“LIFE is LIKE a THEATER, and the LOUDEST voices of CRITICISM, are OFTEN heard, FROM the CHEAP seats”

On location today thinking how smoothly things were going, my arm was grabbed by the mother of the bride. “Her father is here. He wasn’t invited. That dead beat is going to screw up this wedding. Miss Wendy what can we do? He isn’t welcome and he isn’t on the guest list.” Oh no. Oh no. Here we go again with a party crashing parent on location. Ugh.

I walked up to the father and asked him to speak with me privately while eyeing security to let me try to diffuse the situation before involving on site security. “I’m sorry to bother you but what was your name? I need to check you in on the guest list.” Agitated non guest “my name isn’t on your list and doesn’t need to be. I’m the brides father.” Me “I’m sure you are and I’m sorry that the number of guests has been cut due to county guidelines which may explain why your name is missing from my list.

“I don’t care about your #*}~ing list. I demand to see my daughter. Where is she?” Well folks, the minute you begin cursing at me on location AND making demands to see my clients who don’t want to see you as they prepare for the happiest day of their life is the moment when I motion for security to intervene and escort you from the venue.

My niece, Leigh Ann had called from California regarding returning to DFW next week while I was on location and after this confrontation.

Checking my pages for messages, I saw a notification on my personal page and read her a comment that “someone who was not bound to me by blood or business” had taken the time to post on my wall pertaining to my niece, Stephaney.

By the way, if you aren’t bound to me by blood, business or friendship, your opinion isn’t nearly as important to me as it may appear to be to you.

As usual, Leigh Ann was and continues to be shocked by the number of times someone somewhere wants to interject their thoughts or feelings regarding something they feel strongly about into someone else’s life. In my life, it’s my niece, Stephaney. Lots of opinions with no solutions. Thanks anyway.

“Don’t tell me how to fix my fence if you aren’t even standing in my yard.” Experience matters.

If you don’t have any experience, your advice is falling on my deaf ears for good reasons. What are they? What you think you would do in someone else’s situation is easy because you aren’t in their situation. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines when you aren’t in the game.

The “cheap seats” are the effective “peanut gallery” folks who don’t have any investment but certainly are always happy to jump up and offer uneducated advice to others. Bless their hearts.

For anyone unaware, “bless your heart can be endearing or cutting.” It’s a sassy Southern Saying that most folks (unless they are from the South) assume to be sweet and thoughtful.

What was today’s comment pertaining to? What else and as usual my niece, Stephaney.

Sixteen years of tens of thousands of dollars of in patient treatment later, Cindy and I are at our whits end.

Stephaney’s sister, Leigh Ann is flying back to DFW to take care of the twins while Wendy and Cindy spend next week once again putting Stephaney in long term treatment preferably in another state.

Everyone has opinions. “You should bring her home. She needs to be with her children.”

Really? The children my twin sister and I have raised for 16 years while consistently and intermittently running off to try and “Save Stephaney?”

Why don’t you ask the twins what they want rather than assuming they want to be under the same roof with their birth mother who has had 16 years to try and act like a mother but chose not to? Save it Skippy. Mind your business.

Unless you’ve dealt with a loved one who has mental illness and an addiction that they consistently choose to self medicate with over their prescribed medication for their mental illness only to go off the rails over and over again, you are never going to fully realize where Cindy and I have been or what we have been through.

If you would “like to help with your unsolicited advice though,” shoot me your address and I will drop her off at your house.

“Peanut Gallery People” always have plenty to say and it’s always from the comfort and frugality of their “cheap seats.” God bless them. Ignorance must be bliss.

Now, I’m going to once again revisit why gossiping at a reception about the couple is not only in bad taste but can also show everyone else on location what an idiot you are.

While at a wedding, one of the guests at a reception table brought up “asking if the bride was pregnant” to another guest seated across from her. The other guest was aware that the bride has ovarian cancer that causes stomach swelling and was so furious about the other guest “hinting or gossiping to other guests” about an unplanned pregnancy that she threw a glass of water on the other guest.

Folks, I have consistently gone over etiquette. If you are a reader or follower, you know darn well this isn’t the first time something like this has happened on location. Don’t assume someone is pregnant or make jokes about a shotgun wedding.

The only person thinking your observations and assumptions AT A WEDDING are funny is you. Zip it.

Let’s revisit Roasting as opposed to Toasting couples at a wedding. Simply because you have a captive audience doesn’t and shouldn’t encourage you to make the bride, groom or both the butt of your jokes. I know. You think you are hilarious and want to show everyone at the wedding your sarcastic saltiness. Don’t. Do you really want everyone to recall the moment you embarrassed the couple when you were supposed to be celebrating them? Think about it.

Moving on to scheduling conflicts due to Covid causing a literal “accordion effect” to this seasons booked clients. Don’t take it personally if I decline to take you on. My commitment and my loyalty is to booked clients. All of my businesses have always been based on my schedule and my schedule is and always has been organized and orchestrated on a first booked basis.

Due to Covid, I have a very large number of 2020 clients being rescheduled into 2021. Since I already had a handful of clients scheduled in 2021, for obvious reasons bookings for traditional events next year are incredibly limited with me in particular as well as Cindy.

During the week we are often traveling to prisons. Due to Covid most all inmate officiant clients are waiting to be rescheduled. As you know, the majority of my personal bookings are for prison weddings.

I only take on officiant/planner bookings by referral and my schedule is and has been “tight” for many years now. Officiating a ceremony takes about an hour. Traveling to the location often takes several hours.

There are no rehearsals or vow renewals at prisons. These types of events occur at venues in most cases. Hence my reference to “traditional bookings” which occur on weekends or evenings.

A majority of my inmate clients rebook vow renewals upon release. These previous clients and other previous clients as well as currently booked clients awaiting reschedules or already rescheduled ARE MY PRIORITY.

New booking requests for traditional events from anyone who isn’t a previous client or booked client or referral client or client booking through a venue that I’m not on staff or affiliated with is subsequently NOT A PRIORITY.

If I’m telling you I’m not available, I’m not available regardless of how much money you offer to “enhance me with.” I don’t have to work. I choose to work and enjoy my work. But I do not and will not overbook and effectively “line jump” anyone into my existing schedule regardless of how lucrative your offer might be.

Stacked events are somewhat tricky. In fact very few people are effective at stacking more than one event on the same day. I regularly stack events and leave a wide margin for traveling from one location from the next which is why I’m so successful at stacking.

During the week, I run the distance between client meetings and prisons. I will not stack anything on a date where I’m booked as both an officiant and a planner do to the type of work involved. This type of booking requires me to be on site with Cindy and often other members of my team for 4-8 hours.

Why I need to know if there will be a rehearsal? A rehearsal is a separate event and requires me to travel to the event location on a separate day. Often the rehearsal is scheduled during the week in the evening. During the week I’m often traveling to prisons and on the road for 10-12 hours. I rarely take on a booking requiring a rehearsal for this reason. I cannot be everywhere.

You have choices. My son, Robert and his wife, Stephanie as well as my twin sister, Cindy and niece, Leigh Ann are all wedding officiants. If I’m unavailable, you have other booking options.

Moving forward from 2020-2021, I’m hoping that nothing like Covid ever occurs again. I know you are too. At this time, I’m not taking on any new bookings in 2022 due to the uncertainty of scheduling and rescheduling current and previously booked clients.

For former clients who are worried or concerned about me retiring prior to your vow renewal or anniversary event, don’t be. I will be available for future events of all of my clients and have no plans to retire. As long as I can continue to travel, meet amazing people like you and enjoy your Dream Event with you, rest assured that the Texas Twins will be at your event with bells on…