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[Updated] Maryland Will Begin to Allow Large Weddings and Celebrations—Here’s What We Know

Governor Larry Hogan is allowing the next phase of stage two of the Roadmap to Recovery for Maryland.

Editor’s Note: We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available. 

At Wednesday’s press conference, Governor Larry Hogan announced that Maryland will enter Stage 2 of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recoverya plan that will help guide the state to open amidst the coronavirus pandemic. “Moving into Stage Two is an important step forward for our state after what has been a very difficult period,” says Governor Hogan. “The people of our great state have endured so many significant personal, medical, and economic challenges. But in the face of the most daunting challenge in our lifetime, the people of Maryland have been resilient, they’ve never lost hope, and they are showing what it truly means to be Maryland strong.”

With the state’s positivity rate declining to 7.2 percent, Maryland can begin to lift their coronavirus-implemented restrictions. Under these new guidelines, indoor dining and outdoor “recreational establishments” (which we believe to include wedding venues) will be permitted. So, what does that mean for couples marrying in Maryland? Below you can find the necessary information regarding weddings and gathering sizes for your upcoming nuptials. Note: Though these are the regulations set forth by the state of Maryland, individual jurisdictions still reserve the right to implement their own restrictions, so you should contact your specific venue for details on how you might proceed.

Effective Friday, June 12 at 5pm Maryland jurisdictions will be allowed to permit the following:

  • Outdoor 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)

Effective Friday, June 19th at 5pm Maryland jurisdictions will be allowed to permit the following:

  • 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)

Additional Notes for Weddings

  • 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.

About Those CDC Recommendations…

While Maryland’s executive order has been updated including but not limited to the ways as outlined above, it’s worth repeating that each of Maryland’s individual jurisdictions may still establish their own requirements and gathering limitations, and each venue can implement it’s own regulations, so for a clearer picture, you’ll need to contact your specific venue directly. Additionally, “all venues are strongly recommended to follow the most current guidance from CDC and MDH regarding social distancing, including, without limitation, avoidance of large gathering and crowded places,” says Maryland’s FAQ section.

The CDC currently recommends venues and event planners do the following:

  • “Require the use of cloth face coverings among staff… Encourage attendees ahead of the event to bring and use cloth face coverings at the event.”
  • “Avoid offering any self-serve food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and drink stations. Consider having pre-packaged boxes or bags for each attendee.”
  • “Use multiple entrances and exits and discourage crowded waiting areas.”
  • “Block off rows or sections of seating in order to space people at least 6 feet apart.”
  • “Change seating layout or availability of seating so that people can remain least 6 feet apart.”

To read the full executive order, go here; check out Maryland’s FAQ regarding gatherings here; see the CDC considerations for gatherings here.

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jacqueline-tynes
Assistant Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Jacqueline comes to Washingtonian with close to five years of digital content experience and SEO best practices. She previously was a senior editorial associate at WeddingWire, specializing in wedding fashion, and before that, an assistant at Vow Bride. Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, she now lives in Columbia Heights.