Wedding venues requesting guidance from Health Department

Erie County

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — After the COVID-19 zone restrictions were lifted, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that wedding venues could start holding celebrations of 150 people again. He added that guests will have to be tested before the event. Still, there are many questions wedding venues want answered before they can reopen.

The co-owner of Marygold Manor in Erie County says this update is a good start, but with the March 15 reopening date that the governor announced, he has more questions than answers. “We are a budget-friendly business. Who is paying for all of that? Am I paying for it? Are they paying for it? I don’t know yet,” Jeremy Urbanski said.

Urbanski says he’s open to the idea of testing guests, and is excited about the possibility of having a full banquet hall again. He just wants to know what the next steps are. “If it can work for schools, and it can work for the Bills game, it should be able to work for us,” said Urbanski.

Also hoping for some clarification from the Erie County Health Department are newlyweds Bill Nascimento and Meaghan McGinty. After canceling their big celebration and having a small ceremony instead, they say they would still like to hold a reception, if it can be done in a safe way.

“I had hoped we would be able to celebrate at the one year anniversary. But right now, the information we’re getting from the venue is, as it stands, they’re only able to accommodate 50 guests.”

Cuomo said New York would work on additional guidance for the required testing, but local departments would be in charge of regulating it.

The Erie County Department of Health sent a statement to NEWS10’s sister station in Buffalo, who said in part:

“New York State has not yet issued new guidance related to weddings. Venues that host or plan to host weddings should keep checking… and be prepared to follow all other guidance related to their industry. Until that guidance is issued, weddings are still limited to 50 people.”

Erie County Department of Health

Urbanski is hoping this effort will help keep his business running and give couples some closure. “They’ve called me. They’re ready to go. They want to get married. They don’t want to postpone their life anymore. Whether it’s 50 people or 150, they’ll do whatever it is they have to do.”

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