The Latest Wedding and Event Guidelines by State

Loft 212 in Cullman, Alabama. Photo by J. Woodberry.

Last updated August 19:

Couples planning (or postponing) weddings this year have been waiting anxiously to hear what their state and county is going to do when it comes to social gatherings. While all 50 states have reopened in some way, the rules surrounding events such as weddings can often vary by the phase your wedding county is currently in. And unless you’re hearing the news directly from your wedding venue or a vendor, the information and rules surrounding weddings and events can be hard to find AND confusing.

Our goal with compiling the latest mass gathering and event guidelines by state, listed below, is to give you as much information as we can find to 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 the end of August to mid-September depending on how the cases are looking. We will update this page as more information becomes available.

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!

Editor’s Note: Even though it might not be listed below, most states have some sort of mask mandate in place. If you do decide to have a wedding before a vaccine is readily available, just make sure you follow the latest CDC guidelines on how to protect yourself and others. Bottom line? You and your guests should wear masks to keep each other safe, especially when proper social-distancing is not possible.


Alaska is currently in Phase 3/4. In this phase you may gather responsibly indoors and outdoors, with social distancing, hand-washing and sanitizing, and face masks encouraged.


Effective May 11, 2020, all non-work related gatherings of any size, including drive-in gatherings, that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons from different households are prohibited.


As of 6/29, mass gatherings and organized events of more than 50 people are prohibited, even if appropriate physical distancing is possible.


Indoor and outdoor venues may reopen for events up to 66 percent capacity. Face covering and social distancing guidelines are also in place. Read more here.

Green Acre Campus Pointe in San Diego, CA.


From the state’s Covid-19 website: The State Public Health Officer created an exception to the prohibition against mass gatherings for faith-based services and cultural ceremonies as well as protests. Those types of gatherings are now permitted indoors so long as they do not exceed 100 attendees or 25% of the capacity of the space in which the gathering is held, whichever is lower. State public health directives now do not prohibit in-person outdoor faith-based services or protests as long as face coverings are worn and physical distancing of 6 feet between persons or groups of persons from different households is maintained at all times. All other gatherings are prohibited until further notice, except as otherwise specifically permitted in state public health directives (including in applicable industry guidance).

SEE MORE: 5 Things I Would Have Done Differently At Our Wedding


Outdoor Venues: Limit capacity depending on venue size accounting for usable square footage* with a maximum of 175 people per designated activity*. 175 is the outdoor variance limit for areas of “medium” viral spread. If counties want to achieve higher capacity levels, they need to seek a variance.

Indoor Venues: Limit capacity depending on venue size accounting for usable square footage* with a maximum of 100 people per room. 100 is the indoor variance limit for areas of “medium” viral spread. If counties want to achieve higher capacity levels, they need to seek a variance.

Note: Please see individual links above for rules on social distancing and facial coverings per space type.


Effective July 3:

  • Indoor private gatherings – 25 people
  • Outdoor private gatherings – 100 people, one time exception for graduations at 150 people
  • Outdoor organized gatherings (e.g. fireworks, concerts in municipal parks) – 15 feet of space blanket to blanket, cap of 500 people. Event organizer responsible for compliance with guidance.
  • Outdoor event venues (e.g. amphitheaters, race tracks) – 25% of fire capacity and distancing


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

District of Columbia:

During Phase Two of reopening, mass gatherings of more than 50 people are prohibited.


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. Miam-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties are still in Phase 1, and face coverings are required.

In Phase 2, all persons are encouraged to avoid congregating in groups larger than 50 persons.


All banquet facilities, private event facilities, and private reception venues where food is served are required to follow sanitation and other in-person dining restaurant guidelines. There are currently no limits on the number of people that may gather if the guidelines are maintained.


Gatherings of up to 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors are allowed.


Idaho is currently in Stage 4 of their reopening. Gatherings of more than 50 people are allowed, where appropriate physical distancing and precautionary measures are observed.

The Art Institute in Chicago, IL.


Illinois is in Phase 4 of 5. Gatherings of up to 50 people allowed as well as inside dining at restaurants, with restrictions. Standing areas at bars are limited to 25% of capacity. Inside dining is limited to groups of 10 with six feet between tables. Mask mandates are in effect.


Indiana entered Phase 4 on June 12. Social gatherings of up to 250 people will be permitted following the CDC’s social distancing guidelines. Mask mandates are in effect.


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 Phase Three, mass gatherings of up to 45 people are permitted. While the state was expected to enter their final stage last month (where they would no longer limit gatherings), Phase Three has been extended until further notice.

Note: A new state law might temporarily restrict the governor’s ability to limit mass gatherings or put restrictions on businesses until September 15, so be sure to check with your venue for the latest guidelines.


Gatherings of up to 50 people are permitted for weddings, restaurants, retail and other public venues. However the limit of 10 people is in effect for other social, non-commercial mass gatherings. Bars and restaurants are allowed to operate at 50% of capacity, as long as people can remain six feet from anyone who is not in their household or group. Bars and restaurants will be required to halt food and beverage service by 10 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. local time.


The state is currently in Phase 2 of reopening. Gatherings of more than 50 people are to be limited.. All establishments must limit their capacity to 50%.


According to the latest executive orders, the number of individuals that can gather in a shared space must not exceed the limit established by the Governor, currently set at 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.


The following events are currently allowed under the state’s reopening guidelines:

  • Indoor weddings with social distancing measures
  • Venues (including religious facilities) can host at 50 percent occupancy based on their fire code certificate
  • Face masks are required for all staff at events at food service establishments, and any venue may require guests (over age two) to wear face masks.
  • While there is no specific gathering limit, the order advises event hosts to adhere to the recommendations of the CDC (below)
  • Outdoor ceremonies and receptions do not have capacity restrictions unless they are held at a facility that is subject to them.
  • Events held at an individual’s home do not have capacity restrictions.


In Phase Three there are still current event guidelines in place. Large capacity event venues and activities organized to draw together large crowds must continue to remain closed until Phase IV.

For Indoor Events:

  • 8 persons per 1,000 square feet of accessible, indoor floor space, and no more than 25 persons.

For Outdoor Events:

  • 25% of the facility’s maximum permitted occupancy as documented in its occupancy permit on record with the municipal building department or other municipal record holder, and no more than 50 persons.


Event guidelines are based on where you are located, and can vary from 10 to 50 people for indoor events, and up to 250 for outdoor events depending on region.


Per the latest guidance:

  • Events in private homes are subject to the social gathering limits of 10 indoors and 25 outdoors. Unless the home regularly functions as an event space or venue, events larger than that in a private home are not allowed, even with a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan completed by the homeowner or event planner.
  • In event spaces and venues, you must limit indoor and outdoor occupant capacity to no more than 25% up to 250 persons, so long as social distancing can be maintained. The only exception to this is in the instance of an establishment that operates as a restaurant in the ordinary course of business, then they may adhere to restaurant capacity.


  • Indoor gatherings and activities are limited to 10 people, and at least six feet between individuals not of the same household must be maintained. Exceptions are made for students in classrooms and religious entities.
  • Outdoor gatherings and activities are limited to 20 people, and at least six feet between individuals not of the same household must be maintained. Exceptions are made for religious entities.

Read more here.


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.

SEE MORE: The #1 Thing Brides Don’t Want to Hear When Planning a Wedding…But Should


Counties in Nebraska are currently in Phase Three and Four of reopening. Wedding services are permissible so long as such services comply with social distancing and sanitation measures in place. Receiving lines are not permitted. Reception guidelines are determined by county, however a general outline is:

Phase 4 Counties:

  • Indoor gatherings will be limited to 75% of rated occupancy
  • Outdoor gatherings 100% of rated occupancy

Phase 3 Counties:

  • Indoor gatherings will be limited to 50% of rated occupancy
  • Outdoor gatherings will be limited to 75% of rated occupancy

For both phases, a maximum of eight (8) individuals in a party (groups larger than eight (8) will need to split into multiple tables). Self-serve buffets and salad bars are prohibited. Venue staff must serve food directly to all individuals. Limited dances or other social events requiring guests to gather outside of their respective tables in guidance.


Gatherings are limited to 50 people. Venues must operate at 50 percent or less capacity of any public gathering space presently allowed by the fire marshals.

New Hampshire:

Outdoor venues may operate within any existing occupancy limits, as long as social distancing can be maintained. Indoor events in venues may operate at 50 percent of their normal operating seating capacity. This 50 percent capacity limit applies statewide notwithstanding the Food Service Guidance that allows for 100% capacity in restaurants in certain counties. There should be a limit of 6 individuals at a single table. Other applicable provisions of the Food Service Guidance must be followed. Read more about the guidelines here. 

The Rock Island Lake Club in Sparta, NJ

New Jersey:

Indoor gatherings must be limited to 25 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower. All attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.

The indoor limit on gatherings for weddings, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment is 100 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower.

Outdoor gatherings must be limited to 500 people and social distancing must be practiced. There are no limits for First Amendment-protected outdoor activities, such as political protests of any persuasion or outdoor religious services.

New Mexico:

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

New York:

Phase IV will permit social gatherings of 50 people and indoor religious gatherings at 33 percent capacity.

North Carolina:

North Carolina will continue to stay in Phase Two. Gatherings of more than 10 people in a single indoor space remains prohibited. In outdoor spaces, gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited.

North Dakota:

Capacity for banquets and weddings increases is 75% of venue occupancy, capped at 500 attendees.


Mass gatherings in Ohio remain limited to 10 people.


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


All indoor social get-togethers arecapped at 10 people. Restaurants and bars close at 10pm. Capacity limit for restaurants, gyms, venues (e.g. concert halls, movie theaters) is maximum of 100 people indoors, including staff.


Indoor gatherings of more than 25 prohibited; outdoor gatherings of more than 250 prohibited. Read more here.

Rhode Island:

On July 29, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced that Rhode Island would remain in Phase 3 for another 30 days until Aug. 28, with one change: the indoor and outdoor social gathering limit is now lowered to 15 people as social gatherings have been the source of many positive cases.

cannon green wedding
Cannon Green in Charleston, SC

South Carolina:

Attendance may not exceed 50% of the certificate of occupancy issued by the fire marshal – or 250 persons – whichever is less.

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.


Under the current directive, you are required to limit social and recreational gatherings of 50 or more persons, unless adequate social distancing can be maintained (the 6 counties with locally run county health departments may issue different directives on gatherings). However, note the following:

  • This does not apply to places of worship, for which there are guidelines for safe operation of worship services and gatherings, though places of worship are urged to continue virtual or online services where possible;
  • This does not apply to weddings, funerals, and related events, but encourages postponement of large-gathering components of such events.


If a wedding is held at a business, such as a wedding venue or venue that hosts weddings, the venue can have no more than 50% occupancy limits inside. There are no outdoor occupancy limits for weddings. Weddings must follow health protocols (required face coverings, social distancing, etc.).


Utah bases its guidelines on their current risk level (as of 8/19 it’s considered “Moderate.”). Private social interactions are allowable in groups of 20 or fewer in the moderate-risk phase, and 50 or fewer in the low-risk phase.


Events can have 75 people indoors and up to 150 outdoors. Read more here. 


Virginia is currently in Phase Three.  In this phase all social gatherings and events are capped at 250 patrons. You can read more about their recommended social practices here.


Effective August 10, religious wedding ceremonies are permitted, but receptions are not. Other social gatherings are limited to 10 people under Phase 3.

For religious weddings, indoor occupancy is limited to 20% capacity or 30 people, whichever is less, and only if six feet of physical distancing between households can be achieved. Outdoor ceremonies are limited to 30 people, and at least six feet of physical distancing between households is required.

For restaurants in Phase 3, table size is reduced to five (5) individuals, and occupancy is reduced to 50 percent. Bar-area seating is prohibited in all phases; however, counter-style seating is permitted in other areas (both indoor and outdoor), with at least six feet separation between parties. Indoor dining at the same table is limited to members of the same household.

West Virginia:

The limit on social gatherings recently went from 100 back down to 25. 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 is offering interim guidance on large gatherings and recommending that they not be held. They are asking event planners to work closely with health departments to make future plans and decisions. Read the latest here.


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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