It's supposed to be the happiest day of your life.
But for so many people around the world, their wedding is turning out to be one big nightmare.
The Covid lockdown earlier this year put countless weddings on hold and despite the easing of some restrictions, the uncertainty remains.
The NSW government website currently says the maximum number of people who can attend a wedding or gathering after the service is 150 subject to the four square metre rule and registration as a COVID-Safe business.
If the wedding is held in a place of worship, the number of people attending cannot be more than 100, subject to the four square metre rule.
People attending will also be required to provide their name and contact details which can be used for contact tracing.
It is not only the couples who have suffered as a result of the global pandemic.
People involved in the wedding industry across a range of businesses have also been hard hit.
And with the Southern Highlands one of the state's biggest wedding destinations, there have been plenty of people in the region who have been impacted.
Here some of them share their experiences over the past few months and the way in which Covid has impacted on their businesses:
Thomas Stewart (photographer)
"It's been pretty devastating".
That's how Highlands photographer Thomas Stewart has described the impact the Covid lockdown and restrictions have had on his business.
Financially it has been very hard for Thomas over the past few months.
While he had been paid deposits for the weddings booked this year, the balances which he said would usually be paid a few weeks before the wedding, have not been paid with people having to postpone their events.
"That's why our income's so devastated. Everyone is in a state of flux and people aren't [really] inquiring."
Thomas said the situation also had a massive impact on people's mental health as they were unable to pursue their passion as well as having very little income.
"A lot of my colleagues are [pretty] down at the moment," he said.
"Most of us are treading water and waiting to see what will happen."
Thomas said he also knew a few photographers who had got other jobs to support themselves.
With some restrictions eased, Thomas said he'd had some inquiries over the past couple of months.
"Most of the inquiries in the last two months since the really strong lockdown have been for smaller weddings and just a couple of hours coverage.
"That doesn't pay the bills for us in the long term. For us it's not financially sustainable."
If Covid continues to impact the wedding industry, Thomas said he was unsure how long he would be able to continue.
"I'm going to try and tread water for as long as I can. But if it does keep going for the next 12 months, possibly I'll have to look for some other kind of work.
"For now I'm happy with the government assistance but I know that can't last forever either. I know there's people way worse off than us but it's hard."
Emma Blake (florist)
From having 20 events lined up to almost nothing.
That was the reality for event florist Emma Blake.
She too has felt the impact of the Covid pandemic on her business Emma Blake Floral.
When the restrictions first came into place, she was in the middle of preparing a large event.
With that wedding unable to go ahead, she said the bride made a decision to give all the flowers to their friends and family as gifts.
As with many others, Emma went from having plenty of work lined up for the year to having to juggle postponed weddings and events.
However, she said she had been lucky, with none of her couples cancelling but instead postponing till later in the year or 2021.
The challenge she said, would now be finding a way to accommodate those who had postponed, with events she already had booked in for next year.
"Everyone's been very understanding," she said.
While restrictions had begun to ease and Emma said there was "that week of optimism", with the government tightening the restrictions again, it had led to more postponements.
Emma said many of the couples who had already postponed were now looking to do so again.
"Even though I've got work booked from September, I wouldn't be surprised if we find ourselves locked down again with continued restrictions pushing events back further."
But she said there were still many who were planning to go ahead, with smaller numbers and being mindful of the restrictions, "which is lovely to see as we have no idea how long we will be in this situation".
"There are a lot of people still planning their weddings for the future."
Moving forward, she said one of the big things that would change for brides would be the availability of certain lines of flowers.
Less imported flowers are now available in Australia, which Emma said would "strengthen and put pressure on the local floral market".
Prices of flowers has increased for now and may well stay that way.
"There is a lot of fluctuation. The market is a bit quieter at the moment, which is usual for this time of year. The flower market is relying heavily on the retail side of things to keep product moving and growers in business. It's really changed quite dramatically on a lot of levels."
It could also mean that couples who might have budgeted for larger floral designs may look at redesigning their weddings to a more modest design to help with budgets.
"Brides will need to re-look at some of their designs and think about some of the possible changes that need to be made with adjusting flower prices and product availability. People in general as far as life goes are a bit more budget conscious."
Bendooley Estate (wedding venue)
When the lockdown in NSW happened, Bendooley Estate was closed and was unable to hold weddings of any sort.
Wedding coordinator Kelly MacNamara said the massive impact on their business could take "a couple of years to recover from".
"It was quite stressful and a very emotional time for them [the couples] and us as well as we were shutdown."
And now with a second wave in Victoria and several clusters across NSW, she said things were starting to get worse again.
Restrictions around dancing and with people having to be seated at weddings, has meant couples have become more hesitant to book.
"It's starting to drop again for inquiries. With another spike it was bound to happen," Kelly said.
But she believes in time the wedding industry will recover.
"I think the Southern Highlands and Bendooley will bounce back. It will just take time."
Emma McGill (makeup artist)
Emma McGill's business is more than just work.
It is her "me time" but all that changed this year with the global pandemic.
Like many others across the wedding industry, she went from working every weekend to nothing.
"I've found myself really struggling. Home all day, every day with my children, anxiety has certainly increased and I've felt it has greatly impacted my mental health in general," she said.
"Not only has my business been unable to generate income at this time, but we've also had the emotional challenges of trying to support our couples as best as possible and keep treading water."
Emma said her office hours had also increased as she faced hundreds of emails and calls to "try and reshuffle everyone and check in with couples".
Since the easing of some restrictions, Emma said she had received more inquiries but many couples were still hesitant to lock everything in.
"[I'm] certainly seeing a little light at the end of the tunnel but I feel were still a long way off from a steady flow of weddings and a return to a stable income."
With work starting to come in again, Emma said one of the main challenges was ensuring social distancing and limiting the number of people in the room.
She has also made a few other changes which include having separate bagged items such as a brush set for each person and keeping her kit closed rather than unpacking it, along with continually cleaning surfaces and using hand sanitiser.
"Morale has certainly changed too. I can see it in myself and other vendors. We're all so desperate to get back to what we love but the uncertainties and restrictions can be taxing as well as trying to support our couples and our families."
Nina De Borde (celebrant)
When Covid shut down the wedding industry earlier this year, Nina De Borde and many of her couples went straight into "re-plan mode".
She managed one last small wedding in her own garden before everything stopped completely.
For a couple of months, she said it was more about "managing people's emotions" as couples struggled to figure out a way forward.
"It's a big deal. You plan for that day for such a long time. You just need to hold their hand and tell them it's going to be okay."
While some people are still planning to go ahead with their weddings, Nina said others were more hesitant.
"I think the thing is there's a sense of we don't want to have a wedding where everyone's talking about Covid," she said.
"[But] I'm so happy to be back. It's such a joyful industry and it's such a passion of mine to marry people."
Nina warned that while it was indeed a joyous occasion, people needed to remain vigilant to help stop the spread of Covid.
"I think people are maybe relaxing a little bit. What we do have in collaboration with the venue and couple is a list of names and numbers of people for traceability.
"It's just a little reminder we're all working together to stay well."
And with no end date in sight for the pandemic, Nina said she believed it would lead people to hold smaller, more simple ceremonies in the future.
"I think people might simplify their wedding a bit. The relationship is the most important thing. The heart of the ceremony is the connection between those people.
"We just have to work with what we get and what we can do."
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