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As COVID-19 restrictions loosen, event dates and locations are at a premium

As restrictions relax, a flurry of events from 2020 and new ones for this year have caused a bottle neck for dates and locations.

CLEVELAND — As COVID-19 restrictions begin to loosen, many are moving ahead with organized events. However, even if some of the limitations are lifted, some other ones are popping up.

“I had an inkling, I was like maybe this is going to be it,” says Jenna Snider

It was it for Jenna. Her longtime boyfriend, Marcus Zappa, proposed last July. Getting engaged was a joyous occasion for them and every other couple, but the wedding planning has been more strenuous than normal.

“It absolutely has been really difficult to find a rehearsal dinner space,” says Marcus Zappa.

Snider says, “Not only do you have to factor in all the normal things, you have this added level of, are we going to have to wear masks? Is everyone going to have to have hand sanitizer? Maybe that’s our gift to everyone for coming to the wedding.”

Now as Governor DeWine begins relaxing some of the Covid-19 restrictions, couples and people planning other retirement parties, proms or benefits are feeling a little more than optimistic.

RELATED: 'Victory is in sight': Gov. Mike DeWine announces criteria for Ohio to end COVID-19 health orders

“I actually almost fell off my treadmill when we heard about things opening back up,” says Snider.

Zappa says, “This level of relief came over me.”

However, with many events pushed back from last year and new ones coming up, the news of lifted restrictions is creating a bit of a bottle neck for dates and locations.

“We are going to have a crazy year,” says Katie Schumacher, director of events at Marigold Catering. “A lot of people from last year rescheduled to this year, so we’re really busy. People are then now going ahead and saying, ‘Let’s have our wedding, let’s not wait.’ So, we’re getting those people too.”

Katie’s advice is to act quickly, but to be patient and flexible as you try to lock in your date and spot.

“Have a couple of different plans,” says Schumacher. “We’re event planners. We love doing this stuff, so as many plans as possible, we’re happy.”

Jenna and Marcus didn’t exactly get the date they wanted, but they know it’s the occasion that’s celebrated not the date. They also realize that sometimes you must roll with what life gives you.

“We’re going to roll with it until we can’t anymore,” says Zappa. “If, come August, they say that we can only have 150 people at the wedding, then we have some awkward phone calls to make.”

“If you were to ask me for advice for any brides that are getting engaged now, I’d say just take it all in stride,” says Snider. “Everything is changing by the day, so control what you can and take a deep breath to see how everything else plays out.”

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Editor's Note: The below video aired on March 4, 2021