Yesterday morning I took a call from Jennifer seeking a TwoTogetherInTexas class. I’m still listed on their website although I’ve requested to be removed due to my schedule. TwoTogetherInTexas offers eight hour classes for couples who in turn, receive a discount coupon for marriage licenses. The savings is substantial by taking the average cost of a license from $75 to $11.I explained that I’m no longer affiliated with TwoTogetherInTexas and suggested calling a church in her area or Stephenville. My schedule is rather busy with meeting clients and appraising trades along with refurbishing items for my Texas Twins Treasures Inventory along with meeting couples who hire me through my sister site Texas Twins Events to book weddings, estate liquidation services, baptisms, funerals, family reunions and more. The problem for me with TwoTogetherInTexas is that the ministers or counsellors involved spend 8 hours of their time with these couples without being financially compensated and, the couples I dealt with during my four year affiliation with the program had no interest in the benefits of the class but simply wanted the certificate. Hence my “dropping out” of the program. My volunteer efforts are better served helping families who truly appreciate my contribution of time and talent.
After speaking with her for thirty minutes regarding an April 3 wedding in the park, it became apparent that she needed several items that included a wedding officiant, wedding dress for herself and bridesmaid dress for her daughter. I decided to take this project on and attempt to assist her due to her health issues and lack of funding. Posting an update on my FB page to advise my twins and friends that I was seeking donated items, Jennifer advised me by posting on the link that she wanted an “under the sea themed event.” Ironically, I have watched the Under The Sea Event on My Fair Wedding My Fair Wedding- Under The Sea Event. I couldn’t be further from this show if I was trying since there are no corporate sponsors or “Dream Team” folks waiting around the corner to grant a brides “every desire!” Watching the show it became apparent that a few of these brides felt privledged enough to “get picky” about what they were getting for free- which is apparently similar to my own experiences while trying to help people that no one else is pushing me out of the way to help. That’s right- I don’t have any competition around here when it comes to helping folks without any money because no one else is willing to spend their time or, their money to help you aside from me. So, I “suggest” if you have your own “ideas” or “themes” you are going to need the money to pay for them which is not what my team and I do. The Redneck Reality or Hillbilly How To of my Wedding Warriors is that UNLESS you are either paying us or submitting equal value for your event in the form of a trade- you don’t make suggestions at all.
Problem one- themed events are expensive! I advised Jennifer that Dream Events are not “exactly what you want” since sponsored events come out of my pocket and more importantly, my team is not compensated for their efforts. Unless she already had items from her list that included shells, starfish, dolphins and a color scheme of coral and blue- short of being chosen for My Fair Wedding- she might need to reevaluate what she was expecting. Problem two- “a little help?” When you come to me with no money, no flowers, no wedding dress, and nothing to offer in exchange- there is no “little” about my involvement or that of my team. Toss bouquets aren’t free when I’m loaning my wedding and bridal bouquet inventory. IE: unless you are buying my designs, you don’t keep them or give them away either. You borrow them for the duration of your event and you return them to me. If you want a toss bouquet- I suggest you buy it.
Today, I’m going to (once again) go over what is involved in a Dream Event that is sponsored by me and, at my own expense. If you have no money and nothing of value to trade- you don’t “make the rules” I do.
Officiating your wedding at no cost while providing Photogtaphy and loaned items from my inventory that has taken me years and thousands of dollars to create in order to loan clients does NOT include custom bouquets “for your wedding colors.” Quite the contrary, sponsored families are more than happy to use whatever wedding bouquets I currently have on hand.
When people come to me with nothing, normally they are thankful for whatever help we can give them. It is rare, to come across a list of what the client wants when they aren’t paying for anything. However, it has happened and, I’m quick to advise anyone who thinks they can make a list as if they were going out to purchase these items themselves, that they should and wish them luck.
After all, if you have come to me because no one else would help you at their own expense- I am going to make the rules- not you!
Last night I reviewed a FB message from a family we had helped last year who were concerned upon visiting Jennifer’s FB page and finding wedding photos from a few years ago of Jennifer. Upon reviewing this wedding album myself, I too was somewhat shocked that this wedding included a bridal gown, bridesmaids and apparently, the whole none yards! Dream Events are a “life event” which means (normally) they only happen once. Since Jennifer had told me that she didn’t have a wedding dress- you can imagine my shock at this new revelation.
Our friend Debbie Poteet, whom I’m helping raise funds for her daughter’s medical treatment Hannah Poteet- Fundraising offered a dress for Jennifer’s daughter and while it is not the exact “color” Jennifer had advised me she “wanted” for her wedding- when you have folks donating their time, their possessions and their talents for “your Dream Event,” you thank the strangers helping you rather than “looking a gift horse in the mouth.”
Although the wedding that wasn’t disclosed to me is quite a surprise- I keep my promises and will follow through with what I had offered to do to help Jennifer. However, for families who assume that I will be waving a magic wand to make all your dreams come true, it must be noted that the reason I started this business in the first place was to help consumers who couldn’t “run out and hire vendors” due to financial constraints.
Furthermore, I’m doing for you what no one has ever done for me. I’ve never had a Dream Event or someone to throw a baby shower (while buying the gifts) or even worn a wedding dress myself. I’ve never had a real “wedding.”
Giving these families a gift that keeps giving is (at the end of the day) is a gift.
For families who expect more than I’m willing to give or who think they will take advantage of my generosity (or the generosity of my friends, twins and connections), you may want to “check yourself before you wreck yourself!” After all, as my saucy twin sister would say #Cindyism “you can’t profit from the harvest when you didn’t plant the crop.”
Wendy M Wortham Texas Twins Events-Wedding & Event Services