Trying to think of everything to keep couples budgets low isn’t easy or predictable! When families come to me with their idea of a Dream Event, I’m forced to “figure out” how to pull it off- often with very little money or with a trade that I refurbish and sell to cover expenses and pay myself and my team.From creating the flowers to finding the clothing for events to “tie it all together,” I’m often the “fairy Godmother” when couples families either don’t have an interest or are willing to help pay for the expenses involved. When Lisa Williams contacted us about her Dream Event, I immediately began writing everything down that would be needed to pull a themed 50’s event off and, the list was lengthy! A bridal bouquet, four bridesmaids bouquets, four boutenniers, centerpieces, four poodle skirts, four fascinator headbands, a wedding cake, a groom cake, four flower baskets, ring pillow, four poodle skirts, tables & chairs, flower petals, cake stands, champagne glasses- you get the point- weddings and Dream Events are NOT cheap!
Themed events are often far more costly because I can’t just run down to my basement and throw something together.Having everything “tie together” takes a great deal of planning. I often buy flowers online and spend hours creating the floral designs that 80% of our clients use at events and, when pressed for time, buy ready made designs from Linda Nelson of Churchmouse Designs on Etsy. I took an antique dresser and bike in trade for this event and refurbished the dresser which sold quickly through my website Texas Twins Treasures but not all events generate a profit, some 10-20% fall into the “sponsored” category when we don’t turn a profit or the client asks for far more than their trade covers. I’m often asked why we need a “team.” Well, I can’t do the Photography or set up the venue completely on my own while making the flowers and officiating the ceremony. We need a team because it takes a village and my multigenerational team of family members all have a particular skill set they bring to the table. Sure, we all “hear about” the 10-20k “average cost” of a wedding but how many hard working families have that kind of money lying around for a wedding?! Many of the clients who come to me have less than $400.
There is a reason so many folks marry at the JP Office and that reason is money, or lack of it. Our families (like many others) want a “personal touch” that includes loaned items which you aren’t ever going to find at the courthouse! The reason many couples renew their vows is because they could only afford a JP ceremony when they married. No one understands why we do what we do and, you wouldn’t unless you had struggled to give your child a beautiful wedding during the financially disastrous “real estate crash.” My husband was unemployed three years and went from being a self employed developer to a door to door salesman. Yes, we know real struggle and it’s something you never forget! Years later, we are back on our feet and my husband is a Vice President of well respected home builder- McBee. The struggles we overcame “getting here” will live with us forever. At the company Christmas Party last month, my husband began crying as he addressed the room about the best year McBee had enjoyed and the luxury of knowing everyone had a stable job with a stable company. He meant it! Unless you’ve survived a struggle- you won’t ever understand the scars.
We are who we are because we understand how difficult it is for families to pay for things up front and have helped hundreds of families but, like everyone else, we need to earn a living too which is why I must now limit “loaned items” to what we currently have on hand.
Last week a bride asked me to create “custom designs” to loan her for her wedding party. For a number of reasons, this request was as over the top as you might imagine and I quickly “took my inch back” when she began “asking for a mile.”
You see “The Pawn” isn’t exactly a loan. The Pawning Process means that we keep the item (or items) tendered and when necessary- refurbish them in order to sell them and make our profit.
I started a business to give anyone (regardless of their income) the opportunity for a Dream Event because I recognized the importance of a Life Event Wendy Wortham and Cindy Daniel- The Pawning Planners details why and how “The Pawn” works.
Do we have a few “difficult Diva’s?” Who doesn’t?! But, when you are borrowing something, you may need to recognize and comprehend that the “something borrowed” aspect of Texas Twins Events is a luxury and appreciate the fact that I sacrificed to build an inventory for families who appreciate my sacrifice and not request “custom designs” for free. I sell floral designs but- they are at market value and whether you do natural or silks for a wedding party- the cost is often $400 and up, because of this, if you wish to PAY for your own wedding flowers you certainly are welcome to do so. At the end of the day, my journey to give anyone a beautiful ceremony and keep it affordable was a “sacrifice to save others” from the struggle I endured trying to give my son a beautiful wedding “on a very tight budget.”
You see traveling the path myself gave me insight on the challenges that many families face when planning and executing a “life event.”
A video documenting the process from the client meeting to the execution can be seen on my YouTube channel Dream Event of Lisa and Terry Williams- The Pawning Planners. The Pawning Process requires hard work and dedication and while we may not “hit a lick” or, make a profit at each and every event- we give families a gift that keeps giving!
Wendy M Wortham