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Weddings can be larger, but there will be a testing requirement now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says wedding receptions can grow to 150 attendees as long as there’s testing ahead of the event.

He made that announcement on Friday, noting that all events would also need to be approved by the local health department.

The new rules go into effect on March 15 and are expected to be published in-full before that.

Prior to the announcement on Friday, all mass gatherings – including weddings were limited to 50 people. However, there was no testing limitation.

During his state of the state address, Cuomo said that testing would be a crucial part of reopening the state and getting events rolling as the vaccine was distributed.

“People will actually come to your wedding because you can tell them, with the testing, it will be safe,” Cuomo said. “For a lot of these venues, I don’t believe it’s about the government restrictions. I believe if I said today, movie theaters can open to 100%, I don’t believe people go. I believe people have to be confident that it’s safe”

As of Friday afternoon the following was published on the Governor’s website. There was no indication about the timing of required tests for wedding receptions or similar events. However, a similar plan was put in place with the Buffalo Bills playoff games, which mandated that testing happen within 72 hours of the event.

“The Governor also announced that marriage receptions will be able to resume in accordance with state guidance on March 15. Events must be approved by the local health department. There will be a 50 percent capacity limit and no more than 150 people can attend the event. All patrons must be tested prior to the event.”