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Wedding Professionals Say Some Venues Are Not Following COVID-19 Rules

by Evelyn Gallagher

Photo Credit: Dorigo/

"Illinois guidelines also recommend closing dance floors but that doesn't stop people, according to Mary Nisi who owns Toast & Jam DJs, which provides deejays for events like weddings.

"The rule in Illinois says dance floors should be closed but 'should' is a very loose word," she said. "So the clients tell me, 'but we want a dance floor.' So I tell them 'well, the whole room can be your dance floor,' because there is no way to keep social distancing on a 12 by 12 piece of square located in front of the deejay table."

And Nisi says her deejays have worked at many weddings this summer where guests were dancing on dance floors, not social distancing and not wearing masks.

Both Nisi and Schrader say they've been caught off guard several times this summer when clients have promised them they would follow the rules on capacity and masks but have not. Neither wanted to name the venues that allowed the violations, but said the establishments largely turn a blind eye to rule breaking.

"[It seems like] they are not regulated at all," Schrader said. "I found out from one of my brides that the venues are telling them 'we are not enforcing masks, that's up to you.' I've actually heard that from a couple of my brides now."

Nisi said she has reported violators to various county and municipal authorities but has received less than enthusiastic responses.

"I actually had someone tell me from one municipality I called who told me, 'I'm not going to bust a wedding'," she said. "And I was like 'I know that is an unenviable position to be put in but, as the public health person for that city, it is your job to harsh that mellow.'"

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