Mayor Muriel Bowser stands by her decision despite continued criticism.

BETHESDA, Md. – While wedding season is just around the corner, many couples and party organizers say DC is a party foul. As a result, venues outside of the district, including Montgomery County, could soon benefit from the severe restrictions.

New city health guidelines prohibit dancing at wedding receptions, including standing for cocktail hours. Despite ongoing criticism and hypocrisy, Mayor Muriel Bowser continues to stand by her decision, citing a safe approach to reopening.

“We think it is very important that we open up our industries, but we do it safely,” said Bowser at a recent press conference. “They believe that public health professionals are the safest for us right now while we continue to focus on containing the spread and vaccinating people.”

Couples are now struggling to change their wedding plans at the last minute, including finding another venue outside of town. Many of the people present have already been fully vaccinated.

RELATED: Mayor Bowser stands by the city’s ban on dancing at weddings, despite backlash and national attention

Julie Carter, founder of the Montgomery County Venue Managers Association, said the venues were busy making calls. The association is an informal group consisting of 25 villas, farms, barns, art galleries and museums that can host weddings.

Carter said while this offers the opportunity for more business after a dismal year due to the pandemic, she knows the DC restrictions will be harsh on other income-related wedding venues.

“My heart breaks for the brides and as a venue manager I am so saddened by the venues that may lose a lot of business,” said Carter.

Recent calls add to wedding prep only after being postponed last year. More and more people are being vaccinated and are feeling more comfortable at weddings.

Maryland allows 50 percent capacity for weddings, but Montgomery County has a maximum of 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Carter is also the event director for the Rock Creek Mansion in Bethesda and has sent her calls to major venues in the county that can meet the requirements.

“It’s wonderful, but in general the industry is starting to open up again,” she said.

RELATED: DC has banned dancing at indoor and outdoor wedding receptions

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