A few weeks ago, Sally Garcia contacted me through my sister site, Texas Twins Events www.texastwinsevents.com using the contact us link to inquire about a wedding in Arlington.
I responded and asked several questions as is customary to better grasp what all would be needed of either myself in the role of officiant or, my team with flowers, photography, cake and champagne etc. of course, our Little Pawners along with the Texas Twins Events team will be attending with me.
Upon realizing that her mother was in Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer at Arlington Memorial Hospital and seeing her daughter’s wedding was a last wish, I immediately “flipped” this event to a Dream Event based on finances.
When I sponsor an event at no cost there are specific criteria I’m looking for and have been burned by families who actually have money but, want everything with no consideration. These are the types of clients that I DON’T want. These are the clients that will run you ragged asking for everything and paying for nothing.
A few months ago my entire team dedicated 6 hours of their Mother’s Day to a Renewal of Vows that became a total disaster mainly because the mother of the Bride requested us present several hours EARLY to help set up and secondly because the Bride herself wanted two photographers and had been to my home office numerous times with an ongoing list that included:
8 handcrafted chalkboards (time to construct, paint and purchase materials approximately 6 hours)
Rehearsal Ceremony (travel time with two photographers and rehearsal 2 hours)
Numerous large glass cylinders and flame less candles ($235)
Burlap twenty yards to craft tablecloths for 30-35 tables at the event center labor performed by myself and my team (30 minutes to one hour) cost of burlap $97.00
Film Developing and 6 hours of two photographers at $250 an hour
Wedding Officiant for Rehearsal and Ceremony $275
Now, for those of you within the industry who know the traditional price points of wedding and event services, you are well aware that these prices are FAR lower and anyone in the photography industry also realizes that “showing up” to photograph a wedding or event and the film are two separate things entirely! There is a fee to photograph and a fee to develop the film. Neither of these fees were paid at this Willow Park Event and, to add insult to injury, the Mother of the Bride informed us she had hired another photographer upon our arrival and purchased chalkboards!
Because of this and the issues involved when dealing with a Bridezilla or even a Guestzilla who want everything and expect to pay for nothing- I’m asking a LOT more questions these days in order to protect myself and my businesses.
Finding worthy, truly worthy Dream Event families requires that I validate and verify all the facts because let’s face it ya all, people lie.
After realizing the caller was genuine, I set about inquiring how many guests we were expecting and the possibility of using the Chapel at Arlington Memorial Hospital since we were expecting family to fly in and pay their respects as well as attending the ceremony.
Normally hospital chapels are not the place for a celebration and although this event will be somewhat somber under the circumstances, based on the number of expected guests and the location of the event gives me few options on providing a beautiful event and with a little creativity and flexibility by hospital administrators and treating physicians, I believe that my team and I can successfully orchestrate this event and we are looking forward to a family who appreciates our dedication to our community which is obviously refreshing after the Emily Kolanek Glenn “incident” in Willow Park. What a disaster and, I had clues that this Bride would be a problem early. From this point forward, if you act outrageously I will now excuse myself and reserve the right to refuse service to you.
After a weekend of celebrating in Fort Worth that included a fantastic firework display set to music, I’m back in my Texas Twins Treasures workshop creating floral designs for this event in Arlington and putting my finishing touches on the latest inventory items for my storefront.
When families don’t have money, I sell my own property in order to fund their Dream Event which many of you might find strange but, I’ve been performing Dream Events that are sponsored for over three years and often both my twin, Cindy Daniel and I sell our own property for needy families if they have no money and if we cannot locate “flipable” items in their home to refurbish and sell through Texas Twins Treasures as this does (although rarely) occur.
My extensive knowledge of antiques, couture clothing and cost points involved with refurbishing inventory is key to the success and capability of “hitting a lick” or “making a profit.”
Cindy’s speciality is jewelry and metal and carries her handy dandy magnet in her bra at a times (with snacks and other necessities of course.)
As we look forward to meeting this wonderful Bride and her family, I’m grateful to the hundreds of families who we have helped over the years and, honored that they contact me frequently to volunteer or provide cake and other items because they too understand why I’m committed to my community and the beauty of giving a gift with no expectations other than a hug and thankful family. It is these “special people” who make everything we do worth it and we thank God for the opportunity to make their Dream Event come true.
Comments by Wendy Wortham