An order from the Ohio Department of Health, released on Nov. 15, 2020, limits activities at weddings and other mass gatherings.

Editor's note: On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Gov. Mike DeWine held a press conference that adds a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew, effective for 21 days from its implementation on Thursday, Nov. 19, in addition to the restrictions listed below.

Gov. Mike DeWine announced in a press conference on Thursday that, due to continually increasing case numbers of COVID-19 patients in Ohio, his administration would implement and enforce new measures aimed to slow the spread of the virus. Yesterday, Ohio Department of Health interim director Lance Himes released a Revised Order to Limit and/or Prohibit Mass Gatherings in the State of Ohio, with Exceptions. 

The order states that public and private gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited, with a few exceptions that include wedding ceremonies. The order does not explicitly exempt wedding receptions, though it does outline permitted activities at receptions and refer to a Sept. 23, 2020, order (Third Amended Order that Reopens Restaurants, Bars, Banquet and Catering Facilities and Dine-in Service, with Exceptions) that permits banquet and catering facilities to open with an occupancy cap.

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The language in both orders can be a bit confusing, so we’re breaking it down for you. 

The Nov. 15 order, which takes effect at 12:01 a.m. tonight, has the following stipulations for receptions: 

No dancing  

No socializing or activities in open areas 

No self-serve buffet or bar; all food and beverage must be served to guests at their seats 

Guests must remain seated at all times, though a first dance, toasts and cutting the cake are permitted 

Tables must be spaced 6 feet apart and cannot exceed 10 guests; all guests sharing a table must be from the same household 

Masks must be worn at all times, unless actively consuming food or beverage 

Other guidelines you should follow, as released in the September order, include:  

Employees and guests must maintain 6 feet of social distance 

Banquets and catering facilities have a maximum capacity of 300 individuals 

Live entertainment is permitted (but remember, no dancing) 

The orders will remain in effect until the director of the Ohio Department of Health lifts or changes it, or until Ohio’s state of emergency is lifted.