Like anyone else, I have bills to pay, a website developer that enjoys being paid and a staff that expects compensation.
Recently, I’ve had a flood of folks wanting me to officiate their event who have yet to return my contract or their deposit.
If you are booking services through my sister site, The Pawning Planners- No Money? No Problem- The Pawning Planners Take Trades! An Appraisal Appointment is required prior to committing and scheduling your event. Clients bartering for services also have a contract and exchange of the item or items two weeks prior to their event.
My reasons for this are many but mainly because over 6 years I’ve been burned. Providing free photography and shouldering the expense of time and money by editing and paying for printing falls on my shoulders. You see while I have a photography team on hand, after the event it is I who pay for printing and postage to mail photos to the clients including a disc that can be edited and copied. I may be the only vendor who proves free photography and photos to clients who have no money but, free photography is reserved for Pawning Planners clients.
The reason is that if you can afford a venue, cake, catering, etc. Then you can also afford to pay for the photography package offered on this site along with wedding officiant fees.
I’ve had to run around at an event trying to get paid too many times by too many people for 6 years and you can bet that any other vendor (including venues) required payment and a deposit months prior to your event and subsequently you paid them which brings me to the question of why it is so hard for me and my staff to collect on an agreed amount?
This ongoing issue baffles me since I honor my commitments and show up early and prepared as your officiant or coordinator and sometimes both!
Texas Twins Events was started by me to assist the average consumer who could never afford a 10k wedding. My reason was based on my son’s wedding and the realization of what the vendors were charging including the wedding officiant. I live in Fort Worth, Texas where an “average” wedding officiant charges $275-600 for a wedding ceremony with an extra fee for rehearsal.
My fees are currently well under that amount at $125 to officiate $175 for a wedding and rehearsal and a cake and champagne, wedding and photography package at my home for $225 which you would think in this market and after 6 years would be a real “bargain!”
However, rich and upper middle class clients hire me all the time for the same fees that struggling families do and because of this, I’m often the lowest paid vendor at many events who has once in over 600 events been tipped.
That’s right at one $300k wedding at the T&P downtown that had a rehearsal at Rahr Brewery I was told that the chauffeurs and bartenders had left the groom with barely enough money to pay my fee of $125.00
So if it sounds like I’ve got a chip on my shoulder for going above and beyond for years and years- I do. Sending a contract and deposit back is standard business procedure for any wedding or event vendor. For some reason I cannot fathom, prospective clients want me to reserve their date but don’t want to return my contract or the deposit.
There are three such clients at this very moment one on the 8th of October and 8 on October 22nd that have yet to return their deposit which will run them into the “emergency” or “short notice” additional fee but seem to think that I can pay my bills on broken promises and will be quite surprised when I book a paying client on their event date.
I’m quoted as telling my twin sister in my SUV “nothing is free for me and nothing is free for them” because it isn’t.
Over the past several years I’ve incurred the expenses of trademarks, copyrights, websites and hosting, web management and license requirements along with advertising costs that amount to well over tens of thousands of dollars that came out of my checking account.
No one “donated” their services to me and no one sponsored me- I’m it baby- the buck stops here. Any expenses for Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures and The Pawning Planners are paid by myself and my husband.
Starting a business that directly targets struggling consumers wasn’t easy and it wasn’t free. Rebranding and expanding Texas Twins Treasures & Texas Twins Events into The Pawning Planners to help families with no money at all wasn’t a free transition for me but I am committed to changing the wedding and events industry “one family at a time” from Fort Worth, Texad so I effectively sucked it up and did whatever was necessary to create a window that had never existed for consumers.
You would think that working for far below other vendors with so many clients and so many needs would work “when the have’s cover the have not’s” but, it doesn’t always work that way when you’re told you will be paid after the event, after you’ve sent the photos, after you’ve signed the license. You often don’t get paid at all which is why the clause exists that your license won’t be filed until your fees are paid.
Everything I’ve learned has been from experience, elbow grease and trial or error and while I have always kept my word- I’ve had several clients who haven’t which is why I’m writing this blog today because I’m tired of keeping up my end of the bargain by paying for travel expenses, car repairs, gas, film development, and team member salaries when clients drag their feet or don’t even bother to pay me or my staff.
No Money- No Problem doesn’t mean that I or my staff work for free. It means you either trade or pay for services. We do not give you money through the “Pawning Process.” You give us equal value in items in exchange for services.
Clients with no money or trade must have an Appraisal Appointment to verify and validate their situation prior to being considered for a sponsored event.
I’m hoping by laying it all out that clients will either follow the rules or find someone else to help them…
Wendy M Wortham Texas Twins TV