COVID Related Wedding Questions (Updated 3/12/2021)
How many guests can I have at my wedding?
Effective March 15, 2021, if you are not located within a cluster action zone you can have up to 150 guests or 50% occupancy of your venue, whichever is less. This is only for non-residential gatherings. These regulations are in place for events with 51-150 guests.
If you are having a gathering at a private residence you are still only allowed 10 people currently.
Effective March 22, 2021, if you are not located within a cluster action zone you can have 50% occupancy of your venue or 100 guests indoor and 200 outdoors, whichever is less. (If your guest count is under these limits COVID testing and vaccination proof is not needed) This is only for non-residential gatherings.
If you are having a gathering at a private residence you are still only allowed 10 people indoors and you will now be allowed 25 outdoors.
Effective April 2, 2021, if you are not located within a cluster action zone you can have 50% occupancy of your venue or 100 guests indoor and 200 outdoors, whichever is less. (If your guest count is under these limits COVID testing and vaccination proof is not needed) If all guests present proof of negative test prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors and up to 500 people outdoors. Social distancing and face coverings will be required by all guests. This is only for non-residential gatherings.
If you are having a gathering at a private residence you are still only allowed 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors.
At this time, staff and hired professionals do not count towards your guest count.
House of Worship Ceremony:
If your ceremony is to take place within a religious building, your guest count cannot exceed 50% of capacity.
Can I still have my hair and makeup done?
Yes! You can still get your hair and makeup done.
Can we have dancing at our wedding?
YES!!!! We can finally have dancing... but,
* You must have a designated areas for each table- at minimum must be 36 square feet (6’ x 6’)
Can we still have a band or DJ?
Yes, you can still have live entertainment. Performers should be at least 12 feet from guest.
How many guest can sit at a table?
You can only have a maximum of 10 people per table. If you are located in a cluster action zone, you are only allowed 4 guest per table. Each table must be 6ft from the other tables. It is recommended, the seating is by household.
Does it matter if my wedding is inside or outside?
Yes, as of 3/22 it will depend if your event is indoors or outdoors.
You must still stay at 50% capacity at this time for either indoors or outdoors.
As of March 22, it is either 50% capacity or a max of 200 outdoors (whichever is less) (No testing needed at these guest counts)
Starting April 2nd, you can have either 50% capacity or a max of 500 (whichever is less)
*Note - As of April 2nd, if you go over the state limit of 200 guest outdoors, you will need to have testing and vaccination proof for all of your guests. For more details on guest count, see "How many guests can I have at my wedding"
You cannot exceed the social gathering counts for your zone.
How will these guidelines be enforced?
If you are using a licensed vendor, they all have a license at stake. If they are found to have been working at an event or providing services that go against the guidelines, they face a $10,000 fine per occurrence.
Catering Companies- Must submit a request for a liquor license when they provide offsite liquor or bar services, this is one way the guidelines will be enforced. The SLA (State Liquor Authority) can show up at any point during your wedding to monitor the event and make sure guidelines are being followed.
Social Media- Your wedding will be heavily photographer, whether by your friends/family or a hired professional. These images can be tracked and any of those who participated in an event that does not follow the guidelines can be fined.
Personal Liability - If you are holding an event on your private property which does not follow social distancing protocols or COVID guidelines, you can also be fined.
Do we have to wear a mask?
During your ceremony, you do not have to wear a mask if you will be socially distanced from your bridal party and officiant. If you are not wearing a mask, your bridal party must be 6 ft away from you.
During ceremony, guests do not have to wear a mask if they are seated and the seating is socially distanced.
While transitioning from ceremony to cocktail hour, your guest must wear their masks. Once your guest finds their seat for the evening, they may remove their mask while sitting. If they get up from their seat, they must put their mask back on.
"Effective at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 17, 2020 any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or cloth face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance."
Can we still have a buffet?
Yes, you can have a buffet!
Guests cannot serve themselves; this mean you must have servers who will serve your guests. Guests are NOT allowed to touch serving utensils. There must be 6 ft social distancing between those in line at the buffet, there also must be a table between the servers and the guest waiting in line, servers must stand in front of the buffet table.
Once a guest approaches the table, the server will retrieve a plate from the location behind them, take the order of the guest, place the items on the table and will place the plate on the table in front of them for the guest to pick up. The plate is not to be directly handed to the guest to reduce contact.
Can we have a cocktail hour?
Yes, we are finally getting back to a normal-ish cocktail hour.
Can we have lawn games?
It does seem lawn games are now allowed. You must maintain 6 feet distancing and provide a sanitation station so game pieces can be sanititized between usage.
Can we have a photobooth?
Can we use glassware and have favors?
Glassware cannot be reused. It is recommended to use plasticware, as it can be thrown away or recycled. Mason jars and glasses given as favors or "Your glass for the night" can no longer exist. If you wish to do these as favors, they will need to be given at the end of the night or guests will need to be told to not use them for their drinks.
Koozies or anything that to be reused during the night is prohibited. Since koozies are meant to go from one can to another, they cannot be used during the wedding. Please give these items out at the end of the night as a parting gift.
Can we visit our guests at their tables?
Effective March 15, 2021, Yes, but you will have to be masked and all of the guests at the table will have to be masked. This means when you visit their table, they will all have to stop eating and drinking and put on their masks.
What will our hired professionals do differently?
All your hired professionals will be masked for the entirety of your wedding.
Your vendors will all need to be tested prior to your wedding. Depending on the amount of events and time between them your vendors will either need to be tested 72 hour prior to your event or bi-weekly. Speak to them to see if this will be an additional cost you will need to incur.
Catering - All servers will wear a mask and gloves for the entirety of your wedding. All silverware will be wrapped either in plastic or a napkin so air cannot touch the utensils.
Photographers- There is a chance the grouping of your photos will be smaller and limited to immediate family only. This is a great opportunity to speak with them about how they will be addressing this and the guidelines they will be following.
What precautions do we need to take? (Testing, Signage, etc)
There will need to be signage regarding COVID regulations and social distancing guidelines. Also, 6 ft social distancing markers will need to be placed on the ground at buffets and bathrooms. This is typically be handled by your venue or catering company. Be sure to speak with them regarding this.
When were these answers updated and where did you get this information?
All of the answers are up to date and as accurate as possible as of 3/12/2021.
Will my guests need to self-quarantine?
As of April 1st, domestic travelers will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival in NY.
Can we have a bar?
Yes, we are waiting on official word from the SLA but it is our understanding that guests will be able to get their own drinks from the bar, but they will not be able to drink their drink until they are seated.
Do we need to do contact tracing for our guests?
YES, this is only required for events that are above the state limit while still maintaining an event within the allowed limits.
What time will my wedding need to end?
As of March 15th, 2021, your event must end by midnight. We are waiting on word from the State Liquor Authority if bar service still needs to end by 11pm. We will update this when we get word.