For the past year or so, a number of local couples hoping to become newlyweds have been all dressed up with nowhere to go.

It’s not their fault. It’s not really anybody’s fault.

It’s just that COVID-19 isn’t exactly moved by weddings.

With health restrictions limiting public gatherings, Yakima-area wedding venues have been beyond hard to come by. Many were unable to offer any services to wedding parties, no matter how small the group.

The result, wedding planners and venues say, is that a lot of weddings got put off last year.

By the time the state fully reopened at the end of June, a mad rush for places to get married was on.

At Yakima’s St. Paul Cathedral, Msgr. John Ecker has been hearing Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” a lot lately.

“We’re making up for weddings we couldn’t do last year,” Ecker said.

The story is similar at every wedding venue in town.

Favorite settings like the Yakima Area Arboretum are fully booked — or nearly booked — through the fall as couples who’ve put off weddings jump at the chance to finally take the leap. Slots are even filling up for next summer.

“Everybody has the same mentality,” said Annakaren Garcia, the Arboretum’s venue sales manager.

But with coronavirus cases resurging, some fear everything could all shut down again in a heartbeat. What’s a careful couple supposed to do now?

Most local venues suggest making your reservations as soon as possible. No matter what might happen with possible health restrictions, it’s best to get your name in the books.

At the moment, few places require any special precautions, but that could change quickly, Ecker suspects.

“It’s all kind of up in the air,” he said.

If the safety restrictions of the past year are any indication, outdoor weddings might be the surest bet for the short term.

Then again, the registration lines are long no matter where you go.

“Definitely don’t put it off, Garcia said.