WASHINGTON D.C. – Couples getting ready to tie the knot in Washington D.C. were blindsided by a sudden new COVID-19-related social distancing mandate announced by the city’s mayor that effectively bans dancing – and even standing – at weddings and wedding receptions, according to reports.
Stephanie Sadowski, owner of SRS Events and a wedding planner in D.C., told Fox News that couples have only received two week’s notice on the new mandate, forcing many of them to ditch plans made months ago and attempt to find other venues in neighboring states.
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“It’s insane, it’s been an absolute roller coaster,” Sadowski said. “They want to have a party. Planning their wedding, they’ve made concessions along the way, they’ve reduced, reduced and reduced their guest count in Washington, D.C.”
The executive order issued by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser – which went into effect on May 1 – also imposes a 25 percent venue capacity cap on guests at weddings, both indoor and outdoor. Depending on the size of the venue, if that 25 percent cap still amounts to more than 250 guests, a waiver is required.
Bowser’s office, via a statement, noted that the dancing ban was instituted just prior to wedding season due to the fact that people are more likely to ignore social distancing guidelines when dancing and actually touch one another, which can help to spread COVID-19.
Other states that have issued similar dancing bans include Illinois and Michigan; other states, such as New York and New Jersey, have recently loosened their bans on dancing as more of their residents become vaccinated.
Unless the mayor’s office issues another update, the no-dancing mandate is in effect until May 20. Anyone who violates the order can be fined, and venues can have their business licenses suspended or revoked.
Until dance floors are no longer places where you can be charged with a crime in D.C., Sadowski noted that many of her clients are taking their business to nearby states – such as Virginia and Maryland – that have looser social distancing restrictions during the pandemic.
“I hope the mayor will start looking at the science and looking at the facts and looking at what the CDC is recommending and allowing,” she said. “It’s very confusing why Washington, D.C., is singling that out.”