it hasn’t happened yet.
Driving exotic cars is something that you will never see me do. We pay cash for new suvs every two years and don’t owe on credit cards or anything else. My husband and I aren’t flashy and we like it that way.
Rich people get on my nerves but more than that, housewives who run around in tennis outfits ALL DAY while driving $400k vehicles and acting superior to anyone who isn’t driving a fabulous car REALLY GET ON MY NERVES.
Entitled neighbors aside, I (as usual) had a jam packed weekend of client meetings and events. As my nosy neighbors watch our three suvs and a four wheel drive truck pull out of my driveway at 6:30AM after going over the weekend schedule for my Texas Twins Events Team schedule this morning, I ignored my nosy neighbor rather than giving her the finger. It’s not easy. Her opinion of our clients lights me up.
Poor Maria is working for a tyrant over there. The fact that my idiot neighbor forces Maria to wear a starched maids outfit to identify her position at that estate infuriates me.
But, I can’t save Maria. Her position in life bothers me though. One day, I hope Maria does give her mistress the finger one day and finds someone else to work for that treats her with respect.
Someone needs to “knock that invisible tiara” off my “full of herself neighbors head” but, it won’t be me because I don’t have the time and more importantly, I live here.
Last weekend my always “determined to impress others neighbor” hired valets who blocked all of our driveways for her party. I was forced to go over there and advise her that three of us couldn’t get out of our driveways. Her response? “Well, go find Maria to tell the valets as you can see I’m entertaining.” Ugh. Poor Maria.
Rich people are often the worst clients I’ve ever had. They want everything and bitch about paying for it. Although my husband and I live well, we have always treated others with respect and kindness regardless of where they work or how they earn a living. In fact, neither of us have had to work in years now. We both enjoy our work but I enjoy it far more than Matthew. Why? Because building and development incurs new problems everyday. I don’t have his problems. I jump in my SUV and head off for good times with great people. Unless of course, they are rich people and then it isn’t always wine and roses.
I prefer prison wedding clients. Why? Because my clients are friendly, excited and thankful that’s why. Rich people never are. I’ve limited my traditional bookings for years with affluent clients because of this fact. I turn down new booking requests on a regular basis from “affluent” clients. They are the most demanding people in the world to work with.
When you don’t have to work to earn a living, you don’t put up with someone handing you an apron to serve food when they hired you to coordinate and officiate. Rich clients don’t want to pay for additional staff. They assume because you have a team that your team will volunteer. Wake up! I prefer to say no and move on to clients we ENJOY working with.
Rich people think everyone is “day labor.” They assume you have nowhere to be and all day to get there. They also think they are your ONLY CLIENTS.
I WILL ALWAYS prefer our low to middle class bookings because real people treat you like you would want to be treated. My arm has to be twisted to take on a “big event.” Big Events will always be a hassle. I never look forward to them.
My haughty neighbor knows I perform prison weddings and LBGT events and “doesn’t approve of rainbow unions or prison weddings.” She actually stopped me one day to tell me about her opinion. I stopped myself from telling her to go F herself. It isn’t easy being me.
I encounter stupidity from others (mainly my neighbors but occasionally, my competitors) who think their opinion matters to me on a regular basis.
This morning I’m starting my day at Green Bay Unit in Fort Worth. This is a massive detention center that I’m meeting clients at at least twice a week. If you haven’t heard of it, I will include more information and warn you that phone calls are $15 each. Do not assume that these calls are $5 each because they aren’t.
Tarrant County TX – Green Bay Facility has a phone program where inmates make outbound calls only, you cannot call into jail. Since you are paying for those calls don’t make it a habit of accepting collect-calls, they are over $15 EACH.
The alternative is to set up an account through their third-party phone company which charges steep fees for each minute used. You are paying for them to call you.
The preposterous amount of money that Keller charges had one of my clients mothers calling me crying. $775 for ten phone calls? I couldn’t believe it myself. To rectify this issue, I helped Mariah and her mother draft a Letter Of Intent and report this flagrant financial abuse to the Consumer Protection Agency as well as the AG. Beware of collect phone calls ya all because it’s anyone’s guess as to what they will cost.
The Tarrant County TX – Green Bay Facility is a County – medium detention center located at 2500 Urban Drive in Ft Worth, TX. This county jail is operated locally by the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office and holds inmates awaiting trial or sentencing or both.
Most of the sentenced inmates are here for less than two years. Tarrant County accepts inmates from surrounding towns, municipalities and the Ft Worth Police Department who do not have their own long-term lock-up.
There are new detainees delivered to the jail daily, the see arrest records here. Some are released after putting up bail, are released to a pretrial services caseload, are placed under supervision by a probation agency, or are released on their own recognizance with an agreement to appear in court.
If there is no release, the inmate must wait here at the jail for their court appearance as a guest of the County, getting a bed and three square meals.
Trustees are inmates who work in the jail as cooks, as orderlies for the staff, in the laundry or in the commissary. The trustees are paid a very small amount for their time and some jail gives the trustees a few days off their sentence in exchange for their work.
When an inmate arrives in jail they are put together in a large holding cell with other inmates in the intake. While in intake they are under heightened observation. Violent and out of control inmates are segregated.
I was actually “following the groom” who had been transferred from Tarrant County Jail to Green Bay. Last week my client and I thought he was at Tarrant County but as usual, he was moved without being able to notify his fiancée. We found him again after a collect call.
Not knowing where your loved one is continues to be upsetting to my clients. Luckily, my Green Bay client has an attorney I know well. I know most attorneys in Fort Worth and Dallas from my years spent in courtrooms as well as socially at fundraisers for Kay Granger and from Ridglea or Shady Oaks Country Club.
Unlike my snobby neighbor who will spend her summer laying around the Country Club pool sipping martinis and trying to look sexy, I only go to “the club” for client meetings, social functions and the occasional lunch or dinner with my husband.
I have no idea why my neighbor hasn’t died yet of alcohol poisoning with the ever present martini glass in her hand? I’ve never seen her without a drink regardless of what time it is. How do people function drinking 24/7? I don’t get it.
Anyway luckily, I knew the attorney and called him to get me a notarized Absentee Affidavit for the inmate. I had a great call with him discussing both of our families and pitching him on getting married. For years now, I’ve asked when this attorney is going to get married? His internet date stories are hilarious though and if he were to finally meet someone and hire me to marry them, I’d really miss his hit and miss blind date sagas.
Speaking of Tarrant County Jail, I will be back over there today to meet my Dallas County Jail client who was bumped to Tarrant County due to a warrant. Following the Groom is actually a regular occurrence.
I’m at Rivercrest for a client meeting and lunch this afternoon and no I don’t like watercress sandwiches. My husband loves them and Rivercrest is famous for them. Yuck.
My husband pretty much lived at Rivercrest Country Club most of his life. His father, grandfather and entire family were members of this stuffy old above 70 years old clique.
Rivercrest isn’t the fun Country Club of Fort Worth. Both Rivercrest and Colonial are the “stuffy” clubs of Fort Worth.
The fun folks are members of Ridglea and Shady Oaks or both. For people like me who hate golf, comparing the greens is totally lost on me. Every golf course looks the same.
My husband could spend hours explaining the differences of the greens at Rivercrest, Colonial, Shady Oaks and Ridglea but the conversation would put me to sleep in seconds.
I’m considering cutting this Rivercrest client loose for more than ONE REASON. First, she calls constantly and when she isn’t calling, her mother is. Secondly, this wedding is at the club and eleven months from now. Nearly another year of constant phone calls? Hell, I need to bill by the call with this client AND her mother.
It’s an ass whipping to deal with Inlaws and Outlaws in the planning process. This bride begged me to take this job and my husband “knows the family.”
My husband and I constantly bicker the “valid points” he thinks there are regarding my consistent issues about taking on “affluent clients.” I prefer not to.
My husband doesn’t know how difficult rich people are to work for in the event planning business but, I do. Cindy does. My husband thinks “working these larger events is a great way to expand.”
My husband didn’t expect prison weddings to take off and even today cannot believe how successful this extension of services would be.
A few affluent clients won’t take no for an answer after “telling their friends the Texas Twins are doing their event.” Heavy sigh. I wish they wouldn’t tell people they booked with us long before I’ve ever considered taking the booking. Now you feel pressured to commit. They realize this and then, you are under their thumb. Jeez.
Today, I’m going to have to go over a few ground rules about these constant phone calls from “traditional clients.” Last night, my bride thought her ring wasn’t big enough. People don’t marry based on the size of the stone. I found this troubling phone call to be a “sign of things to come.”
Occasionally, “people who have it all can never have enough.” I’ve had enough already and this wedding isn’t until next year. You get the point. I had a lengthy discussion about her finding fault with her ring, the napkins the venue the this and that and taking the time to call me to call so and so and tell them she’s unhappy. I advised her to use the phone and address the issue directly and remove calling me to call them from this circle of chaos or… start paying me by the call. I think I’ve got this covered now but, we will see.
I’m going to once again go over the truth that guards are not professional photographers. PLEASE DO NOT FILE A COMPLAINT regarding UNIT PHOTOS. Guards are doing the best they can and often with less than professional quality equipment.
Certain Units have the worst photos and we can’t change the outcome of a bad photo. What we can do is accept that it’s not going to be an amazing shot an move on.
Hodge and Estes take amazing photos. Seriously. The lighting and everything is as close to perfect as you can get in a Prison. Coffield is hit and miss. One day the photo might be okay and the next it’s hard to even identify myself in a Unit photo.
But, these are the only photos we are going to have of the inmate so, let’s keep it light and lower our expectations of high quality photography at your unit wedding.
I reviewed an interesting request yesterday while in the parking lot waiting on my Mercado Event Center client. “We are looking for a female officiant that is non-denominational with zero religious agenda. Although we are a man and a woman, our ideal officiant is someone that has performed same sex marriage ceremonies in the past or would be willing to in the future. For us that’s a screener right there.”
The only thing I was uncertain about was being liberal. Was I? I’ve never thought about it. I’m open minded and always have been. I decided to ask my husband. I’ve never put a label on myself but, my husband was roaring with hilarity at my question. “Oh my gosh! You are the most liberal person I’ve ever met in my life. I have to play down how liberal and non judgmental you are on a daily basis to conservative people who begin a conversation with “I saw you wife on the news or such and such show. I heard your wife on the radio. Your wife goes to Prisons? Doesn’t she have enough clients to address? Your wife shouldn’t be working she doesn’t need to work. Tell her to go learn to play bridge at the club.” Wendy, the description of liberal should have your name in it. Lol. The definition is actually: open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.” Hmm. I guess I AM LIBERAL!
Go play play bridge at the Country Club? I would rather jump off a bridge. F that.
I decided to go ahead and take on this new booking because I love curious and interesting propositions. They weren’t LBGT but were interested solely in someone who performs LBGT Weddings? What the? I’m interested. It’s difficult to surprise me but this guy did.
Between Willow Lake Event Center, Villagio and Belltower client meetings yesterday, Cindy and I had two radio interviews. Both were fun but Cindy and I especially enjoyed Karen’s. Her story of meeting her husband on Match and not realizing until buying their marriage license he had lied about his age by 6 years was hilarious. Normally, women lie about their age but, the way she told that story was absolutely hilarious. We loved talking with Karen!
I’m meeting my Goree Unit bride this afternoon at the Tarrant County Clerk to hold her hand buying the marriage license. My Crain Unit Groom made the same request. Buying a license if you’ve never done it is scary for my clients. When I don’t have time to accompany those needing someone with them to buy the license, my staff does based on who is available. Don’t be scared. It’s just a process.
No one in Tarrant or Dallas county is going to be rude or confrontational with you because you are marrying an inmate. You will be just fine. But, if you would feel better having someone with you, just let me know and I will make arrangements.
I’ve had several inquiries for California Prison Weddings so I will elaborate on requirements. For the past year, I’ve stacked inmate weddings to work in travel expenses. It’s not an problem to stack inmate weddings. In fact, I regularly stack in Texas and Louisiana as well as California. Beginning August 1st though, Leigh Ann will be handling California inmate weddings and the need to stack will be removed.
My son and his wife will continue to handle “Houston runs” to county jails in adjoining cities.
Cindy is joining me as a TDCJ Officiant due to the number of requests. We will continue to travel as a team wherever we can because we love our road trips but, in an effort to help everyone, bringing Cindy on board to Officiate prison weddings is a necessity. My son is more comfortable at county jail Weddings as his wife.
Hoping you have an amazing day and really looking forward to being back on site at Villagio…