By Megan Wehring
DRIPPING SPRINGS – The wedding industry continues to change rapidly as the COVID-19 pandemic brings more surprises. Some venues, like the Terrace Club, are still welcoming events — even if they are smaller than years past.
Dripping Springs is a popular location for hosting weddings, estimated at about 1,000 per year. In light of the pandemic, the wedding culture has seemingly changed, yet that hasn’t stopped couples from making their big day memorable, said Pam Owens, president of the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau.
“None of us thought it would last this long,” Owens referred to the pandemic. “It hasn’t been easy working within the guidelines and mandates but venues and couples are doing it creatively and with style. … If the wedding budget is already set then couples are using the money to make their weddings even more special – maybe better food, more flowers, gifts for the guests, etc.”
Wedding season typically extends from late spring until the early fall months but that has not been the case this year. Many couples have decided to postpone their wedding further to next year or even 2022, said Hunter Connor, owner of the Terrace Club.
“All the people that are looking for wedding venues right now, they are looking at fall of next year,” Connor said. “Nobody is looking at summer or spring of next year. They’re all waiting a whole year to plan their wedding because they still don’t know what’s going on or what it’s going to be like in six months.”
Not only are there postponements, Connor said there were even less engagements due to the previous shutdown. There are less people coming by the venue for tours; normally the venue has six to eight private showings, but for the past five months showings became scarce, Connor said.
While venues rely heavily on a consistent schedule of bookings, it’s about 50/50 for how the Terrace Club and preferred vendors have been holding up financially, Connor explained.
“Some of them are really busy still and some of them are struggling big time, as in I don’t know if they are going to be around next year,” Connor said. “There’s a handful of them that are still really busy but there’s also a handful of them that I think are going to lose half of their vendors between now and next year.”
Planning a wedding during a pandemic may seem like walking through uncharted waters; Owens provided some lasting advice for couples during this time.
“Just be aware of what the venues are mandated to adhere to and be flexible,” Owens said. “Remember it is supposed to be a day to celebrate. Don’t let anything keep you from doing that.”