ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — During his COVID-19 briefing on Friday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new rules for wedding receptions, which are set to take effect on March 15.
Starting that day, wedding receptions may take place at venues in the state, but with only half capacity (up to 150 people) allowed.
Additionally, everyone who attends must get tested for COVID-19 beforehand and the local health department must approve the event itself.
Following that, the Governor jokingly suggested that people get engaged during a Valentine’s Day dinner, since the holiday is coming up in just over two weeks.
This all comes as welcome news for soon-to-be brides and grooms throughout the state who have had to postpone or cancel their wedding due to the pandemic.
Lauren Kay of the wedding site The Knot says these couples now have to work with their venue to make sure all safety precautions are met.
“There’s over 20,000 weddings happening every weekend, and thousands and thousands of couples were forced to change their plans, sometimes at a moment’s notice,” Kay said. “It’s really up to the couples to work with their wedding planner and their team of vendors to make sure safety is a top of mind through every step of planning.”
Devin Kiblin and Erica Willis have dealt with the heartbreak of canceling their wedding. The Buffalo residents were set to get married in June of 2020.
“We ended up postponing twice – making new plans twice – and then this time we postponed it and kept all the details to ourselves because we weren’t sure if it was actually going to happen or continue on even longer,” Willis said.
“Our new date is July, and until today we weren’t even sure if it was going to be possible,” Kiblin said. “We even have more than 150 [people] on our guestlist, but at least it gives us hope we can have our wedding.”
The Governor says wedding receptions are just the start. The state is now working on additional guidance on how to test and monitor other big events that local health departments will regulate.