A wedding venue director has been fined $5,000 after hosting a Northern Beaches bride who risked a COVID-19 catastrophe by breaking lockdown to get married.
Diana Falasca, 28, flouted coronavirus restrictions by leaving her Beacon Hill home to tie the knot with Mark Bonifacio last month in front of dozens of guests at Doltone House at Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont.
Police have since handed out a total of 21 Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) for Ms Falasca and wedding guests who made the trip south in breach of the Public Health Order.
On Friday NSW Police revealed a 28-year-old director of the venue was also fined for not complying with COVID-19 restrictions relating to the Northern Beaches.
Diana Falasca, 28, flouted coronavirus restrictions by leaving her Beacon Hill home to tie the knot with Mark Bonifacio (pictured together at their wedding) last month
Pictured: Diana Falasca, 28, and her new husband Mark Bonifacio at their wedding celebrations on Sunday
At the end of last month, Ms Falasca broke down into tears as she spoke out for the first time after the breach sparked widespread outrage.
‘I’m really sorry … but my wedding’s f****d, the whole year is f****d, it’s all f****d, it’s all really upsetting,’ she told The Daily Telegraph through tears.
A Sydney-based wedding planner to the rich and famous who did not want to be named, earlier told Daily Mail Australia the wedding would have been a minimum spend of $50,000 just for the venue and catering.
Family members told the Nine network the couple had been trying to get married since July and had been forced to postpone their wedding twice this year due to coronavirus.
Had they postponed the event again, they claim they would have lost thousands of dollars.
‘The hair, the makeup, the photographer, the videographer… there are so many things that are tied to that day and they would definitely be losing money if they had to move it,’ the source said.
‘That could be as much as a 30 per cent loss.’
While the flagrant breach of lockdown restrictions has sparked outrage across the state, some working within the struggling industry do sympathise with the young couple.
Doltone House (pictured) is a a glamorous setting with a stunning view situated in Pyrmont – on the edge of Sydney’s CBD
‘Rules are rules and they would have known they were breaching the rules,’ the source said.
‘But I definitely feel sorry for them, they would have planned for a year in advance and then the outbreak happened.
‘That would have been very difficult. It’s not that easy to just cancel a wedding, it’s not like cancelling a backyard BBQ.’
A total of 22 people were fined in relation to the wedding, while the groom didn’t violate any health orders and was therefore not penalised.
The guests stung with fines include three men aged 31, 41 and 75 and two women aged 42 and 71 from Narraweena.
Officers crashed the celebration at Doltone House at 5pm after receiving a tip-off. Pictured: Bride Diana Falasca (left)
Pictured: The ultra-stylish Doltone House venue at Jones Bay Wharf is seen fully decorated before a big wedding
Mr Bonifacio (pictured) did not breach the health regulations and was not fined
A 32-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman from Collaroy Plateau were also slapped with penalties, along with a 36-year-old man and a 35-year-old woman from French’s Forest.
Video showed the happy couple dancing in front of family and friends while celebrating their nuptials at Jones Bay Wharf in Pyrmont.
The following morning, Ms Falasca and a number of guests were each fined $1,000 for defying health orders and leaving the region following a Covid-19 outbreak on December 16.
Ms Falasca’s family and members of the bridal party were among the people hit with penalties.
Officers crashed the celebration at Doltone House at 5pm after receiving a tip-off, with pictures showing guests mingling on a balcony.
They waited until the ceremony was over before they began speaking with guests and staff, and handing out fines.
Doltone House maintained the venue was compliant with all of the state’s lockdown rules and statutory obligations, but was misled by the wedding party.
A man with a protective mask swabs surfaces throughout Doltone House, days after a wedding at the venue sparked outrage when the bride breached the Northern Beaches lockdown
‘These people, and all guests for that matter that attended the wedding, were required to, and did in fact, register their attendance at the venue through the NSW Government QR Code App,’ the venue said on their Facebook page.
‘Had Doltone House been advised that any person attending the wedding was doing so in breach of government restrictions, then it would have taken all necessary steps to protect the health and safety of its guests and the broader community.’
Premier Gladys Berejiklian previously lashed out at the rule-breakers labelling their actions ‘the type of behaviour that risks it for everybody’.
‘All of us were shaking our heads, absolutely aghast that that occurred,’ she said.
‘We appreciate that those milestone events are special times for people, but please consider the greater risk you are posing to every person in NSW and the broader community of our nation.
‘Please know that if you do the wrong thing, you will get caught, especially when it is so brazen as to do that.’
Professional cleaners clad in protective equipment were spotted scrubbing down surfaces throughout the lavish inner-city venue after the event was held.
Decked in hazmat suits, a group disinfected the top floor rooms used to host the ritzy reception for the wedding.
A group of cleaners in hazmat suits were spotted disinfecting surfaces throughout the top floor. Pictured: a man swabbing surfaces after the coronavirus deep clean
Family members said the couple had been trying to get married since July and had been forced to postpone their wedding twice this year due to coronavirus (pictured, Doltone House in Pyrmont, Sydney)
Owner of Cleancorp Lisa Macqueen told Daily Mail Australia cleaning Doltone House would be a ‘very big job’, requiring many staff
After they left, a man in a mask, gloves, and high-visibility clothing walked through and swabbed various surfaces, including outdoor furniture arranged on the balcony.
Owner of Cleancorp Lisa Macqueen told Daily Mail Australia cleaning Doltone House would be a ‘very big job’, requiring a dedicated team of staff.
While the price of each assignment is calculated from many factors, like the size of the venue, she estimated the bill for the job would sit around $10,000.
‘It would be an all day job. The cleaners are going to have to clean all of the upholstered chairs that have been used, bathrooms, everything,’ she said.
‘It is sad for the venue because they probably did everything right. It is a really tough situation for any business that is touched by COVID-19.’
NSW Health guidelines for businesses linked with COVID-19 cases stipulate they must undergo cleaning.
Ms McQueen estimated the cleaning bill for the ritzy venue would be around $10,000 based on its size
Nine more guests have been hit with fines after a Norther Beaches bride flouted the area’s Covid lockdown and got hitched at a swanky CBD venue (pictured, Northern Beaches bride Diana Falasca)