Contra Costa County District Attorney Defends Backyard Wedding

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The pandemic forced many couples to scrap their 2020 wedding plans –  but one higher profile Bay Area bride is now catching heat for hosting her wedding at her East Bay home. 

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton revealed on Facebook that she invited family and friends over for a backyard wedding this summer. 

Becton says she did everything by the book – but that’s not sitting well with one gym owner who’s had to pay thousands of dollars’ worth of COVID-19 violations from her office. 

While many couples resorted to Zoom weddings, the Contra Costa County District Attorney and her fiancée hosted an outdoor wedding at her East Bay home last summer. Becton admitted on Facebook that she invited a close group of family members and friends to her backyard ceremony. A spokesperson says 25 to 30 people were in attendance. 

“I ensured all my guests had their temperature taken before entering the backyard, everyone wore masks, and were socially distanced throughout the ceremony,” Betcon wrote, adding no cases of COVID-19 were traced back to her wedding. 

“It bothered me,” said Craig Howard, owner of Diablo Crossfit.

He received a $1,000 fine last week from the county for allowing his gym members to work out indoors. Howard says all the fines from the county add up to almost  $7,000.

“I’m being fined for being open with a lesser amount of people in an environment that is likely much safer than what she was doing,” said Howard.

The gym owner said the pandemic has turned him into a ventilation expert, going so far as installing CO2 monitors around his gym. 

“It doesn’t tell us whether there is virus present but what it tell us – how much air is re-breathed and how much fresh air you’re getting,” he said, adding he wishes the DA’s office would consider all the safety measures he’s put in place, instead of piling on to his stack of fines. 

“So she considers herself able and competent enough to hold an event like that I would like them to also consider me competent and able enough to keep my members safe as well,” Howard said. 

Melissa Fancy is a wedding planner, based out of Walnut Creek and Palm Springs. 

“I have lost an entire year of income because I can’t celebrate – my clients can’t celebrate. I can’t work!” she said.

Fancy said it is possible for couples to host small outdoor weddings safely and COVID-free, but she wishes the District Attorney did what many of her customers chose to do – postpone and wait for a better time.   

“If they’re in their personal lives, running around and having their own things, that we don’t know what they did and they could have chosen to wait, I think it’s really disrespectful for everybody,” said Fancy.

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