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NYS releases guidance for weddings, catered events

Cuomo previously announced that starting March 15, venus can host weddings and/or catered events at 50 percent capacity, with no more than 150 people in attendance.

ALBANY, N.Y. — Couples getting married this spring and summer now have a clearer picture of what the restrictions from New York State will look like for their big day.

Cuomo previously announced that starting March 15, venues can host weddings and/or catered events at 50 percent capacity, with no more than 150 people in attendance. Any venue that plans on hosting a large event, above the social gathering limit, is required to notify the local health department ahead of time. 

Anyone planning on attending would need to be tested for COVID-19 beforehand. In addition, sign-in with contact information would be required at the event to assist with contact tracing if need be. 

Similar to COVID safety rules at a restaurant, those in attendance are required to wear a mask at all times except when seated and eating or drinking. However, unlike restaurants, weddings can go past the regular 10 p.m. curfew and end at midnight.

In addition, ceremonial and socially-distanced dancing will be allowed, but under strict guidelines.

Here's a breakdown of the newest guidelines.

COVID-19 Testing

  • All attendees must have proof of a negative PCR within 72 hours of the event OR proof of a negative rapid test within six hours of the event.
  • Venue employees and staff will be tested on a bi-weekly basis.
  • Anyone who has received both doses of the vaccine at least 14 days prior to the event are not included in the testing rules. However, venues may still require negative tests.

Social Distancing/Masks

  • Everyone must wear masks at all times unless sitting, eating or drinking at their assigned table.
  • All attendees must practice social distancing and remain six feet from people who are not in their immediate party, household or family.
  • Tables should be at least six feet apart and guests should be seated only with people from their immediate party, household or family whenever possible.
  • Cocktail hours are allowed with strict social distancing rules. Including, people must not eat or drink with people who are not in their immediate party, household or family.

 Dancing/Performances

  • Live music performers must be separated from guests, especially if playing a wind instrument by at least 12 feet or a physical barrier.
  • Ceremonial dances at the reception are allowed.
  • Guests may dance with only members of their immediate party, household or family seated at their table only in clearly marked zones.
  • Dancing zones should be at least six feet apart from other dancing zones.
  • Guests must wear masks while dancing.

You can read the full list of new guidelines here. All of these guidelines go into effect on March 15, 2021. Events will still have to be cleared with the local health departments.