Bell Tower Chapel To TDCJ Coffield Unit, Appraisal Appointments & Hitting The Road…

Trying to accommodate my Clients and keep October open to travel to California twice in the same month hasn’t been easy. In order to accomplish this “juggling act,” I’ve been stacking Texas Prison Weddings whenever possible.

Monday morning I’m back at Bell Tower Chapel and for my traditional clients wanting a small and intimate wedding package that fits most any budget, I’m adding the link–Bell Tower Chapel & Garden. 

I’m also on staff as an Officiant at Bell Tower and love the gorgeous reception area, patio and chapel. Ringing the bell is an honored tradition for new couples and part of the fun.Tonight while emailing back and forth to my Hodge Unit Bride, my other Coffield Unit Bride sent a text that the Lock Down had been lifted and her wedding ceremony Approved. I crossed my fingers that the date was set for 09-11-2018 as I was already scheduled at 9:30 at Coffield. 

Luckily, the Unit “stacked” my 9:30 and moved my other Client to 9:00AM to accommodate both Brides on the same day at the same Unit. It’s always a blessing to have Units “stack” wedding ceremonies when you travel as much as I do to locations spread from Texas to California. 

Last year, Cindy and I along with my niece, Leigh Ann were at a destination wedding in Lompoc after barely touching down back in Fort Worth from leaving Ohio before jetting off again to LAX. 

Needless to say, we were exhausted from a straight two months of travel and a very large event in Fort Worth that included Texas Twins Treasures floral designs and Coordination along with Event Security and 12 hours on site. 

Flying out the following day wasn’t easy but, wedding season often has us flying by the seat of our pants around here. I’d like to wish all of our September Brides from last year a Happy Anniversary as we work on getting through this month before traveling again next month. My niece, Leigh Ann is also booked out this month as she is traveling with Cindy and I along with Maryssa, Makenna and Maddy to California next month but, my son and his wife are available for photography bookings in October while we are attending to other clients. 

Leigh Ann usually adds her logo to photos but, we encourage our clients to copy their photos and share them regardless of a logo being present or not. 

Since I’ve had a number of new requests at TDCJ Bill Clements, TDCJ Robertson Unit and TDCJ Polunsky, as well as Estes this early in the month, I’m moving new Texas Prison Wedding Requests to November due to my schedule in October and my existing bookings in September. 

The timeline for the paperwork involved for a TDCJ Wedding can take weeks and sometimes months. First, you will need the Inmate to file for an ID. 

Second, you will need a Notarized Absentee Affidavit. Third, You will need your loved one to file an I60 Request For Marriage Form. 

Please be advised that the I60 REQUIRES a TDCJ Approved Officiants Full Name on the document. What this means is that without an Approved Officiant, no Warden will grant permission to marry. Why? Because it is the responsibility of “the person on the outside” to secure a TDCJ Officiant. 

Secondly, if there isn’t an Officiants services retained, there certainly won’t be a wedding. Wardens and Chaplains are busy people and therefore, don’t schedule anything without protocol being followed fully and by the book.

An I60 Request For Marriage Form can take several weeks to several months to be Approved or Denied by the Unit. Be aware of the timelines involved and please be patient. 

I suggest buying your Marriage License shortly after your loved one files the I60 Request For Marriage so you have it on hand and don’t have to worry about the waiting period affecting your ability to marry when the Chaplain or Law Library issue you a date. 

Unless, of course, you’ve taken the Two Together In Texas Premarital Course which waives the three day waiting period in Texas.

Without a Two Together In Texas Affidavit, only Military Members are entitled to Waive The Waiting Period. Two Together In Texas is a Course that not only waives the Waiting Period for Civilians but also Discounts the Marriage License by $60. 

I suggest buying the online course for $29 rather than paying an inflated price to someone on the internet who may or may not be affiliated with Two Together In Texas. 

Traditional Clients and TDCJ Clients are both nervous about Handwritten Vows. Don’t be. Your Ceremony is far more personal, creative and emotional when you take the time to customize it.I’m adding a few Tips & Tricks to give ya all a few “pointers” on how to make your Ceremony Personal and special at the same time. 

You can do this and believe it or not, your fiancé will be thrilled you took the time to put forth the effort. Trust me.

Write two or three sentences about each of these elements. Combined together, they make beautiful vows:

Begin by talking about something you love about your partner, or something they have contributed to their lives. This is a great spot to include an anecdote or story that brings this moment to life. 

For example, in my own wedding, my husband talked about the day that we met, and how that was the day that his whole life changed.

Next, include some promises. Ones that you will look to guide your marriage. These can be serious: “I promise to stand by your side, and bring out the best in you, in all adventures.” 

Or a little sillier: “I promise to laugh at your jokes (most of the time).” In fact, I think the best vows are a beautiful balance of seriousness and humor.

And now, let’s end it with a look to the future. What do you look forward to sharing in your marriage? What are your goals, your aspirations, the qualities you want to embody as a couple?

I have no idea why writing your own Vows is so terrifying but, it shouldn’t be. You are speaking to the person you love not addressing anyone else in the room. Remember that. It will help you.

Sure, everyone is going to hear you and you might be nervous about speaking in public but, focus on your fiancée not the guests and you will do just fine. 

I’ve been a public speaker for over twenty five years and not many people realize that for years I struggled with a chronic stutter. Just go for it and you will be glad you did. A “standard ceremony” is far more complete with Client input. Many of you have asked “why do we have to take so many photos? I’m tired. I just want to sit down.” Well, friends, the photo above didn’t turn out well due to the light coming through the windows. 

You are getting married once. It’s a Life Event. Have a snack and don’t forget to eat because Weddings can be an “all day affair” of photo ops. Smile. It’s your day. Sure, you’re going to be tired and maybe even cranky at the end of it but, it’s one day and a day you’ve planned for a very long time. Try to enjoy it. 

Over the past eight years, I’ve had Clients contact me for reprints after losing a loved one who was at their wedding. I’m deeply saddened to hear that the mother of our Corsicana, Texas Brides is no longer with us. 

We send photo CD’s as a courtesy to Clients as well as posting to social media as a courtesy to give Clients an opportunity to share or save photos. 

I will always treasure the time we spend on location meeting families and new friends of my Texas Twins Events Team. 

The Darby Wedding had the largest wedding party we’ve ever had and it was a joyous and fun filled celebration.It’s still hard to believe that my stepdaughter, Ann is no longer with us. Death Is A Dark Stranger. No one is ready to say goodbye and those left behind are never quite ready to let go. We are keeping the Darby Family in our prayers.

My dad has returned from his visit to my brother in North Carolina and is now working County Jail Weddings as an Officiant along with my niece, Leigh Ann and son, Robert. Due to the number of requests for County Jail Weddings and the confusion regarding State Jail Weddings which are actually State Jail Prisons, it should be noted that State Jail Prisons operate under TDCJ and therefore, REQUIRE a TDCJ Approved Officiant. 

I’m the only person on my staff who can Officiate a State Jail, Federal Prison or State Prison Wedding. 

Since I’ve been asked about adding more TDCJ Officiants to my staff, I am the only Officiant that TDCJ Clients want at their wedding so, the point has been mute and also, my niece is uncomfortable regarding walking into a Prison as is my son and father. 

I Officiate 15-20 TDCJ Weddings on any given month. I limit my TDCJ bookings each month because I also work on staff at other venues as well as with Clients from Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. 

After January, I will (once again) revisit adding more TDCJ Officiants to our staff but, currently, all TDCJ Clients are more than happy to wait for my schedule to accommodate their request.

Vow Renewal Packages after the release of a TDCJ former Client are wildly popular. Our package includes an Officiant and Photographer. 

Please contact me asap to schedule your TDCJ Vow Renewal Package as I’m often traveling every weekend and most Renewals are scheduled on weekends months in advance. 

If my schedule won’t allow me to Officiate, my son, niece, sister, or father can Officiate your ceremony and you can choose from Leigh Ann handling your photography or my son and his wife.     

We want your Event to be as special as you are and welcome any questions, comments or concerns through any Wendy Wortham Website or via email to