Wedding ceremonies in the new normal


Photo Courtesy/ Unsplash nikki gibson

After months of canceling or postponing large gatherings, New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced new guidelines on wedding receptions, which are set to begin as early as March 15. 

On Jan. 29, Cuomo announced that wedding receptions would be allowed to come back. However, as with everything in the COVID-era, they will be slightly altered.  They will have to be approved by the local health department, all attendees must test negative for COVID-19 and venues are required to operate at 50% capacity or a maximum of 150 people. After the announcement, Cuomo jokingly encouraged couples to get engaged this upcoming Valentine’s Day, since weddings are set to be a safe place from now on. 

After so many months of darkness, it is exciting to finally see some sense of normalcy again. Although ceremonies will be slightly altered to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, it is no secret that brides and grooms will finally be able to take a breath of fresh air, after almost a year of having to postpone what should be the happiest day of their lives. 

Kaitling Hess, a bride from Buffalo, New York, who had to postpone her wedding ceremony multiple times, told NBC, “I finally feel like I have hope again that I can have my wedding in May, but also that everyone who’s there will have been tested, they’ll have a negative test.” 

Although it is thrilling to see these new guidelines, it presents some new worries. Maintaining control over such a high number of ceremonies will prove challenging—not only will it be difficult to monitor the venue capacity, but ensuring that every single person is tested and is still negative by the time of the ceremony is nearly impossible. How can the state ensure control of numerous ceremonies? 

With this news, it is not difficult to have conflicted feelings and thoughts. From an optimistic point of view, this is not only incredible news, but it is also a taste of what life used to be like pre-pandemic. However, from a realistic point of view, it is only a matter of time before these wedding ceremonies, as well as other big events, become super-spreader events. 

Attendees of wedding ceremonies must remain conscious. The pandemic is still a great danger around the world and especially in New York state, which was deemed the epicenter of the virus  at the start of the  pandemic in the U.S. We must all do our part and follow CDC guidelines in order to stay safe and finally get our normal lives back, which we have dreamed of doing for almost a year now – but will this really be possible when large weddings make a comeback this spring?