CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported they believe they can do it safely, and that they’re on the brink of ruin.READ MORE: New York State Hospital Workers Must Get Vaccinated, No Testing Option, Cuomo Says; State Reviewing New CDC Mask Guidance
The wedding industry says it’s been forgotten. They’re fighting for their financial lives.
While restaurants outside New York City are open at 50% capacity, catering halls can only host 50 people.
“I think it’s not fair and I think it doesn’t make sense,” said Lori Lombardi, an owner. “Our occupancy is 1,000 and we can socially distance.”
“It’s bringing a lot of caterers to the brink of bankruptcy,” Fox Hollow Inn’s owner Gennaro Tallarico said.
Events at the Fox Hollow Inn in Woodbury are restricted to only 50 guests.
“By shutting us down, these events are not stopping. These events are going into people’s homes. They’re going into venues that don’t have liquor licenses, that are not professionally maintained, not professionally cleaned,” Tallarico said.
- Tri-State Coronavirus Travel Advisory Quarantine List
- Resources, Hotlines, Unemployment & Covering Bills
- Remote Learning Tools For Parents Teaching At Home
- CBS2’s Dr. Max Answers Your Health Questions
- What To Do If Someone Isn’t Social Distancing Or Wearing A Mask?
- Expert: Parents Be Mindful Of Children’s Stress After Months Of Isolation
- Chopper 2 Over Empty NYC Streets, Landmarks
- Complete Coronavirus Coverage
The rules are arbitrary, say the owners, employees and brides waiting to say, “I do.”READ MORE: Town Of Hempstead Beaches Suspend Swimming After More Shark Sightings Off Long Island
“It affects the photographers. It affects the limo services, it affects the florists, and then it affects the brides,” said bride-to-be Katelyn Sanasta.
“An industry of happiness and memories has been crushed. There needs to be light at the end of the tunnel,” said Riverhead Town Councilwoman Jodi Giglio.
The governor’s office argues weddings are inherently riskier than restaurant dining – people know one another, mingle, and come and go at the same time.
“With spikes in other states, clusters in New York, and the risk of a second wave on the horizon, we must continue to be vigilant. As we have seen in weddings across the country… large events dramatically increase the risk of COVID and can easily become superspreader events,” said Jack Sterne, an administration spokesperson.
The industry is asking for 50% capacity with social distancing, temperature checks and contact tracing.
“I’m not asking for a packed dance floor. I’m asking for that moment when a father gets to dance with his little girl,” said Heather Cunningham from Brides of Long Island.
Industry leaders have been meeting with the governor’s office, they say, asking for fair new guidelines. They say 50% capacity will not be profitable, but it may keep many venues in business.
Gov. Cuomo’s office also pointed to several weddings, including one in upstate New York, that led to multiple deaths.MORE NEWS: Exclusive: Family Calls For Stiffer Penalties For Illegal Dirt Bike Riders As 4-Year-Old Boy Recovers From Critical Injuries
You can get the latest news, sports and weather on our brand new CBS New York app. Download here.