Every now and then I run across a few obstacles when bartering event services and today, we will address why I require no less than 4 weeks prior to the event date to schedule an appraisal appointment, come to an agreement (or not) and have a proper amount of time in order to refurbish (if necessary) a furniture item and sell it prior to the event.

The first problem I seem to encounter more often than not is that a prospective client wants to “name the price” on their item.  I’ve been in sales over 30 years and am fairly knowledgeable about the buying market and I’ve also been a brand ambassador for numerous high end companies so it’s safe to say that I’ve got a good idea of the value of an item and if I don’t, my twin sister does.  Let’s face it that these days it’s the buyer and not the seller who makes the rules when it comes to selling damn near anything.  When an item doesn’t sell, I’m forced to lower the price over and over until I can find a buyer so telling me what you think something is worth won’t work because I have expenses and also because I operate a traveling event business that requires gasoline for our suvs, car repairs, film development expenses and most importantly- my time.  The time and expense involved to refurbish antiques is substantial which is why it has to be a really unique piece for me to be interested if you’re bartering furniture.  Also, furniture requires a truck rental on top of fabric and labor so I’m really picky when it comes to furniture “flips.”  I’ve yet to find an antique offered for barter that didn’t need a complete reupholstery job in order to be marketable.  I also have listing expenses for items offered for sale at Texas Twins Treasures to eBay and PayPal.

Texas Prison (TDCJ) Officiant Fees are NOT available through The Pawning Planners.  While many event services are—Prison Officiant fees MUST be paid in full through Texas Twins Events.  I am the ONLY approved officiant on staff and there are very few approved Officiants in the entire state of Texas so please understand that driving 3-10 hours to a Prison often requires a hotel stay for me and a lot of time driving that prevents me from working on trades, listing trades, traveling to appraisal Appointments, booking pre marital counseling sessions or personal appearances that I would otherwise be handling during the week since 95% of our events are booked on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.  Prison Weddings are only scheduled Monday-Friday because visitation is scheduled on weekends and Prison Weddings take place in the visitation area of Prisons.  I do not negotiate Prison Wedding fees because my fees are based on distance.  You cannot get approved by the warden for a Prison Wedding WITHOUT an approved officiant (me) on your I60.  I will not put you on my books without a deposit either.  My reasons for this are based entirely on 7 years of “I will pay you at the event or I forgot my wallet or I thought I had enough money in my account to cover my check.”  I.E.  I’ve heard it all before and spent hours on location trying to get paid.  Most of my Prison Weddings are a minimum of 3 hours one way from my location and the last thing I need after traveling such a great distance is to hear that you didn’t bring the balance of my fees.  Because of this–I require all fees paid in advance.  You will receive a receipt and contract upon receiving your deposit.

I have never sent another officiant to cover me at any event in 7 years and, I’ve never been late!  I’m from a military family and therefore am always at least 30 minutes early to any event.  Emergency Officiant fees are also non negotiable.  Why?  Because my entire staff have to re work their schedules in order to accommodate your needs.  I’m sure you’ve heard of “rush or express” delivery fees well emergency fees are similar in that it’s not our emergency that you forgot to book us earlier-it’s yours.

We handle 20-27 events every month and are booked months or even a year in advance so “juggling our schedules to accommodate yours” isn’t free to us and it isn’t free to you either.  If you have a rehearsal, it incurs an additional fee.  Why?  Because we have to make 2 trips to the same location.  One for the wedding and one for the rehearsal.  Rehearsals take 30-45 minutes and based on the location, also involve travel time.

Officiating, orchestrating or planning your event is a service.  Like anyone else in the service industry- we expect to be paid!  I’ve had bouncing checks and excuses so many times that I must now clarify that if I didn’t make an agreement to barter your event and gave you a discounted cash price, the date of your event is not the time to tell me “you’ve got another way to pay me.”  Would you “come up with” another way to pay for gasoline, groceries, your rent or car insurance?  No you wouldn’t so please don’t wait until I’ve spent a minimum of 1-2 hours on location at your event to tell me you can’t pay me.  I operate a business and like any other business, cannot pay my bills on broken promises.

Rev Wendy M Wortham