Texas weather is highly unpredictable but for clients who have waited months to marry, getting to Allred Unit yesterday had my husband “volunteering” to spend the day with me to alleviate his fear of me freezing in a ditch. My husband has a wild imagination. Seriously. All of our suvs and trucks are AWD or 4WD. Matthew has never been to a Prison with me and didn’t know what to expect. I advised him to “get ready to meet the most amazing people in the world!” My clients are hilarious, passionate, independent and wonderful in every way.
Leaving Fort Worth where there wasn’t any sleet or ice and headed towards the eye of the storm just outside Bridgeport, the roads were pretty sketchy and fairly deserted. Everyone was staying off the highways due to a travel alert except the Wortham’s and my clients as well as semi tractor drivers.
Matthew and I rolled into Iowa Park two hours prior to my four Unit Weddings starting at 12:30. Because we were so early I started texting my brides to see where they were. One of my clients was across the parking lot from us. Because we were both early and because the drive to Cole Unit from Allred was three hours, I suggested leaving the Unit to do bridal photos while waiting on my other clients. Rosalinda hopped out of her car and we had some fun pulling out a fur collar and her choice of bouquet while I found a coordinating tiara. Driving back into the Unit, Matthew returned his business calls and emails while I returned emails and answered phone calls. My other clients still weren’t on site at 12:24 so Rosalinda and I walked into the Unit together to check in.
Walking into the Visitation Area, the Chaplain advised us her wedding would be no contact due to the G4 status of her fiancée. This was a crushing blow. But we cannot change an inmates status or the protocol of contact or no contact Weddings.
After finishing her ceremony and signing the license, I asked the Chaplain if my other clients were on site. The Officer at entry said no. The Chaplain and I went over the paperwork for reschedules and one of the names I did not recognize as my client. This problem was discussed at length yesterday. If you HAVE NOT booked services and had your LO list my name on an I60, be aware that Allred will now require you to furnish the last 4 digits of my state issued DL. Why? Because you cannot find this information unless I provide it to you that’s why. The person’s who both had listed my name on an I60 and didn’t show up yesterday won’t be rescheduling with my other clients on February 19th either. You will both need to hire and retain my services as you should have done in the first place. The Unit goes through a lot of work to process these I60’s and I’m not going to officiate a ceremony for anyone who hasn’t hired me.
Minutes prior to rescheduling Vallecia, the Duty Guard announces her arrival. The Chaplain escorted my client and I to the front as I waved goodbye to Rosalinda and said hello to Vallecia. We followed the Chaplain back into the Unit. Following her ceremony, the reschedules of my other clients have been moved to February 19th.
Matthew was enjoying 70’s rock and ready to roll to Bonham. We hit the Whataburger and drive through small towns named Jolly and Muenster before seeing Nocona known for western boots. We both notice nearly everything other than gas stations are closed driving through these quaint towns while the townpeople stay warm and dry at home in small town America.
Arriving at Cole Unit I send a text to my 5:30 bride to let her know I’m on site. She’s excited and thrilled to get married. The groom is just as excited. Going over their vows and watching the love they feel for each other was heart warming. I borrow a pen from the officer to sign the license while visiting with the Chaplain about his newborn son. I meet such nice people at Units. The staff are always friendly. My clients are always fascinating too. The Harlequin costume raised a few eyebrows but my bride rocked it.Leaving the Unit, sleet is falling and I find the fascinator my twin sister made for our bride and a coordinating bouquet for her bridal photo shoot. She’s fun, happy and finally married.
I met three amazing people at Allred and Cole yesterday. The clients who didn’t make it to their wedding get rolled back into my roster.
Headed to Winstar, my husband tells me “you are right about having the best job in the world. Your clients are thankful for your help. You get to listen to music and take calls while going from one adventure to the next. I’ve had an amazing day with you and it isn’t over yet.”
Rolling into Winstar to check in and meet my client for a late night wedding, Matthew and I have two hours for a wonderful candlelit dinner and time to hit the slots for me and tables for him before I’m back officiating another wedding at Winstar…