Marriage Officiant Classes And Visits To The Mental Ward? Wendy’s World Swirls…

I’ve seen a lot of negativity on LinkedIn regarding posts about LBGT friendly businesses. While one business posts about being diverse on LinkedIn, many of the comments are a mix of either applauding or criticizing their post. 

Trying to play “catch up” on emails and messages yesterday, I had a rather long message from Stephen who had an idea to create a group of his entertainment friends in the Drag Business to Officiate Weddings. 

Stephen owns Stephen’s Sweet Sensations and we’ve met each other at several of my LBGT Weddings where he was handling the cakes and more.

Actually, the timing for a request to teach Drag Queens the ins and outs of Officiating a marriage “isn’t lost on me” with so many people divided on LBGT Marriage even all these years after Marriage became legal for same sex couples. 

After reading the comments regarding Gap supporting the LBGT Community and one person posting she would no longer shop there because of the post, the division of those supporting LBGT and those strongly opposed to the LBGT community continues to amaze me. 

Perhaps because I was “Gay Friendly” long before my competition by offering LBGT Friendly Event Services, Texas Twins Events has been featured in the Dallas Morning News, CW33, and various other outlets. 

Other vendors continue to ask how on earth I managed to get that type of exposure? The answer is that we didn’t. 

My family and I started a family friendly event business that helped every family regardless of how different they were or weren’t.I didn’t buy advertising, I earned it by being the person that I would like to meet and treating others as I would like to be treated. 

After all, no one is trying to “swing” someone who isn’t LBGT into becoming LBGT. I don’t understand the controversy and believe that as a business, welcoming all walks of people from all backgrounds is essential to growth.

I told my husband about this request to teach Drag Queens how to Officiate a wedding and not surprisingly he asked “aren’t you helping the competition?” 

My husband is a lifelong developer and custom home builder. Matthew would never promote his competition because they obviously don’t promote him. 

Many businesses would never promote their competitors but, this type of specialty business that Stephen was describing would be a target market interested in having a Drag Queen Officiate their wedding. 

Since I’ve never “dressed in drag,” and no one else on my team has either, there isn’t a real question of promoting my competition for me. 

Matthew knows all too well how many times a day a venue owner asks me to help them generate clients or someone asks me to fix their fence or sell their items for them. I’m asked to help people constantly and occasionally, there isn’t a “return on my efforts.” This bothers Matthew because like many of my other relatives, they are all shocked that I would jump in and offer advice or direction or even my time to solve “other people’s problems.” 

Generally, these requests for help “roll in” after five or on the weekends. My husband has spent hours watching me email ideas or talk through ideas on the phone with people who my husband thinks are “disrupting your life after hours.” 

My husband thought about my explanation regarding teaching a marriage class for a moment before answering me with “Okay, you’ve got a point but no one gave you your knowledge or your clients, you earned them the hard way and if people want you to show them how to do something and share your knowledge, you need to be compensated.” 

Matthew is a businessman and he cannot understand why “everyone asks me for everything without considering my schedule or compensating me.” 

I actually pick and choose who to help far more than he realizes. Event vendors wanting me to promote them or give them insight pay a consultation fee. 

Now and then if I come across an unusual request that interests me or sounds fun, I take on the challenge for a change of pace.

Bumping my schedule around with my dad at Wellbridge and my niece, Stephaney at Sundance for Psychiatric Treatment while trying to fit in my surgery July 18 while accommodating Stephens request to teach this class won’t be easy but, I’m looking forward to a break from my scheduled Events and daily visits to Psych Wards that often require Cindy and I to be visiting cheerleaders. 

What I mean by this is that everyday we visit dad at Wellbridge and listen to him complain about getting out. Our visits from 4PM-5PM seven days a week consist of trying to cheer dad up about his situation hence the term, cheerleaders. 

My niece, Stephaney committed herself two nights ago on Friday for treatment. 

Believe it or not, Cindy and I are thrilled that for the first time in her life, Stephaney sought treatment on her own. Maybe this time we can get her back on track for good. 

My niece has gone “off her meds” for years and although she thinks no one can tell when she isn’t on her Bipolar medication, it’s quickly apparent to my entire family and her coworkers when she is “off the rails” again.

With Stephaney at Sundance in Arlington and dad at Wellbridge in Fort Worth, visits to both of them are really a hassle. Squeezing in these visits requires Cindy and I to drop everything and go visit dad or Stephaney on a daily basis for dad and with Stephaney, three times a week at Sundance. 

It’s stressful and far from fun to be a visitor at a Psych Unit. What was Wellbridge thinking with visiting hours seven days a week anyway? At least Sundance limits their visitors to a few days a week versus seven at Wellbridge.

You are literally “thrown into” the world of wacky at a Psych Ward. Visitors are rare. In fact, Cindy and I are the only DAILY visitors at Wellbridge. Family members of other patients might visit two or three times a week but no one drops everything daily to visit a patient other than Cindy or I. If we didn’t visit daily, my dad would have nothing to look forward to.

Stephaney called Cindy from the Tenth Floor today to tell her she’s being moved to Sundance. If either of us ever lost our phones, I can only imagine what anyone going thru the contacts on our phones would think with names like “Tenth Floor Nuthouse” or “Psych Ward Seniors Wellbridge” or even “Psych Doctor Steph.” 

Cindy and I save every number from the hospitals because we never know who is going to calling about dad or Stephaney’s treatment. 

If it’s “phone time,” dad or Stephaney call from an unknown number Cindy saves as either “Nut House” or “Fun House.” Cindy hasn’t lost her sense of humor.

Sitting in the visitation room with other patients wandering around while trying to cheer up my dad or my niece is a lot of work! There isn’t anything joyous about being involuntarily committed. My dad is upset that shooting his roof to try and kill the raccoon family resulted in the last eight days of Psych Wards. Due to his insurance, it could be another seven to tens days. My brother is upset we can’t “save dad” from the Psych Ward but, Commitment is a Legal Process that no one can expedite.

Today, one of the patients at Wellbridge came into the visitation area and attempted to sit with my dad and I. 

My dad was offended that “squirrels nuts” guy decided to join us. It didn’t bother me although the guy was wearing at least four coats and behaving oddly talking to someone who wasn’t there.

My dad is always in the visitation area before anyone else waiting on Cindy or I or both of us to come visit. Dad and all of the other patients know that no one without a visitor is allowed in the visitation area during visiting hours from 4PM-5PM everyday. 

Many patients wander into the visitation area between 4PM and 5PM while “pretending to be expecting a visitor.”

It’s actually very sad that so many of those patients have nothing to look forward to much less a visit from a friend or loved one.

Visits are the only thing dad has to look forward to right now and, having another patient interrupt his visit is unwelcome for him although I effectively “roll with it.” Everyone acts crazy and unpredictable.  

My dad is literally the cigarette king of the Psych Ward. Why? Cindy and I bring him cigarettes and if he likes you, he will share. Smoking at Wellbridge is the highlight of the day aside from visiting hour. 

I’m amazed that Psych Wards allow or encourage smoking but heck I guess if you’re committed and don’t have anything to look forward to, getting outside for a smoke is a good reason to start. 

Dad has nicknames for all of the other patients. “Norm the not normal was digging through the trash for cigarettes again. Cool Cat is too calm. He never asks about getting out. I think he likes it here. Alma has been smoking too many cigarettes. I gave her two packs and she wants another pack can you guys pick up more cigarettes. If you give other patients smokes, you go from a zero to a hero around here.”

Frankly, I’m looking forward to a break from all of this Psych Ward visit stuff to teach a class to a group of fun loving entertainers and take my mind off my family problems as is Cindy. Having two relatives in a Psych Ward/Treatment Center at the same time is shocking and stressful.

Stephaney hasn’t given us the patient code at Sundance yet so, we can’t bring clothes or toiletries or visit or even call unless she calls us. 

I’m guessing Stephaney will call tonight during the scheduled phone time from 6:30PM-7:30PM. We need her patient code. 

Phone calls and visits are strictly scheduled and Sundance unlike Wellbridge doesn’t have daily visits offered which is a welcome break for Cindy and I. 

Running from Wellbridge to Sundance everyday would be tough for us not only driving but leaving one Nut House for another is emotionally draining as Hell. 

Leaving Wellbridge today, my client for Linda Woodman State Jail had left a voice message. Wondering what could be going on, I listened to the problem. It’s a big one. 

Our assigned wedding date for July 26, 2018 had been canceled. This was a problem because the inmate wasn’t listed as CLM or Common Law Married Prior to Incarceration. The reason I know this is that a Warden would NEVER Approve a Wedding Ceremony for anyone listed as CLM. 

Apparently, the bride had listed herself as CLM with another Prisoner at a different Unit? This was a new issue that I haven’t encountered yet. 

The wedding was canceled because a Prisoner at another Unit contacted the Warden to claim that the fiancée in Linda Woodman was Common Law Married to him and effectively, canceled the wedding!

I’m well aware of the CLM issue because I’ve had to deal with it before for other clients and advised my Groom to contact the Courts In Huntsville regarding this matter. 

A few months ago, my Stiles Unit Bride couldn’t get an Approval for her wedding because the inmate was listed as CLM to someone else.

Unraveling this CLM issue is actually a regular occurrence. An inmate cannot become CLM once incarcerated. The reason for this is that the inmate cannot be living with someone when they are living in prison. 

I recently wrote a blog regarding Marriage Law and what you need to know including an Affidavit Of Informal Marriage. Here’s the link– Wendy Wortham Explains Marriage Law In Texas Including Informal Marriage.

In fact, in order to File An Affidavit of Informal Marriage In Texas, Both Parties MUST BE PRESENT and not in a Prison.

The CLM status is for Texas Department of Criminal Justice inmate records. This status is not recognized outside Prison unless the couple go to the courthouse and file an Informal Marriage Affidavit. This process effectively “skips” a Marriage License and traditional process of Marriage.

I was actually wondering how on earth a Prisoner in another Unit had any idea that the Bride was scheduled for a wedding on July 26? Were they corresponding? This is the same Client who is significantly older than the fiancé that I tried to talk out of this wedding.

The Bride and her past continue to get wilder and wilder. I’m concerned about this nearly seventy year old groom and his future with someone who continues to surprise and disappoint him.

Unraveling this claim of another inmate being Common Law Married to my Linda Woodman State Jail Bride will take time and effort to undo on the part of the groom on the outside and the Bride at a Linda Woodman.

A visit to the Courthouse to verify that an Informal Affidavit of Marriage hasn’t been filed is also a good place to start.

CLM Statuses at TDCJ Prisons MUST be done prior to the Prisoner entering Incarceration. I’ve had continued emails regarding “changing the status.” You cannot change the status once the Prisoner is moved to a Unit. 

If the Prisoner has listed someone as a Common Law Wife on documents at Texas Department Of Criminal Justice, the Prisoner will need to change the status to Single prior to requesting an I60 Request For Marriage. 

In the Linda Woodman State Jail scenario, obviously the Prisoner who screwed up the scheduled wedding is unwilling to change his status and free the Linda Woodman Bride. Because of this, the Bride must explain herself and the circumstances surrounding the cancelation to TDCJ personnel. 

My guess is that she knows far more than she is letting on. I really feel sorry for the poor man in North Carolina trying to marry who continues to get blindsided with one problem after the next.

Prison Weddings are a process. First the inmate must be listed as Single. Second the inmate must obtain a notarized Absentee Affidavit. Third the inmate must file an I60 Request For Marriage. Fourth the Warden must Approve and schedule the Wedding Date and Time. 

If the Prisoner doesn’t have a TDCJ ID, they must wait to obtain one. If the Prisoner is listed as CLM, they must change the status. 

The Prisoner can only change from CLM to Single as changing from Single to CLM once incarcerated isn’t an option available to them.

Last week, a producer for WETV Love After Lockup emailed me regarding my Clients from Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham. 

My sister was with me in Tennessee Colony leaving a Prison Wedding at Beto Unit when the Loce After Lockup email rolled in.

Cindy reads my email and answers my phone when I’m driving. Cindy asked “why would we help them? What’s in it for us?” 

My sister had a valid point. But, I saw no conflict because I knew offhand who might be interested and how to contact them without disclosing their information to the network. This way, if my clients chose to apply to the casting, it was their decision. I don’t give out my clients contact information to anyone in order to protect their privacy.

Production companies contact me frequently because let’s face it, there isn’t another business more versatile and surprising than mine. Not that I was trying to be anything other than helpful to clients from any background. 

My goal was to give anyone a beautiful event and whether that event is in a Prison or a posh venue, my family and I have surpassed any and all boundaries on a diverse client base. 

Cindy like my husband, is used to people asking for something but offering nothing in return. It’s a regular occurrence.

I happily talked to the producer for over a half hour at my convenience and suggested a few of my TDCJ Couples because the producer wasn’t trying to get my clients. 

The producers needed new couples for a show that follows relationships split between the outside world and Prison. 

Although I don’t watch TV often, I’m familiar with the show from Twitter and Instagram and friends with last seasons star Mary D. 

Sometimes, helping someone else without expecting anything in return can and does help your business. 

The truth is that by supporting my LBGT Friends, they’ve supported me and my businesses. 

No one gives me more referrals than my previous LBGT Clients and friends in the Community. 

Texas Prison Weddings With Wendy Wortham are the second biggest referral outlet.Half of all of my Clients are LBGT. These families may be different than yours or mine but, they are families.

Many of my Clients were either flat out turned away by other vendors or charged exorbitant fees “because they were different.” 

By the time they meet my family and I they are thankful and honored to be treated like anyone else with the respect and courtesy they deserve.

My Texas Twins Events Team joins the Fort Worth Pride Parade every year. We love seeing our former Clients and enjoy the parade as a day of family fun in Fort Worth. 

My entire family attend in our parade entry every year. Several years ago, my aunt and father had an issue regarding taking our grandnieces to the parade but, this celebration is something the twins and baby Maddie look forward to every year. 

Many of my family members outside my Texas Twins Events Team don’t support Prison Marriage or LBGT Marriage but, that’s not my luggage and not my trip. Opinions of others don’t define or dictate my business or my friends.It’s not uncommon for a few folks to assume that my twin sister and I are LBGT. Why? We are together all of the time and occasionally, hold hands as my sister has 12 lbs of steel fusing her spine that occasionally causes her discomfort when walking long distances. 

If my twin sister and I are holding hands going through an airport or other long day of walking, it’s not unusual for Cindy to hold my hand for stability. Not because we are an LBGT couple but, because we are twins and best friends. 

The glares from others who don’t approve of seeing two women holding hands don’t bother us. Many people assume they know something without having any clue as to what is actually going on. 

I love my twin sister and if she needs me to help her navigate with a spine fused with steel rods and hardware, I’m going to help her regardless of whether people assume we are a couple or not.Quite frankly, it’s not for someone trolling my sites that was previously unaware that half of all my business bookings being LBGT to start an argument about their beliefs with me. 

These people are the Outlaws aka Inlaws of Clients who while trolling around Texas Twins Events, noticed a year round LBGT Discount. “You marry gay people? I don’t believe in gay marriage. I thought you were a Christian. Prison Marriage? Omg are they all LBGT too? Why are you so controversial?” 

I’ve heard it all and, I don’t care about narrow minded imbeciles trying to accuse me of not being a Christian. I am a Christian and was raised in the church. What I’m not is discriminatory or narrow minded. 

I do perform LBGT Prison Marriages but, not all of my TDCJ Weddings are LBGT. Like Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners, the “mix” of TDCJ Weddings is approximately 50/50. 

In fact I offer year round discounts to Fire, Military, Police, First Responders and LBGT Couples. 

Shocking isn’t it? No other event vendor offers an LBGT Discount but, we do things differently at Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. Our LBGT Clients are the friendliest folks you could ever meet. 

There aren’t any Demanding Divas or Dipshits wanting everything but not wanting to pay for it either. The problem Clients are often the “traditional clients.” 

If I’m dealing with a Bridezilla or Guestzilla, I can promise you it’s not an LBGT Couple.

Giving back to a community that welcomes us with open arms, I read with interest a FB Message regarding teaching a group of Drag Queens about Officiating weddings from Stephen. 

Preparing for a visit to my dad at Wellbridge, I needed something to look forward to and found this proposition of interest. 

Drag Queens are not only entertainers, they are also fundraising machines that support numerous non profit entities.At least 2k of my FB Friends are LBGT or Drag Queens. They are people just like you and me who go to work and at night, go to clubs to raise money performing. 

Not knowing how to Officiate a wedding isn’t unusual. I get calls from people new to the Officiant business calling or emailing frequently to ask questions. In fact, it happens so often that I charge a consultation fee to go over the particulars. 

From knowing how to conduct a Rehearsal to Officiating a Wedding Ceremony, there is far more responsibility than simply showing up.

Where to sign, where to file the License and what to say or do are all important aspects of Officiating a wedding.

From a Sand Ceremony to Unit Candle to a Handle Blessing, Rose Giving or even Interfaith Ceremony, Wedding Ceremonies are all different.

The wishes of the couple dictate how the ceremony will flow while the Legal Aspects of the Marriage are left up to the Officiant. 

I enjoy a variety of things and luckily, with Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, Texas Prison Weddings with Wendy Wortham and The Pawning Planners, I never have time to be bored.

My grandniece, Makenna spent the weekend with me at WorthamWorld and we wound up at Harris Emergency Room last night. Ironically, Makenna’s sharp pain wasn’t due to appendicitis or a kidney stone. My thirteen year old grandniece who shares my middle name also shares a cyst on her ovary. The surgery I’m having next week is due to Ovarian Remnant Syndrome and a cyst of the ovary that literally “came back” after a full hysterectomy.

We are now scheduling Makenna for surgery while my dad and her mom are in the Psych Ward while juggling my surgery and existing clients which wasn’t planned but, I believe that God doesn’t give you more than you can handle and I’m hoping my grandniece doesn’t struggle with the lifetime of endemetriosis and subsequent surgeries that I’ve had. 

My twin sister was spared the nine surgeries for complications that I’ve endured over the years with next weeks surgery making number ten. 

Hopefully, Makenna’s twin sister, Maryssa is spared from this as well and Makenna can move forward without further complications. 

While waiting in the ER with Makenna, I told her about a class to teach our friends from the parade how to perform a wedding.

Makenna and Maryssa were flower girls, ring bearers and ushers at hundreds of my weddings and now are Princess Characters at birthday parties. 

Makenna loved the idea of teaching and asked if she could go with me to the class? As I watched the young lady who had been such an adorable flower girl with her sister years ago struggling with the pain I knew all too well, I said “you bet Makenna. You can help me pass out the essays for unexpected problems on location.” 

Makenna is looking forward to getting her cyst removed and since she and her sister are out of school for the summer, joining me on road trips to Pawning Planners Appraisal Appointments and Client Meetings for Texas Twins Events along with the odd scheduled delivery for Texas Twins Treasures. Makenna and Maryssa love meeting new friends of the Texas Twins.

I’m looking forward to a class with a group of folks who are sure to be fun living and attentive about learning something new from someone who has officiated over 1,300 Ceremonies from a Karate Studio to a Prison, Park, Airplane and everywhere in between…