DC mayor bans dancing and standing at weddings and receptions — so now couples are taking their celebrations elsewhere

Afdal Agency
Amnon Jakony (Jay Arts Holdings)

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has declared that no people will be permitted to dance at city weddings due to COVID-19 restrictions.

What are the details?

According to the New York Post, D.C.’s latest social distancing regulations “ban standing and dancing at weddings.” Guests must remain seated and socially distanced the entire time — both during the wedding ceremony and reception festivities.

The latest order caps both indoor and outdoor weddings at just 25% capacity, and any celebrations involving more than 250 people require waivers.

The outlet noted that the announcement was made just as wedding season kicked off.

Stephanie Sadowski, a D.C.-area wedding planner, told the outlet that the move is “insane.”

“It’s been an absolute rollercoaster,” she said, and noted that couples are quickly opting to move their weddings outside the city. “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.”

“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,” Sadowski added.

Sadowski told WTTG-TV that her clients are considering moving their weddings to venues in neighboring Maryland or Virginia.

“It has been a complete curveball. This goes beyond just May weddings that are initially [a]ffected,” she said. “All of our summer weddings, all of our falls weddings are also very concerned and asking what should we do. Do we keep moving forward with these or look to move to Virginia or Maryland where it’s a very safe bet they can have their ideal wedding there.”

What else?

In a statement to WTTG, Bowser’s office said that the ban has been put in place to reduce COVID-19 transmission.

The outlet reported:

A spokeswoman said they have it in place as an extra layer of safety to reduce the spread of COVID-19 because when people stand and dance their behavior changes. For example, people are more likely to get close and touch each other. They did not respond to our request for an interview or further information about why the District feels the need to have that in place when neighboring states do not.

The station reported that one D.C. bride who is due to marry in June has said there has to be a “better solution.”

The bride, Jillian Harig, said, “We’re used to wearing masks at this point, we’ve been doing this since March. Why not allow dancing but make masks a requirement or even requiring a negative COVID test for wedding guests or provide your vaccination card.”

“A lot of the country is reopening at this point so to me no dancing or standing at a reception seems like it’s a little bit more of stepping backwards instead of moving forward to more of that normalcy that we’re all looking forward to,” Harig added. “I think the light is at the end of the tunnel. I am disappointed and shocked about this.”