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State By State Guidelines for your Wedding


Coastal Maine Wedding ceremony with bespoke arbor, lace wedding dress and blue suit Vermont wedding photographer Andy Madea

Planning and or rescheduling a wedding during the Covid 19 pandemic can feel overwhelming. When it comes to planning, the information has been scattered and vague to say the least.  My goal with the below list is to try and compile the most up to date resources to help aid in your planning process. This will hopefully help you make an informed decision about whether you’ll need to postpone, modify, or reschedule your wedding date. This is the latest information provided by each state’s governor, and the event capacities listed below are all most likely in place through beginning to mid June depending on how the cases are looking.

While each state’s governor has released varying executive orders detailing guidelines on events and more, be sure to check with your county and venue first before assuming your wedding is a go. Plus, no matter what your state guidelines are, be sure that you take into account your own personal situation and guest list before determining whether you and your family/friends are actually ready to attend a wedding. Your health and safety (and peace of mind) come first, so do what feels right for you and your guests!


In Phase Two, social and religious gatherings are capped at 50 people.


Beginning May 11, non-work gatherings will no longer be subject to a 10 person limit, but 6 feet of distancing between people is still required.


new Executive Order recommends limiting events to no more than 10 people when feasible and in relation to the size of the location.


The Arkansas secretary of health is prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people “in any confined indoor or outdoor space.”


A new order allows religious institutions to hold services and funerals for up to 100 people or 25 percent of the building’s capacity, whichever is lower. However this does not currently include large gatherings that “encourage congregants/visitors to travel and break physical distances during activities, such as concerts, large holiday and life event celebrations and remembrances.”


Even though Colorado’s “Safer at Home” order is still in effect until June 23, which states that weddings, elopements, and other small events may resume as long as the gatherings are of 10 or fewer people and physical distancing (6 feet apart) is observed, multiple counties have received new guidance on gatherings. Eagle County, for instance, will allow gatherings of up to 50 people. Six feet of distance will still be required between non-household members.


According to Connecticut’s Official State Website, if your wedding service will be religious in nature, the ceremony may include up to 49 people total, pursuant to Executive Order 7D. The reception, however, is still limited to up to five people total for the time being, but may be limited to 49 people, anticipated in phase two of CT Reopening, and potentially more in phase three (if all conditions are met with COVID-related metrics).

Joyful bride in satin wedding dress on dance floor at wedding reception


Outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people, with public health precautions in place, will be allowed beginning June 1.

District of Columbia:

Large gatherings of more than ten individuals continue to be prohibited in the District.


In Phase 1 the state’s order continues to discourage socializing in groups of more than 10 people in circumstances that do not readily allow for physical distancing.


Gatherings of groups larger than 10 people are prohibited. These events include large gatherings where people are in close contact (less than 6 feet), such as concerts, conferences, sporting events, faith-based events, and other large gatherings.


While the current proclamation from Governor Ige states no groups of 10 or larger are permitted, Phase 2 is expected to begin in June where indoor gathering places will be allowed to reopen.


Stage 3, set to begin May 29 if the numbers align, will allow for gatherings of 10-50 people, where appropriate physical distancing and precautionary measures are observed can occur.


In Phase 3, on track to start by the end of May, essential gatherings of 10 people would be allowed.


Most of the state began Phase 3 on May 22, where travel restrictions were lifted and social gatherings of up to 100 people are allowed following social distancing and sanitation guidelines from the CDC. Within each segment/gathering, you must ensure 6 feet of social distancing between each table with no more than 6 individuals at any table.


As of May 22 wedding venues were allowed to reopen with appropriate public health measures put into place. By June 1 socially-distant community, recreational, leisure and athletic gatherings of more than 10 people will be allowed.


As part of a modified Phase 2, mass gatherings of more than 15 people are not recommended. Phase 3 (projected to begin no earlier than June 8) mass gatherings of up to 45 people are permitted. Phase Out (beginning on or around June 22) would no longer limit gatherings and instead suggest social distancing guidelines where applicable.


As of May 22 the state’s travel ban was lifted and gatherings of up to 10 people are permitted.


As part of Phase 1, which went into effect on May 15, churches and other businesses that operated under a 10-person occupancy limit in previous restrictions could have gatherings with 25% of their normal capacity.


The state announced it will move into Phase 2 on June 1, which “contemplates a continued prohibition on gatherings of more than 50 people and the 14-day quarantine on people entering Maine.”


While the state enters Phase 1, gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited.


On May 18 the state entered Phase 1, expected to last around 3 weeks, would permit events less than 10 people. Phase 2 and on would be determined “based on trends.”


On May 21 Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an order authorizing small gatherings of 10 people or less starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing.


As of a May 23 Executive Order, places of worship, funeral homes, and other venues that offer gathering space for weddings, funerals, and planned services such as worship, rituals, prayer meetings, scripture studies, may host such services with over 10 people, provided that they adhere to the below requirements:

  • In all settings, ensure a minimum of 6 feet of physical distancing between households.
  • In indoor settings, occupancy must not exceed 25 percent of the normal occupant capacity as determined by the fire marshal, with a maximum of 250 people in a single self-contained space.
  • In outdoor settings, gatherings must not exceed 250 individuals.


Governor Tate Reeves issued a “Safe to Return” order on May 27, allowing for gatherings provided they meet the following criteria:

  • For large group gatherings when social distancing is not possible, groups are limited to 20 people or less indoors and 50 people or less outdoors.
  • For large groups gatherings when social distancing is possible, groups are limited to 50 people or less indoors and 100 people or less outdoors.


Under the current guidelines, there are no limits on gathering size as long as social distancing can be maintained.


Effective June 1, the state recommends you avoid gathering in groups of more than 50 people in circumstances “that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing.” Groups larger than 50 people should be “cancelled unless physical distancing can be maintained.” For those planning an event with more than 50 people, you are advised to consult with your local public health office on a plan to implement adequate social distancing.

Green wedding shoes and wedding rings on wooden table by Vermont wedding photographer Andy Madea


Starting June 1, gatherings will be limited to the greater of 25 people (excluding staff) or 25% of occupancy (not to exceed 3,000). For gatherings held at any confined indoor or outdoor space, groups shall be no larger than six people, and six feet separation my be maintained between groups.


As of May 29 Nevada will enter Phase 2, which will allow for gatherings of no more than 50 people provided while continuing social distancing.

New Hampshire:

There is currently a prohibition on scheduled gatherings of 10 or more attendees, though this may be updated shortly.

New Jersey:

Effective May 22 limits on outdoor gatherings was raised from 10 to 25 people. Indoor gatherings remain limited to 10 people.

New Mexico:

Gatherings of more than five people remain prohibited and 6 feet of physical distance from others must be maintained.

New York:

Religious gatherings of no more than 10 people are now allowed.

North Carolina:

Gatherings are limited to 10 people indoors and 25 people outdoors. There is a 50% capacity at restaurants.

North Dakota:

On May 15 Governor Doug Burgum announced guidelines for large gatherings. Several of these included:

  • Capacity should be limited to 50% of normal operating capacity as defined by certification of occupancy for the specific room, not to exceed 250 total attendees.
  • Allow for 6 feet of spacing between groups: increase table spacing by removing tables, marking tables closed or provide a physical barrier between tables. Back to back booth seating is allowed.
  • Reception and staging areas (indoor or outdoor) should be marked so physical distancing standards are met.
  • Tables should be limited to 10 people per table.
  • Salad bars and buffets may operate as long as pre-portioned servings are prepared by staff. Buffet and salad bar in-use serving utensils are to only be used by staff and washed, rinsed and sanitized every 4 hours.
  • Standing at bars or in reception lines is not allowed. Bar stool seating can be allowed for 1-2 guests, with 6 feet of separation between groups.


While the state’s limit on mass gatherings of more than 10 people remains in place, the state will allow wedding and banquet receptions of up to 300 people per facility, with six-foot distancing between tables and no congregating via


As of May 15, weddings of more than 10 people can take place as long as social distancing guidelines are put in place.


In the current Phase 1, you must limit local gatherings to 25 with no traveling.


The state’s initial “red” phase prohibited any social gatherings, however more than half the state’s counties are now in the “yellow” phase (and all are expected to be there by June 5), which allows gatherings of up to 25 people. The next Green phase (date TBD) would allow guests up to 250.

Rhode Island:

Phase 2, expected to begin June 1, will allow gatherings up to 15 people.

South Carolina:

Gatherings of more than 10 people are to be avoided.

South Dakota:

The state never had a “Stay at Home” order, however the state has suggested businesses and districts adhere to CDC guidelines on social distancing and also offered guidelines for religious gatherings.


As of May 22, up to 50 people can gather while practicing social distancing.


As of May 5, wedding venues and services required to conduct weddings were allowed to open. Weddings held indoors other than at a church, congregation, or house of worship must limit occupancy to 25%. Wedding reception services may also resume, but facilities must limit their occupancy to 25% of the total listed occupancy. These occupancy limits do not apply to the outdoor areas of a wedding reception or to outdoor wedding receptions.


On May 27 it was ordered that “low risk” counties could hold “medium”sized gatherings (interpreted as up to 50 people) where social distancing guidelines could be followed.


The state has ordered businesses to limit gatherings of people to 10 or less.


Indoor and outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited while the state is in Phase 1.


As of May 27, religious and faith-based organizations in Phase 1 counties may host up to 100 people for outdoor services. In Phase 2, they can host up to 25% of their capacity or 50 individuals, whichever is less, as well as conduct in-home services of five people. Other private gatherings may hold gatherings up to 25 people.

West Virginia:

While there is a 25-person limit to random gatherings, weddings at restaurants can operate at 50% capacity, and at churches and other religious institutions social distancing when there are large crowds is encouraged.


The state’s Supreme Court struck down a “Stay at Home” order effective until May 26, so restrictions have now been lifted. However check with your district as some limitations might still apply. The state’s phased rollout included the following initial guidelines as part of their “Badger Bounce Back”:

  • Phase 1: Gatherings of 10 people
  • Phase 2: Gatherings of 50 people
  • Phase 3: No maximum


As of June 1, outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people will be permitted. Religious and faith based organizations as well as retail or business establishments may host gatherings of more than 25 people indoors as long as social distancing protocols are followed as outlined in the executive order.



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“The business of life is to acquire as many friends and memories as possible”

When it comes to the documenting you and your partner, my goal is to capture the REAL you. The belly laughs, the loving looks, and the quiet moments in between.  These are the images that your next generations will look at and say, “They really were a couple of badasses, huh?”  Its the genuine moments that make lasting memories, these are the moments I hope to record for you and your loved ones.


Andy Madea Photography is based in Vermont, and frequently travels across New England for weddings and elopements. To find out more about photography for your event, Contact Me Here



  1. […] For a State-By-State list of current guidelines view my other post HERE […]

  2. This blog is very helpful.

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