If only I had a magical wand every time something unexpected happened at an event! The truth is that there aren’t any magic wands or fairies saving the day when something unexpected happens.
My dedicated readers remember all too well “The Banjo Playing Boyfriend” or “The Brawl At The Open Bar” or even “The Beer Swilling Big Mouthed Brother” and no one can forget “The Broken Tooth-Bouncing Checks Bride” either.
Let’s face it, when you are willing to help anyone regardless of their income, you are bound to meet a few real characters in the Event Business.
I can’t tell you how many times someone has come running up to me at an event to advise me another vendor screwed up while expecting my team to resolve the situation because it’s happened at least a hundred times with Texas Twins Events bookings. Why? There are often other vendors involved and if we are coordinating the event, we are also expected to solve everyone else’s problems.
Last year, I had talked with a Groom who hired my team to handle Officiating, Coordinating and Photography at Villagio Event Center an hour prior to driving to the wedding to make sure they didn’t need anything.
Arriving on site some forty five minutes later, and at least an hour earlier than necessary, the Groom told me that the florist had forgotten the bouteniers. The Groom knew that I was an experienced floral designer and asked if I could “cover the boutonnières?” This “issue” could have easily been resolved by the floral vendor who bothered to drop off the bouquets and centerpieces before hauling ass out of the venue but, by leaving, they left me holding their bag.
Driving as fast as I could back to Fort Worth, I screeched to a hault in front of my workroom and quickly assembled five bouteniers before spinning my tires back to Villagio. The problem? The Groom hadn’t bothered to tell anyone where I was or add himself to the count of bouteniers he had given me. I was told they needed five bouteniers but, the Groom failed to include himself in the “count.” I was short one boutenier on a floral order that no one paid me for. To resolve the shortage, I cut a white Rose from the garden and gave it to the Groom.
The five bouteniers were never returned to me which had happened far more often than you might expect. Due to the losses involved when loaning bouquets, centerpieces or bouteniers, I now require clients borrowing inventory to sign for it and acknowledge that if items come up missing on location that they are responsible.
Covering other vendors mistakes on location is a thankless and expensive task. Trying to solve everyone else’s problems when I wasn’t paid to be a “fixer” is the primary reason that nice guys always finish last. My “job” as a coordinator is to direct and orchestrate vendors and certainly not to fix their mistakes!
On Location at Marty Leonard Chapel last year, I spent well over an hour explaining the wedding ceremony process to someone who had never officiated a wedding before. The night prior, I also answered several emails and texts from the minister who was incredible nervous about Officiating the wedding “as a favor” to the Bride. The Bride had hired my team to coordinate and provide 6 Brooch Bouquets for herself, her maid of honor and her bridesmaids along with 6 bouteniers for the Groom, Best Man and Groomsmen. I had met her two months prior to the wedding and provided a large box containing all of the bouquets and bouteniers which I would later learn was a mistake as the bouteniers were lost. Unlike a bouquet, bouteniers are quite small and therefore, easily lost on wedding day.
While the Bride was getting ready, her maid of honor realized that the bouteniers were missing less than twenty minutes before the wedding. Since I had spent two days preparing the minister for the ceremony, I was forced to tell him that I had to leave and to please read the cross ceremony prior to the wedding as I needed to go find six white roses and pins at Central Market before the wedding started.
I’ve said it before but, it bears repeating “please do not hire a friend to Officiate your wedding!” They don’t know the process and often have no idea of the responsibility involved for your Marriage to be LEGAL.
There is far more involvement than standing in front of your guests and reading a ceremony. Filing your License is a responsibility of the Minister as well.
If the Minister makes a mistake on your Marriage License, the Minister is REQUIRED to file an Amended Petition in order to correct the mistake.
If the Minister FAILS to file the Marriage License, you ARE NOT LEGALLY MARRIED either.
Friends are NOT qualified Officiants. They have no idea of the heavy burden of responsibility involved to Officiate a wedding.
If you’ve spent thousands of dollars on your Wedding- the last thing you need is to find out months or even years later, that you ARE NOT LEGALLY MARRIED.
Sure, I can “coach” your Officiant as your Coordinator but, at the end of the day, Vendor Responsibility lies solely on the Vemdor hired to complete their task and in the case of the Officiant, their responsibilities don’t end after the Wedding Ceremony.
Pawning Planners Clients never have additional vendors on site. Why? Money. They also don’t have a venue. Why? Money. Pawning Planners Event Services are far less complicated and smaller scale than Texas Twins Events Clients Bookings.
There are no “over the top” extravaganzas for Pawning Planners Clients. Texas Prison or Jail Clients are also far more “intimate.” Why? There are no guests allowed at an Inmate Wedding. Guests may travel with the Bride or Groom to the Unit but they must wait until the ceremony is over and we have left the Unit to be part of the Photo Shoot.
If you have entrusted someone other than yourself to keep the Marriage License, be advised that the Wedding Ceremony AND THE LICENSE are a partnership at Weddings. Anyone signing a Marriage License is documenting when the Marriage took place and where as well as signing their name to the testimony of a Marriage Ceremony taking place. A Marriage Ceremony WITHOUT a Marriage License isn’t a LEGAL Wedding! The legal ramifications don’t end after signing that license either. In order for a Marriage to be considered legal, there MUST be a ceremony, a SIGNED license and, the license MUST BE FILED.
Over the last eight years, I’ve had so many panicked phone calls regarding an Officiant not affiliated with my team being FTA. What is FTA? Failure To Appear. Because of these panicked phone calls from folks who hired the WRONG Vendor, I’m going to address why we have EMERGENCY OFFICANT FEES in place.
Someone else’s “Emergency” isn’t our “Emergency.” Read that again. You have hired someone who can literally screw up your Wedding Day who didn’t bother to show up and, you want me or my staff to “fix it.” Now you better understand what an Emergency or Rush Order is and, why it isn’t cheap! Dropping everything to go cover someone else is nerve wracking. Everyone is panicking on Location and getting paid is always an issue. “We paid the OTHER OFFICIANT already.” Really? You mean the person who didn’t show up?!
Problem solving is the role of a Coordinator NOT AN OFFICIANT. An Officiants “job” is to show up early and ready to perform.
If you’ve hired me or anyone on my staff solely to Officiate your ceremony, don’t expect me or my team to serve food, set up or tear down on Location or fix everyone else’s issue on Location. That’s why you hire us to Coordinate your event. The fees between an Officiant and Coordinator are remarkably different. Why? An Officiant is on site 1-2 hours. A Coordinator is on site 4-8 hours. Therein lies the variation on fee structures.
I’m going to strongly suggest hiring a Qualified Wedding Officiant who you can count on. We have six Officiants in staff and, our schedules are often booked months in advance.
A “heads up” would possibly give us more time to problem solve with my Texas Twins Events Team but, it’s usually someone in the wedding party or a guest running at Cindy or I yelling “oh no! We need your help.”
Since we are usually setting up or working on something else, the “hand off” of our current project is handled by someone else on the team hence the term “taking one for the team.” I use this reference on a daily basis around here.
A few months ago at a Destination Wedding in California, the tent kept blowing down and the borrowed truck was missing the back door. Using a ladder and a folding table to keep everything from flying out the back, the doorless truck worked just fine to transport the flowers to the venue.Keeping the rest of the wedding party flowers and brisket cool for the wedding? Another old ice truck worked perfectly to keep drinks cool and provide plenty of storage for the meats and additional flowers. That’s right.
My team and I are problem solvers on location because we have handled over 1,300 events and are well seasoned, experienced and reliable. The bride decided to add a sand ceremony to her wedding ceremony on the day of the wedding. We needed a table which Cindy and I found at Goodwill for $7 and a matching table cloth for $3.50 which we later “gifted” to a guest who loved the little dresser and the tablecloth would work well with her kitchen set.
The sand kit was at Michaels and we used a coupon to keep overall costs down. Thinking on your feet and budgeting at the same time are our specialty.
A few of our followers think we are hillbillies but, my twin sister, Cindy is far more “country” than I am and also believes that “hillbillies are geniuses because they don’t have a lot of money and figure it out anyhow.”
Cindy and I have never learned to dance but that didn’t stop one guest from dragging us onto the dance floor. The problem? She wasn’t wearing any panties! Since Cindy and I were on either side of her, neither of us had any idea why that dance floor cleared so quickly.
At the time, Cindy thought we must be such good dancers that everyone else wanted to watch our “smooth moves.”
The truth was “there was a show all right” but, it wouldn’t be until someone grabbed us to advise us of the “situation” that we knew a problem existed.
We almost always have our adult children or grandchildren with us on Location so, it’s not unusual to find me carrying my youngest grandniece, Madyson at an Event while directing the team or preparing for the ceremony.
Madyson’s mom, Leigh Ann Blais handles the photography on location but can also Officiate. We have 6 Officiants on staff.
Whether there’s a drunken brawl going on at an Open Bar Event or a Bride broke her tooth and won’t leave the bathroom or worse when the Bride or Groom don’t show up, fixing a problem is essential to our success.
Failure at any Event is never an option for my Pawning Planners/Texas Twins Events Team. We have seen it all and found creative ways to fix it on location.
Whether I’m Officiating, Coordinating or both, Cindy is my back up in charge on location because we work together. Twin Event Planners are rare but, we work best together.
Cindy and I also sell custom Brooch bouquets at Texas Twins Treasures and frequently loan floral designs to booked clients.
Please note that loaned designs are not in “your colors” we have 2 options of colors in stock as a courtesy to clients from Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. You can choose from red and white or the pink multi pictured below.
If you want floral designs “in your colors,” we can create custom designs but, it will be at a cost to you. A deposit is required on any custom floral order. No exceptions.
We have two photography teams on staff to accommodate your needs. Both photography teams are priced far below our competitors and, we include a cd of all of your photos. There is a fee for this service. I.E. it isn’t free to us and it isn’t free to you. Photography bookings also require a deposit as do Officiant or Coordinator Bookings.
Problem solving, floral designs, unexpected mishaps and fixing it fall squarely on our shoulders when we are coordinating, Officiating, providing floral designs or photography.
My entire family work as a team to ensure we have all hands on deck at events that require coordination or set up.
I answer a lot of questions regarding bartering Texas Prison or Jail Weddings. The barter option exists but, your item must be of equal value of the service requested. For more information on TDCJ Officiant Services, visit this link– Texas Prison Weddings- TDCJ Services.
Many Prison Weddings are “stacked” at certain units due to the distance I’m traveling. If you and 1-5 other clients are booked at the same unit, you have 20-30 minutes separately for your ceremony. Texas Prison Weddings are not group Wedding Ceremonies.
Photos of me with more than one bride were a group photo taken after leaving the Unit. Bridal or Groom Photography is offered as a courtesy with bouquets and props on loan from my inventory.
Prison Units that allow photos charge $3 each so, please bring quarters with you if you would like to purchase photos. Outside photography with bouquets, wedding dresses and other things you don’t normally see inside a Unit are taken after leaving the Prison.
You cannot bring a bouquet, a ring or other items into a Unit Ceremony. You may bring your state issued ID, car keys and Wedding License ONLY as outlined in the Administrative Directive.
Texas Prison Weddings are structured. There are no flowers, no drunk guests and no chaos. Because of this, you must arrive early for your Prison Wedding and, dress appropriately. Please do not drink prior to your Texas Prison Wedding.
Texas Prison Weddings, Texas Twins Events, & The Pawning Planners are ALL LBGT Friendly businesses. In fact, I offer year round discounts to the LBGT Community along with Active or Retired Military, Police, Fire, Teachers and First Responders.
Vow Renewal Packages are also available for my TDCJ Clients and Repeat Client Discounts are always honored. Many of our clients have booked my team and I for numerous events after a wedding that include: Baptisms, Birthday Parties, Memorials, Estate Liquidations and more. We love our clients and reward them for their loyalty.
The majority of our client bases are compromised of a varied mix of families. We are dedicated to making your event as seamless as possible but, like any other vendor, we expect to be paid for our contributions to your event service.
Whether you are bartering your event service or booking through Texas Twins Events, a contract is required from either business and the barter must be accepted thirty days prior to the event. Texas Twins Events or Texas Prison Clients MUST pay their balance one week PRIOR to their event.
If something out of the ordinary occurs on location, we are willing to work at resolving the issue but, it will be within the realms of what you’ve hired my team and I to do on Location.
Every client is different and every situation can be different as well but, at the end of the day, we are committed to making your event as seamless as possible because TeamWork Makes The Dream Work…and you get what you pay for or barter for.
Comments by Wendy Wortham