“YOU can’t PUT your BEST foot FORWARD, until you POLISH your ATTITUDE, and SHINE those SHOES.”
Everyone is feeling the strain of these lockdowns. For a select few of my clients, Christmas came early with the release of their loved ones. These clients are being married on “the outside.”
With over 200 other clients waiting to marry in 2021, I’m hoping that these lockdowns will be lifted. No one especially me could have anticipated the many surprises and setbacks a pandemic would cause to everyone planning a wedding, vow renewal, baptism or funeral. The changes that have taken place the past 8 months that resulted in visitation bans at State, Federal, ICE and County Jails having an accordion effect of clients planning to marry an inmate. In October, Federal Prisons reinstated visitation.
To date, State, ICE and County Facilities in only a handful of locations and states have reinstated limited visitation.
As my clients continue to await reinstated visitation, the possibility of many states moving to non contact exists. Remember, we cannot change rules in place. We must adhere strictly to protocol that has been put in place for the protection of inmates and other personnel. Please remain calm on site. Becoming upset isn’t going to help you or me. We will be required to wear face masks and subjected to a temperature screening in or near the shakedown area.
Now, moving on to correspondence from strangers to my pages or websites regarding my clients or their loved ones who happen to be incarcerated. Last night at 1:30AM from apparently Turkey, yet another email was sent to me seeking information regarding an inmate I married at Hughes Unit. Miguel was a high profile inmate as he was featured on “I’m A Killer episode 4 Sympathy For The Devil.” I do not ask questions about who my clients are marrying. I don’t research the crimes my clients loved ones are incarcerated for either. Why? It’s none of my business. I judge no one. I also do not share my clients contact information either.
I’m writing from Turkey.I have questions for you.Do you have any contact with Miguel Angel Martinez? He was in Hughes Unit.He is married at 2018.”
Answer… “I married Miguel to one of my clients at Hughes Unit. I’m a prison wedding officiant. I don’t stay in contact or have any contact inmates until I see them on the day of the Approved and Scheduled ceremony date with my client.
People wishing to marry an inmate in State, Federal or ICE custody contact me in numerous states to walk them through the paperwork process and conduct their wedding ceremony. I often stay in contact with my clients but I do not see or correspond with the inmate at all during the prison weddings planning process unless my client contacts me after their release to conduct a vow renewal with family and friends after release.
I’m consistently contacted by people who want to ask me questions about inmates or my clients as I perform many high profile marriages. However, I do not discuss or share contact information for my clients or their loved ones (the inmate) in order to protect their privacy. Production companies and reporters frequently contact me regarding getting in touch with my clients or their loved ones but my role isn’t to put outsiders in touch with my clients. My role is to protect my clients from outsiders seeking to establish contact for whatever reason.
My clients are working, raising their families and doing it all alone on the outside. The last thing they need is someone contacting them to question them about their loved ones who happen to be incarcerated.
Before I contact his wife and disrupt her day and her life about your correspondence, you will need to tell me why you are interested in Miguel and why you are trying to contact him as well as who you are and what your intentions are.”
Rev Wendy Wortham
Let’s go back to a few years ago when someone else contacted me attempting to find information about a military groom I married in the middle of a hailstorm on the Trinity River bridge. The person contacting me wanted to contact my groom “because she had heard his wife died and is interested in reconnecting.”
Marriage records in many states are public. I’m easy to find. I’ve conducted over 2500 weddings in numerous states. My name is on many marriage licenses. My address is also on those marriage licenses. Simply because “you found me” doesn’t mean I owe you anything. I don’t. My allegiance is to my clients and their confidentiality.
I hope this clarifies any confusion. I’m busy. I’m taking care of my client’s and their needs. I do not have time to listen to why you are contacting me and why you need this or that. My role is to my clients and my family. Period.