When Something Is So Shocking It Reminds You Of A Lifetime Movie…

Last night Cindy called me and Leigh Ann after opening a life insurance policy in Maryssa’s name with the beneficiary being her boyfriend of less than 2 months. The policy amount was half a million dollars. We were immediately on Red Alert about this shocking development.

Maryssa’s mom, Stephaney has battled addiction for 18 years but 4.5 months ago finally came to my patio to seek help. She’s been sober 4 months. My twin sister (her mother) and I put her in detox then moved her to Volunteers of America (an organization I cannot say enough good things about) for 90 days before transitioning to an Oxford House at the tip of Westover Hills near my home.

Cindy and I helped Stephaney get a car due to the expense of Uber or Lyft. Steph had found a 2007 Mitsubishi Eclipse for $3500 but it’s had a few issues. The guy who sold it to Steph has fixed 3 things so far and not charged her anything to do so. Cindy and I were pretty sure “this guy likes Steph.” We were right because he finally asked her to dinner this past week.

Steph is struggling because one of the twins, Makenna still isn’t speaking to Stephaney after her entire lifetime of 18 years waiting for Stephaney to get it together. Makenna had hope for years but five years ago, Stephaney was still on paper (probation) in Cotton County, Oklahoma and sober due to mandatory drug testing. It would be the first time in the twins lives their mother was sober for 3.5 years. The day after mandatory testing was removed, Stephaney was back on drugs and Makenna was so devastated by this decision that she took all of her anxiety meds while Cindy was with me and clients at TDCJ Robertson Unit then sent a group text to Cindy and I. We barely saved Makenna she was hospitalized for 3 months then moved to Mesa Springs for suicidal ideation. Makenna may never trust Stephaney again to be a part of her life and it’s something neither Cindy, I or Stephaney can control.

Many of our social media connections and a few of my clients are recovering addicts who have families that “practiced” tough love. They still have no connection to their own families even though they are sober. Cindy and I have fought for 18 years to get Stephaney stable. 18 years of “looking normal” in front of our clients and the rest of our families. It’s taken a toll on both of us financially and emotionally. 24 rehabs at great financial expense since Stephaney after having the twins at 16 years old has never had health insurance and 31 involuntary commitments due to meth induced psychosis. It’s raw Hell loving an addict. Unless you’ve been through it you will never understand. Only someone who has loved an addict would. Steph has overdosed 4 times. Cindy and I have “gotten the call” 4 times.

I once had a production assistant tell me “Wendy we can’t let the networks know you have any problems.” I laughed at this ludicrous statement since 1. My blogs are diaries of my life and businesses and 2. Everyone has problems and 3. No one doesn’t have any problems. She was young and dumb in her 20’s assuming everyone lived a problem free life. What a fantasy.

My life has never been “problem free.” Cindys hasn’t either. There’s a reason we a “different.” The reason is where we came from. Our mother was a heroin addict who eventually sold all 4 of her children for $50 each. But it would be years prior to this sale of Sharon Hill neglecting Wendy, Cindy, Tammy & Jerry due to her addiction of losing or forgetting us in parks, padlocked closets and locked car trunks before she finally sold us to our grandfather, a Pedophile. “Bought and paid for” is a term he used to refer to my sisters and I until Tammy was saved by adoption from our mothers mother as she was a stepsister and not a child of our father at 10 years old. Cindy and I were 6. Jerry was 2. Our grandfather recorded this “sale.” Cindy found the tape when we were liquidating a storage unit she had been paying for at our fathers request after his death. The tape was in the storage Unit dated May 1971 with only Wendy, Cindy & Tammy’s name on it. The reason? We were the only ones forced to listen to the tape. We were the victims of a predator who reminded all 3 of us that we were barely worth $50 by playing that tape throughout our childhoods. Problem free? What an idiotic statement and belief. My life has never been problem free nor has Cindys or Jerry’s. We were the children no one wanted or cared about.

My contempt for family members who wouldn’t help us became rage so all consuming I stopped speaking for many years. No one would listen. Cindy spoke for me. A number of things led up to my decision not to speak so I will elaborate. First Tammy disappeared. Asking where she was resulted in a beating. Secondly since Tammy was our primary caretaker, Miss Dorothy was hired. A woman we were initially terrified of because she looked like a witch. Wild and long jet black hair so dark it was shocking. Equally long red fingernails. Sunken cheeks with cheekbones so strong her face was dramatically enhanced. Odd clothing we hadn’t seen before with flowing and layered skirts similar to Stevie Nicks. Ironically it would be Miss Dorothy who became the only positive influence in our young lives. She was loving, dedicated and cared about us. In fact, she cared so much that she was going to tell what was going on and told our dad which was why she was immediately fired and we never saw her again. Our father moved in one of his cousins, an angry drunk, Vern. We knew to be wary of his angry outbursts and stay away from him but I would earlier than Jerry and Cindy one morning in the kitchen. I was ironing my fathers clothes. We were maids at a very young age. Vern had hollered “get off your ass and make me some coffee.” I did and not knowing it would burn the counter, set the coffee pot on the Formica counter accidentally burning a circle on the counter. Vern punched me with such force that I was knocked into the wall which brought my father into the kitchen asking “what did that dumb ass do this time?” Vern pointed at the counter. Our father regularly beat us with a razor strap, his fists or whatever was handy. Our grandmother used a purple hairbrush. Now Vern like everyone else could do whatever he wanted too. We had no escape from the Hell we were locked into as children.

School was no better. Cindy and I walked miles to and from school. We were regularly beaten up on our travels by a group of hoodlums. It would be 5th grade when the decision to “fight back” occurred to Cindy. She explained why to me. “We are beaten up and assaulted by everyone around us at home. If we don’t defend ourselves at school we will never get away from this. We are worth defending.” She was right and her reasoning would be how we finally stopped getting beat up. In 6th grade since we were immediately separated upon entering school it wouldn’t be Cindy but instead Wendy on my way to Special Ed since I still refused to speak who was cornered. “You’re so ugly your own mother left you.” I picked her up and threw her into a brick wall not knowing how much rage I actually had in me. I was suspended but didn’t care. The rock throwing that resulted in a scar under my right eye after one student put broken glass in the dirt clog stopped. Everyday Cindy and I ran from bullies either beating us or throwing rocks. Throwing Vickie stopped all of that.

It would be at the end of 6th grade our father up and moved us to Oklahoma City. Our mothers mother was trying to get custody of Cindy, Jerry & I. We wouldn’t know this for many many years. Our aunt Mildred & uncle Bob lived in Oklahoma. The only meals we had there were free lunches ar school. I found the first teacher in my life who helped me overcome my traumatic stutter and finally speak again too. This same teacher would also save me when at school I began my menstrual cycle early not knowing what was wrong with me but believing God was punishing me due to the years of abuse at the hands of our grandfather while no one did anything to stop it. Not other relatives. Not neighbors. Not teachers. No one except Miss Dorothy had ever tried to intervene.

For a year in an Oklahoma trailer park our miserable lives became more miserable. Aunt Mildred didn’t like children. Uncle Bob saw “free labor.” We swept his chemical plant. We cleaned their house. We were helpless pawns. Our dad went out drinking and came home angry most nights. We had learned to hide as much as we could and stay out of the way. He worked for uncle Bob. There were 2 brothers that spit on me and Cindy or pushed us waiting on the bus in Oklahoma. We had never rode a bus and thought it would be fun. It wasn’t. One day one of them went after our baby brother, Jerry. It would never happen again. Cindy and I beat the daylight out of the two trailer park thugs that had terrorized everyone else forced to ride the bus. We were learning that fighting back was the only option we had.

Melissa went to school with us and rode the bus. One day in 7th grade she came to our trailer. We weren’t ever allowed to have friends in our home or go to other peoples homes either. She wanted a match but our father measured and marked everything and would beat the daylights out of us if he found we had consumed or used anything without asking. We couldn’t give her a pack of matches out of fear. She left and within minutes shot herself beside her trailer. I’ve always blamed myself for not giving her those matches. We never knew why she did it. I ran to her trailer and saw the carnage ahead of Cindy. We both stopped Jerry to keep him from it. The entire school was given the day off. It was the first funeral of someone we had ever attended. If not for Cindy and Jerry I might’ve been Melissa. I might’ve chosen an easy way out of our hellish lives but I had Cindy and Jerry to think about I had siblings to protect the same way Tammy had protected us before grandma Tinney adopted her at 10. Without realizing it back then I became the fixer. The protector. The kid who whatever happened lied and said “I did it” or “it was my fault” to spare my siblings a beating. I also hated my father. This rate would grow over the years to come only more fierce and consuming throughout the rest of my life. But I never considered following Melissa’s lead I had Cindy and Jerry to think about leaving alone and defenseless.

Grandma and grandpa showed up in Oklahoma to move us to Texas. We had been quite nearly starved after a summer of no school and no food. Nothing had changed after a year away from grandpa he immediately cornered Cindy and I loading our meager belongings and said “did you miss me?” We were miserable malnutritioned and helpless. No one would help us. No one would ever help us. Only surviving and escaping our family we would but we were still to young to pull it off.

Cindy and I stopped asking about Tammy in Oklahoma. We had suffered many beatings by asking or even mentioning her name. It was while being moved from OK to TX I decided to one day find my sister and our mother to confront her. This would take years to accomplish but I was hellbent to do it.

Texas was equally miserable. Back in school at Castleberry I was beaten up on our first day. I only had one pair of pants as did Cindy. We both cut up a flag to add length by whipstitching the flag onto the hem of our pants. Debbie cornered me in the bathroom. Cindy was by far more adept to these encounters than I was so I did the same thing I did at home. Nothing. I had taken many beatings over Vickie back in Lompoc. I didn’t want another beating when I got home from defending myself. Debbie and her sidekicks regularly cornered me coming out of Special Ed. It was miserable I knew I would get beaten up everyday and dreaded it. One day my father noticed a black eye and told me “if you keep coming home getting your ass whipped at school I’m gonna whip it again.” The next day I beat the living shit out of Debbie with my books. She never bothered me again. Survival was difficult and arduous. It was hell. Monthly I was beaten for having a period and “posing a financial hardship on our family.” Cindy wouldn’t start until years after me. I’m guessing I had precocious puberty but it was never diagnosed. We never went to a regular doctor or dentist. We were too poor for medical care. Maryssa was diagnosed with precocious puberty at 5 years old.

Cindy and I ran away from home at 15. We had called 911. My dad was beating me because I was pregnant. No one in our family wanted me to have that baby. No one. We couldn’t take Jerry with us. We had nowhere to run and no one to run to. The next years of our lives would be survival and without the “family” who had never cared about us or protected us. My greatest regret is and will always be having to leave Jerry behind. In that Hellish House.

It was imperative for Cindy and I to become the mothers we never had. The people we never met. We made a pact at 16 living in a shelter together. We’ve kept that pact. We must now protect Maryssa who trusts a boyfriend who has taken out a policy on her life. She’s quite literally worth more dead to him than alive. Monday we call the insurance company…

“COMPARING A New Love to An OLD Love Is Like COMPARING A LADLE To A SPOON.” Cindy Daniel

A lot of folks wonder where “we come up with quotes.” There’s really no “we.” My twin sister is the “quote Queen.”

Cindy is a self professed redneck. She spent years working on a dairy farm. Her hilarious quotes always contain truth and transparency.

Today’s blog title is better understood with a definition between the ladle and the spoon so here it is…

“a ladle is a deep-bowled spoon with a long, usually curved, handle while spoon is an implement for eating or serving; a scooped utensil whose long handle is straight, in contrast to a ladle.”

You can’t look behind you at a former lover. You must focus on your current love story. Don’t compare apples to oranges. We all learn from our mistakes in relationships past. I learned that I will never tolerate infidelity or violence. Cindy did too.

Yesterday while on BlueTooth with a client planning to marry an inmate, my niece Stephaney listened in while I went over the paperwork process. She then asked me “can I do prison weddings? I think I would be good at it.”

My niece like many people “thinks what I do is easy.” It isn’t. Ask Cindy. I need to have all of the answers. I need to know all of the policies, procedures and guidelines. “I don’t know” isn’t in my vocabulary. I research continuing changes to marriage laws across the country. I know the family code and I understand State, Federal, ICE and County guidelines pertaining to inmate marriage.

I didn’t just “wake up” one day and have all of the answers. I educated myself. No one contacting me wants someone else to conduct their ceremony. Everyone contacting me wants me.

Explaining this to my niece as I did to my son and my other niece, Leigh Ann who handles California weddings since she moved there about a year ago isn’t an easy conversation.

To my family what I do looks easy. They aren’t with me when my phone rings all night long or while my husband sleeps as I answer emails and DM’s on social media. They have no idea how much time I spend walking clients through a complicated process. My husband does.

I’m awake at 5:30AM reviewing emails 7 days a week. What I do requires commitment. What I do requires knowledge.

What I do requires a huge amount of my time and dedication. I don’t talk to or email a “traditional booking” 20-30 times. A traditional booking generally requires me on site for a rehearsal and the wedding and a few phone calls to set everything up if I’m only officiating the ceremony. I rarely take on a booking for a planner AND officiant these days.

Why? My time. Planning an event takes a huge amount of my time talking to other vendors as well as meeting them with a client. I learned 4 years ago that planning ONE event takes far too much of my time.

Prior to Covid, I easily officiated up to 8 weddings a week. Why tie myself down with phone calls and meetings for ONE CLIENT when I could be addressing several? From a business standpoint, planning an event outside of a prison just wasn’t worth my time. I’ve been in this business over ten years and grew tired of working with divas who were unreasonable.

Comparing a “traditional client” to a client marrying an inmate is like comparing a ladle to a spoon.

“Traditional clients often ask me for an apple and expect a pie.” No thanks.

The clients I “choose” to book over any other type of client booking are marrying an inmate. They are thankful. They are amazing. They are also marrying an inmate.

There won’t be cake or flowers. There won’t be guests or music. There will be my client, their loved one and a few correctional officers.

The variation between being on site at a prison or at a venue are REALLY significant. There isn’t any of the “fluff” at a prison. I wish my clients could bring a family member or exchange a ring or carry a bouquet or wear bouteniers but these luxuries of traditional ceremonies aren’t allowed within TDCJ.

There is intimacy at a prison wedding.

I won’t be dealing with “other vendors.” I won’t be dealing with “the venue.”

I am only dealing with my client and prison authorities. I PREFER PRISON WEDDINGS.

There is no drama. There are no drunks. There isn’t anyone standing up and trying to object while screwing up my carefully scripted ceremony.

There are two people in love who went through all sorts of red tape to stand with me.

There are two people who are so committed to marrying that they patiently waited through a paperwork process that took months. The photographer isn’t a professional. The photographer is a correctional officer. No one can complain about the quality of unit photos because they are the only photos we will have with the inmate in them.

My client and I will leave the prison and find a nice place for me to unload an suv full of bouquets, furs, tiaras, fascinators, veils, fun signs and inventory to set up their photo shoot with me.

I want their wedding day as special as they are. That makes me different from anyone else. I care. Cindy cares.

Our prison clients become our friends for life. We baptize their babies. We orchestrate and officiate their vow renewals. I have also conducted funeral ceremonies for family members of my previous clients.

Yesterday, I had several emails from people anxious for TDCJ to reinstate visitation wanting to hire me. I currently have several clients at several TDCJ Units that will take priority when visitation commences. I never line jump anyone onto my schedule.

I’m currently addressing Federal client bookings because Federal has reinstated visitation. There are and have been a handful of State Facilities that reinstated visitation months ago. Please follow preregistration guidelines.

Once we get the all clear for TDCJ, my clients who were previously booked will be scheduled first.

Many TDCJ Units have several clients waiting so adding you to an existing Unit with other clients isn’t going to be an issue. I cannot take on anyone at this time at a Unit that is not already on my existing schedule though. Please be aware of this.

What are my existing Unit booking sites? Beto, Gurney, Powledge, Ferguson, Scott, Allred, Cole, Roach, Clements, Robertson, Middleton, Wallace, Stiles, Lewis, Polunsky, Estes, Estelle, Crain, Holliday, Darrington, Jordan, Briscoe, Michael, Coffield, Byrd, Hobby, Marlin, Hodge, Crain, Wynn, Garza, Hutchins, Moore, Eastham, Hutchins, Hobby, & Luther. If your loved one is at any of the above Units, we can stack you into the existing list. If they aren’t, you will need to wait until my existing clients and Units are addressed first or book my twin, Cindy to conduct your ceremony.

TDCJ bookings will be addressed first prior to other states being considered. Why? Texas is my primary booking state and other states were addressed in February as Cindy and I travelled outside of Texas. Also most states only allow inmate weddings 1 or 2 times PER YEAR. Because of the policies in other states, I stack clients planning to marry and cover numerous cities a few times a year.

In March, the only bookings I had were in Texas. 17 clients were cancelled. 38 clients were waiting to marry within TDCJ. These clients are my priority and focus moving forward for obvious reasons.

Stacking clients and Units does not constitute “group weddings.” I do not perform group weddings in Texas. Each client has 20 minutes. If your loved one is a G2 or G3, you should have a contact wedding but I have no idea if TDCJ will change this due to Covid as the issue hasn’t been addressed yet.

Contact verses non contact… hold hands and one closed mouth kiss. Non contact is a separation of glass or steel cage.

There are no ring exchanges in Texas due to the Administrative Directive. Guests are so rare that in several hundred weddings within TDCJ only twice has a warden made the exception. Once at Estes and once at Estelle high security.

Your guests can wait and join you in your photo shoot with me but it’s highly unlikely they will be authorized to enter and witness your ceremony. Witnesses are not required at Prison Weddings.

You must be an approved visitor. I am not a visitor. Please don’t list me as a visitor as doing so creates a problem.

We will most likely be required to wear a mask. If you don’t have one, let me know and I will bring one on wedding day.

You must be 15 minutes early. Please plan accordingly and do not forget your marriage license.

Media inquiries must go through TDCJ. I have had many journalists contact me regarding following my client and I into a Unit. My client must agree to this AS WELL as the inmate. Be aware of this.

I will not allow anyone (journalist or production companies) to accompany me to a Unit Wedding without my client and their loved ones consent and their permission. It’s THEIR wedding day after all.

Last year a journalist did accompany me to 4 units in one day. TDCJ would only allow the journalist into one Unit with me. She chose Polunsky.

TDCJ will not allow a journalist or anyone else into every unit I walk into. Pick one. I often go to 1-4 Units in the same day due to the fact that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are TDCJ scheduling days for ceremonies.

I look forward to meeting all of you at your prison weddings.

Love, Life, Loss And The Power Of Patience. Clerks Office Closures & Chaos..

Yesterday my Ferguson Unit bride contacted me regarding buying her license. The Unit had finally sent the Absentee Affidavit and Inmate ID but she lives in another state and many Texas clerks are either closed altogether or requiring an appointment to purchase a marriage license.

Dallas county is no longer taking appointments and is closed until further notice.

Walker county is only booking appointments with residents living in the county.

Tarrant county is taking appointments but they are booked two weeks out towards the end of the month.

The Absentee Affidavit has a 30 day shelf life once notarized. Often 8-10 days have passed by the time my clients receive this vital document from the Unit.

Because many of my clients are having trouble finding anywhere to buy a marriage license, the possibility of having to send a second Absentee Affidavit exists.

Normally, law libraries at prisons (state or federal) are hesitant to notarize a second Affidavit for an inmate but these are extraordinary times. I’ve spoke to nearly 100 Units to advise law libraries that many of my clients are unable to find a clerks office to buy a marriage license in order to give them a heads up that a flood of second I60 Affidavit notary requests are not only a possibility but most likely a probability.

Don’t worry ya all the law libraries are aware of your struggle to find a county clerk open within the short shelf life of the state issued absentee affidavit.

Many people as shocked and disheartened at learning after finally obtaining the paperwork they waited months to receive that they can’t find a clerk to sell them a marriage license.

In a sense this new trend of no clerks available is deja vu for me. How so? I’ve encountered my clients having problems getting marriage licenses before. In June 2015 to be precise. Oh my the summer of 2015 was a carnival of chaos! Due entirely to opinionated clerks refusing to issue a marriage license to same sex couples? Yes.

The problems lasted for months in Texas. There wasn’t a pandemic. There was something equally extraordinary going on. The Supreme Court ruling granting same sex couples the right to marry. This decision occurred on June 26, 2015.

What happened next in Texas would surprise my excited couples running to the courthouse.

Couples who had never expected to have the right to marry.

Couples who were celebratory in their anticipation of dashing off to the clerks office to buy a marriage license.

Couples who then contacted me when no one would issue them a license at a clerks office. The first call shocked me. The second call infuriated me but the calls kept coming and I effectively saddled up to drive and meet clients here, there and everywhere to walk into the courthouse with them. They were too intimidated to walk in alone.

The news of others being turned away caused further anxiety for them. “Please Ms Wendy we need you to come with us.” In Parker County my clients called crying and said “we will never get married they nearly threw us out of the clerks office.” I orchestrated a picket in Parker County. My clients Kat and Tiffany were the first same sex couple to be issued a marriage license. But it wasn’t easy. It was a hurdle that took days to overcome.

Yes, I’ve seen problems getting a marriage license before and firsthand.

Many of my clients the summer of 2015 had me calling clerks across Texas to see who would issue a license. Others wanted me to go with them. Still others chose for me to marry them in Oklahoma or Arkansas. They gave up on getting a license in Texas.

My team and I saddled up and drove to Oklahoma so many times that the “Welcome to Texas” or “Welcome to Oklahoma” signs were like a revolving door for our suvs running here or there.

It was a trying time in Texas. The controversy went on for months.

I was all over Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas that summer of 2015. Covering every base.

In 2017, I would (yet again) encounter opinionated clerks. THIS time for different reasons. This time because they didn’t believe inmates should have the right to marry. Especially LBGT inmates. Heaven help us. Texas clerks who forgot their job description included issuing marriage licenses?

People who had been hired to issue marriage licenses for a living that refused to do their job.

Opinionated county clerks refusing to issue marriage licenses based on religious reasons? AGAIN? I was as shocked as my clients.

Tarrant County was by far the nicest clerks office I have ever encountered in Texas and still is.

Tarrant County is also accepting from other counties which is why they are backlogged.

If you are a booked client and your marriage license expires waiting for a date, I will reimburse you reimburse you 1/2 the cost of your marriage license but this offer is ONLY VALID for previously booked clients as a courtesy.

Yesterday I was also interviewed by a journalist in California apparently following my blogs and social media who “found me on LinkedIn.” Was I lost? Lol. Media people always “find me on LinkedIn.”

It’s a running joke with Cindy and I. Cindy “how did they find us?” Wendy “apparently they were looking on LinkedIn.” We both laugh.

This journalist was initially only interested in my balcony elopement ceremonies at my home due to restrictions of group gatherings.

Love will find a way and for clients canceled by the venue, it did right in my front yard.

After discussing the challenges this virus has brought to my clients marrying an inmate in the many states that Cindy and I service, the interview switched over to “why and how I became a prison officiant in Texas?” Oh brother here we go again… I’m so controversial or so a few people think.

I had been marrying people in jails and federal facilities for many years in other states long before I began officiating in Texas state prisons.

Why? No one had asked me to officiate in a TDCJ facility until April 2017.

In three years now I’ve officiated several hundred Texas Department Of Criminal Justice weddings.

So many in fact that nearly my entire client base shifted to inmate weddings predominantly in Texas and California but also in 36 other states.

Other service area states only schedule inmate weddings 1 to 2 days per year. Mostly scheduling only occurs 1 day a year in many states which is why and how “we can cover so many states including Texas.”

Texas Units schedule EVERY inmate wedding at their facility two days a month.

Shocking as it may sound, I now regularly “turn down traditional bookings” unless the gig is at a venue that I’m on staff at such as Belltower Chapel.

For three years now, my client base has shifted to prison weddings which (not surprisingly) shocks anyone contacting me from media.

Don’t be shocked. I prefer inmate weddings. Why? Because there are no drunks at a detention center wedding that’s why. There is no drama. There are no divas. There are no guests.

When you’ve been planning and officiating events as long as I have you have seen drama. You have encountered drunks.

I’m picky about large Events and have been for years now. Why? Because I can be that’s why. I don’t have to work. I work because I enjoy the clients, the travel and the special moments I share with my clients.

My life is an adventure from one day right into the next. Retirement? How boring.

Cindy and I are born entrepreneurs. We created a people over profit based business to help anyone. Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures were merged in order to create a barter option, The Pawning Planners in 2015.

While other vendors laughed, we laughed all the way to the bank.

We helped rich people AND poor people along with any economic level in between. We opened a window to help low to middle income clients that had never existed.

Creative people are often laughed at until someone realizes they are successful.

In 2017, due to the demand for inmate weddings, we again rebranded and expanded Texas Twins Events to include inmate weddings in 38 states. Federal, ICE, Private, County or State operated.

“Entrepreneurs are people that will use any obstacle they encounter as a vehicle towards success.” Cindy Daniel

Now and then, someone noticing our success asks us to train them. This always takes me off guard a bit. I begin reading an email that starts with “I noticed you are the most sought after inmate officiant and decided I would like to start a business like yours. When can I call you to find out how?” Short answer? Don’t bother. I’m not hiring and my entire family work with me as inmate officiants. You will never be successful in the inmate officiant business without three critical components. What are they? Knowledge. Don’t ever walk into a Unit without being fully informed regarding policy and procedure. Educate yourself. Second you will need the clients to make your business successful. Third, you will be required to do far more than simply show up. You will need to assist your clients through a very lengthy paperwork process. Unless you can successfully do all of the above and support yourself financially in your quest to compete, you will fail. This role requires answering your phone 24/7. This role requires knowledge, passion and dedication. This role often requires answering 10-30 emails from the same client throughout the prison wedding planning process.

Traditionally, an officiant spends 30 minutes on site at a wedding and less than 2 hours preparing for the ceremony.

Inmate weddings involve travel. I can map out several Units on the same day and do on a regular basis. Are you ready to drive 2-4k miles a week? If you aren’t this isn’t the business for you.

“We don’t create competition that we don’t have.” We set out to be different from the start. Others laughed. Prison weddings? Where will they find the clients? Heads up we don’t they find us.

Bartering event services? Those twins are crazy. Yea, crazy like a fox. We have been flipping items for most of our lives. We are also experienced appraisers. If we can’t flip it we don’t take it in trade.

We also are capable of creating our own inventory and do including bouquets, bouteniers, veils and floral designs. We bring everything our clients need on wedding day. We own the inventory we loan.

Cindy and I were different from the beginning of Texas Twins Treasures by flipping refurbished items as early as 2003 with our first EBay account. We had to be creative! Why? Both of our husbands were unemployed.

Flipping items at Texas Twins Treasures literally saved our farms. We circled our wagons and figured it out. Cindy and I even sold our own furniture to pay the bills and replaced our homes with refurbished furniture items. We found flips then bartered the fabric then bartered the labor with a local upholsterer.

Cindy and I learned how to be creative. Why? We had no choice. We didn’t have parents to call for help. We had each other.

Poverty is a great teacher. You learn how to survive while learning to think outside the box. Cindy and I aren’t in the teaching industry. Sure if we had time we could be but we don’t. We have three businesses with a very diverse group of clients that warrant our attention.

Cindy and I are in the entrepreneurial industry. Experienced public speakers, problem solvers and selling geniuses. We’ve worked in sales for thirty years. We’ve also worked as brand ambassadors. People are either born to sell or they aren’t.

Cindy and I don’t just sell what other people sell. We sell what people want. Dedication, quality, transparency, honesty and integrity. You can build a business from the ground up. We did.

Cindy and I have built all of our businesses solely on happy clients referrals. Loyalty is important to us. We have never advertised or needed to.

“Without common sense your wealth today can become your poverty tomorrow.” Cindy Daniel

My candor often shocks media people contacting me now and then.

Perhaps they are unprepared for my transparency? Oh well that’s THEIR LUGGAGE and THEIR TRIP.

If you are contacting me for an interview, buckle up for transparency, honesty and candor. My life and my business are a wild mix. From an exclusive venue to a prison? You bet.

Any journalist contacting me is contacting me because they are either shocked we make our diversity work or surprised at our success.

Often, “media people” are equally taken back by our grit, drive, determination and ambition.

These Texas Twins are just as resilient as our clients. Our inmate wedding clients are warriors. They do it all and they do it on the outside alone. They are resilient, passionate and perseverant.

“If you don’t focus on your journey to success you will end up working for the person who did.” Cindy Daniel

Monday I was contacted by someone with the Dallas Morning News who had read my blog on Texas Twins Events regarding “Catfish Adoption Scams.”

Did I think at the time that the person contacting me was using me as bait to get to my client, Deanna? No. I thought someone contacting me because she wanted to give up her baby was a blessing.

After all, April 11 was and will always be a heartbreaking day for Deanna and Burt. It was the day they lost DeLilah at Harris Hospital. It was the day I baptized DeLilah.

Two days later I officiated Delilahs memorial.

Several months later, my niece and twin sister joined me at a photo shoot for the Villareal IVF fund.

Deanna needed family photos for her campaign. Months later Deanna learned she couldn’t conceive. Months later Deanna decided to try surrogacy. A year later, Deanna still had no success.

Fast forward November 2019. A message sent to my FB account by Lacey stated “I’m pregnant and I want to give my baby up for adoption.” It’s hard to surprise me.

FB hid this message from me until I was searching hidden messages last Tuesday and found it. No one was more shocked to see that message than I was.

But over the course of a few days, Lacey would show her true colors. Lacey never did speak to me on the phone. She always had an excuse. She would only correspond by text and messenger.

Lacey could have been a man for all I know. Here’s what I do know, Lacey wanted to get her claws on Deanna and used me to get to her.

Deanna would do anything for a baby and somehow some way Lacey knew it.

Each and every day I’m contacted by someone who is trying to accomplish this or do that and has no idea how. I’m accustomed to unique situations. I wasn’t familiar with the situation of someone like Lacey. I prefer transparency in all areas of my life.

I’m still reeling from Lacey and the drama that unfolded Easter Sunday. Deanna is too but we will both be far more cautious from this point forward.

If you missed the blog on Texas Twins Events, here’s my last eye opening blog post about Lacey and her for profit adoption scheme… Deception And Direct Deposit? Adoption Scam.

Back to county clerks chaos… Whether you find a clerk in time to obtain your marriage license or not, stay calm. We can send another Affidavit to the Unit.

For my county jail clients, it’s often easier to wait until the inmate is transferred. Why? Because currently no county inmates are being chained into the system. County Jails have no law library.

An Absentee Affidavit REQUIRES a notary.

If a County Jail won’t allow a mobile notary into their facility, you cannot obtain the Texas required Absentee Affidavit.

I’m off today to ship our latest addition to Texas Twins Treasures, logo designed face masks. We have sold out twice which is pretty surprising to Cindy.

Cindy and I are currently sold out of all Texas Twins Treasures logo detailed face masks and we will have new stock in two weeks.

Cindy and I will not be restocking Versace until mid May as Chanel and LV outsold the Versace masks hands down.

We sell what sells and apparently the Versace isn’t as popular. I don’t know why because I liked the Versace because it was different but apparently not everyone else did.

My twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna are models our latest additions to Texas Twins Treasures. Maryssa is a ham for selfies anyway so she’s having fun hamming it up for the camera.

Why did we go into the mask business? The possibility of all my service area states and State as well as Federal Units possibly requiring not only Cindy and I but also all of our clients to wear masks after the Coronavirus exists.

Walking into a prison after Covid-19 wearing a mask will be different but it’s safety first issue.

Unable to find masks for ourselves or our clients, Cindy and I decided to make our own.

Our success by offering designer masks has shocked a few of our competitors who didn’t think of it themselves or who wonder where we are getting our fabric.

Our fabric is straight out of my closet. From designer scarves, dresses, slacks and pants to bathing suits, I’ve been collecting designer logo clothing for some thirty plus years now and used what I had on hand to create these amazing one of a kind designs.

We do not sell fabric for our masks or refurbished furniture items in my Texas Twins Treasures storefront. Why? Because the average Joe has no idea how expensive quality fabric is for one and for two it wouldn’t be a Texas Twins Treasure if you could find it anywhere.

“Some people may get jealous when you find success because they are too lazy to look for it themselves.” Cindy Daniel

Homeschooling, Homebound, & The Tiger King? A Literal Trifecta Of A Quarantine Craziness…

This morning my concerned son, also a new father, worriedly me if “anything like this has happened before?” He was referring to the world today.

Not in my lifetime has nearly everyone other than essential employees being told to stay home has ever occurred.

My twin sister is currently trying to wake the twins up for homeschooling and Netflix used a worldwide quarantine to create a Tiger King frenzy of viewers.

I don’t watch television as a whole as I’m usually working seven days a week.

But, my niece and my twin sister both told me “you have got to see this show!”

It’s rare for anyone in my family to advise me to tune in. I’m not accustomed to laying around watching television but this “Tiger King train wreck” was too hard to to pass up.

First, I did some research about Joe though. If this guy was really as flamboyant portrayed, I knew that someone somewhere had come across him in the entertainment industry.

If you had told me “that someone” would be our former production company, GCF (Good Clean Fun), I wouldn’t have believed it. But, Jason has an eye for big characters.

Sadly, most of Hollywood would find Joe Exotic “too controversial.” How would you pitch this guy to a network? Honey Boo Boo and Mama June pale in comparison to the wild ride of Joe Exotic.

The crazy outfits, the wild attitude, hating his competition, having two husbands, an employee that gets an arm bit off AND returns to work? Wow.

Between answering emails of alarmed clients concerned about their licenses expiring waiting on the shut down of prisons to lift, I found time to view the sizzle reel filmed by Good Clean Fun.

The fact that Cindy and I knew everyone at GCF since they had filmed our sizzle reel and subsequent television pilot made this Tiger King sizzle reel filmed by them far more intriguing to me. After all, we spent a year with the team at GCF. Filming the sizzle, Skype calls, filming the pilot, voice over calls and more.

We knew our production company people at GCF and we liked them. While we didn’t love the pilot, we rolled with the punches.

Jason was before his time finding a character that even the best writers could never create. Truth is stranger than fiction.

No frankenbiting here. It wasn’t needed with a guy so far out there that he wanted to be president.

The story and the characters are so shocking that I called Cindy and said “Hey, GCF found this guy and filmed a sizzle. I wonder how that pitch meeting must’ve gone?”

Was it “hey we found this wild guy living at a zoo who is so outlandish and passionate that there has to be a series here. He would make Billy The Exterminator look mild by comparison.”

The Networks..”Umm well this guy and his life are too controversial for television. What would the sponsors think?”

Netflix… “Everyone is stuck at home under quarantine. Now would be the time to air that Tiger King series.”

A lot of folks don’t know what a sizzle reel is so I will explain. The variations of filming for Cindy and I verses Joe Exotic are remarkably different.

How so? We filmed at GCF while Joe filmed from his zoo. Why? He wouldn’t leave.

We were in California filming for Hot Bench. Kristen and Kjerstin had found us on LinkedIn about a month before we were scheduled to film “Don’t Call Me Bridezilla” on Hot Bench.

The timing of flying to LA to film Hot Bench made going to GCF to film the sizzle convenient as I had asked the travel coordinator for Hot Bench to extend our travel plans. I do this all the time when filming. The network wants to fly you in and out. You explain you will pay your own hotel beyond the network and extend your travel plans. The coordinator changes your flight for you.

Kristen had sent an email which was how we wound up under contract for Pawning Planners.

Here is how it went “My name is Kristen and I’m with a production company in Los Angeles. Would you be interested in a show about your business?”

Between GCF and Taillight, Discovery had called me first from Beverly Hills. I was at the doctor when the call came in to schedule a Skype call. I had never used Skype and had no idea what they expected. I was advised to “show my big personality.” Whatever the Hell that meant. Because I had just moved and didn’t have wifi set up. The connection issues and my frustration made that Skype call with Carmen at Discovery a bust.

But, other production companies would come and go. I’m now an expert at Skype. I don’t need anyone telling me to show them “my big personality” either. I’m myself and not acting. I don’t need to act.

Taillight came after Discovery. Good Clean Fun came after Tailight. There have been so many others after GCF that it’s easy to lose track.

I’ve learned to have the production companies pay travel though. You learn along the way. If you don’t learn, travel can become really expensive!

The Hot Bench episode came in the midst of production companies and networks calling me. It’s a long story about that Bridezilla ya all. She lied to get a police discount and was 2 hours late to her own wedding. That wedding was a train wreck. A Tardy Party Bride Who Lied. By the way, I won the case on Hot Bench.

Since we would be in California filming Hot Bench, I told Kristen we would be in LA and she invited us to go to GCF.

It was there at GCF that our interview for the sizzle was filmed. It would be edited and added to before we were sent a link to the sizzle. Here it is… The Pawning Planners.

Watching this for the first time from the Office Max parking lot in Weatherford, Cindy and I didn’t know what a sizzle was. The text from Kristen said “here’s the sizzle.”

We clicked the link and watched from our phones the interview in LA that had been edited. We watched in stunned silence. We watched it again. And again. And again. We were shocked.

Would we talk about anything? Yes. Did we want personal conversations on film passed around to networks? No. But we weren’t in control of the edits.

How long were we on film in the GCF offices? I have no idea about an hour I guess. We talked about our lives, our families and our clients. We had merged Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create a barter option, The Pawning Planners.

Were there things on the sizzle we wish there weren’t? Absolutely. But a sizzle is meant to grab the networks attention. The talent has no say in the editing of the sizzle or the pilot. I will get to the pilot in a minute.

Let’s look at the sizzle created by GCF for Joe Exotic. Did he want roadkill in his sizzle? Probably not. But the sizzle is at the production companies discretion. The sizzle for Joe was recently uploaded. Who uploaded it to his YouTube channel? Who knows but he had the film and he had the film because GCF sent it to him.

How do I know? Because I have the sizzle and pilot film for Pawning Planners. It was sent to me too. I have and have had both the sizzle reel film and the pilot episode film discs for five years now.

Before we jump in and watch this tantalizing sizzle, I cannot in a million years imagine Joe flying to LA and walking in to GCF to film a sizzle. It would be similar to Billy The Exterminator strolling down Hollywood Blvd. These types of characters don’t blend in anywhere.

Joe must’ve told GCF to come to him. Here we go kids and buckle up for one of the craziest sizzle reels I’ve seen… Joe Exotic Sizzle Reel.

The filming of Joe’s sizzle reel obviously took far longer to film. Why? Our sizzle had footage edited into it from stock video and ironically footage from Taillight TV for their project with us, Texas Twins TV, that had been uploaded to Vimeo from one of the two people hired to film Cindy and I in Fort Worth, Sean Percer.

Chris Watson and Sean Percer filmed Cindy and I at home, at the TCGPWA parade and at the Rainbow Lounge for a sizzle with Taillight.

Kristen had asked “if I had any film to send to GCF?” I asked Sean and Chris and Sean had a Vimeo video link that I sent to Kristen.

The video from Rainbow Lounge was used in the sizzle, Pawning Planners.

The footage from Rainbow Lounge was commissioned by Taillight which I found odd since it wasn’t my film to begin with.

But I didn’t question my production company. Maybe they had asked Sean or Tailight to use the film? Who knows?

The footage of Joe is obviously shot on site. There was no stock footage rolled into his sizzle.

I remember Jason having Kristen call me to advise me “we were needed in LA to attend pitch meetings.”

For folks who don’t know what a pitch meeting is, I will elaborate. The sizzle reel is used to pitch the networks.

If the networks have interest, they schedule a pitch meeting. I asked “who is paying for travel?” I was told “you are.” Well then.

I made travel and hotel accommodations to fly to LA and attend pitch meetings with Cindy.

Cindy and I flew to LA (at our own expense) to attend two pitch meetings with our production company.

The first was at Lifetime. The second was at TLC. Lifetime gave a green light and plans to film the pilot in Texas were made a few months later.

Why no one gave Joe a green light is odd. This guy was so wacky that the only person I could even compare him to was Billy The Exterminator or Dog The Bounty Hunter.

But who sponsor such a show of controversy? Caged animals are controversial.

Carol and a disappearing husband? There’s mystery, animosity, intrigue and a wide array of characters going on in this series that you can’t stop watching.

While Netflix took a gamble on rolling with the punches, they took a risk that paid off.

As for GCF, Jason saw something there but the timing just wasn’t right in my opinion. He had an eye for talent. He had a vision for drawing you into the characters. He was ahead of his time with Joe Exotic.

How this Joe guy went unnoticed for as long as he did is anyone’s guess. He was “out there.”

Rumors are circulating that Joe is at FMC in Fort Worth, Texas. I have been to FMC a number of times to officiate Inmate ceremonies.

I perform state, federal and ICE as well as county jail weddings. My twin sister does too as does my niece.

A number of people may view my clients as controversial. Others don’t. I have a mixed bag of clients from Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and TDCJ Officiant.

Like Joe having fans and critics, I also think have people who might disagree with inmate marriage or LBGT marriage but I accept being controversial because my goal and my role is unbiased.

I don’t ask why my clients are marrying an inmate or why someone is incarcerated. Why? It’s none of my business. My business is to plan and execute religious ceremonies and services. My twin sister and I have found a way to help anyone regardless of their income.

Did this make us different? Maybe. Did our passion to give others the Dream Event we didn’t have require thinking outside the box? Absolutely. All of these years later, we are stronger than ever. Busier than ever and aware of how television works.

If you don’t fit a certain mold and let’s face it Joe didn’t, your story may never be told. Netflix took a gamble but it’s a gamble that paid off for them.

As I review a number of emails from clients who are on hold awaiting confirmed and cancelled dates at TDCJ Units, the Executive Order issued yesterday is pertaining to county and municipal jails regarding release.

For those of you who haven’t seen this Tiger King series, if you are stuck at home like many of us are, it’s worth tuning into…

“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