SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR) — After a year of little to no business, wedding venues and caterers can start booking events for March 15. But, the guidelines coming from the state are pretty strict. Despite that, Sky Armory in Syracuse already has two weddings coming up in four weeks.
Each year, Sky Armory hosts more than 200 weddings, business gatherings, and small parties. But last year, they could only fit in 20 of those.
“A year of being, not being able to run a business that you have put your entire life into, is really tough,” said Nicole Samolis, President and General Manager of Sky Armory.
But in four weeks, their ballrooms will be booked. Starting March 15, the state will allow gatherings involving 150 people, or 50% of the venue’s capacity. There are a couple of caveats, though.
As Samolis sifted through the 17-page document from the state, she said it’s pretty detailed.
Five days before the event, venues must notify the health department, giving the details of who, what, when, and where it’s happening. When guests arrive, or beforehand, they must sign in with personal information for contact tracing. Those guests and the staff need to show proof of a negative COVID test at least 72 hours before the event or proof that they’ve been fully vaccinated for two weeks. Anyone who can’t show proof won’t be let in. Plus, everyone needs to be masked up, except when seated, and stick to their immediate families or pods at all times. There will be dancing and live music, but at a social distance.
It’s not what they hoped for, but Samolis and her clients are happy to be back in business.
“The mindset for the people who have stuck, particularly our March couples, you know, ‘whatever we’re going to be, we’re going to be.’ You know, we want to get married, we want to do this, and it’s, you know, we’re doing it together,” Samolis said.
No matter how different it may be.
Samolis has a lot of unanswered questions before her upcoming weddings. she’s been in touch with the Hospitality Association and the health department, but she’s willing to do what it takes to follow the guidance.