This morning while speaking with an editor who wanted me to compare myself to David Tutera of WETV series “My Fair Wedding,” I laughed. I wasn’t laughing at the series that helps brides have a Dream Wedding with all their wishes coming true via a handsome event coordinator waving a magic wand complete with the dress, the cake, the venue and even the wedding rings. Quite the contrary- I was laughing because the Pawning Planners don’t have $10-20k to spend on families who come to us for help.
Yesterday while Skyping with a production company asking similar questions regarding what and how we make a Dream Event happen for folks, I was asked what have we provided for families who came to us with nothing. This question was far easier for me to answer and today, I will explain to my loyal followers how the “Pawning Process” gives families who aren’t chosen for My Fair Wedding an opportunity too.
In 2012, I sponsored a group unification event on the courthouse steps in Fort Worth, Texas to “kick off” the TCGPWA parade that I’m a sponsor of and met Tash and Tamara Hargrove-Lenzy who requested that we travel to San Antonio, Texas with my Texas Twins Events Team to officiate and help coordinate their wedding for family and friends. The Little Pawners acted as flower girls and the wedding rings came from my Texas Twins Treasures Inventory Texas Twins Treasures offers refurbished items that I’ve taken in trade along with unique treasures that my saucy sidekick, Cindy Daniel and I “find and flip” to generate revenue for Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. We provide “extras” not because we have corporate sponsors like Sears but because we are “crafty and creative” and realize that many families cannot afford the “extras.”When families come to me, they are often missing “the extras.” Due to financial restrictions- they often have no one else to help them achieve a Dream Event (outside being chosen for My Fair Wedding). These families often need to “borrow” my bouquets, boutenniers, corsages, centerpieces, columns, cake platters, serving sets and occasionally- even shoes, hats, wedding dresses and wedding rings! When Joanna Magee contacted me on FB- she had NOTHING. No money, no trade, no wedding dress, wedding shoes, NOTHING. I went above and beyond for Joanna Magee to such an extent that I exceeded the contribution to my own son’s wedding.
How? I didn’t buy Stephanie Hafele’s wedding dress or pay the venue. Providing Joanna’s wedding dress, loaning floral designs, ring pillow, flower baskets, buying cowboy hats for her son’s and even buying her wedding shoes while having my team do her hair & make up prior to driving her to the venue myself was assuredly “going above and beyond” for this Texas Twin who had initially only agreed to officiate at Willow Lake Event Center because I knew the owner and, liked the venue. How did we wind up at a park instead? Well my friend here’s where this story gets REALLY interesting! The groom lied and told me he had paid for the venue not realizing that I knew the owner well enough for her to give me a call about the unpaid balance Willow Lake Event Center owner Kelly called my cell phone the day before the wedding to advise me “the balance would need to be paid.” Horrified that I had orchestrated a rehearsal at an unpaid venue, I immediately called the groom who continued to “lead me along with lies.” I’ve had moments when I should have pulled out of an event and this would be right at the top of my list but, soft heart that I am, I didn’t. I wrote a blog detailing my plans for Joanna PRIOR to everything that “went wrong on their end” Joanna Magee Dream Event details my plans to gift her the wedding dress that I had planned to loan- but Joanna decided to keep. Keeping inventory is a problem because I now no longer have it to loan to someone else and- there isn’t a fairy godmother leaving wedding dresses on my door step, quite the opposite, I must purchase or barter or build to create my own inventory. You see, initially lying about paying the venue would unravel to such an extent that I actually asked Joanna if “she was sure she wanted to marry Jake?” From lying about the venue to lying about paying for the cake to lying about getting the wedding license- this event had me at my wits end! After spending hours getting the bride ready and dressed with hair and make up- I drove her to the park and had a frosty reception with her thankless family who didn’t even bother introducing themselves and a beer swilling brother who continued to interupt me and disrupt the process by bullying the bride while waiting on Jake who was over an hour late to his own wedding. Truthfully, after everything I had done to “get the party going,” I was worried he wouldn’t show up! So, as you can see, while “My Fair Wedding” may give you the impression that a “sky is the limit” wedding with nothing going wrong and everything going right “idea” of the planning process, the truth is, 95% of American families aren’t lucky enough to be recipients of an “all out extravaganza” and, the folks who come to me have no one else committed to overcoming EVERY obstacle placed in my path. A better question to ask me would be “what don’t you do?” With my multigenerational team of family aka Texas Twins Events Team, we aren’t above doing anything that gets in the way of a Dream Event but, we also work on a tight budget and can’t afford to “give away” an inventory that I’ve spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to create. After the Joanna Magee Event, I will also be quicker to “cut out” when I see red flags flying everywhere. Why? Because there are too many families who appreciate our help and focusing on those who are thankful rather than those who feel “entitled” is the reason I started this business in the first place.
My family and I are committed to helping families and although we may occasionally disagree on this or that- at the end of the day, we are a family and this family is committed to changing the wedding and events industry one family at a time from Fort Worth, Texas! Do we encounter Diva’s and Disasters? What wedding vendor doesn’t? But, at the end of the day, we’ve done something for these families that no one else would and that on its own proves our dedication and resilience when “everything that can go wrong does” and we still work it out. Cindy Daniel (creator of Cindyism) calls our Redneck Reality dramas “Hillbilly How To’s” because without a lot of money or corporate sponsors- we are effectively “forced to figure it out” and we do as a team.
Wendy M Wortham Texas Twins Events-Wedding & Event Services