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Safely Planning Your Pandemic Wedding with Covid Large Gathering Restrictions

New Yorkers! We are SO CLOSE to carefree, safe gatherings and weddings like back in the day! Read the full NYS PDF updated 6/8/21 right here! See our excerpts as they pertain to weddings in New York State outlined below.


The limit on the number of people in one area as determined by the State of New York. Any weddings or events that have more than the amounts listed below are subject to more strict guidelines including contact tracing, social distancing and wearing face coverings. Read more in the NYS PDF starting on page 7.

  1. 250 indoors

  2. 500 outdoors


These guidelines pertain to events UNDER the social gathering limit. New York State has adopted the CDC guidelines for masks and distancing. Find the detailed information here.

  1. Fully vaccinated persons do not need to wear face coverings or socially distance while at weddings and events.

  2. Unvaccinated or unknown vaccination status persons must continue to wear face masks and socially distance themselves 6′ from others in public places.

  3. Cocktail receptions and congregating is now permitted, though guests who are not vaccinated are required to eat and drink while seated at their table

  4. Dancing is permitted without dance “zones,” and fully vaccinated guests do not need to distance or wear masks. However, unvaccinated guests must still wear masks and distance from others outside of their family/table group.

ALL THIS BEING SAID – Private businesses are allowed to make their own determinations about the safety and best practices for their businesses. Refer to your venue in terms of what they will allow. Venues are permitted to request proof of vaccinations if they so choose. 


  1. Venues are permitted to operate at 100% capacity if event is UNDER the social gathering limits and all guests are vaccinated.

  2. If not all guests and staff are fully vaccinated (having all required shots based on the brand with a minimum of 14 days before the event), capacity decreases to accommodate social distancing between tables. Venues may also have sections for vaccinated and unvaccinated patrons.


  1. Testing for guests at weddings and gatherings is not required, but COVID positive guests MUST NOT be allowed to attend the event.


  1. Employees and event staff include anyone who may interact with attendees and other employees or event staff. Examples are venue staff, catering staff, bartenders, entertainers, photographers/videographers, security personnel, parking attendants, floral arrangers, etc.

  2. COVID positive employees and event staff MUST NOT be allowed to work the event.


  1. Live music performers and other entertainers are allowed

  2. Dancing is allowed


  1. Your venue will determine how laid back they will be in terms of these relaxed guidelines. Some will require proof of vaccinations, and that’s OK.

  2. Distancing, barriers and other safety measures are still a good idea

  3. Continue to ask your guests to monitor their health and make the best decisions about congregating in large events

  4. Stay in touch with your vendors and ask what their

Solutions for Planning your New York State Pandemic Wedding

Consider live streaming your wedding! Even with the increased amount of guests allowed – there will be some who are uncomfortable being in large groups. It would be really nice to offer them the chance to still partake in the ceremony and festivities!

Proper signage and communication to your guests is crucial. There are plenty of vendors in our directory who can whip up some signage for your wedding distancing needs! Swap out that basket of flip fops for a basket of face masks!

Make sure your venue and vendors are familiar with the Gatherings and Events Readiness and Planning Tool set forth by the CDC.

Modify the layouts and floor plan of your event to facilitate social distancing.

Utilize outdoor spaces as a priority and make sure multiple entrances and exits are available.

Disposable food serving options, grab and go pre-packaged items options and passed options from caterers are safer alternatives. If you have a dessert table – have one staff member handling the distribution of treats with tongs to guests one at a time. In lieu of buffets – have your dinners pre-plated and boxed. Catered food served by wait staff is still OK, but we know that can increase the cost of the dinner overall. Food trucks are also a great solution!

Once you know the restrictions – you can come up with creative solutions so planning your New York State pandemic wedding can still be special and memorable. Our vendors want to help you while you’re planning your pandemic wedding! So check out our directory to find the best pros for the job. If you have any questions – just reach out to us below at the contact form! We’re here to help!

We have a full list of vendors with COVID solutions and another Upstate New York Micro Wedding Services. To read all of the information regarding the new guidelines, access the PDF right here.

xoxo- Ali

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