By January 10, 2021April 8th, 2021No Comments

Keeping BOLI up to date with the latest regulations regarding your celebration.

Trying to plan a wedding under normal circumstances is tough. Trying to plan one during a pandemic – when there are new laws and rumors are flying – would make any bride start to seriously consider elopement.

While we can’t change the rules, we CAN keep you informed. Here you will find the official, government mandated restrictions on large gatherings in New York State. This article will be updated as the restrictions change.

Until March 15th 2021, the following guidelines are in effect:

Starting March 15th 2021, the following guidelines will go into effect:


  • Venues will be allowed to hosts events at 50% capacity, up to 150 guests, with mandatory attendee COVID testing.
  • All weddings must be approved by local health departments. Venues must notify local health departments of large events, above the social gathering limit, at least 5 days in advance of the event.
  • Weddings may be subject to inspection by local health authorities to ensure compliance.
  • Venues are prohibited from holding events between the hours of 12:00am and 5:00am.
  • Venues may have more than one wedding on the same premises at the same time as long as each event is separate and distinguishable. Each wedding must be held in different areas of the venue. Attendees from separate weddings can not share any spaces or rooms, use the same entrances and exits at the same time, or otherwise engage in in-person interaction.
  • For restaurants operating as venues, dining room areas that serve patrons who are not associated with wedding attendees may continue to serve such patrons within the designated area so long as they are separated from wedding spaces.


  • All guests must receive a negative diagnostic test result for COVID-19 before attending.
    • Acceptable tests include FDA authorized PCR or NAAT tests performed within 72 hours of the wedding, or FDA authorized antigen (“rapid”) tests performed within 6 hours of the wedding. All guests must present proof of negative test results to designated venue staff prior to or immediately upon arrival.
    • Paper or digital copies are accepted.
  • Alternatively, guests may present proof of vaccination at least 14 days prior to the wedding. However, diagnostic testing is still recommended, and venues may still require a negative diagnostic test result regardless of immunization status.
  • Any guest who fails to provide a negative diagnostic test result or proof of immunization must be denied entry to the wedding.
  • Sign-in with contact information including full name, date of birth, address, email, and phone number is required of all guests to assist with potential contact tracing.


  • Face coverings will be required at all times except when seated and eating or drinking.
  • Ceremonial dancing (first dances, parent dances, etc), is allowed under strict social distancing guidelines.
  • Guests should not congregate except when seated at their assigned tables, and only stand when necessary and and essential to the event (entrance of the bride and groom, etc).
  • Venues may provide cocktail hour receptions where standing is permitted with strict adherence to social distancing guidelines, provided that guests only remove face coverings and consume food and beverages while seated.
  • Live music, entertainment (DJ, etc), and/or dancing is permitted under the following parameters:
    • Live musicians or other performers, particularly those that are unmasked (wind instrumentalists, etc), must maintain 12 feet of distance from guests or be separated by a physical barrier.
    • Guests may dance only with their immediate party, household, or family who are seated at their table in designated areas assigned to them. Designated areas are spaced at least 6 feet apart. Guests must wear face coverings and refrain from entering, using, or otherwise visiting other designated dancing areas.

Starting March 22 2021, the following guidelines will go into effect:

  • Gatherings at private residences will be limited to 10 people indoors, or 25 people outdoors
  • The social gathering limit will be increased to 100 people indoors, and 200 people outdoors.
  • For events under the social gathering limit, Ceremonial dancing (first dances, mother/son dances, father/daughter dances) and socially distanced dancing between attendees of the same immediate party, household, or family seated at the same table may occur in designated areas with no testing requirement.
  • For events over the social gathering limit, proof of negative test results are required for all guests over the age of two. If attendee has been vaccinated and shows proof, no testing is required.
  • For any attendee that has tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of the event, and is still producing a positive test result despite no active infection, the following documents must be provided:
    • proof of most recent FDA approved positive test result and either
      • proof of the positive test result within 90 days
      • completed order of isolation from health authority
    • documentation from a qualified health care professional indicating that the attendee is not considered to have an active COVID-19 infection based on the most recent positive test result.
  • Face coverings and social distancing are mandatory

Starting April 2nd, the following guidelines will go into effect:

  • Venues will be allowed 75% capacity, up to 150 people.

Written by Jennifer Rizzuto,

BOLI Blogger

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