Couples looking to have large weddings in New York still have to navigate some heavy COVID restrictions — some of which make sense, but others appear to be arbitrary, which has many grooms- and brides-to-be (as well as wedding venues) asking for changes.
Joined by brides-to-be and members of the wedding industry, lawmakers urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to ease restrictions, such as eliminating COVID testing, increasing capacity and doing away with socially distant squares for dancing.
"Lift these unscientific and ridiculous restrictions so our brides can enjoy one of the most important days of their lives," Assembly Member Jodi Giglio, a Long Island Republican, said.
For some, the most onerous task is making sure guests at parties with more than 100 people have a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination.
"If you don't have to get tested if you have up to 100 guests but once you go to 101 guests that you have to get tested, there's no science in that," Giglio said.
Sarah Engler is planning for a July wedding and currently stressed about limiting the guest list while figuring out how to get everyone tested for COVID-19.
"As we know, getting a COVID test and getting a result quickly is easier said than done," Engler said.
Raising capacity limits could have a big difference on venues ready to host parties for groups several hundred in size.
"It’s not for a free for all -- we aren’t asking for weddings to go back to where they were," Heather Cunningham, from The Brides of Long Island, said.
The group said it will still be important to check temperatures and for guests to wear masks while away from their tables.
Brittany Burton is getting married in September and trying to narrow down her guest list of 200.
"It's vital that we simplify these mandates so that brides, grooms, guests and businesses can ease confusion, insure compliance and get back to celebrating love safely," Burton said.