You can look at so many things over the past 14-15 months that have been difficult, because of the pandemic. Something as simple as going to a restaurant, bar, hair salon or barber was a challenge; and having to adjust to a new way of life, in regards to working from home and wearing a mask in the majority of settings.

Another thing that was greatly impacted by the pandemic were weddings.

I got engaged in the summer of 2019 and we were starting to gear up planning when the pandemic hit. Instead of my fiancée and I getting married in 2020 or the summer of 2021 like we wanted, we had to push it back to 2022 and are just now (after being engaged for almost two years), getting into the major parts of planning our wedding.

For a while, wedding venues in Western New York couldn't hold any large event type weddings because of social distancing and capacity guidelines from the state. New York State just announced a major reopening as of Wednesday, May 19th, but the toll the pandemic has taken on couples looking to get married and the wedding venues looking to hold weddings, has been frustrating to say the least.

We've had to adjust our guest list because of capacity restrictions and even though we're thinking the pandemic will be far less of an issue in the summer of 2022 than it even is now, there's no guarantee, and that's a problem when you have to have RSVP's to your wedding by a certain timeframe, in order for the venue and caterer to plan appropriately.

It also impacts costs, because more guests means the wedding will cost more and the last thing we want is to invite a certain amount of guests, then some can't come because of guidelines; and then money is out the window because you're past the point of no return.

Right now, we're looking to have an outdoor-style wedding with a huge tent, which will be good for restrictions and guidelines, but I can already tell the struggle the venues have gone through since last year. They're trying to juggle 2020 postponements with new 2021 dates and then 2022 dates on top of that. You can tell they've been overwhelmed, too.

I feel bad for my fiancée. She's been dreaming of getting married and her wedding should be a time of happiness, not panic and added stress.

I know many couples out there have gone through similar frustrations, and hopefully we will continue to move forward and slowly get back to a normal way of life.

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