Why Hiring A TDCJ Approved Officiant Is The FIRST Step When Planning A Texas Prison Wedding…

Nearly everyday I review an email with questions about Prison Weddings. The main difference between a Prison Wedding and a Traditional Wedding are far more than simply the location. 

Texas Prison Weddings have Strict Guidelines regarding the process for your wedding.

Many of the people contacting me have no idea that without an Approved TDCJ Officiant, they will never have a Texas Prison Wedding! Prison Weddings have Rules and Structure.

Today, I’m going to go over why you are required to secure a TDCJ Officiant first and then have the Inmate get a notarized Absentee Affidavit in order to purchase your wedding license before having the inmate file an I60 Request For Marriage Ceremony. 

I’m a no nonsense type of person. I’ve also repeatedly instructed anyone contacting me who may be “shopping around” for an Approved Officiant to contact Huntsville PRIOR to paying a deposit to anyone.

My reasons for this are the number of individuals claiming to be Texas Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiants who aren’t. If you have paid a deposit to someone else and contact me to help you after realizing you just wasted your money, I’m going to advise you to recover your deposit prior to booking with me. 

For several months now, I’ve had both brides and grooms contacting me because “they can’t get a wedding date” with someone else.

Read this carefully– The Officiant doesn’t schedule your wedding, the Warden or Chaplain do. If anyone is telling you that they schedule the event, they are lying to you. No one aside from the Warden or Chaplain assign wedding dates and/or times for ceremonies in the Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Prison System.

I will not allow anyone to use my name without my consent to get permission to marry at a Texas Prison. Unless I have a contract with you- you are not my client.

Both Wardens and Chaplains have my contact information and call me to verify details regarding a Texas Prison Wedding. If I don’t know your name, you are obviously not my client!

If you have used my name “because you found it on the internet,” you are making a mistake. Your wedding will be canceled by the Unit for this deliberate misuse of my credentials.

The entire Prison Unit accommodates your wedding request. Do not be late and, do not be intoxicated when arriving at a Unit for your Prison Wedding.

Yesterday, I reviewed an email from a bride who was late to her Prison Wedding. Although she was acting oddly, I had no idea she was drunk and attributed her behavior to wearing heels too high or being nervous. I was wrong. She was later arrested for drunk driving.

I have Rules for Clients that include respectful behavior to TDCJ Staff and expect all Clients to conduct themselves in a respectful manner at all times in my company. 

Do not dress for a disco. We are walking into a Prison not a club. If your clothing is “too revealing” your wedding could very well be canceled. Cleavage must be covered. Skirts must be knee length. 

Please do not “get snappy” with TDCJ Personnel if there’s an issue regarding your attire for your Prison Wedding.

If the Warden approves a request for a guest, your guest must follow the same guidelines for clothing. If you have a guest riding with you to the Unit that isn’t Approved to accompany you to the wedding, they can wait in your vehicle outside the Prison or at an area near the Prison.

Bridal photo shoots occur after the wedding ceremony. We cannot bring Bouquets into the Unit. We cannot bring anything aside from ID’s and car keys inside a Unit. I cannot bring a camera and neither can you or your guest.

If you have been Approved to wear a wedding dress, please cover any possible cleavage with a cami or tank top. I cannot stress the importance of not showing cleavage enough. Please do us both a favor and “cover up.”

Your friends and family are welcome to be in photos I take of you but they are not welcome in the Unit unless the Warden has given permission.

Texas Prison Weddings is a Trademark owned by Wendy M Wortham. Using this mark is strictly prohibited without my written consent. 

In order to be considered a client of mine, you must pay a deposit. Please do not ask to “use my name and pay me later.” That’s not how a client Agreement works anywhere in the real world and it won’t work with me either. 

I don’t go to Walmart without any money and leave with bags promising to pay them later and neither can you. The only time I make an exception regarding payment is directly with the Client and, it often involves extenuating circumstances. 

Deposits must be paid PRIOR to listing me on your I60. Balances must be paid 48 hours PRIOR to the wedding. No Exceptions. I spent several hours driving to Units across Texas and refuse to work a Texas Prison Wedding WITHOUT being compensated to do so. 

If you still have questions regarding Texas Prison Weddings, contact me directly Wendy@texastwinsevents.com