Before the sounds of wedding bells can fill the air, many steps must be undertaken to make sure pathogens don't. New York State's newest wedding guidance will dictate your dance moves, and, dip even deeper into your wallet, for 'romantic' pursuits like COVID testing.
"The dancing guidelines, I feel, would be a little tough to enforce, for the venue or for us," said bride-to-be, Alissa Tehan.
Tehan had no idea what she and her fiance, Ryan Gifford, would face, after he got down on bended knee. The two had to cancel their August, 2020 wedding. They're optimistic as they plan their June, 2021 wedding around a multitude of state guidance.
Among the more bizarre restrictions, are those which dictate dancing, which can only be done with family and your immediate party, in your own 'dance zone,' 6 feet from everyone else's dance zone.
"Instantly, I think of my 20-year-old server who's gonna have to walk up to three drunk guys stepping outside their square and tell them to get back in line," says David Anthony, Wedding MD, an event planner who has written books on the subject, is a regular guest on radio shows around the country, and owns multiple venues in Vernon.
Equally as onerous, but considerably costly COVID testing requirements.
"The testing guidelines, they were a little bit ambiguous. They didn't really say who the testing burden fell on, if that was on us or the venue themselves and if everyone is being tested negative ahead of time, why are the mask guidelines and the testing guidelines still being held?" asks Tehan.
Confusing and costly guidelines.
"Now, I have to pay to have every server tested every two weeks. For us, 100 employees every two weeks, we're looking at $8,000 a month. How long does this go on? That's a mortgage," says David Anthony. "I can tell you we're down 90%. We went from a business without any debt, to now debt. There's been a lot of personal sacrifice, let's just say that."
In spite of a labyrinth of guidelines and costly compliance, the bride-to-be is just happy to be tying the knot in June.
"We're happy, we're optimistic for the day and we're looking forward to finally getting married," she said.
And the planner is looking forward to a less restrictive, more robust 2022, saying "We're probably double the pace of normal. That's a great sign. That tells me the public thinks 2022 this is over with."