Sunday Morning Surprises, Event Set Ups, & Security Alarms In Saginaw. Sagas & Setbacks…

At 3:47AM this morning, the alarm company called my husband regarding one of the model homes in Saginaw. With model homes in several cities, the alarm company is now a regular caller. There goes another good nights sleep at WorthamWorld. 

My husband assumed that “one of the subcontractors must have been in the model home last night because there wasn’t a forced entry.” On a Saturday night past midnight? In a model home? Why would a subcontractor be at a model home at that hour? Hmm. My detective skills on this mystery would come up off base but, I gave it a shot as my husband explained the alarm company telling him “the garage and front door are open.” Alarmed, he hightailed it on over to Saginaw. 

The same development that all year long has had too much rain continuing to slow down the building process. Every weather report of rain literally “hits Saginaw.” 

Here’s my guess on the latest alarm company call, they were either drinking or using the model home for a tryst? A secret meeting? A date night? 

My husband didn’t like any of my ideas or wild guesses and instead went looking for a more “appropriate answer” to the mystery. 

At 8AM this morning, Matthew drove over to Saginaw to put his own detective skills to work while assuring me that none of the contractors or subcontractors would be snooping around a model home. 

Apparently, the salesperson had not secured the garage which apparently slid open during the evening and effectively also set off the alarm. 

My theories on how the alarm was set off this time were (apparently) far more exotic.  In defense though, these late night alarm company calls have been coming in for years now. 

My husbands job can be an interesting mix now and then. A few weeks ago, another builder came by offering to hire his subcontractors while on the job! I found this to be wildly shocking. Apparently, competing homebuilders will do anything to find good help days. WOW. 

I’m going to address a few questions regarding Vow Renewals in this blog for clients trying to find creative ways to budget. First, there’s no requirement for elaborate centerpieces. In fact, you can get creative by renting large or tall candlabras and simply adding a bit of foliage that will drop down from the top tiers. You can use silk or fresh foliage to create the same effect. No candles allowed? No problem, use electric candles. Simplicity can still be elegant. For clients wishing to borrow centerpieces, I generally keep 19-24 centerpieces in stock. 

Centerpieces I have in stock are multi color and no, I can’t “cover 37-52 tables.” What I can do is suggest mixing your own centerpieces with what I’m loaning to you.

Try “mixing in” money trees or even photos of the couple on the surrounding tables. Going tall on all of the tables can and does pose problems for photographers and videographers.

Meanwhile…when I had booked my Grapevine Botanic Garden Bride a month ago, I had also asked “do you need to borrow floral designs?” 

At the time, she only needed one bouquet for herself and a boutenier for her groom. No bridesmaids. No groomsmen. Last night, seven days before her wedding, this changed. She now has a maid of honor and a bridesmaid as well as a best man and a groomsmen as well as the groom. 

For all of my dedicated readers, if you are planning to borrow my inventory for your upcoming Vow Renewal, it’s critical you ask what I have in inventory PRIOR to assuming that I have everything you need. I work seven days a week and cannot “whip something up on short notice and at my OWN expense.” 

I keep one full set of bouquets and bouteniers in stock each year but I do not keep full sets of all of my bouquets for wedding parties. My bride wanted the pink multi which I had a coordinating bridesmaids bouquet and two coordinating bouteniers of. 

Changing the number of bouquets and bouteniers a week prior to the wedding would normally be impossible without changing to my full set of red, white and black. Why? Because my bride wasn’t booking me as a florist she was booking me as an Officiant. 

I am the only Officiant and planner in this industry who has created an inventory to loan clients. That’s right. I said LOAN. My clients BORROW my inventory at no cost to them as a courtesy. 

However, if you want to choose your colors or expect me to create new designs in your colors or more bouquets or bouteniers because I don’t have the number you need in stock, this isn’t a free request. 

It’s time consuming to create floral designs. It’s also expensive. My Grapevine bride “got lucky.” How so? Because last week my Darrington bride asked if I had two bouquets for her sisters that would be traveling with her to her Prison wedding that would coordinate with my pink multi. 

Since I only had one coordinating bouquet, I checked my floral baskets and found that I didn’t have enough silk flowers to create a 3rd coordinating bouquet and “started fresh” on two more bouquets that would work with the pink multi last Tuesday. 

The 2 finished bouquets will work with the pink multi well. I had a few additional flowers so I made 2 coordinating bouteniers. 

Because I had created two more bouquets, I could accommodate the “add on” bouquets and bouteniers for Grapevine next weekend. If I hadn’t, the only option would be for my bride to either “switch” to the red multi or to provide her own floral designs at her own expense. 

Rolling into another full week of prison weddings, an inquiry from North Carolina came in. Demetria- We don’t currently service North Carolina but this may change over the next year. 

Expanding our services to other states works like this… We stack clients in states outside of Texas and marry numerous couples on the same day in major cities of other states. The reason for this is to reduce travel expenses to one client. 

If we are traveling to Oklahoma, Arkansas or Louisiana (all states within close proximity to Texas), we have a bit more flexibility to keep costs low by driving rather than flying. 

If the Unit is in a state that requires flying, we wait until we have a minimum of 3-5 clients wishing to marry in the state outside of our standard service areas. 

I am hoping this explanation clarifies why our other clients in states beyond driving distance from Texas wait on their ceremonies. They are stacked with other clients in the same cities or close proximity in order to limit travel and expenses.

Many institutions in other states and have different policies and procedures which vary. Certain states including Texas allow the use of an Absentee Affidavit while other states require that the inmate cover expenses of transportation to the clerks office to purchase a marriage license in person. 

Many states only allow inmate marriage once or twice a year while other states require a 3 month premarital course. In Texas, prison weddings are scheduled two days per month at TDCJ Units. 

Due to scheduling and our existing staff, Texas is and always will be our busiest Prison wedding booking state. 

However, due to requests and inquiries from states outside of Texas, our service area has expanded and continued to expand to other states. 

Availability is key to addressing new requests and bookings outside our standard service area. If you are willing to wait until we book more clients in your area as our other states do, we can make accommodations once we have enough clients to make the trip worthwhile. 

I do not currently have a vendor in North Carolina that I’m familiar enough with to refer you to because I’m cautious with referrals. If I don’t know someone’s track history or work ethics, I DO NOT REFER THEM to others. My reasons for this are that there are people out there taking advantage of single income families and I’m well aware of the issues people wishing to marry an inmate face on a single income. 

The last thing anyone planning to marry an inmate needs is to be taken advantage of. Be cautious. Ask questions. Get a contract. I’m well aware of someone else servicing Arkansas that refuses to help you through the paperwork process. 

A Prison wedding planner should be assisting you through this complicated process and if they aren’t and simply planning to show up, you need to factor their contributions accordingly and ask yourself if they are worth your investment? What’s their track record? Will they show up on wedding day? Can you trust them to be on time? 

Anyone planning to marry an inmate is entitled to have their questions addressed and answered. If your Officiant is saying “I don’t know” or “that’s not my job” is that really the person you want to entrust your Life Event with? 

Weddings are Life Events regardless of where they take place. You deserve to have your questions answered and your concerns addressed. 

I’m going to once again revisit and define how borrowing my inventory works. Over the years, I’ve had to explain to clients borrowing my inventory “you cannot throw or keep my floral designs” again and again. Throwing them damages them. Also, the person catching them wants to keep them. 

I don’t have a “Flower Fairy” gifting me with new inventory. I’ve spent thousands of dollars and countless hours creating my inventory. 

Please be considerate of my investment and efforts put in place solely for your benefit. 

If you want custom designs or colors, Cindy and I no longer sell designs or take custom orders. You will need to hire a florist to accommodate requests for items we do not have in stock. If you aren’t a client, I do not and will not consider loaning my property to you. Loaned items are solely for booked clients and at my discretion. 

Loaned inventory is a courtesy to our booked clients. I didn’t go to the trouble or the expense of creating my inventory in order to loan it to strangers booking with another vendor. Instead, I created an inventory for my own clients to borrow. Loaned inventory is what I have in stock. Custom colors or custom designs are custom orders that clients will need to provide at their own expense.

Wendy M Wortham