The Meddling Mother In Law & My Sidekick Cindy Daniel- Twinning…
Getting into our kids “business” is a regular occurence for The Pawning Planners because let’s face it we are fairly nosy and often opinionated regarding our kids, grandkids, cousins and even our clients on occasion.
Apparently, my sister and I are always “poking our noses” into our kids lives according to them but- we are just trying to help with our ideas and wisdom. Now that the twins are 12, we often give them our views on everything from boys to clothes and anything in between.
The difference between them and our older children is that Maryssa & Makenna Mahaney listen to Meme C (Cindy) and Meme E (me) they couldn’t say W when they were young. Like any parent, we want what’s best for our children and grandchildren- however filtering advice has proven impossible for both Cindy and I.
Everyone in my family have a “strong personality” which is why my twin Cindy and I occasionally disagree with our older kids regarding getting another pet or even feeding Cindy’s youngest granddaughter Madyson more vegetables and less French fries.
My son and his wife currently have 4 dogs, a snake and a fish tank. Although I told my son the last thing they needed was another dog, while Cindy and I were in LA, he gave in again to his wife and bought another dog.
When I disagree with the older children- they call Cindy for her “take” on the situation. When Cindy disagrees, they call me.
Prior to Texas Twins Events, the idea of working with my family would have made me laugh! My first few years of officiating at weddings gave me insight on what these families couldn’t afford but needed such as photography or videography, floral designs, cakes & more. My first addition to Texas Twins Events was my twin sister Cindy and ironically, our three year old twins who many clients wanted in their weddings as flower girls. Next, my son and his wife Robert & Stephanie Hafele came aboard and finally, Stephaney Mahaney as my bilingual translator and Ann Alexander as assistant to Cindy and I. This past year due to my schedule, Ann and Robert became wedding officiants to serve my client base when I’m otherwise occupied.
Expanding & Rebranding Texas Twins Events & Texas Twins Treasures To Create The Pawning Planners- My background in sales this past 35 years has taught me a lot about the general public and the necessity to have “something for everyone” meaning high end, low end and even middle end price points which is why both of my businesses “work.”
Taking trades was logical to gain something of value in exchange for helping a family after I realized that many Texas Twins Events clients had no money and I spent several years working for free. Putting some skin in the game by requiring the client to pay or trade changed all of that for me.
My first few years of operating Texas Twins Events was a “sink or swim” endeavor of learning about advertising and especially, client expectations. Although I was hired as an officiant or coordinator or both- my low cost budget friendly client bookings taught me quickly that I would be working one minute at a venue and the next in a park with clients expecting me to solve every problem on site. My issue of being alone and unable to handle everything myself was solved by having a “team.”
Prior to The Pawning Planners, 50% of my clients at Texas Twins Events said they had no money–what to do? Rethink, Rebrand & Expand!
The idea for Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures & The Pawning Planners started years ago with my son married giving me firsthand the drama associated with weddings & more importantly, FAMILIES from both sides.
Throughout my son’s wedding planning (and just about anything else in my life) I called my twin sister to give “my side” of whatever is going on in my life but during that wedding- I may have called Cindy 6-10 times a day rather than my usual 3-5 due to the conflict involved. Cindy is my best friend and sounding board when I’m having a problem and can often fix just about anything on location with duct tape or a sewing kit.
I will always remember the reason I started Texas Twins Events years ago when my son told me he was getting married…my future daughter in laws grandmother, Ann, met with me to give me “her ideas” while I stewed knowing that a $6.00 centerpiece was out of the question! Over the following 6 months- Ann and I bucked heads on such a frequent basis that by the time the wedding came, we refused to speak to each other.
Her ideas of cheap flowers and centerpieces and, more importantly having me use the materials she handed me to create something fabulous were preposterous! I purchased my own materials and created beautiful designs instead and told her that my son wasn’t going to have a “garage sale” wedding because she wanted to save money. This “war wedding” between Ann and I while I struggled through thyroid cancer surgery and tried to do everything myself is the main reason that I started Texas Twins Events because if I could make it through that chaos- I knew that I could do anything!
At my son’s wedding, using different bouquets for the junior flower girls, bridesmaids, maid of honor and wrist corsages for the the younger girls- I added color to the natural environment of the venue at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. My background of floral designs spans 30 years and although I later heard that after giving Ann the bouquets and boutenniers for the entire bridal family, you can imagine my horror upon hearing that she wanted to hide my flowers and run to Albertsons and buy replacement flowers! That’s right, she was so lit that I wouldn’t work with the bag of junk she gave me that after three months of burning my fingers with a glue gun every night- she wanted to use flowers from a grocery store to spite me.
Her plan was foiled when my daughter in law threw a fit about using something else after I had made centerpieces and everything for the wedding party.
Although I “ran into” Ann at the baby shower last year for Amanda (which I provided numerous gifts and a diaper cake along with several items for the lunch), we still didn’t speak to each other.
One day when my son and his wife finally have children, I’m fairly certain that Ann and I still won’t speak to each other because being as sick as I was and working my butt off to give my son a beautiful wedding while she tried to destroy everything that I had worked on as well as fighting with me regarding a table with the Maid of Honor bouquet to honor Melissa who had died after visiting Fort Worth for a dress fitting and was involved in a fatal car accident returning to college sparked another argument with me since Ann decided to scream “it’s a wedding not a funeral and this is no place for a memorial!” My son and Stephanie backed me up and Melissa’s memorial was included in the wedding. After all of these years, my son’s wedding is still the most stressful event I have ever encountered due to Ann continuing to attempt to “run the show.”
When you’ve handled as many events as I have over the years- you’ve also met a few Meddling Mother In Laws which is why I often refer to inlaws and outlaws on all of my blogs. Rarely, it isn’t the mother or mother in law, it’s the brother, the grandmother or even a neighbor “jumping in” with their wishes on location with me.
Over and over I’m quoted as saying that Texas Twins Events Clients who pay for event services are remarkably different from Pawning Planners Clients who have no money and barter for services are completely different because they are- from their backgrounds to their ideas and demands on location- both sets of my clients come from different backgrounds and often the paying clients are far more involved in the process.
Why? Because Pawning Planners clients are borrowing inventory and much more thankful for our help than Texas Twins Events clients. The reason is that no one else was going to help Pawning Planners clients and they know it so they are often far “easier to work with” for not only myself but also my team.
Don’t get me wrong, many of my Texas Twins Events clients are easygoing but a few have been excessively demanding and in the same boat- we’ve also had Bridezillas, Guestzillas and even Inlaws and Outlaws at the Pawning Planners because let’s face it with my expansive list of clients- I occasionally have a bag of mixed nuts from one company to the other.
The majority of complaints from Pawning Planners Inlaws, Outlaws & Meddlers is regarding the location. I currently do not have a venue but when I do, it will not be free to either Pawning Planners Clients or Texas Twins Events Clients because I’m a businesswoman.
Last year, I provided the flowers, cakes and stands, serving sets, champagne and crystal glasses, and more to a family that had planned a wedding in the park after booking through The Pawning Planners. The problem? Torrential rain had me hopping to find a building which was generously provided by Rudy Smedley. Did a few folks complain about the location being changed to a karate studio? You bet they did but if you can’t afford to pay for a venue- you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit!
The truth is that “you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” My family and I had 3 hours to transform a karate studio and it wasn’t easy! I had rented chairs and tables at my own expense for the park but wound up having them delivered to the karate studio while my family and I worked feverishly to set everything up with several things going wrong to ensure it “looked” like a wedding venue.
We work hard to keep our clients happy regardless of which company they book their event through. However, if you see me “huddling up” with my family on location or disagreeing with one another, remember that like any other family- we have an occasional disagreement now and then ourselves but are focused on giving the gift of a dream event regardless of whether you paid for services or bartered them.
Wendy M Wortham The Pawning Planners