I’m always ready to load up for another adventure. This Mother’s Day will be spent at Ridglea Country Club with my family before bouncing off to two weddings and a Baptism.
Last night, Cindy and I drove to The San Luis Resort. I love this majestic hotel and staying here is similar to our stays at The Beverly Hills or Ritz Carlton Resorts with all of the amenities you could ask for. After a few hours in the spa, we headed off to meet our clients and go over last minute details with other vendors for a wedding ceremony tonight.
Traveling with my sister is always fun and over the years we’ve really enjoyed having the time together that our previous careers had taken away.
For years now, my husband has gone all out on gifts for Mother’s Day for me although when we first married he had told me “you aren’t my mother and I don’t understand why I’d be giving you a gift.” I laughed. His honesty and confusion regarding Mother’s Day are equal to my own regarding Valentine’s Day to be honest with you. To be fair, I buy my husband nice gifts every Father’s Day although we never had children together.
Matthew always sends Cindy photos from the jeweler (although she’s with me) and asks “do you think Wendy would like this?” Cindy shows me the photos and gets a “yay or nay” without disclosing she’s showing me the latest surprise ideas from my husband while he’s off gift shopping.
My husband puts “far too much into” shopping for me. But, I’m not interested in more jewelry or yet another SUV and mine suits my purposes just fine. Due to the amount of driving I do, my husband would buy me a new SUV every six months if I let him. I don’t like switching vehicles. Once a year is about my limit. I told Cindy “tell him I’d like the watch.”
The rain had dried out by mid morning as Cindy and I returned to the hotel for facials and I opted for a stone massage. Cindy hates massages and “anyone touching me” while I on the other hand, love them. We are Compensating Personality Twins.
My niece, Leigh Ann (below left) sent me a few photos from the “Great Graduation Event” at the museums last weekend to review.
I can’t believe Leigh Ann is moving to California in July but, Cindy and I will bounce back and forth for our destination bookings and prison weddings to see her and my youngest grandniece, Madyson as often as possible. I had asked about the back of one of the dresses photo because I didn’t know why Leigh Ann had taken a photo of them walking? Leigh Ann responded “Aunt Wendy I always try to get a photo from the back and the front. I didn’t expect her to reach back and adjust her dress as I was taking the photo though Bahaha.”Prom and graduation photo bookings year after year have gotten busier and busier for my Texas Twins Events Team. So much so in fact that Cindy and I have been handling our own photography at TDCJ Weddings for over a year now and even on site at traditional bookings. How on earth Leigh Ann took photos at three weddings last Saturday and bounced right over to prom and graduation photos with the fluid stamina of a runner is due entirely to her weight loss surgery. Over the past year, Leigh Ann has lost over 100 lbs.
I took a few photos of Leigh Ann on location at Brokk and Rubens wedding last weekend although my photos are always “critiqued” by my niece, my son and my daughter in law who regularly handle photography, it should be noted that I did a pretty good job of “capturing the moment” if I do say so myself.It’s hard to believe that only a year ago, one wedding literally “wiped Leigh Ann out.” The decision to undergo surgery and lifestyle changes wasn’t easy for my niece but, due to Diabetes and heart disease running in our family, it was a necessary choice.
Eating out with my niece these days involves “no drink until twenty minutes after my meal. I will take it to go Aunt Wendy.” Apparently, you can’t eat and drink at the same time after weight loss surgery which would bother me but doesn’t bother Leigh Ann.
Cindy and I are working our Galveston event in Texas as a twin team and apparently the florist has included a flower my client doesn’t like in nearly every arrangement. Heavy sigh. As a planner, if something is wrong on location regarding another vendors mistake, I’m the one who hears about it.
As Cindy and I run around pulling these orange flowers from each centerpiece, Cindy keeps me laughing with her “spot on” observation of something that should have been discussed with the florist although the issue obviously had not been brought up with the vendor.
“If the client hated orange I think she should have mentioned it don’t you?” Yes, but I would have asked about the orange months ago and quite frankly, I think it brought a nice pop of vivid color to the centerpieces but, the client is always right. The use of the color purple has been at nearly every wedding this season. Last weekend, our clients also used purple but with gold accents. I’ve been a floral designer hobbiest for years and years and I would have added a pop of color to last Saturday’s wedding as well as today’s wedding because purple can be a heavy color left on its own with accents of greenery.
Adding a touch of white or even baby’s breath would have made the designs lighter and airier in my opinion.
Last weekend, Brokk and Ruben did add a touch of white which perfectly added a crisp contrast to the purple. I love using baby’s breath because it’s inexpensive and adds a pop of color. At destination weddings in California, baby’s breath is a must to keep the cost of fresh flowers down. Since I’m always asked, the cost of fresh cut flowers are significantly higher than silk.
There’s nothing wrong with using silk for centerpieces and fresh for the bridal flowers.
In fact, silk has come such a long way that I often suggest going all silk as opposed to fresh flowers but, on occasion, clients are so against silk, they are willing to pay the difference in order to have fresh flowers.
My twin sister, is a self professed “hillbilly.” Borrowing an ice truck was right up her alley. Stored inside? Food and fresh flowers along with drinks and meat for a wedding reception.
When the borrowed trucks door wouldn’t close, a ladder was stretched across the back to prevent the load from falling out.
When it comes to “hillbilly how to” ideas, Cindy and her husband, Steve have a million of them.
At most of our weddings, they have never started on time. I always expect ceremonies to start late while Cindy on the other hand can be found giving me “the stink eye” about a ceremony not starting on time as I patiently stand and wait.
I’m accustomed to waiting. I’m always early and I’m usually waiting on clients. After years in this business I’ve learned patience.
Cindy lacks my patience but, if you want a hilarious wedding Officiant, you hire Cindy not Wendy. I’m the serious one. Our personalities are completely different. I have a Plan A, Plan B and even Plan C.
Cindy flies by the seat of her pants but when something unexpected happens such as a wedding dress hem coming undone or the rental trucks being “out for rent,” don’t put it past Cindy to “borrow a truck” or find an inexpensive alternative to solve the problem.
While I don’t mind spending more money for convenience, Cindy does. Cindy is so cheap about gasoline that our arguments never end about Cindy being in the B Vehicle and “needing gas” while passing stations because “she’s looking for the best deal.” I never look for the best deal because I don’t want to run out of gas!
When we are in a rental, I will stop anywhere to get gas and although I’m paying for the gas, listen to Cindy complain about the cost of the gas. It’s an escapade in futility. Automobiles don’t run on air.
Cindy’s SUV is almost always on 1/4 tank. My suvs are always on 3/4 of a tank or full. I hate being under 1/2 a tank of gas. In fact, it’s very rare for me to be at 1/2 a tank as I’m OCD about gas.
Driving to Galveston, Cindy and I continued to go back and forth about gas. I have no idea why because I’m paying for it but, when we are in the same vehicle, gas war arguments always seem to pop up.
I should note that Cindy and her cheap gas choices often backfire when her Outlander check engine light comes on due to cheap gas. The gas treatment required “adds up” and effectively, if Cindy would buy a better grade of fuel, she wouldn’t need the gas treatment.
After thirty plus years of trying to simplify the gas situation though, the beat goes on for the traveling Texas Twins.
Sauntering over to the bar in Galveston, I skip my usual Bloody Mary and order a Drambui and coffee to prepare myself for a long night on location. I need the caffeine and I wasn’t prepared to be running through all of the arrangements with Cindy removing orange flowers. This SHOULD have been the florists job but as usual, they dropped off and delivered before “leaving the scene with Wendy and Cindy left holding the bag.”
A few of my dedicated readers may recall the cake vendor making a statement on location last summer to me in Fort Worth and subsequently, offending me.
Apparently, this vendor assumes the ONLY clients we have book through The Pawning Planners because they have no money. The REALITY of this narrow minded assumption is that a very small portion of my client base barters. In fact, less than 8% of all client bookings are battered Events. Also, when a client is bartering, I cover the expenses myself and then sell flipped or traded items at Texas Twins Treasures to recover expenses.
I laugh all the time about idiocy. Vendors assuming “we only help poor people” need to do more research.
Also, for vendors wanting to tag along to my connections by tagging me or commenting on my posts to promote their business, what you are effectively trying to do is piggy back. What you should be doing is promoting others so they will promote you. Social media is tit for tat not climb on board and make others posts about yourself. Backlinks and tagging are spam.
A few vendors attempt to spam me on a regular basis. I delete tags and if back links.
A few days ago, yet another post for a vendor tagged 73 people. I was one of them. The post was to generate revenue by having consumers pay all year long for cakes. On a monthly basis, the consumer would make a monthly payment to the vendor. While I do have an attorney I pay monthly, I would never have a baker I pay monthly. I didn’t believe anyone else would either. This “idea” wasn’t going to work and it definetly wasn’t going to work for any of my clients. I quickly untagged myself since many of my clients are connected to me on social media.
Last year, this same vendor and I bumped into each other on location in Fort Worth. We had both been hired for the same LBGT event. I had casually mentioned to him that a few of my clients might need a baker and asked to get a few of his cards. The pompous answer he gave me was shocking. “Your clients cannot afford my cakes.”
Although I found this comment to be offensive, uneducated and arrogant. I also said nothing. Ignorance speaks without forethought.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.” Plato
It wouldn’t be until a few hours later while still on location at the same LBGT event that I would realize the client who apparently COULD afford the cake vendor “hadn’t brought any money to pay me.” Hmm, see the irony? Life is full of plot twists ya all. Reality is always stranger than fiction and I never miss anything.
Because the client didn’t pay me, I suggested bartering his services in exchange for my own. The clients were both hairdressers. I’m not a volunteer. If you don’t plan to pay me, you will find a way to compensate me. Or, I will find it for you.
I have stopped working on broken promises since last year. Pay me prior to the event and pay a deposit or you aren’t my client. Contracts for all of my clients are sent out PRIOR to anyone being put on my calendar. If you are bartering, you use a Pawning Planners Contract. If you are booking through Texas Twins Events or TDCJ Officiant, you use a Texas Twins Events Contract but, in either case, you SIGN A CONTRACT. I will not commit myself to anyone without a contract.
I also have news flash to the pompous “other vendors” and/or production companies who assume our clients are all poor. They aren’t.
One cake vendor had attempted to offer me a “bartered wedding cake” in exchange for a $3800 antique stove a few years ago. A cake forca stove? Not just any stove either. Did he assume that I didn’t know the value of a bartered item? Again, I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants and subsequently also sold the stove for $3750. I’ve been in sales most of my life and can assure you that I don’t make lopsided deals that leave me holding a bag. I’m successful because I’m smart. Someone is laughing all the way to the bank. That someone is me. I’m an experienced appraiser. If I’m selling something, you can bet your ass that I know the market value.
Yet another vendor recently asked me “would you provide photographers at no cost to me because I’m trying to generate new clients by running a marketing ad and I can’t afford to book a regular photographer. I think your photographers are free aren’t they?” Another what the? I advised this lunatic that while my photographers are affordable but they most certainly are NOT volunteers. Also, my photographers were all booked out as 1. It’s wedding season and 2. Affordable photographers are in HIGH DEMAND.
Volunteer to promote another vendor? Not in this lifetime buddy. Don’t ask me for an apple and expect me to bake you a pie.
The audacity of other vendors continues to floor me with their rampant stupidity. Unless I’m bound to you by blood or business, I could care less about what you “other vendors” want from my staff unless you are intelligent enough to offer compensation to my team.
I can only imagine how this vendor would have reacted if I called HIM to ask for FREE SERVICES? The difference between me and moochers is that appreciation is the difference between arrogance and a sense of entitlement. I’ve never asked anyone for anything without offering compensation in return but, I have the common sense to conduct my affairs as a professional.
Unlike my competition, I was initially being friendly by asking for a business card from the cake vendor who decided to get snooty about “my clients.” You know, the clients he doesn’t have.
I’m back at AT&T Stadium on location next weekend and looking forward to being back at one of our favorite venues.
One venue owner continues to tag me in order to direct my clients to her venue. I continue to remove the tags. Why? Because this venue owner doubled her prices two years ago and has never referred my staff to her clients. You don’t climb the ladder of success on someone else’s back. Not my back anyway. Doubling your prices is one way to lose your business. We have never had a price increase. We also continue to grow and grow based solely on client referrals. Take a page out of my playbook and make your services affordable and the clients happy and you won’t need to run around trying to promote yourself at everyone else’s expense.
I’m traveling to San Saba Unit Tuesday and Ferguson Unit Wednesday this week. Since production companies are consistently looking for a good plot line, the San Saba client has one. It’s a really interesting journey and one that Joel wants to share. I will be updating my blog at TDCJ Officiant with his unique story next week.
Cindy and I will be doing our phone interview with Karen for her Podcast on Tuesday while commuting to San Saba Unit and our interview on Thursday.
Trying to squeeze in all of our interview requests isn’t easy but, doing the interview with Karen while we are driving to San Saba prepare for filming on Thursday is far more convenient for myself and my sister.
My Roach Unit client emailed me today upset that the inmate will be behind the glass. This is something I cannot change. If you missed my previous blog regarding the glass, here’s the link– TDCJ Officiant Wendy Wortham Explains Being On The Other Side Of The Glass.
If you have not signed a contract with me and paid a deposit, consistent emails and phone calls are disruptive to my schedule. I’m juggling numerous BOOKED CLIENTS IN SEASON and don’t have time to address questions from people who have FAILED TO BOOK but have a million questions. Consideration is the key component to becoming a client. Please send your contract and deposit prior to contacting me over and over again to solve your problems. I work for my clients and if you aren’t a client, don’t expect me to drop everything and work for you. I won’t. I get paid to talk to people and give them insight as a consultant.
For vendors like the baker and venue owner who continue to wonder “why does your business continue to grow without marketing?” The answer is easy. I treat each client like the unique individuals they are. No one is a number to myself or my staff.
Rather than trying to “stick it to someone and make as much money as we can,” we keep our costs affordable. I don’t have to work and haven’t in years. I’m honest, reliable and dedicated to changing the wedding and events industry one client at a time from Fort Worth, Texas.” We do things differently.
Cindy and I are the people we have always wanted to meet. You can’t be us because you haven’t lived our lives. You can’t be like us because you only care about money. Your businesses are struggling because pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered. Driving your prices up is literally driving you out of business. But, “common sense is like breath spray. The people who need it the most refuse to use it.”
I am the person I’ve never met. I’m also every Clients mother. Cindy is too. We want to wish all of our twins, connections, clients and followers a wonderful and blessed Mother’s Day weekend and hope yours is filled with laughter, joy and memories…
Comments by Wendy Wortham