07
Feb

Saying Yes To The Dress- Allred Unit To Tarrant County Jail… 

Right up to wedding day with my Prison brides, I review options for clothing as clothing can be closely scrutinized at Prison Units. 

Yesterday’s adventure began in Wichita Falls as I rolled out of my driveway with my son and his wife joining me on a road trip to Allred Unit. Robert and Stephanie had the day off and I enjoy company while driving across Texas. 

My son and his wife are preparing to move into their first home in a few weeks and we spent the time driving going over details of what to keep and what to sell. I hate moving and know how chaotic moving can be. I bought my first home in my late 20’s not knowing the unexpected expenses that could occur. From hail storms to an A/C needing to be replaced, my first home was a money pit. I loved the fireplace but had no idea that the logs purchased at the grocery store would require chimney sweeping either. I learned a lot in my first home with the most important lesson being to put money back for the next unexpected surprise. Warily, I warned my son to plan for a rainy day because owning a home is an expensive endeavor. 

Dropping Robert and Stephanie off at Walmart some ten miles from Allred, I headed on to meet Flor. We both arrived at noon and waited patiently. Flor looked stunning in a beautiful white dress that I hoped wouldn’t be deemed “too tight” or “too sheer.” White is tricky at Prison Weddings. Attire for your unit wedding falls under the visitation dress code and although it’s your wedding day, Wardens have the final call on your clothing.

Thankfully, Flor had no issues with her gorgeous dress yesterday. Another bride was waiting on her Officiant. This normally wouldn’t be an issue but, as usual, “the other Officiant” was thirty minutes late which forced Flor, myself and the volunteer chaplain to wait on “the other Officiant.” I have no idea why “other Officiants” are always late but, they are. It’s unprofessional in my opinion and at Allred, everyone must wait to enter together. Flor was becoming nervous as was I since I needed to be back in Fort Worth at Tarrant County Jail to meet another client at 4:30PM.

After the “other Officiant” finally arrived, we lined up to walk into the Prison towards the visitation area. Normally, photography is offered and photos are sold for $3 each at Unit weddings. My last two visits to Allred though were without photos offered which upset both of my brides. I’m going to inquire about the photos and try to determine whether Unit Wedding Photos have been discarded altogether. If they have, I’m sorry for my clients as these photos are the only opportunity to have the couple in photos together.

Waiting on the Groom, Flor looked stunning and told me that the Grooms parents were planning a party for her back in Dallas. I was happy that Flor would be celebrating her wedding and had a strong support system in place.

Leaving Allred, I had Flor follow me to a road near the unit for impromptu photos. The rain had stopped but, the overcast sky affected the lighting. 

Flor and I had fun stopping traffic on the remote road to allure a few bridal photos to remember her day. I had packed my SUV with a variety of tiaras and bouquets to bring the fun and loved the way my fur stole accented Flor’s strappy sandals. Congratulating her with a hug, I jumped into my SUV to run and pick up Robert and Stephanie to head to Fort Worth. They had both enjoyed a mani/pedi and were looking forward to grabbing lunch.

My son drives to Wichita Falls frequently for Mr G’s and told me there was a gas station with a Steak & Shake outside of Decatur. The gas station had beef jerky and an assortment of other interesting items similar to a truck stop. I love truck stops because you never know what you will find. 

Answering emails for me, my son noted that an inquiry for Jordan Unit brought up two very different locations. Google listed Jordan Unit an hour from Fort Worth while TDCJ listed Jordan Unit over five hours away. Due to the confusion, I had my son confirm the unit address with Melissa. 

My fees are based on distance and a five hour one way drive with 1-2 hours inside the unit is a full day for me. Please include the actual address on unit inquiries to alleviate any confusion. PS- Congratulations Melissa. I look forward to meeting you soon. 

I’m back at Coffield and Estes Unit next week. My Estes bride is thrilled to be marrying on Valentines Day. Due to the holiday, I’m packing festive balloons for her photo shoot. This is unusual as I normally only bring props but, my bride is so happy about Valentines Day that I’ve decided to do something different. 

I’ve had a few questions regarding courthouse steps weddings and Vow Renewal Ceremonies. The location can be a park, Prison, courthouse steps, parking lot or just about any location for a wedding. A Vow Renewal is simply a “do over” of the wedding ceremony. Normally with friends and family present. 

Elopement packages offer intimate options for clients who aren’t planning a “big affair.” If you wish to do a private ceremony, I suggest the elopement package. We offer photography and a wide array of discount options for an Officiant/Photography Package to Firefighters, Active or Retired Military, Police, First Responders, Teachers, and LBGT Couples. 

While a few of you might question my LBGT Discount option, it should be noted that years ago when I started Texas Twins Events, the LBGT Community welcomed Texas Twins Events with open arms. 

Due to their loyalty, I’ve offered discounts on all services at all of my businesses to LBGT couples for nearly nine years now. I’m looking forward to meeting my latest TDCJ LBGT couple in May at their prison wedding and being a part of their happily ever after. 

I was recently asked by KTVT why my business “shifted” from traditional events to predominantly TDCJ Events or LBGT Events or a combination of both? The reason is I enjoy working with people who appreciate our help. Over the years, I’ve had more than one bridezilla and quite frankly, I no longer work with difficult people. Why? I don’t have to. The clients I choose are wonderful to not only me but also, my Texas Twins Events Team. 

While a minute amount of clients opt to barter through The Pawning Planners, it’s a very small percentage. The barter option exists in order to address a wide array of clients from nearly any any economic situation. 

Whether a client is barteting or booking directly through Texas Twins Events, creating another way to have a life event for families who wanted one took creativity on my part. I merged Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create The Pawning Planners. We don’t “only do weddings” either. We also do baptisms, funeral ceremonies, birthday parties, quincineras, and numerous other services including estate liquidation and home staging. I have a staff that includes four generations of my family members to address large or small events. 

Nearly all of my TDCJ Clients book Vow Renewal ceremonies upon release of their loved one from a Texas Prison. Their celebration of Love After LockUp is shared with family and friends. 

I’m headed to Luther Unit today and looking forward to “road tripping” with my twin sister, Cindy and searching for a few treasures at junk stores along our way. Finding time to spend with my family by creating a unique and diverse events business was and always will be one of the best business ideas I’ve ever had.