If my life had been easy perhaps I would not be the person I am today. My twin sister, my brother and I were raised without a mother. Our mother chose heroin over her children but, it wouldn’t be the only hardship that defined my life and more importantly, my compassion for others.
I’ve often said that empathy should be taught in schools but, it isn’t. Living in a small town, it was well known that our mother chose to abandon us. By being exposed to poverty and bullying, my siblings and I learned the virtues of kindness. We are the people we’ve never met.
Nothing in my life came easy for me or my twin sister. Poverty can define you or empower you. We learned to survive and thrive by working hard and learning every aspect of any industry we worked in.
We’ve both worked several jobs at the same time to survive because we had to. We didn’t have a family to help us or anyone to lean on other than each other.
I’ve never we been afraid to get my hands dirty and neither has my sister. We work together as a TwinTeam.Knowledge is power. From sales to brand merchandising, Cindy and I excelled at sales because we built relationships with customers and valued their loyalty.
Having insight to struggles of low to middle class consumers, I created Texas Twins Events to offer low cost services and ceremonies with the intent to find families who could never afford traditional event pricing and, help them.
A People Over Profit based Event Business was an unheard of concept in this industry 7 years ago but, Texas Twins Events changed all of that by opening a window that had never before existed for low to middle class consumers.
I was not only LBGT Friendly from the start but also open minded to unique requests that weren’t listed at Texas Twins Events.
We’ve had a few interesting requests for services through not only Texas Twins Events but also The Pawning Planners Clients.
In 2009, I opened an eBay store, Texas Twins Treasures. I’ve been a junkster most of my life as has my twin sister and we often found Flips or refurbished items that were sold for a good Profit so, going into bartering wasn’t that great of a leap for either of us by merging Texas Twins Treasures and Texas Twins Events to create The Pawning Planners.
When you barter services, you need to know the value of trades and we do. Ten to twenty percent of our business is from Pawning Planners Clients. Some barter while others have nothing of value to barter and become sponsored families instead.
For several years, I’ve had production companies, reporters and others question my reasons for starting a People Over Profit based business but the reason was my desire to give anyone a Dream Event regardless of how creative the Request might be.
My family and I care about a strangers situation or event needs when other “traditional” event vendors could care less. What do I mean by that? If you contacted any other vendor and asked event services before adding “but I don’t have any money” how far would you get? You wouldn’t. Other vendors could care less about your financial limitations. We care when others won’t.
What makes us so different is that we find ways to make events happen on short budgets for Pawning Planners Clients all of the time and have never turned anyone away.
We are different than other event vendors and open minded. I judge no one and neither does my family. I’m a twin and while my sister is hilarious, I’m not. We are Compensating Personality Twins.
Cindy is famous for her Redneck Granny Quotes used on Pawning Planners Apparel– Cindyism Quotes To Live By. I am far more reserved and reflective than Cindy and often the “serious” twin.
Cindy is fun and filled with spirit while I’m often planning and budgeting everything which may be the main difference between us. Being Twins, we are far closer than traditional siblings but our hardships were overcome as a TwinTeam which isn’t surprising.
Many followers on my blogs and social media accounts know that my family posts blend into business because we work together to make Dream Events a Reality from Fort Worth, Texas. My family is essential to making everything work. From my nieces to grandnieces to my son and daughter in law and twin sister wecall work together as a team. On rare occasions, Cindy’s husband Steve or my husband Matthew are called in when we have a construction or lighting issue on location. We all “circle the wagons” whenever necessary to get the job done.
Everyone brings their own unique talent to the table including my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna who work well with other children and often as flower girls and ring bearers at our events.We are a family owned and operated event business that help families and even when they have nothing of value to barter, we sponsor them at my own expense. Shocking as it sounds, it’s true.
From a fence party to a stripper baby shower to a rent party or estate liquidation, I’ve come across people from all walks of life with no one to turn to for help. Occasionally, I need only give a few creative ideas or avenues to people requesting services but, it’s a rare occurrence because anyone contacting me almost always needs our help to coordinate, Officiate, handle photography and more when submitting a request to this site.
An odd request last year for a fence party had me confused. The lady contacting me had a fence that had fallen down and wanted a new fence. She had initially requested a “Fence Party” which I had never heard of. I often ask a lot of questions to get a better handle on what exactly is needed.
Parties are expensive. You have to provide foood, drinks, tables and chairs, invitations and more. Traditionally, parties don’t involve fences.
Giving me more information about what you are needing will help us both resolve an issue.Knowing that it would be nearly impossible to find a business willing to donate a fence, I posted an ad on Craigslist for free poles and panels to solve her situation. No one else was standing in line to help this poor lady fix her fence. We are sometimes called “Friends Of The Friendless” by people we help because they had no one else to help them and, they knew it.
After a few weeks, someone contacted me that was replacing their fence, I rented a Home Depot truck and my sister and I delivered the poles and panels.
Often, I find ways to solve problems but, at the end of the day, it’s essential for people contacting me to realize that putting some effort in on your end helps to solve the situation. I can help you but you will need to help too.
Occasionally volunteering or sponsoring an event makes us very different from competitors but, it doesn’t stop there. I also loan Bouquets, cake stands, bouteniers and complimentary photography as well as Event Coordination at a sponsored or charitable service Request with my Texas Twins Events Team.
Committing to overcome any obstacle to help a stranger wasn’t an easy road to travel. My sister and I have been in sales most of our lives. To be successful at selling, you must first believe in the product. Our product was actually ourselves.
Hard working and dedicated to solving problems, Cindy and I have had a few unexpected hiccups with Inlaws and Outlaws or other unexpected issues on location because people are unpredictable.
Open Bars are perhaps one of the biggest obstacles we face on location because while people are unpredictable, people drinking are REALLY unpredictable!
My initial plan was to sell low cost services and ceremonies to all of the “donut hole” folks who couldn’t afford “standard” pricing which is why I started Texas Twins Events. Taking a risk is essential to going into business for yourself. Knowing the market exists for a product or service is an important aspect of the success of your business.
Sure, my idea was risky and unheard of but, I knew the market existed from personal experience and set out to find these families who just like me had no idea how they could afford a Life Event. All of these years later, these families find us. We don’t advertise because we don’t need to.
Truthfully, if I had enjoyed a beautiful wedding or event myself, I may have never been gone into this particular business plan but, based on my own experiences and hardships, I knew other people just like me were out there.
I wanted to find these families and did by bringing my twin sister aboard first to help with photography while I Officiated, Coordinated or both on location. Since I knew how to create floral designs and Cindy could fix anything, we made a Helluva TwinTeam. No matter what happened on location, we fixed it and moved on.Adversity. I know it all too well. Pawning Planners Clients do too. They have no money or family to help them with a Dream Event and without me and my family- no one to turn to for assistance. An Event Vendor volunteering? Laughing maybe but, never volunteering to help a stranger simply because they asked.
Years and years ago, I had no family to pay for my wedding or friends to throw a shower or anyone to throw a birthday party or baby shower. I was poor and struggling to make ends meet so a fancy wedding was out of the question. In fact, my wedding cost under $600. I made the flowers, a friend took the pictures and our largest expense was the Minister. That’s right, $450 to meet us in the park and marry us. Now, you get a better idea of where I was headed with my “concept.” My sons Minister charged $600. How can a struggling family afford those fees for a Minister or Funeral Clergy? Sadly, most can’t.
No one “wants” to get married at the JP but, its often the only option they could afford. I changed all that. No money for Bouquets? I loan them to you. No money for photography? We provide it free to Pawning Planners Clients and charge $75 an hour to Texas Twins Events Clients. Officiant fees start at $75 and Clients benefit with beautiful flowers and photos that will last a lifetime to remember their event. I care about the details and know the expenses that many of my clients could never afford. Being a “fixer,” I fixed the problem.
The reason for a minimal photography fee for Texas Twins Events Clients is that they can easily afford to pay for photography while Pawning Planners cannot. Both clients benefit by receiving a complimentary cd of all their photos.
We do not copyright photos because I don’t believe in it. Families should have their own cd and make as many copies as they like.
For those wondering about “traditional” photography pricing, it’s easily $250 an hour and up. My goal to make Events affordable includes photography and I have two photography teams to serve you as well as 5 Officiants and two coordinators, floral designers and bilingual translators too. Traditional Officiant prices start at $250 and with a rehearsal, can easily go up to $600. Our Officiant pricing starts at $75 within the DFW area.
In the beginning, I wasted thousands of dollars on worthless advertising. I also took on every client with more than half of them claiming to have no money and paid for the expenses myself.
My soft heart made me a sucker for a sob story but, successful businesses aren’t sympathetic and to “toughen up,” I needed far more information on these prospects to better discern who really needed help and, who didn’t. If you are truly needy, you have no problem with me visiting your home with my sister to verify it.
The Pawning Planners require Appraisal Appointments. These “visits” give my sister and I an opportunity to see where you live and more importantly, to see if you are truly needy and, if you aren’t, what you have of value to barter in exchange for your event request.
Finding funding was a rocky road in the beginning due to the number of requests for free services. After all, I don’t have any sponsors and generating revenue is essential to growth and expansion.
Texas Twins Events requires payment for services and I offer numerous year round discounts as a courtesy but, there are no free rides. If you are requesting free services, I direct you to The Pawning Planners.
Flipping items taken in trade helps fund families requesting free services but, my initial plan wasn’t to use revenue from sales at Texas Twins Treasures to fund families requesting free services. Quite the opposite, my plan was to use revenue from sales to replace equipment and inventory along with other expenses.
To solve the problem, my sister and I created Pawning Planners Apparel to specifically fund families needing a sponsored event. Available in 50 languages and sold worldwide, my twin sisters hilarious observations about life and work are wildly popular.
Yesterday, I loaded up my SUV to travel to Dallas for a sponsored birthday party for Kimberly Stine. It’s not well known that when considering a request for a sponsored event that I often put myself in the shoes of the person requesting free (or sponsored) services.
My twin sister, Cindy and I never had birthday parties ourselves so, I can understand the request and desire to want one. Kimberly’s husband has been struggling through cancer treatments and wanting something to celebrate during a time of stress isn’t unusual. I understood Kimberly’s desire for an afternoon of fun.
A sponsored event means that we provide the gifts, the cake, the decorations, the party planning and the photos. Sponsored events are rare and only I decide who qualifies. Please don’t contact me if you just want something for free. I’m not a fairy Godmother.
I’m a realist. I’m a realist and budget sponsored Events are planned up to a year in advance so, I am very selective about who I’m willing to help, who just needs advice and how much help they will require.
If you are wanting a wedding and cannot afford your Marriage License, I’m going to strongly suggest you reconsider getting married. Sponsored Events do not include rentals, licenses, and other items. We normally do not provide cakes either and especially, wedding cakes at sponsored events.
If you are bartering your Event, and the trade is worthy of including a wedding cake that’s another story. But, if you are wanting a free or sponsored event be advised that a Marriage License is your responsibility and have a friend make your cake but don’t expect me to provide a wedding cake if you aren’t “putting any skin in the game.”
Conversations about what you want and what you expect when you aren’t providing a trade or paying for services are often a real eye opener for a few folks who don’t understand how everything works. After all Pawning Planners Clients come to us for help because the cant find anyone else to help them. Think about that. I don’t know you. I don’t know your situation. If you are asking me for something without offering any consideration and opting out of my required Appraisal Appointment, you obviously have something to hide and are being less than honest regarding your situation.
My twin sister wrote a blog titled Mansions,Moochers & Morons that is reshared and retweeted over and over. That “sponsored event” is one of the reasons that we now require Appraisal Appointments.” I’m adding the link to better explain things to Cindy’s blog– Sponsored Events & Surprises? The Pawning Planners On Location.
Why? The person contacting me lied about a sick mothers dying wish to see her daughter married. For several weeks, I emailed back and forth in the middle of wedding season to work this unique request into my schedule.
Arriving at a $350-400k house with a new Mercedes in the driveway and most importantly– no dying mother on site, my sister used this as an example of why we require Appraisal Appointments. The mother had died years before and like an idiot I believed the woman contacting me.
After committee my myself and my team to help her, it was surprising that an affluent person would request free services but, true to my word, I performed the Dream Event and learned a valuable lesson about trusting a stranger. I don’t like being lied to. No one does.
Pawning Planners Clients are also scheduled “around” Texas Twins Events Clients as well as Military Events and Texas Prison Weddings. The reasons for this are that Booked (and paying) Clients come first. Military Families have a tight timeline and Prison Weddings cannot be rescheduled. Prison Dates involve the entire Unit accommodating a Request For Marriage Ceremony on site. There are a handful of Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiants. I am one of them.
For Kimberlys sponsored birthday party I had found a beautiful park for birthday photos and since she was running late, decided to do fun photos with my grandnieces, niece and twin sister while we waited on Kimberly and her friends to arrive.
I’ve been trying to get family photos for over a year but, with my schedule, it’s nearly impossible to get everyone at the same place at the same time.
My family often “split up” to work different events on the same day and several family members also take on gigs outside Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners so planning a family photo where we are all together will (most likely) have to wait until next year. I take photo ops with my grandnieces whenever I can find them.
Photos are important to me because as children, we had very few photos where my sister and I were actually smiling and family photos were so rare that I have less than ten childhood photos. Knowing how important photos were to me, I knew that photos were equally important to my clients which is why I always have someone with me to do photos at events.Arriving early at 1:45, I loved the park and expected Kimberly at 2:00. By 2:25, I messaged Kimberly and found she would be running late by about an hour.
Due to my careful planning for the event, things would now be quite rushed with Kimberly and her friends arriving at 3:00.
My initial plan had been to spend 30-45 minutes at the park for photos and then head to a nearby restaurant for the party. Tardiness always takes me by surprise but, Kimberly doesn’t own a car so, I rolled with the time change and adopted a new timeline for her event.My schedule is rarely flexible but in Kimberly’s situation, transportation really was an issue for her.
I did have enough time to capture a few nice photos of Kimberly and her friends prior to everyone loading up and dashing off up CiCi’s Pizza for her to open gifts and enjoy her cake.
Pawning Planners Clients and sponsored Events are traditionally held at area parks because they are free. It’s important to keep costs low in order to help other families. I sponsor up to 20 families every year and must stay within a budget in order to address other families needs which is why I never rent a venue for a sponsored event.
I’m asked about rentals all of the time but, I cannot and will not rent a venue because I treat everyone equally. If you cannot afford to rent a venue, please don’t ask me to do it for you.
Renting a venue can easily cost $800-7k so please don’t expect a venue for a sponsored event. We can use a park, backyard or your home for sponsored or bartered events but, unless a Pawning Planners Client has a location they can access for free, events are at an area park or backyard.
My schedule is usually very tight which is why we split up my teams on heavier days in season. My son and daughter in law work as a photography team and my son is also a minister and Wedding Officiant. My niece, Leigh Ann is also a photographer, wedding singer and Officiant. My other niece, Stephaney is a bilingual translator and singer.
My twin sister and I are both Coordinators and Officiants as well as floral designers. My twin grandnieces are flower girls and ring bearers as well as helpers with young children on location. It takes a village and we have one.
Due to my schedule yesterday, I dashed back to Fort Worth to take all three of my grandnieces and their friend Annabelle for photos with the Easter Bunny that didn’t turn out as planned because my two year old grandniece, Madyson wasn’t thrilled about her first Easter photo.I face challenges everyday to make everything in my life work and address my schedule while taking care of my family. My life is a juggling act of clients and my twin sister is my partner. We literally do everything together including raising our families.It’s very rare for me to sponsor a birthday party although we regularly sponsor baby showers because many expectant mothers are in a financial crisis trying to prepare for the birth of their new baby.
When I need donated items, I use FB to find second hand baby items and occasionally, even a second hand dress for a wedding.
Whenever possible, I also buy secondhand items when necessary to “pull together” a baby shower or wedding. My connections are often more of a Godsend than anyone realizes.
Those who follow our journey often try to help when we are in a pinch are a blessing to not only our clients not also my family by offering to volunteer or donate items to help a family in need. Last year, a family who lost everything in a fire contacted me for help with school clothes and school supplies. Within a matter of days, my connections donated enough school supplies and clothes for not only the family of the fire but also other needy children as we donated what wasn’t needed to area schools.
When you review as many emails as I do, you are aware that there are a few opportunists out there. I’m not rich and therefore, I’m very selective in “weeding out” someone asking for help who then expects all of their demands to be met. That’s not how this works. Sponsored Events are at my discretion.
I never sponsor a Prison Wedding. My reasons for this are distance, wear and tear on my vehicle and scheduling. I’m often gone all day traveling to and from a Texas Prison. Occasionally, I must also rent a hotel. Prison Weddings are booked only through Texas Twins Events because on the rare occasion I’ve considered a barter, the Client was so far from me that driving 10 hours or more to pick up a trade wasn’t feasible. Texas is a big state and I cannot spend time driving everywhere to pick up or evaluate a trade that could be spent elsewhere.
If I choose to sponsor your requested event, I’m in charge of the process and we will see what we can do to assist you but, be advised that “he who writes the checks makes the rules.”
Please don’t ask for chandeliers and tents or chairs and tables unless (of course) you can pay for the rental of these items yourself.
Sponsored events do not include many of the things you’ve seen in Texas Twins Events photos because those clients paid for rentals or venues. I regularly work for numerous venues and do destination weddings but never for free.
I don’t pay for venues my clients do. I don’t pay for bands my clients do. I don’t pay for caterers my clients do. I can create custom floral designs but, it’s for a fee. Please understand that sponsored events are never at a venue. They are at a park, backyard or other free location within the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
If you see a photo of me at a venue, no one just let the client “borrow” the venue- the client paid to use it. Venues aren’t free to my clients and they aren’t free to you. Destination weddings require travel expenses for my staff and I along with traditional fees for services. If I’m in another state with my team, the client booked our services for a fee and paid travel expenses.
Texas Twins Events Photos of events are different than Pawning Planners photos for a good reason- location. One set of clients (Texas Twins Events) can afford to rent a venue, pay a caterer, hire a band, pay a florist, rent a tent, rent lighting, chandeliers and anything else pertaining to their event while the other set (Pawning Planners) cannot.
I know, I know, you want it all but, based on your needs and the budget, it all boils down to what can work and what won’t work. If you are a Pawning Planners Client and are bartering an item worth $400, you aren’t going to have a $4k event. Instead, you will have an event comparable to your trade.
You can borrow items I have in inventory to save you from having to provide them yourself but, bartering event services benefits both parties. I can’t go in a hole because you want more services than your trade is worth. I am honest about your trade and the value. Because we know the expense and with involved to successfully “flip” an item, my sister and I do not allow a prospect to decide on the value.
This is an ongoing issue and, if you insist your item is worth more than it actually is or are unreasonable, we must wish you good luck in selling your item and advise you to book through Texas Twins Events when you can pay for services.
Nearly all of my Pawning Planners Clients borrow floral designs for their event. I also loan cake trays, champagne flutes, ring pillows, flower baskets and more to ensure your event looks “pulled together.”
I have a wide variety of low cost alternatives if you prefer to provide your own floral designs. From pinwheels to lanterns, there are ways to cut your costs on floral designs if you choose to provide your own.
I keep two color options of loaned bouquets and bouteniers in my inventory. If you wish to borrow them, the colors I have in stock are what you will be borrowing.
I do not create custom designs in “your colors” to loan. No one does. Custom designs are available for sale if you want “your colors.”
I also keep centerpieces in stock in a multi color if you wish to borrow centerpieces. If you want them in “your colors,” I can provide them but, it will be at a cost to you. “Your Colors” are often not what I have on hand and therefore, are Custom Floral Designs.
If you’d like to purchase brooch bouquets, please contact Wendy@texastwinsevents.com for custom designs. Please be aware that we do not loan brooch bouquets. These items are for sale only and thus not in our inventory for loaned floral designs.
I’m adding a few examples of our brooch bouquet line and please allow 6-9 weeks for delivery.I review requests for a venue, caterers, and more on a daily basis but, need to advise you that renting a venue is the responsibility of the client as is catering, tables and chairs, tents and more.
I.E. if you want all of these things, be prepared to pay for them. We do not offer catering but have many connections that do. We do not own a venue but have many connections that do. We do not have a rental company for tents, tables, chairs, tablecloths or other items but have connections that do. These connections do not offer their services for FREE. They are available for a FEE.
There isn’t anyone willing to donate a $4k tent for a sponsored event or chandeliers, caterers or even florists. You can borrow my inventory but, I’m not David Tuttera nor do I have a magic wand. If you are reasonable, we will work to help you but, if you are coming to us with an outrageous request, like anyone else, we must find a workable solution or, encourage you to contact someone else willing to meet your needs and wish you luck in finding them because I don’t know of anyone else in this industry who will sponsor you at their own expense or barter your Event Services other than myself and my staff.
Due to our schedules, we cannot and will not work with someone who is demanding or abusive to my staff or I. We simply don’t have time for problem clients. Outrageous demands or argumentative Clients cost everyone time and in my opinion, aren’t worth the effort. Divas and the like are not taken on as Clients through The Pawning Planners. I’m selective for a very good reason. My family and I spend at least a day with you on location and we prefer to enjoy it.
We service 90% of our Clients through Texas Twins Events & Texas Prison Weddings and also do deliveries for Texas Twins Treasures.
Pawning Planners Clients make up a very small margin of bookings. The reason for this is that most of our clients can pay for services. I didn’t rebrand and expand to include bartering as an option simply to work for free. I went to the expense and trouble to include families with no resources. By offering a barter option, many of these families found a way to have a beautiful event without writing a check.
We try to help anyone but a few of these requests for a $5-10k wedding won’t work for us and, they don’t work for you either. If you are wanting an expensive event and don’t have any money, you will need to whittle your list down to what you have on hand to barter of comparable value.