Is Going To A Wedding Risky?

In our series "What's the Risk?" experts weigh in on what risks different scenarios pose for transmitting COVID-19.

Is Going To A Wedding Risky?

When it comes to getting sick with COVID-19, you might be thinking about this, and we have too. Anne O'Brien asked, "What’s the risk of a wedding reception with about 50 people?"

We asked the experts: Dr. Frank Esper, a pediatric infectious diseases physician at Cleveland Clinic; Katie Cary, vice president of infection prevention for HCA Continental Division; and Dr. Irfan N. Hafiz, infectious disease physician and Northwest Region chief medical officer at Northwestern Medicine.

Their take: The risk of contracting COVID-19 from going to a wedding reception is medium.

"Really depends on what phase your state is in. So ... if you're on the the upswing of the number of cases of the pandemic, probably not a great time to go to a wedding reception. Around the peak, probably not as well. I probably want to make sure that we're past that peak and we're clearly on the way down," Hafiz said. 

"It's still very important to know that if you're going to the reception, that you still want to minimize the number of people at that site, minimize your contact with individuals. I know that's pretty hard at a wedding. Make sure maybe that it's not a buffet wedding. Alright. Individual plates so that you don't have people all showing up at the same spot working with the same food. That's probably a good thing. Outdoor venues, always a big, big fan of outdoor venues right now, especially during the warm months," Esper said.

"It would definitely be more risky inside. Outside you have fresh air and then whatever requirements that you have in the city or state where you are if it's even allowed within that, as long as, again, you are maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask to protect yourself," Cary said.

If you have a question about your risk, send us a video to You can see answers to other questions here