Following The Groom or Bride-
No one was more surprised than I was to hear an inmate was being transferred on his wedding day at TDCJ Allred Unit yesterday.
Unit transfers happen. Don’t get discouraged. It’s a process but, timelines are changed.
If you have been assigned a date, the date will also be changed. Stay calm, you are going to get married. Transfers like Lock Downs are simply a bump in the road.
My bride had sent me an email and a text to alert me to the wedding being cancelled due to the transfer at 10PM. Please let me know ASAP if there are any changes to your assigned date and time.
Due to the transfer, we will now wait for more information and a reschedule at the new Unit. I have 9 brides waiting on dates at Allred currently. Your wedding may be stacked at Allred and other Units as Chaplains and Wardens stack my weddings as a courtesy. I perform up to 10 weddings at the same Unit on the same day.
Transfer After Scheduled Unit Wedding Information-
First, once the inmate is moved, advise me of the Unit. Secondly, the inmate must go to the Law Library and check to see if the I60 paperwork was transferred. If it wasn’t, have the inmate file a new I60 at the new Unit. This is a 7-21 day process. Be calm. Don’t continue calling the Unit.
Changes to the location of a Unit after the initial agreement are involved. Based on distance, the new Unit may be closer to Fort Worth or further away. If the Unit is further away, a calculation of mileage will be added to the initial agreement and Unit.
Emergency Officiant Fees-
If you have hired another TDCJ Officiant and they don’t honor your end of the agreement, this is a problem between you and the original Officiant. I.E. you will need to get your money back and THEN contact me. Short notice or emergency Officiant Fees are significantly higher because the Client wasn’t factored into my scheduling.
Contacting me with less than one weeks notice regarding a Prison or Jail Wedding doesn’t always “work” with schedule. If however, I’m available, it’s because I’ve scheduled the date in question off since I work seven days a week. Dropping everything to run to a Unit literally is a “juggling act” for me.
You have paid someone else and they still have your money-
Although this is deeply concerning and sad to me, I cannot work without compensation. I need you to get your money back. Paying someone else doesn’t cover my gas or expenses.
The continuing saga of con artists taking money for a service they fail to provide is actually a criminal act. It’s fraud.
As a consumer, you have rights and, I must insist you use them to obtain a refund. It’s not up to me to get your money back- it’s up to you.
Because this an ongoing issue with frantic people contacting me about the “other Officiant” flaking out, I’m going to tell you how to get your money back although this isn’t legal advice.
If you’ve paid someone for a service they fail to provide, you can either escalate a claim on Paypal, send a demand letter for a refund via certified mail or file a small claims suit.
Personally, I would do all three but, I don’t allow others to take advantage of me and suggest you fight back as well.
It’s come to my attention that many of the clients who had to hire me AFTER hiring someone else were being taken advantage of by a person who is IN NO WAY AFFILIATED WITH ME and also failed to honor their obligations and Officiate the Prison Wedding.
Someone calling me crying because they had paid someone else and had no idea how to get their money back in order to hire me has happened 22 times in the past year. Buyers Beware. There’s a con game going on out there and I’m going to tell you how these despicable liars play it.
It starts by “hooking” that’s right I said hooking the prospect or “mark” with a very low bid. The quote is so unbelievable that the prospect quickly goes for it and it’s always via Paypal.
The con artist knows if they send something with tracking to the prospect, Paypal won’t issue a refund. BE AWARE OF HOW THIS WORKS.
Let’s go over this Snake Oil Scheme: The other person tells you to take a Two Together In Texas class. They send you the booklets but don’t give you the certificate. The certificate is essential. You also paid an inflated cost for a course that costs $29 per Couple online.
They NOW have a tracking number. Do not fall for this bait and switch game because the person low balling you with a price never planned on following through. It’s a game. A sick game by sick people taking advantage of others and fleecing them.
File a lawsuit. Escalate a claim but, don’t fall into the “I sent her or he this or that and have tracking information” to Paypal game. I know two Officiants who have been doing this for over a year. Go on Prison forums and you will too. Other people talk about how “so and so” took my money but wouldn’t do my wedding so, I found Wendy. I have never rescheduled anything. I will never let you down. My Clients love me because I exceed their expectations.
What you paid the scammer aka “other Officiant” for was to marry you in a Texas Prison which obviously they didn’t do or you wouldn’t be contacting me. Fight back and get your money.
NEVER take a Two Together Class with someone selling it. Go straight to Two Together and buy the course for $29. It is the best advice I can give you.
Take the Two Together In Texas certificate with you to buy the Marriage License. You will also need your ID, the notarized ID and Absentee Affidavit of the inmate.
The TTIT certificate will waive the 3 day waiting period and discount the cost of the Marriage License by $60.
It’s very sad to me that the people who have been doing this are still doing it. I strongly encourage you to file a complaint with the Courts in Huntsville. Also, keep all texts and emails from anyone who has taken money from you and failed to provide a service. It’s proof of what you paid for and more importantly, what you didn’t get.
Inmate is CLM & It Isn’t To You-
This CLM (Common Law Marriage) will prevent you from marrying an inmate if the person listed as being Informally Married to the inmate isn’t you. You cannot marry a Texas inmate who is already listed as married. What to do? Have the inmate get a divorce or file a Corrected Affidavit. ANY DOCUMENT REQUIRING a notary seal is a legal document. For everyone telling me “I just signed that so we can have contact visits” be AWARE that TDCJ views those documents as Common Law Marriages.
Outside the Prison, these documents aren’t filed with the clerk and are therefore, not legally binding. Inside the Prison, they will prevent permission to marry from ever being granted to anyone other than the party named on the Affidavit I.E. the “other woman” or “other man.”
If you didn’t realize that the document you were signing wasn’t legal, you can file a Correctional Affidavit voiding or amending the initial document. Often, this is far easier than a divorce for an inmate.
Let’s go over what an Informal Marriage Affidavit actually is— Parties wishing to be recognized as married but, not wishing to have a formal marriage ceremony, file it at the Clerks Office.
To dissolve an Informal OR Formal Marriage FILED at the clerks office, a DIVORCE is MANDATORY.
In a Prison, a CLM status lists the inmate as “married.” Be aware of this. It’s a REAL problem if you are attempting to marry an inmate.
Ask questions and get answers early in your Prison Wedding Planning Process.
This issue has come up so many times that I must address it. You will not get permission to marry under these circumstances. Only the inmate can file a Correctional Affidavit. The law library is the best place to research this matter.
Refunds, Cancellations, Tardiness–
I do not offer refunds. My reason for this is that when you booked with me, I kept slots open in my schedule to accommodate your needs. It can take 2-3 weeks and more for your wedding to be scheduled. Because of this and the fact that Prison Weddings take place on weekdays, I limit new Clients to 12 per month.
If you are booking mid month, you are moved to the following month. I don’t overbook. This is intentional on my part which is why short notice or emergency bookings are not always possible. Booked Clients are my highest priority.
If I’ve talked to you or emailed you- you ARE NOT A CLIENT. Until a deposit is paid and a contract is signed and countersigned, I do not allow anyone to “use my name and credentials” to obtain a date for a TDCJ Wedding. I hate surprises and Wardens now verify you are a Client prior to issuing and approving a wedding date.
Pulling my name off the internet of even speaking to me and using my name without my consent is a bad idea. I’m not going to drive 2-10 hours to a wedding that wasn’t on my books and therefore, not my responsibility.
If you are late or inappropriately dressed for your Texas Prison Wedding, the Warden can cancel it. If I’ve traveled to the Unit and your wedding is cancelled, you will forfeit your payment due to non compliance and my contact.
If you are drunk or under the influence of anything, you have voided the terms of our agreement and your wedding will be cancelled. We are going into a Prison. Your conduct reflects on me. As my Client, I expect you to be courteous and appropriate. I cannot stress this enough. No matter what happens, I need you to realize that if we are waiting 1-3 hours, we will wait patiently. We will not complain or cause a scene. We will sit quietly and at some point, begin your ceremony. I need you to be professional and courteous. It will make the process far more pleasant.
What you can bring to your Prison Wedding-
You MUST have your Marriage License. You MUST have your ID. You can bring your car keys and hand written vows as well as quarters for Unit Photos ($3 each). You cannot bring anything other than these items with you to a Unit. No paper money, no cell phones, no cameras, no rings, nothing other than the above items is authorized for a Prison Wedding.
Visit times after the ceremony-
Every Unit is different, some Units allow visits for up to 15-20 minutes following the ceremony while others do not. Please do not argue this point with guards. They have been given an assignment and they have been given a timeline. At all costs, we remain pleasant and courteous.
You are wearing revealing clothing-
If your clothing is deemed “risqué” you will either be given something to wear and over up or your wedding will be cancelled by the Warden. This issue continues to come up. If you are wearing white, wear something under it. Do not wear jeans with holes, tank tops, mini skirts or other clothing that is in violation of the dress code. I know it’s your wedding day but, we aren’t making the rules.
Complimentary photos after the wedding-
I offer complimentary photos for Clients as a courtesy. I bring bouquets, bubbles, props, traveling photo booth items and more to bring fun to your bridal or groom photography as a courtesy. I want you to have fun and celebrate your marriage.
Many of my clients find their twenty minute photo shoot to be the best part of their day. If you have photos or other items you’d like to bring, I encourage you to. Guests aren’t allowed at Unit Weddings but, they can wait and join you in your photo shoot.
Other questions, comments or concerns-
I know you are nervous. I know you didn’t plan to marry in a Prison. You will at no point be alone. I will be with you. I am comfortable in a Prison and not nervous. If you have questions about anything not discussed in this blog, contact me.
If you have paid someone and and feel there is an issue please, please, get a refund. No one can change an I60 Officiant on an existing form. A new I60 and Officiant must be filed. I cannot stress this enough, hire someone you trust. Hire someone who makes you an your Dream Event a priority.
I look forward to meeting you soon at your Texas Prison Wedding…