If you’re planning a wedding for the spring or summer of 2021, it may look a little different than you imagined. While we’re moving past minimonies and microweddings, there are still restrictions in place, thanks to COVID-19.
Venues can now host weddings and other catered events at 50% capacity, with a maximum of 150 people total. If the venue is hosting an event above these limits, they are required to notify the local health department before the event.
COVID-19 Testing Required
The wedding party and all attendees must have proof of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 within 72 hours of the event, or proof of a negative rapid test within six hours of the event. Venue staff must be tested on a biweekly basis.
Those attendees who have received both doses of vaccine (at least 14 days before the wedding) are excluded from the testing requirement, but must provide proof of vaccination.
Venues will check for PCR test results and require a sign-in at the event with contact information in case contact tracing becomes necessary.
Mask Requirements & Social Distancing
It is mandatory for you and your guests to wear masks at all times, except when sitting, eating, or drinking at your assigned table. Tables will be placed six feet apart, and guests should only be seated with members of their immediate household, family, or party. Any time you are up from your table, you must wear your mask.
Guests are asked to practice social distancing of at least six feet apart throughout the event, except from those in your immediate household, family, or party.
Live musicians and other entertainers, particularly those who are not wearing masks during performances and those playing wind instruments, must be separated from guests by 12 feet or an appropriate physical barrier.
Ceremonial dances are allowed, while maintaining the required six feet from guests during the dances. Guests may engage in dancing with the people seated at their table (family, household, or party) in designated zones. These zones should be clearly marked and at least six feet apart. Guests must wear masks while dancing.
Update: Starting May 3, New York State will eliminate the need for fixed dance zones, but social distancing and masks will still be required.
Prepare your guests in advance by letting them know the requirements for your wedding day. They should plan to:
- Have a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event OR a rapid test within 6 hours
- Bring proof of negative COVID-19 PCR results or proof of both doses of vaccination within two weeks of the wedding
- Provide contact details upon arrival to the venue in case contact tracing is needed
- Bring a mask and plan to wear it throughout the event
To ensure that everyone is protected, have disposable masks and hand sanitizer available at tables or consider providing reusable cloth masks and mini-sanitizers as your gifts to guests.