04
Aug

Out And About With Clients & More Questions Regarding Out Of State Marriage Licenses…

This morning while preparing to leave Bell Tower Chapel and head to a rehearsal brunch for my previous Coffield Unit clients wedding tonight, another question came through regarding using an out of state marriage license to marry in a Texas Prison. 

Let’s review this ongoing controversy and understand that while a marriage license from Texas CAN LEGALLY be used in other states that a prison Warden makes the final judgment on whether or not to allow an out of state marriage license at a Texas prison or any other prison for that matter.

“Can I use my Texas marriage license to get married in another state?” 

First and foremost- you should know that a Warden can and may refuse to allow you to marry in a Texas Prison with an out of state marriage license. Subsequently, a Prison in another state may refuse to allow you to marry in their state with a marriage license from another state. What’s “widely accepted” outside of Prisons isn’t always “widely accepted” inside Prisons. The Warden can and does make decisions pertaining to the inmate. The Unit also REQUIRES you have a marriage license on wedding day. 

It’s in your best interest to contact the Unit PRIOR to purchasing an out of state marriage license to inquire as to what the Unit requires by asking if an “out of state marriage license will be accepted by the Unit in place of an in state marriage license.” 

This question regarding out of state licenses continues to pop up but, each state has different rules. Each prison Warden makes the final call on what’s accepted and what isn’t. Please check with the clerks office  and ESPECIALLY the Prison Unit itself prior to purchasing an out of state marriage license for a Prison wedding in another state. 

A marriage license issued in the State of Texas can be used for ceremonies in other States. Texas law doesn’t “specifically dictate or mandate Prison Marriage” however and the Warden has the final say on what will be accepted and more importantly what won’t be accepted in terms of your marriage license on wedding day at his or hers Unit. 

Please contact your out-of-state officiate before applying for a State of Texas marriage license. 

Please also keep in mind your license will only be recorded in the County and State in which you applied for the license.

I’m going to once again strongly encourage you to contact the Unit prior to arriving on wedding day in Texas with a Louisiana marriage license or in Oklahoma with a Arkansas marriage license or in California with a Texas marriage license TO MARRY AT A PRISON. As many of you are already well aware, Prisons follow their own protocol. 

If I arrive at a Unit and the Unit denies you entry to marry based on your “out of state marriage license,” you will forfeit my fee as I’ve just driven or traveled several hours to meet you for your Prison wedding. 

If you have arrived with an out of state license “because you read on the internet” that you could do so without contacting the Unit to verify the facts, you did so at your own risk. I cannot stress this enough. 

Marriage licenses are closely scrutinized on wedding day at all prisons and the use of an out of state marriage license has been denied at Texas prisons before. 

The Warden makes the rules. Not the internet or someone posting that “you can use any other states marriage license for your prison wedding in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi.” You can only do what the Unit and the Warden authorize you to do. 

Be aware of false or misleading information as a wedding outside of a prison has BY FAR more flexibility. A wedding inside a Prison follows protocol. 

Call the Unit yourself if you have doubts but stop trusting “whatever you found on the internet to be accurate.” Stop sending me screenshots of what you read on someone else’s site too. She’s selling a service. She’s also pitching her product. She’s also not in Texas. I know who she is and I also know that her information is unverified. Are you willing to have your wedding cancelled because she gave you inaccurate information? No one else is either. Call the UNIT! 

Arriving at Fixe today to meet the wedding party for brunch before our rehearsal, I’d taken a few minutes to review the menu and loved the creative ideas for food options. Of course I opted for a spicy Bloody Mary (as usual). This was a really celebratory day. After two years, seeing my beautiful bride again was a joyous honor for me. I love happy endings. 

The brunch menu was biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits and deviled eggs with sauerkraut and caviar along with a really unique salad featuring blue crab. I’d never tried caviar although my husband loves it and was surprised at the saltiness. 

All in all though, this was a fabulous, fun and memorable brunch. I really enjoyed meeting my brides closest friends, family and children. 

My husband checked in on me as I was preparing to head to the rehearsal. We timed the rehearsal after brunch so the wedding party had plenty of time to get ready for wedding hour on site. 

It’s unusual to have the rehearsal and the wedding on the same day for my clients but due to traveling to and from Fort Worth for the wedding, creativity was in order. My clients are leaving for a cruise from Galveston this evening. 

Cindy and Stephaney were working a Willow Lake Event Center wedding while my son was working a Baptism in Dallas. As usual on weekends, the team was split up. Leigh Ann was working a wedding in San Diego and recovering from her “near kitchen fire” yesterday afternoon at the Inns Of The Marines. Leigh Ann and Alex will be in San Diego for another 49 days before moving to their new home on the base at Point Mugu. Leigh Ann had tried to cook dinner last night for Alex and Maddy with disasterous results in San Diego. 

My niece and grandniece are adjusting to the California move aside from cooking of course and enjoying the beach. My sister, Tammy is meeting Leigh Ann this week and excited about seeing Maddy again. My sister lives in Lompoc and is “still trying to get used to driving in Los Angeles.” 

Although Cindy and I have no fear whatsoever of jumping on the highway, our older sister, Tammy prefers “driving in town.” We are working on getting Tammy comfortable on the 405 and 605. Los Angeles traffic isn’t for the faint hearted or nervous driver. It takes far too long to use the 101 from Santa Barbara all the way up the coast although Tammy loves the 101. 

If you have time to take the 101, it’s worth the drive alongside the ocean but, in the Prison wedding business, making out your location and the timeline is essential to getting to your Unit early which is why I frown on the leisurely 101. Sure, it’s less hectic but it’s also far more time consuming and riddled with red lights. I’ve driven the 101 for thirty years when I’m not in a hurry but prefer the freeway because it’s been years since I’ve had the luxury of taking my time to drive from one location to the next. 

My dog, Foxy Wortham hasn’t adjusted too well after his dental surgery and the bite marks on my fingers from trying to pry his mouth open look like I have poison ivy. 

Looking at my battered manicure while writing this blog, it should be noted that the vet suggested this idea after the ongoing battle to get Foxy to take his meds became just too much. I’ve decided that after Foxy there will be no more pets at WorthamWorld. I travel too much and my husband loves dogs but caring for a dog requires a lot of commitment. Foxy is nearly 13 years old now and set in his ways. Biting me is new but he’s old and cranky. I’ve accepted getting but every morning but it’s a pain I can assure you. 

Tomorrow I’m in Dallas County then headed to Winstar Casino to marry my “second time around senior couple” who met on a gambling trip to the casino. I love learning how my couples met and find their stories fascinating. Cindy and I will be hitting the slots as usual and looking forward to a few hours of fun. 

Tuesday I’m at Hilltop and Crain Units in Gatesville and my husband is joining me. A road trip with my husband isn’t nearly as fun as with my twin sister but, Cindy will be tied up getting the twins ready to go back to school. 

Wednesday I’m back in Parker County and looking forward to buying school supplies for the twins and grabbing a quick lunch with them. 

Thursday I’m at Connally Unit and Friday back at Buster Cole. Next week is jam packed too. I’m looking forward to finally meeting all of you in person to celebrate your wedding day. 

Like everyone else, I’m depressed and shocked at the recent shootings. Cindy and I both attended the garlic festival many times in California. I had told Leigh Ann and Alex not to stop in El Paso when they left for California last week for strong reasons. 

Thirty years ago, Cindy and I had stopped in El Paso on our way to my home in San Clemente and we’re nearly robbed. I am always aware of dangerous areas and the world is becoming a far more dangerous place. 

Tragedy seems to be occurring far more often than when I was younger. Danger lurks at every corner these days and because I’m always asked “why I prefer prison weddings to traditional events,” I will reiterate that I’ve never been hurt at a Prison wedding. I’ve never encountered a drunk on location at a Prison pushing me or being abusive. 

I’ve had some pretty wild and unpredictable occurrences at “traditional events” outside of prisons over the years and I don’t miss the open bars and brawls either. In fact, I will never miss them. My team won’t either. I’m too old to get hurt on location. I’m tired of dealing with Inlaws and Outlaws and parties of 250 and more guests. I’m picky and selective because I can be. I’m dedicated to making your Dream Event a reality and the last thing I need are broken ribs from drunken groomsmen fighting around me on location. Arrests at wedding? Yes. Over and over and over again. I prefer joy. I prefer fun and I prefer my Prison clients! 

Many of our previous clients were alarmed that I had posted pulling back from large events but the pulling back was meant for new clients. Rebookings are the mainstay of our business and Vow Renewals for our previous Prison clients are booked twenty years out. We love seeing all of you again. We are honored to have shared your journey. We are just as excited as you are to marry again long after lock up. The flowers, the friends, the cake, the champagne and all of the things you didn’t have at your Prison wedding are all of the things you will have at your Vow Renewal and we are as thrilled as you are about it. 

It was a long road for you. Many of you have told me “I was doing time too while he or she was inside. I was driving long hours to the Unit. Paying expensive phone calls. Going through the screening process. Waking up alone. Paying the bills alone and paroling out means that I will never have to make that drive along again. I paid my dues.” You’re absolutely right and the sacrifices you’ve made to make your marriage work are amazing. 

You are all warriors. You’ve overcome everything going against you to make your love last and you are the most inspiring and resilient group of amazing people I’ve ever met. I love ya all and I couldn’t be more honored to be sharing your Life Event with you whether it’s in a prison or long after lock up on the other side of the razor wire…