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Weddings can now resume in Texas under these guidelines

Under Gov. Greg Abbott's plan, the state will allow weddings held indoors other than at a church, congregation, or house of worship to limit their occupancy to 25%.

AUSTIN, Texas — In a press conference on Tuesday, May 5, Gov. Greg Abbott provided an update on the state's response to COVID-19, including plans to allow wedding venues to open up immediately.

Wedding venues and services required to conduct weddings may immediately open, according to the governor’s announcement

Here are the guidelines:

  • Weddings held indoors other than at a church, congregation, or house of worship, must limit occupancy to 25%. 
  • Wedding reception services may also resume, but facilities must limit their occupancy to 25% of the total listed occupancy. These occupancy limits do not apply to the outdoor areas of a wedding reception or to outdoor wedding receptions. 
  • But even though these venues can open, there are some caveats to having a wedding in Texas. The ceremonies have to follow the same rules as churches do. That is, families can sit together, but must be six feet apart from other families. Additionally, every other row should be blocked off.

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It's good news for wedding venues in and around the Dripping Springs area, which is known as the "Wedding Capital of Texas."

"They are already busy determining how their venue can fit into this new world and excited. Everyone I talked to was just thrilled to be able to have something, a start anyway," said Pam Owens, the president and CEO of the Dripping Springs Visitors Bureau.

At places like The Terrace Club in Dripping Springs, they've been around for nearly 20 years and have never seen something like the coronavirus pandemic. 

Hunter Connor, the owner, said weddings bring in people from across the area to Dripping Springs. 

"We bring in hundreds of people every single weekend," said Connor. “I can only imagine – you know thousands and thousands of people that would normally come to Dripping Springs and go to all the stores and the restaurants and the bars and they’re not there anymore.”

The Terrace Club is a large enough venue to host a wedding indoors or outdoors, along with a second-floor reception area. Connor said weddings have been rescheduled back to July, but if rules continue to stay the same by then, there will be hand sanitizer in every room for people to use. In addition, the rows for the ceremonies will be spread out, and outdoor activities will be encouraged so people can spread out more. 

For the reception, there would be no more than six chairs per table, and each table would be spread out. 

"We’re hopeful that by July, we’re at least 50% if not more," said Connor. 

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This announcement wasn't the only change the governor discussed during the May 5 press conference. As a part of the plan to reopen Texas businesses, starting Friday, May 8, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and tanning salons can reopen. On May 18, the governor said gyms and exercise facilities can reopen as well. 

And in good news for the graduating class of 2020, Gov. Abbott revealed that graduation ceremonies will also be able to go ahead with certain restraints. 

Gov. Abbott's update states that people should continue to avoid visiting bars, massage establishments, tattoo studios, piercing studios, sexually-oriented businesses, or interactive amusement venues such as bowling alleys, video arcades, amusement parks, water parks or splash pads.

WATCH: Gov. Abbott announces salons can reopen in a full press conference

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