My sister is unfiltered and funny as heck because she “calls em as she sees em!” I was just glancing over a blog she posted several months ago titled “Mansions, Moochers & Morons” and wound up spitting out my coffee. You see, the circumstances for that Dream Event were based on the mother of the groom being diagnosed with Stage 4 Liver Cancer and wanting to see her son married. The initial correspondence touched my heart. Upon arriving at the home however, the mother wasn’t present to witness the ceremony and yes, it bothered me.
Why she gets so upset about it when I’m taken advantage of by folks who can afford to pay us yet choose not to.
I’m the soft hearted sucker who cares about your story- Cindy could care less and wants to know what you bring to the table i.e.: putting some skin into the game. Her saucy blogs are as unfiltered as she is when speaking the truth she often bases her #Cindyisms upon. She currently has both her adult daughters home with 3 grandchildren so you can imagine the chaos at the DanielDivaDiggs.
I often say we have never been lucky because it’s true. I care about your story because we had no one to care about our own. No family to throw us baby showers, no friends or family to have a fancy wedding with either. We have battled through life working hard and often one paycheck away from poverty which drove us to work harder. You see we help the people no one else was going to help because we’ve been there ourselves and understand their situation. From birthday parties for someone who had never had one to estate Liquidations for someone who can’t afford to continue paying storage to officiating the funeral of a mother who wanted to see her child married (it’s happened 5 times this year- it happens a lot), to families who can’t baptize their children in a Catholic Church for various reasons, to families who didn’t have the money to pay their rent or mortgage (Pawning Party ie:Rent Party), my team of multigenerational family members and I granted their Dream Event because I had told the client that we would help them and, my family honors my wishes and occasionally work for free until we can sell the refurbished item. Visit My Treasure Chest At Texas Twins Treasures is the site my items taken in trade from families with no money are sold at. Leigh Ann Blais and Stephaney Mahaney are my nieces but were basically raised with my son while Cindy and I struggled to work several jobs at the same time due to being divorced single mothers. Robert and Stephanie Hafele handle the photography while Stephaney Mahaney is our bilingual translator and Leigh Ann our wedding singer. My grandnieces are twins too and often “work” at weddings for tips or flips of traded items as flower girls, ring bearers and ushers. You see “it’s a family affair” for Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners.
My sister does get pretty upset when folks “abuse” my system of helping anyone regardless of their income. Cindy’s blog is largely based on her observations at events for hundreds of families and on her home life as well Cindy Daniel’s Blog Site Texastwins2004 is full of hilarious #Cindyisms that we use on our Pawning Planners Apparel.
My family and I TRULY have enjoyed helping families these past 5 years and meeting the clients who become close friends upon realizing who we are and what we do.
It has only been on a handful of occasions that my team and I have been taken advantage of but, being burned by folks with money isn’t funny- we make sacrifices everyday to make my businesses work. I haven’t taken a vacation in years in order to use whatever disposable income I have to invest in Pawning Planners Apparel, Texas Twins Treasures, and website development.
My story is one of inspiration, joy and sadness for the families who could not afford funeral flowers much less, a funeral clergy. I began donating my arrangements to 5 area funeral homes after the tragic death of my son and his wife’s Maid Of Honor- Melissa. Quickly dropping making the wedding bouquets, I made three wreaths and two standing arrangements in silk. The funeral director came to me and asked if I could donate the silk arrangements to the funeral home because they would be timeless and bring beauty for families who had no money for arrangements. Not only did I honor his request, but I still volunteer to officiate and use left over flowers to create timeless treasures for families that are used over and over again.
When I tell you that I’m the person I’ve never met- I actually mean it! Helping families requires dedication, patience and understanding their story. Putting aside enough money to build my inventory of items loaned at events was a huge investment of my money and my time.
There was no “easy” button to make my idea work. When I realized families couldn’t afford the wedding flowers-I bought the materials and made them myself. No money for a cake platter? Serving set? Champagne glasses? I bought them too and brought these items to events in order to overcome whatever hurdle stood in their way.
My sister and I have gone through some fairly dilapidated barns, garages and homes with our twins, Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney.
Regardless of whether or not we found anything of value- we sponsor events when required and are happy to “gift” families a Dream Event by using the proceeds from Pawning Planners Apparel and Texas Twins Treasures. We don’t always “hit a lick” when at an Appraisal Appointment which is why I decided to sponsor families with nothing of value or, any money. Sponsored families are completely at my own expense.
Passion and Perseverance are important when you create a low cost wedding and event service (Texas Twins Events). Finding a way to help those who came to us with no money took creativity but never giving up has changed the lives of hundreds of people and taught not only our children but also our clients the value of compassion.
With two sets of twins and my Texas Twins Events Team- “Can’t” is not part of our vocabulary. We can and we will help ANYONE REGARDLESS OF THEIR INCOME because we are committed to changing the events industry and making ceremonies, event planning and photography affordable for everyone. Two Sets Of Twins- The Pawning Planners! Find us on YouTube and follow our unique journey on my sister sites- The Pawning Planners, Texas Twins Treasures, and Texas Twins TV with real stories about real people.
Last weekend at a baby shower we brought bags and bags of items to, a guest asked “who is our sponsor? How do you and your team do so much for so many?” I’m asked this question more often than you might think. The truth is I have no sponsors- I sold my large home with a pool and used my half of the proceeds to start Texas Twins Events, pay for advertising and website as well as buying tapestries and heavy silk fabrics for Texas Twins Treasures. Sponsored events come COMPLETELY out of my pocket. We have no sponsors for Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures or The Pawning Planners. You see, my “mission” didn’t come cheaply. Camera equipment and everything involved including film development, gasoline and even food when on the road is paid for by myself and my twin. When I say sacrifice- I really mean it.
We recently had someone contact me regarding a wedding in Denton who had only $50 for a wedding officiant and no money for photography but somehow had paid for a venue and reception ask for my photographers to stay 3 hours at the reception, my eyebrows (along with Cindy’s) were raised of course.
Due to the travel distance from WorthamWorld (55 minutes one way in good traffic conditions) and bringing the entire team with loaning my wedding flowers for the event- you can see why everyone NOT being compensated wouldn’t want to spend 4 hours on location.
When we sponsor an event, we do NOT print the film. Instead, we post the photos on my FB page. My reasons for this are simple: film development is expensive. If a client can afford a venue-they CAN afford to pay my photographers. We aren’t taking a trade so for obvious reasons, we can’t stay for the reception. Four hours of work without being compensated is a very different scenario when we are working as The Pawning Planners because clients don’t make ridiculous requests, they are overjoyed and overwhelmed that we are helping them. We bring cake and champagne and provide complimentary photography because WE KNOW they can’t afford these luxuries.
What WE DON’T do is give everything away to families WHO CAN AFFORD to pay us.
My initial plan was that the families who could pay would cover the families who could not. Obviously this never happened and was the sole reason The Pawning Planners and Texas Twins Treasures were created.
My son’s wedding officiant charged $600 with $300 for the rehearsal and the other $300 for the wedding ceremony. I charge $75 for a wedding ceremony and $175 for the rehearsal and wedding and offer numerous discounts- that’s right services and ceremonies booked through Texas Twins Events are priced far below our competitors. The reason is that my desire to create an affordable alternative was my sole purpose and intent when I created this business.
The “going rate” for one photographer in Texas is $500-$1500 AND THAT IS WITHOUT THE PHOTOS! We provide a disc of photos and one photographer for $175 an hour with two photographers at $275 an hour which is far below our competitors. Providing “free” photography for four hours “isn’t going to happen” aside from the wedding being booked through The Pawning Planners as a courtesy to clients. Free photography is solely provided for families with no money. If you can afford “all of the other extras-you can afford to pay for photography as well.”
Cindy “watched” me and the team get burned last year (on Mothers Day no less) by officiating a rehearsal, buying yards of burlap to cover the tables, the client calling & texting me daily, arriving 4 hours early to help set up with two photographers and at a very expensive venue only to be “stiffed” on holiday fees, and film development fees, wedding officiant fees for rehearsal and the wedding ceremony this will NEVER happen to me again.
Developing the film alone cost me over $200 (four hours of photos with two photographers). I had to pay my team myself AFTER the client refused to do so. Do you know why? Because they had already received services and “saw no need to pay AFTER the fact.” Months of promising to pay myself and my staff by the client had us “chasing a carrot on a stick” that we never caught. Keeping my promises to post the photos and print the film along with paying my staff? $725.00 and my entire Mothers Day spent on location with everyone on the team unable to be with their mothers.
My holiday fees are clearly outlined in this website because bookings on holidays take us away from our own families and volunteer effort so-there are fees associated with “special requests.”
Although the caterers and bartenders as well as the venue required their money up front and in full prior to the event, I didn’t and I got burned.
Because of that and a few other “opportunistic” clients, I no longer get sucked in without compensation or the facts up front!
If you can afford a caterer, bartender, venue and everything else- you can afford to pay myself and my team and, if you can’t we take trades but we don’t work for free simply because you want to save money on photography and your wedding officiant.
Families we sponsor are truly needy and without money and I know this to be a fact because I’ve met them at their home, I’ve reviewed their trade and I know their story. The most important element of meeting clients face to face is having the opportunity to verify the facts first.
Wendy M Wortham