Wedding venues sue the state, want same guidelines as restaurants

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Couples forced to cancel their big day due to the coronavirus could soon have another opportunity to host a wedding.

More than 1,000 wedding businesses, like venues and caterers, across the state have signed onto a class action lawsuit filed Friday against Gov. Cuomo, Attorney General Letitia James, Empire State Development Corporation and the State Liquor Authority.

Attorney Anthony Rupp says it’s only fair these businesses are given the same guidelines as restaurants instead of the stricter rules in place for weddings.

“[Wedding venue owners] just can’t understand how the restaurant next door can have 175 people every night and they try to hold a wedding of 120 and they’re told they can’t,” Rupp said. “We’ve brought the case on behalf of all banquet facilities, restaurants, caterers – anyone in the food and beverage industry who want to host weddings saying, look, we wanted to have people in our restaurant at 50 percent of our occupancy limit. We should be allowed to have those people there for purposes of celebrating a wedding.”

Besides abiding by the 50 percent occupancy limit, Rupp said his clients would also enforce social distancing, including not allowing dancing or mingling at the bar, and making sure all guests wear a mask.

Marlee Tuskes is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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