Optics are always a major consideration in a world where 24/7 social media feeds are constantly spitting out knee jerk judgements of photos and videos, but they are especially important during a pandemic. There are a lot of gray areas right now that may seem low risk to some people, but read as wholly irresponsible to others (case in point: Kosciuszko Bridge raves).

One wedding party who took over Fifth Avenue for a photo shoot this weekend is learning that today, after blocking the entire street while walking arm-in-arm, breaking social distancing guidelines and not wearing masks. They're not only getting roasted online by random people—even the MTA is getting in on it.

The 19 people in the video were spotted walking down Fifth Avenue near West 41st Street on Sunday; there were also several other people around them taking photos and videos of the strut. You can see various cars, a bus, and even an ambulance trailing slowly behind them.

However, a followup TikTok shows that the ambulance, which had its lights flashing, was indeed congratulating the couple over their loudspeaker at the time. You can see that in the video below.

@amina.news

Don’t get mad guys, ambulance was there and they congratulated them. Police was there. No harm done ##wedding ##nyc ##nycweddingphotographer ##nyccheck

♬ original sound - amina.news

One of the friends of the couple, who may or may not have been in the wedding party himself, wrote to an NBC reporter in defense of the photo op: "Oh my god what exactly? A bridal party walking down the street for a total of 15 seconds that literally stops the whole city? A walk down park or fifth avenue is an iconic nyc wedding industry photo op and that ambulance was congratulating the couple with the light show and over loudspeaker," he said. "Really sad to see so much hatred over such a big day for this couple after all the reschedules and hurdles dealing with covid restrictions as the event industry gets decimated. Ceremony was masked, so was the reception, unbelievable spin on this."

The man later added that the photo op was a "celebration to the heritage of new york." I'm not sure if I would characterize it as "heritage," but I suppose that walking in the middle of the street against traffic is a fundamental NYC activity.

Ultimately, it comes down to optics, so we've answered all your burning questions below:

  • Was this the worst violation of pandemic guidelines in the city we've seen? No.
  • Does this wedding party walking down the street have anything to do with the "decimated" event industry? No, that suggestion is dumb.
  • Are people frustrated and scared by the pandemic, and annoyed at anyone who is acting like everything is fine and normal? Definitely.
  • Are they awful people for doing this? Not really.
  • Would you roll your eyes if you saw this, even if it weren't during a pandemic? If you're like me, then probably.
  • Do they deserve to get dunked on by the MTA for blocking a bus lane? Sure, but only because everyone does.

I hope this clears everything up for you. Just know that if you're thinking about having a wedding during the pandemic, there are plenty of relatively safe ways to do it without accidentally enraging the Internet.