The wedding industry is booming in Dripping Springs. So much so that the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau filed paperwork a few months ago to trademark the phrase Wedding Capital of Texas.
Brides and grooms from all over the country and even overseas are making their way to Dripping Springs to say I do. All the money they spend on the big day is having a big impact on the local economy.
The small city of 1,700 is known as the gateway to the Hill Country. The extraterritorial jurisdiction serves around 30,000 people.
"We saw how many weddings and more businesses opening venues so we started looking at it," said Sherrie Parks, the executive director of the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau.
Parks counts 34 wedding venues within 17 miles of Dripping Springs. She says the wedding industry has brought new businesses to the area.
"They stay overnight and they eat at our restaurants," said Parks.
In 2013, vendors helped more than 1,400 couples tie the knot.
"The next thing I knew it just took off," said Denise Stone. She owns Bee-Lavish, a vintage rental company. Stone saw an opportunity in the industry and started her business five years ago. She hears from brides all over the country who call places like New York and Virginia home.
Stone is excited about the new designation and is ready for the challenge.
People living in Dripping Springs see the benefit visitors bring to the area.
"I noticed it staying at the RV Park. People are coming in on the weekends for weddings with their campers," said Debbie Kuczek, who is temporarily staying in Dripping Springs for a few months.
Marisa Cortinas hopes that the town stays small and sleepy, just how she likes it. "Just like anywhere else, leave your money and we'll see you next time," she said.
The chamber plans on spreading the word through a campaign to promote the Hill County views and southern hospitality in hopes of attracting more couples to the Wedding Capital of Texas.
It could take a few more months for all of the paperwork to officially go through but no other city is after this title. The chamber received approval to go ahead and use the trademark symbol. Some of the vendors are booking out for 2015 and 2016.