CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Courtyard at Gaslight Square is a unique event venue located in Downtown Corpus Christi.
“We boast that we look like an Italian, or European village outside, especially at night, when all the twinkle lights are on and the fountain is turned on. You could just picture yourself in the Trevi Fountain in Italy,” said Ashleigh Thomas, the marketing manager for the venue.
The venue hosts a lot of weddings, but also books other events, like graduation parties, celebrations of life, and even proposals. However, in March 2020, there was uncertainty about what would happen when business stopped.
“As an event venue, we were very panicked, by the fact that we were not going to be able to have events,” Thomas said.
But out of that uncertainty came an idea. The Courtyard at Gaslight Square hosted ‘mini-monys’ for couples whose weddings were affected by the pandemic.
“We really wanted to give some good will back, we had so many cancellations in March and April, just because there was no way to control anything. So, in May we gave away 22 free, one-hour weddings to people who had been affected by COVID,” Thomas said.
Despite a tough few months for the business, the decision to host the events was an easy one.
“It wasn’t really about trying to make money on any of it, it was really just about let’s open back up, and let’s just get people back in here. We really did miss having people in the courtyard and in the gaslight room,” Thomas said.
One of the couples who got married at a ‘mini-mony’ was Lauren and Casey Rickard. The two were supposed to get married on March 21 in Fredricksburg, and found out March 16 about the lockdown.
“My wedding was turning into a nightmare with everything that was going on,” Lauren Rickard said.
Rickard heard about the events The Courtyard at Gaslight Square was hosting, and was excited about the opportunity to have a ceremony at a place she used to look at from her old apartment.
“This would be amazing, to get married before our marriage license expires, to, whatever happens in the world, at least be married, and have that special time,” she said.
The Rickards got married on May 23, 2020, and despite it being different from what they had planned, Lauren said the night was perfect.
“They came to the rescue, and gave me my dream wedding. A lot of the elements of the wedding that I had dreamed of, they were able to bring to life for me. It couldn’t have been more perfect,” she said. “I think the relief and joy of being able to become husband and wife, and the generosity of the Courtyard at Gaslight Square all made it so special.”
As businesses have started to open more, and COVID-19 regulations have relaxed, The Courtyard at Gaslight Square has been busy almost every weekend since reopening, Thomas said.
Now, the venue is holding a Dream Wedding Giveaway. Through July 31, couples can purchase entries into a contest to win a wedding at the venue valued over $30,000. Money raised from the contest will benefit Children’s Cancer Research Fund. For more information, and to enter, visit TheCourtyardatGaslight.com/dreamwedding.