Breaking News
More () »

California releases new guidelines for private events and weddings

Couples who had to postpone or cancel their wedding can now plan for their big day under certain restrictions.

CALIFORNIA, USA — All the couples who had to cancel or postpone their weddings due to the pandemic now have a more insight on how to plan for their big day.

Late Wednesday night, the California Department of Public Health released guidelines for private events which took effect on Thursday.

For thirteen months there’s been radio silence on the state’s $10 billion private event industry. The California Association for Private Events (CAPE) estimates one million workers are without jobs during the pandemic and 240,000 couples could not celebrate their union and now they are allowed to in California.

“On the one hand it's super exciting and you are happy and excited to get back to work but it also comes with this unexpected weight,” said Justin Kanoya, DJ. “It's like what Drake says it's going from 0-100.”

CAPE says the state was not going to include bar service, buffets or dancing at private events.

“It's not economically viable for our industry which has been dead for 13 months to come back with such strict restrictions,” said Amy Ulkutekin, CAPE President and owner of First Comes Love event planning.

She worked with the state on crafting new guidelines for private events and to include safe bar service, staggering buffet lines, and dancing.

“People understand their social responsibility. No one wants to get grandma sick at the wedding, no one wants to spread COVID among their friends’ group,” said Ulkutekin.

Under the Orange Tier guidelines for private events:


  • 150 maximum capacity. All guests need to be test negative for COVID or be fully vaccinated.


  • 100 maximum capacity or 300 capacity if all guests tests negative for COVID or fully vaccinated.

“There are just certain things that you can’t keep postponing the flexibility that the state has given us with these guidelines is a true blessing,” said Ulkutekin.

Credit: CDPH

The state is still working on a vaccine proof guidance.

“Ultimately it will be the venue, the planner and client that everyone is tested,” said Ulkutekin.

Although DJ’ing will be much different, Kanoya is looking forward to getting back to spinning.

“For me as a DJ we are trying to set that tone and set that mood and get people excited and call people on the dance floor,” said Kanoya. “I think so much going forward is reading the crowd and being respectful to people's wishes and how they want to approach being out there.”

In the yellow tier, if all guests test negative for COVID or fully vaccinated, maximum capacity inside moves to 200 people and 400 people outside.