TDCJ Texas Prison Weddings Have Brought A Few Creative Requests…

I love to sing but, I’m not a singer.  Over the years, I’ve had a few unique opportunities to “belt out a song” due to problems with the DJ.  

At one wedding while waiting for the bride to approach the altar, I asked “what’s wrong?” The DJ admitted that he didn’t have the music with him.  I quickly asked “what’s the song?”  

Luckily, I knew the words and asked the guests to join me singing Here Comes The Sun.  

Life Events happen only once.  There are no “do overs” or second chances.  Saving the day often requires quick thinking on my part.

A few days ago, a bride marrying at TDCJ Estes Unit asked if she could bring clothing for her fiancée and, music.  I quickly replied that the only items she is allowed to bring are her state issued ID and the Marriage License.  

You can imagine my surprise at being asked to sing a song she had chosen.  This was a bit of a shock but, I’m open minded and try to accommodate any request whenever possible.

This bride will also be arriving at the Greyhound Bus Terminal after asking me if I drive to pick up clients then take them to the Unit and finally, drive them home.  Houston is 4 hours one way from me and due to the mileage and time involved, I suggested public transit.  I will pick Lutniva up at the Fort Worth Terminal and drive her to TDCJ Estes Unit and then return her to the Terminal.  

I’ve decided to read the song rather than attempt to sing it.  Lutniva after hearing my broken rendition, agreed that singing would be a bad idea.  Accommodating any request can be a hilarious adventure for my team and I.  

Dressing up as Elvis a few years ago after yet another Creative Request, I was asked to sing a few Elvis hits and although I knew the words..left guests laughing at my inability to properly mimic Elvis or his hip swing.

A few months ago, I read a text from a beautiful Military bride I married in July 2016.  Deanna wanted a Baptism for her baby and I was thrilled to hear she was pregnant. Sadly, the Baptism in June will be followed by a Funeral as the baby is not expected to survive beyond a week.  

This news broke my heart.  Deanna has asked me to Officiate the Baptism and Funeral Ceremony.  

As many of my dedicated readers know, a Celebration Of Life is far harder on me for a child.  I’m keeping Deanna’s family in my prayers for a miracle that will save this baby and ask that my readers do the same.

A few years ago, Kimberly Stine requested a birthday party.  I contacted her to better understand if she was needing party planning services for a child or herself. 

Kimberly wanted a birthday party for herself because she had grown up very poor and never had a party.  

After speaking with my team, it was decided that we would buy the gifts, the cake and other items and meet Kimberly in the park to celebrate and sponsor her birthday.  

A few years ago, I brought my twin grandnieces, Maryssa and Makenna along with my twin sister, an SUV full of party favors and met my son and daughter in law at the park– Texas Twins Events Sponsors A Birthday Party.

Since Kimberly’s husband has been struggling with cancer treatments the past year, I decided to once again throw Kimberly a birthday party and have scheduled it for March 31.  

Sponsoring two birthday parties for the same person may sound odd to other vendors but, I’m well aware that Kimberly needs something to celebrate in her life.

Few people understand why I’m so open minded regarding requests but, struggling through a loved ones cancer treatment merits “a break” as far as I’m concerned and, Kimberly is thrilled and excited to see my family again.

Nearly four years ago, an exotic dancer requested a baby shower and gifts since she couldn’t work in her condition.  

Not being one to judge anyone, my team and I set about buying baby gift and planning her party— The Stripper Baby Shower That Saved Amanda. When you’re pregnant, single and unable to work- you need help. Amanda’s parents are both deceased and she had nowhere else to go for help. I’m proud to announce that Amanda returned to school and furthered her education and now has a far suitable job for not only herself but also her children.

 It’s not uncommon for someone to email me with a “you did that?” Question regarding either the client or their circumstances.

My family and I have saved many people from losing their homes after a job loss or illness by hosting a Pawning Party. To better explain what a Pawning Party is and how it works, I’m adding a blog link- Pawning Parties Are Rent Parties.

A Pawning Party requires me to advertise the sale, go into their homes with my team and find something of significant value or the sell the entire home full of goods to sell and help them pay their rent or mortgage.  

Living without any furniture isn’t a fun choice but, keeping a roof over their heads is far more important.

Sure, I will be the first to admit that a few of our events are “different” and our clients are “different” too but, hundreds of people contact me because they have nowhere else to turn.

Every event or family is different.  From a fence party to a stripper baby shower to a wedding, funeral, baptism, Texas Prison Weddings,  and event a rent or Pawning Party- finding a solution to every problem a prospect brings to me involves a family meeting if it’s something we haven’t done before.  By having an entire team- everyone brings their own unique talent to the table.

The clients needing a Pawning Party don’t have friends, family or even savings.  When you are facing losing your home, it is a very desperate situation. It’s sad but, it’s true. My initial concept of doing weddings alone flew out the window 8 years ago.  Within months of going live, I was asked to provide decorations for a cancer remission party.  A few days later, a funeral.  

I’ve rebranded and expanded to address any request because I never wanted to turn anyone away.  Knowing that all these families came to me with nowhere else to turn was a very important aspect of their desperation. 

Two years ago, Cindy and I reviewed requests for two friends needing a baby shower and more importantly, baby gifts.  Since Brooke and Joanna knew each other, it was decided that we would buy the gifts and hold the double baby shower at CiCi’s Pizza- Texas Twins Events Gives Back To Two Expectant Mothers.

Many of my cyber squatters and fellow event vendors don’t understand why my family and I will help anyone.  To better understand the reasons or where the money comes from, I will explain.  I knew from personal experience that many people were forced to go to the JP without the photos, flowers or fun of a “real wedding.” After struggling through Thyroid cancer, my gigantic custom home (built by my husband of course) was overwhelming after my son moved out.  Five bedrooms and four baths on an acre with a pool to keep up were just too much.  My husband and I decided to sell the home we had built at cost and downsize.  

My half of the Profit was a gift from my husband to go out and start a business that I would enjoy with my twin sister by finally having the time to spend together we had lost after thirty years of me working “for the man.” My decision to start a low cost event business that would help anyone shocked the rest of my family (as usual) but, they eventually caught on to my Friend Of The Friendless Philosophy.  I’ve never turned anyone away and I’ve never turned down a request that might have been “unusual.”  I listened to their needs and issues and together my family and I solved them.

My twin sister and I are pretty creative and can make or fix nearly anything.  The reason for this is that we grew up poor.  We make bouquets, bouteniers and centerpieces that are “loaned” to families that cannot afford to provide their own floral designs.  “Loaning Inventory” is unheard of in this industry but, by doing so, our clients save hundreds of dollars.

For those who can afford to buy floral designs, we also sell custom floral designs as well as refurbished trades that were initially bartered through The Pawning Planners at Texas Twins Treasures.Revenue from sales and bookings with paying clients through Texas Twins Events along with sales of items at Texas Twins Treasures and our custom floral designs is how we fund and effectively, sponsor families out of our own pockets year after year.My twin sister and I are a TwinTeam.  We do everything together and not surprisingly, two halves make a whole.  While Cindy can repair or fix any problem on location, she is also an experienced planner and Minister.  

Her real art is her comic talent and ability to make anyone laugh regardless of how stressful an unexpected issue on location may be.  I’m OCD and hate surprises.  

Cindy loves the unexpected and handles chaotic control with a flair that would surprise anyone meeting her for the first time. From the broken tooth bride to the drunken father of the bride to the Groom that refused to drive to the wedding ceremony to the flasher at a destination wedding or the mariachi band that had transportation issues, we’ve handled hundreds of incidents that had nothing to do with what we had been hired for. That’s right. You will never hear either me or my team say “that’s not my job.” Events take dedication, perseverance and patience.  If another vendor flubs it on location, we work to fix it. 

Cindy takes problems on the chin while I (literally) have a meltdown because my perfectly orchestrated event appears to be going to Hell in a hand basket.  Cindy loves excitement and I hate it.  

At a wedding in Fort Worth, the mother of the bride continued to “butt in” and interrupt my ceremony.  Cindy walked over to her and started a conversation to occupy her enough to let me finish.  Cindy’s ability to detect and resolve an issue or incident on location is remarkable.We have a term for the “chaos creators.”  Inlaws or Outlaws referenced in blogs and social media posts are the people you invited to your event that you shouldn’t have.  

These Inlaws and Outlaws disrupt every aspect of a well orchestrated event.  Usually because they’ve been drinking or they don’t want you to get married or it’s a family reunion or other event where a few folks are feuding.

At Joanna Magee’s Wedding, her brother arrived drunk, hit on my makeup artist, Angela Rodden and daughter in law, Stephanie Hafele and continued to interrupt me.  Shocking isn’t it? Inlaws and Outlaws are surprising and unpredictable.  

After hours of hair and makeup, Joanna felt beautiful wearing the dress I had “gifted her.” Going above and beyond (as usual) I also bought clothing for her two sons and cowboy hats.  

Joanna was a “sponsored” bride. Joanna wanted the wedding she could never afford on her own and, after hearing her story, my staff and I were “all in.”

My family and I rallied around to give her the wedding she had always wanted but, her brother did everything he could to ruin in including smashing cake in her face and on her wedding dress.I cannot make this stuff up ya all, if you have a friend or family member that you know is a problem, do everyone a favor and don’t invite them!  Shockingly, Joanna’s mother and father did nothing to control her beer swilling brother.  

Because of the Joanna Magee Wedding and the Banjo Playing Boyfriend who disrupted another wedding by strolling down the aisle singing, I now have security at events to alleviate the issue of having to attempt to conduct a ceremony and control an unruly and, uninvited guest.  

The banjo playing boyfriend “busted through” the church doors singing “One Is The Loneliest Number” at a Fort Worth church for a Military Couple. Standing between the couple and officiating the ceremony, I asked if they had hired a singer?  The Bride patiently answered “no, it’s my old boyfriend.”  

Horrified, I used my arms to separate the couple and go down the aisle to stop this unwanted singer from joining us at the altar.  Trying to wrestle him out of the church, he continued to yell “I love you” to the Bride.  I’ve had moments where even I couldn’t believe the lengths others would go to in order to ruin a wedding.  

Eight years after starting Texas Twins Events, I’ve learned (much to my dismay) that Funerals are even more shocking.  The event business often requires you to literally “fly by the seat of your pantsuit!”

Our dear friend, Bill Bean has requested my Texas Twins Events Team to coordinate his book signing and we are excited to once again be in the company of Bill.  I will keep you posted on the dates and location.

Cindy and I are also excited and honored that Michael Yorba has invited us to his TV Show as guests.  We are (obviously) “different” from other guests on the show and honest about the successes and setbacks of changing the wedding and events industry one family (or barter) at a time from Fort Worth, Texas with our family.

As I run off to a Prison Wedding, I’m thankful that I haven’t been asked to sing…