Me, My SUV & My Family- We Get Around While Making Dream Events A Reality….
My twin sister, Cindy & I were recently asked if we have “any upcoming Life Events?” Every Event we Coordinate, Officiate and plan for Clients of Texas Twins Events & The Pawning Planners actually are Life Events for our Clients as well as my family because we are a family owned and operated Event Business.I spend far more money on gasoline than anyone realizes for our caravan of suvs. Driving to Prison Units during the week and Destination Events on weekends racks up the miles on my suvs so much that in 8 years, I’ve been through 3 suvs. Whenever possible, I load my team into my own SUV to save mileage on our other vehicles.
Larger events that we are providing floral designs, cake platters and other decor at require the entire fleet and my team.
My grandnieces have “worked” at events for years and Clients are aware that we often bring the children to Events because Cindy is raising the twins and my niece Leigh Ann trusts no one (other than Cindy and I) to babysit her daughter Madyson.
Yes. Our family is closer than most other families because we spend everyday together which may be different but twin and multiple families are significantly closer.
It’s not unusual to find me carrying my grandniece, Madyson at an Event and our Clients are comfortable around children at Events. I realize this is rare but, we are a “package deal.”
I can often be found on location talking to Clients while holding Maddie or talking to my son, sister, niece, grandnieces or other family members giving instructions or directions. Yes. They call me bossy for a reason because if I’m not giving instructions, Cindy is.Paying attention to the details is essential when I’m planning or coordinating an event. I can’t tell you how many times a floral vendor forgot bouteniers because it’s a regular occurrence. I always bring my own designs as backups to prevent panic.
Planning ahead is my specialty. I have lists and more lists prior to leaving my workroom. Most of my family members hate my list making but, they’ve learned why lists are important to event planning and execution.
When the twins were young, they were flower girls, ring bearers or ushers at hundreds of Events for tips and Flips.
At 11 years old, Maryssa & Makenna decided to branch out into other “jobs” at events. The twins (Maryssa & Makenna) are old enough (13) now to help us on location during set up or tear down or simply helping keep other children entertained on site.
My sister, Cindy keeps everyone laughing when we are on location and is a comedian whether she realizes it or not.To hear it from my sister, I am always in a hurry driving from one destination to the next but, the truth is that I operate on a really tight schedule and being early is very important to me.
Arriving on site at any booking, I visit with the Bride, the Groom and other vendors to address any last minute issues or jitters.I don’t like surprises on location but, they happen all of the time. From the drunken father of the bride getting arrested to the tripping bride with a bloody nose to the drunk mother of the bride interrupting a ceremony in Fort Worth, my face or expression is usually “caught on film” by either of my photography teams. We solve a lot of problems ourselves on location because we have to. There is no magic button on location.
Having a family member or guest yell at the couple during my carefully orchestrated ceremony will get the offending party a stink eye from me. At one wedding, the mother of the bride wanted to “direct” the ceremony.
To be fair, not everyone knows how to act at a wedding or… they’ve been drinking and forgotten how to act! In either situation, I’m capable of restoring order in the midst of chaos and do so on a regular basis.
Occasionally, my team think I’m bossy if I’m on site coordinating. Directing the photography team to capture a photo or giving hand signals to one of my relatives officiating a ceremony is an everyday occurrence.
I’m OCD and a bit of a control freak because guests are unpredictable so, I try to control whatever I can to keep this machine running as smoothly as humanly possible.
I love my clients and want perfect execution regardless of the event we have been booked to perform.
I’ve Officiated and Coordinated over a thousand religious ceremonies & events and am far more “seasoned and experienced” than anyone else on my staff.
At my sons wedding years ago, I was caught off guard when asked to dance with my son for the mother and son dance by the DJ.
The problem? I didn’t know how to dance. In front of over 300 guests, I “winged it!”I’m generally never nervous but, it has and certainly can happen. My son instructed me to just move slowly and fake it. I did.
Since I’m always asked why I offer year round active or retired Military Discounts of double the traditional 10% off services, it should be noted that my team and I occasionally work for free if necessary to pull off a Military Event. We are a Military Family.Cindy and I grew up near Vandenburg AFB in Lompoc, California because most of our family members were Military and transferred from Anderson AFB.
As teens, my family moved again to Fort Worth near Carswell AFB. My brother and my nieces husband are both Active Military. I’m USA all the way as are my family.We also have several family members who are volunteer firefighters, police, and first responders. Because of this, the discounts for Military also apply to anyone else in the public service sectors.
Cindy and I have filmed for numerous projects and concepts and are comfortable on camera.
This surprises a few clients who have seen us on the news or “heard” we were working on another project. We are regularly interviewed about how we’ve kept things going all these years or why I decided to start a low cost event business that helps anyone regardless of their income or ability to pay for services. Our popularity is based on being “different” as well as servicing alternative requests including Texas Prison Weddings.
From having cameras in my SUV to film crews in my home or following me at an event, Cindy and I are so used to being filmed and recorded at this point, we aren’t at all nervous. We’ve also been on the radio as a TwinTeam of Event Specialists & Coordinators.It’s not well know than both Cindy & I have worked as a commercial actresses as well as print models for years.
Our story and businesses are so unique that we are constantly contacted by reporters and production companies.
Often forgotten are the amazing families we have helped who all have a story to tell themselves. The truth is that our mixed clients from Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners & Texas Prison Weddings are from all walks of life.
Creative requests for services have included a Fence Party for a lady who needed her Fence repaired, baby showers for two friends that had no one to throw them a shower, a young lady who had never had a birthday party and rent parties that save families from losing their homes.
I don’t turn any request away because I realize if these families are coming to us, it’s because no one else is willing to help them! My husband (unlike Cindy’s husband) heads for the hills when a film crew arrives. Matthew Wortham takes Foxy (my sassy Beagle) with him and runs off to find something to do. Having 13-15 people in your home filming always makes my husband nervous while on the flip side, Cindy’s husband, Steve loves the attention.
No one has ever filmed at Cindy’s house and to better explain this, I will add her famous blog link— Cindy Daniel On Boomerang Kids & The Hilarious Aspects Of Having a Houseful Of Children & Grandchildren.
My twin sisters home is bursting at the seams while with only my husband and dog at our home, I’m so OCD that my family complains if I fetch them a drink, I take it and put it in the dishwasher before they have a chance to sip their coffee or ice tea. It’s true. I can’t help myself.
The events business is one surprise after the next and the only thing I can control is my home and, I do.
Matthew Wortham is shy and soft spoken. He’s a Texan and great host but rarely allows me to take his picture much less be filmed. If I begged him he might change his mind but, I don’t. My husband and I have an agreement to never make each other do anything we are uncomfortable doing. Matthew is a very probate person while I am an open book.
Steve Daniel loves talking to new friends on location and “visiting” with our production crews.
Steve (below) also enjoys learning about filming and watching Cindy or I on the monitors as he did in my kitchen during filming a few years ago.The only time (over the years) that I’ve ever been nervous was when Cindy and I were being filmed driving down the freeway with our camera guys hanging out of a van with nothing but a net holding the camera operators inside their van.
We became friends with all of our film crews and are still friends today. I was terrified that someone would fall out of the van as I listened to my walkie talkie with our film director instructing me to speed up, slow down or change lanes.
From my home to a venue to a karate studio, backyard, C130, Prison or park- having 3 suvs follow us and being “miked up”‘was different but, it was never uncomfortable because we worked with really amazing crews who got along well with not only us but also our husbands, our children, our pets and even our grandchildren and clients which is very important to both Cindy and I since our children and grandchildren are almost always with us at events.
How we make everything work from bartering event services to starting Texas Twins Events as a People Over Profit Based Business surprises people but, Texas Twins Events opened a window for anyone to enjoy a Dream Event but, it also brought hundreds of families to us who had no money.
To “work it out” I rebranded and expanded by merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create an opportunity to barter event services with The Pawning Planners.Trades taken in are refurbished and sold at Texas Twins Treasures.
Over year ago, a Creative Request for services had me rebranding and expanding (again), to include Texas Prison Weddings with Rev Wendy Wortham. Currently, I’m the only Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Approved Officiant on our staff.By rebranding and expanding over and over- my family and I have continued to stay booked and busy. I’ve been asked if I advertise and the answer is no.
I don’t need to advertise and generate new business because my grassroots campaign to “change the wedding and events industry one family or barter at a time from Fort Worth, Texas,” became a word of mouth movement for everyone that couldn’t find affordable options to traditional vendor pricing.
Spending money to advertise that could be used to sponsor families who had no money or anything of value to barter wouldn’t make any sense to me.
Cindy and I handle our own social media accounts too. Interacting with our social media audience and connections is essential to booking business from social media.
Event owners have also asked us to partner with them to bring in new clients because they’ve followed us on social media or connected with us.
From Bell Tower Chapel to AT&T Stadium and many others, we also work as a TwinTeam of consultants to help the many people coming to me via phone or email for help generating new sales or clients for businesses.
After years of spending hours on the phone with Event Owners asking me for ideas or insights for them to generate revenue or book more clients, it was necessary for me to charge a consultant fee.I have a good friend, Karen George that offers social media assistance for those who don’t want to do their own social media.
For me, it made more sense to do my social media myself while sitting in a venue waiting on clients or a Prison parking lot waiting on the Bride or Groom to arrive or even while waiting after arriving early to an Appraisal Appointment.
Cindy and I have completely different followers on social media. Her followers love her comedic quotes, my followers love my honesty and variety of the challenges I sometimes face with Inlaws and Outlaws.
The “key” to successful social media is interaction. If you aren’t liking, sharing, retweeting and otherwise “promoting” your connections- that aren’t going to promote you! Why this confuses everyone I have no idea but, it’s true.
If you aren’t putting any effort in your social media other than promoting yourself- you are part of the problem. Cindy and I are successful on social platforms because we put in the effort to see the return.
Social media is time consuming but, it’s also the best free advertising you can get.
To see the results of a stellar social media campaign, you’ve got to give in order to get. Half of all my client bookings are LBGT clients. Why? I support numerous LBGT based organizations and have many friends within the community.
While other vendors were fearful of being LBGT Friendly- I wasn’t.Being LBGT Friendly from the start made me an easy target a few years ago but, I took it on the chin and followed my heart because I believe that Love is Love.
My determination to help anyone made me different than other vendors but, I’ve never tried to be like anyone else.
CW33 actually filmed me saying “Love Is Love” during an interview at an NOH8 Campaign in Dallas with my twin sister and twin grandnieces years ago.
Everyone in the LBGT Community watching the news called to say “hey you guys are on the news again!” It’s not unusual for two sets of twins to get a lot of attention.My twin and I along with our twin granddaughters are actually used to it but, being two sets of twins at a No Hate Campaign on the news brought a slew of new haters that “didn’t believe in gay marriage.” My philosophy regarding the opinions of others has never changed.
I believe every family is unique and deserve to be loved and recognized as a family.
My sister and I were raised without a mother which was a problem on its own but, being a twin in the 60’s literally made my sister and I victims of bullies. Believe it or not, we were frequently bullied because our mother had abandoned us as if we could control that?
Many twins are bullied simply because they look alike or they are “closer than other siblings.” It’s a fact.
My twin sister and I fought to establish Twin Laws to keep the Twins together and protect the grandtwins from being bullied while separated in school because we knew (all too well) that twins are often bullied simply because they are “different.”
Not too long after CW33 aired our interview, Jeff Mosier interviewed me regarding the legalization of same sex marriage.
Over the years, I’ve learned that the internet created new bullies who were determined to give me their opinions of not only LBGT Marriage but also interfaith marriage, Prison Weddings and interracial marriage.The writers took a lot of time to pen a ten page letter here or there or to simply find my phone number and call me to voice their beliefs.
Regardless of these opinions, I held firm on my belief that families are families. No matter what haters said or did to harass me, I refused to cave in.
Answering my phone during the height of the controversy surround LBGT Marriage and LBGT Friendly Vendors became an escapade in apprehension.
The letters, the phone calls and the emails were deeply disturbing to me but, I refused to turn anyone away for any reason and am quite proud of the families we helped that other vendors had turned away.From the email regarding an ugly bride to the phone call about having a problem with an interracial marriage I Officiated or the pregnant bride or tattooed bride- I’ve pretty much heard it all from those who “didn’t believe” in what we were doing to give anyone the gift of a Dream Event. It didn’t faze me, my belief in Love is Love held true to my clients and their families.
Since I live in Texas and an effective Bible Belt, it should be noted to my cyber spies that we now have five LBGT Friendly Officiants on staff.
Yesterday, I took a phone call from a Bride in Houston wishing to marry at TDCJ Estes Unit. She didn’t drive and wanted me to pick her up bring her back and return home. This was a surprising request but, due to my schedule, impossible.
Instead, I found a Greyhound Bus from Houston to Fort Worth for her. I will pick Lutevia up and drive her to Estes for the wedding then return her to the bus depot. Sure, this may sound odd to a few of my fellow Event Vendors but, we do things differently and always address a Clients needs or concerns.
At the Kelley Wedding a few years ago, the Groom Robert would later help us with security at another event as well as work as a DJ. Yes. Our clients became such close friends that they often “pitched in” to help us at other events as well.
Robert and his beautiful family (like many other clients) are lifelong friends of my Texas Twins Events Team.
From backyards to barns to venues and yes, even Prisons, my goal was to give anyone a Dream Event which actually is a Life Event for them.Having my family join me on a journey that gave us an opportunity to meet new friends of the Texas Twins is a gift that keeps on giving.
As I load up my SUV and hit the road again in Texas, it should be noted that creating a window to help families no one else was willing to help was the best decision that I’ve ever made in my life. Our Clients became our friends and spending time with my family on location was my bonus..