DFW to Green Bay To Jordan To McConnell To Every Highway & Better Days…
Over the past week and for years now, Cindy and I have juggled our families and our clients. We are driven, loyal and determined.
Very few of our clients were ever even aware that we had “family issues” or ANY degree of stress on location. Do you know WHY? Because THEIR event warranted our joy rather than our sorrow. We prioritized our clients events and did so with intention and forethought.
With this being said, my tolerance for stupidity, thoughtless observations or consistent questions from friends or family members regarding my niece aren’t helpful. Instead these questions are hurtful. Steph is now in Springfield, Illinois. I pulled over in Luling on my way to Beeville to fly her from San Diego to Springfield yesterday morning. She safely arrived late last night.
Regarding inquiries through my sites or on social media asking me to “teach you how to create a successful business like mine.” THIS is SUCH an idiotic question that HAS been asked of me over and over again from uninformed AND entitled individuals THAT has continued to surprise and shock me for years now that I’m going to PUBLICLY address this rampantly idiotic years long string of inquiries PUBLICLY…
NO ONE ASKING this question has any idea of what it’s taken to become successful. Do you know anyone that would create a barter option? NO. Do you know anyone that would provide free photography AND double prints to THEIR clients? NO. Do you know anyone that would GIVE wedding rings to clients who don’t have or cannot afford one? NO. You can’t be Cindy and I. There isn’t ANYONE and I mean ANYONE that is AS committed to making dream events a reality as WE ARE. PERIOD.
Anyone assuming THAT someone successful achieved THAT success overnight without the education, experience, patience, perseverance, drive, ambition, financial investment or THE time it takes to make ANY business thrive and much less succeed, is SO naive that EVEN I am continually shocked at the number of times I’ve been asked this by STRANGERS expecting me to make THEM and/or THEIR needs MY priority.
Listen- my clients AND my family as well as my friends ARE my priorities. If you don’t fit either category, you aren’t worthy of my time.
I’m consistently contacted by media. Be aware that prior to contacting you back if I choose to do so, I’m going to go to the expense of my time by researching YOUR work. Why? Because my clients are my priority. If you are seeking SOLELY to use them and/or to sensationalize their situation OR personal lives, bug off. I protect them, their identities and the names of inmates intentionally and knowingly.
My twin sister, Cindy has a SPECIFIC quote regarding media inquiries that bombard us daily, “It WOULD be a LOT easier to SPOT a GOLD DIGGER if they CARRIED their OWN shovel.”
Cindy has a million authentic AND original quotes. Most are based entirely on our life experience. A few though ARE SPECIFICALLY regarding production companies, networks AND journalists. “A MOOCHER and a PARASITE have A lot in COMMON, because NEITHER can SURVIVE on their OWN.”
Here’s another good one.. “Nobody WORKS for FREE, even CLOWNS get PAID, to PERFORM in a CIRCUS!”
Like I said my patience is at an all time low with stupid questions and/or people who don’t want to put in ANY effort. The same holds true for anyone contacting them to educate them at my time and my expense. You need to think ABOUT what you are doing or saying to a stranger before you message, email or contact someone solely REGARDING gaining their knowledge and/or experience to benefit yourself. “YOU cannot climb the ladder OF success ON someone ELSES back!” Especially mine. I’m old, I’m wise and I’m sick of Moochers.
To make a business successful, you need a website, you need an accountant, you need a client base, you need disposable income, you need to be educated and informed, you need to know what you are doing and how to perform the task you are hired to do. You need to to be reliable, responsible, loyal, dedicated and perseverant.
I’ve never advertised and never needed to. All of our companies are internationally known solely by word of mouth. Regarding Prison Weddings- you will need to know policy and procedure. You will ALSO need to be cleared and approved to enter detention facilities. You will need a fleet of reliable vehicles. YOU HAVE to be able to get there wherever “there” might be. You will ALSO need to know the answers to any AND all of your clients questions and concerns as well as the marriage laws within any state you service. I DO.
Please STOP contacting me about how to create a business like ours. It’s taken years of studying to learn marriage laws as well as policy and procedure. It’s taken tens of thousands of dollars to create my businesses. I add to our inventory of loaned bouquets, tiaras, fascinators and more year round. I pay the expense to edit and send double prints of all bridal or groom photos to our clients. If a client doesn’t have a wedding ring, we provide one to them. Free photos and wedding rings to our clients marrying an inmate? YES. Do you know why? Because clients marrying an inmate are single income households and WE want them to have the best possible experience on their wedding day that they can.
Clients- please be advised that Cindy and I will be unavailable June 25, 26, 27, 28th as we are already committed to other events on the 25th, 26th & 27th and we will both be filming on the 28th with BizTV…
Confirmed: All In with Bryan Weatherford – BizTV Texas with Centerpost Media on Monday, June 28, 2021.
I’ve driven over 60 hours this week while trying to get my niece some help. I’m sick and tired of people who don’t care what Cindy and I or the twins have been through emotionally asking us questions. Stop it. You don’t care. If you did care where were you all of these years?
I’m exhausted and I have a weekend of commitments. Stop asking me “how’s Steph” when you don’t care anyway and love pouring salt on our wounds. Cindy and I have been raising Steph’s twin daughters for nearly 17 years while trying to hide our fear, frustration, anger and consistent disappointment regarding her choices in front of OUR other family members and OUR clients.
Don’t contact me thinking or idiotically assuming that our success came overnight. It didn’t. It took years and sacrifice both financial and timewise to learn policy and procedure as well as marriage laws. I don’t train strangers. I don’t have time to address dumb questions. My twin sister, my son, his wife and my other niece are the only individuals I have trained and or plan to train and EVEN they in many unique situations or scenarios have no idea how to address certain client questions or concerns.
In many cases it’s only I who have the knowledge, wisdom and insight to do so. If I don’t have the answer, I will research and find it. “I don’t know” isn’t in my vocabulary. When I encounter a situation I haven’t before, I FIND the answer AND effectively, the solution.
Wishing everyone whether you are a father, stepfather, Godfather or role model taking on the responsibilities of stepping in for an absent father or a mother doing it all and doing it all alone out there, I’m sending hugs and wishes for a wonderful weekend. C.A. I’m mailing your package priority today. This weeks clients, your edited photos will be mailed priority from somewhere in Texas, Louisianna or Oklahoma. All marriage licenses were filed via priority mail from Waco last night unless you chose to file them in person.
The number of times I’ve been contacted by “someone noticing that I spend a lot of time in prisons” isn’t uncommon.
The number of times I have turned down traditional inquiries WOULD surprise you. I don’t have to work. My twin sister doesn’t have to work. We PREFER to work with people we enjoy working with.
Today, I received a call from someone “who had been planning to hire me UNTIL she noticed that I perform LBGT and prison weddings.” My tolerance for stupidity is at an all time low these days so I didn’t hesitate to respond to this person with “that’s great because 1. I’m not taking any bookings and 2. I don’t care about your “feelings” regarding MY other clients and THEY don’t either. 3. You couldn’t afford me if I was available because no amount of money is worth working with someone as narrow minded as you sound. Have a nice day.”
In all of these years it was AND has remained my decision to never advertise. I saw no reason to. After all, I don’t have to work so if I’m going to work it’s going to be with clients I enjoy working with. The same is true for Cindy. We are a twin team.
We ACTUALLY prefer our prison clients to “traditional clients. Why? Because THEY appreciate us that’s why. They don’t ask for an apple and expect a pie. That would be the “traditional booking” folks.
My family and I build AND establish lifelong relationships with clients marrying an inmate through a very lengthy paperwork process. We also talk, text, email and DM for months prior to finally meeting in person. Why? Because a traditional client meets on location or at my office and I either agree to book or I don’t whether there is an interview scheduled or the contact is through one of my sites.
I’m not naive enough to book ANY service without a contract OR deposit.
Any successful business isn’t either however, my contract protects not only services we are providing but also what the client is hiring myself or my staff to do.
Whether the booking is a barter deal, traditional event or prison wedding- I do not commit without a contract. In fact, I refuse to work without one. Why? Experience. When I buy something I get a receipt for EXACTLY what I bought. My clients get a contract for THEIR protection. Anyone marrying an inmate in any state whether it’s BOP, State, ICE or County will get 2 contracts pertaining to inmate marriages. One for is for officiant services the other for policy and procedure. We don’t make mistakes and we want to make certain these clients don’t either. We advise them exactly what they can and cannot do.
Our clients are a wild mix. If ANYONE on ANY of my sites doesn’t “approve” of our OTHER clients thats “THEIR luggage and THEIR trip.” We don’t CARE and COULD not care LESS.
Some of our clients barter propositions are a no go. Cindy and I won’t take a losing proposition BECAUSE we operate successful businesses. Anyone and everyone thinking or assuming we are successful due to bartering ARE misinformed. You can and will “take a hit” on a barter gamble. Why? You need a buyer. You need to know the market value. You need to know the cost to refurbish an item. Then there’s transportation and storage.
Bartering COSTS money which is why Cindy and I are both very selective when on location at Appraisals. The prospect doesn’t set the value- we do. Why? Because no one else is going to help these folks AND most prospects have no idea of the value and are guessing. We don’t guess. We carefully evaluate and estimate the pros and cons with a jam packed schedule. “Do we have time to even take this on? What’s already in storage? Is inventory moving? What’s going to be involved in order to flip it?”
Too many people are watching too many scripted shows and believing the faux reality of flipping ALWAYS bearing fruit. Bullshit.
We can and do make far more money NOT taking on a barter. But we make exceptions. The exceptions are based entirely on distance, investment, and most importantly whether we want to work your event or not.
News flash kids- there isn’t anyone standing in line that is willing to EVEN CONSIDER bartering your event service or request in the events industry other than The Pawning Planners so WE will be making the appraisal and decisions based on the proposed barter not YOU.
Now moving on to this weeks adventures… Monday Cindy and I put Stephaney on a plane to San Diego it was Hell. Read the previous blog for more details.
Due to extreme drama getting Stephaney to the airport on Monday, I didn’t get to Urgent Care until late Monday afternoon. Due to the swelling of my right foot, I couldn’t drive myself to Jordan Unit. My niece, Leigh Ann dropped Cindy off at my house and she spent the night in order to drive me to Jordan Unit.
Tuesday morning, we left my home AKA Worthamworld at 5AM for Jordan Unit in Pampa, Texas to meet our beautiful bride, Jennifer.
I had blocked my other niece, Stephaney on my phone. I couldn’t tolerate any more crazy phone calls. After that drive to DFW airport on Monday, quite frankly my anger at her was still too fresh and she was still too high to reason with. Cindy though continued to take these screaming phone calls all the way to Jordan Unit. I opened my Xanax and gave her one too.
Unless you’ve ever had to deal with an addict in YOUR family, spare me your judgment regarding the need for anxiety medication. We NEED it.
Cindy and I arrived early and took her to lunch before reporting to the Unit. Jennifer is planning a Vow Renewal and didn’t want wedding photos so Cindy and I headed home from the Unit.
The screaming phone call we received last that day was from Stephaney then a San Diego officer who asked “what’s wrong with her?” My answer “she is experiencing drug induced psychosis. We put her on a plane to San Diego to seek treatment Monday she either smuggled meth onto the plane or found it after wandering off from the airport. PLEASE admit her to a hospital to dry out.” There were no further calls from Stephaney on Tuesday.
Wednesday morning while preparing to go to Green Bay Unit and Fort Worth FMC, Cindy called me. She had added me to a 3 way call with San Diego. They wanted the background. We gave it to them and the nearly 20 year history we had spent trying to “save Stephaney.” They agreed to get her help but added “she’s an adult so we can’t force her to stay.” Argh.
Thursday morning Cindy and I left again at 5AM. This time to McConnell Unit. By 7AM the crazy phone calls were rolling in AGAIN. I grabbed my bottle of Xanax. I also gave Cindy one although my prescription is twice as strong as hers. By Luling, Texas, I decided to buy her a plane ticket to Illinois. We had repeatedly told her she was not returning to Fort Worth AND we meant it. This time we were done.
She landed last night at about 11. I waited for the call to verify the Lyft had successfully arrived. I didn’t trust her NOT to run off again. Once I knew she was on site and secure, I could FINALLY sleep.
This morning I was at Green Bay, Tarrant County Jail and fielding phone calls while preparing for my weekend of events. A call from someone interested in marrying at Crain Unit called me. I was trying to pull myself together after a chaotic and stressful week of dealing with Steph AND driving about 60 hours. He’s moving here from Oregon and I’m thankful that I took the time to talk to him while sitting there waiting on my client. He and his story were like all of my clients marrying an inmate, touching, driven and determined to make their love story work. I can’t wait to meet them at TDCJ Crain Unit..