WEDDING bells have been ringing again at Tamworth's venues, sparking a flicker of hope for the events industry.
The city's Powerhouse Hotel hosted its first wedding since November on Saturday night, when it would normally be booked for a reception every second weekend at this time of year.
Manager Daine Cooper said it was a very different experience, but a promising one.
"It's really endearing to see that COVID or no COVID, people want to get out and celebrate and get back to a kind of normal life, obviously with a few extra little bits and pieces we all have to adhere to along the way," he said.
"The rules were understood by all and that made things so much easier, and it looks like everyone had a really good night because of it."
Mr Cooper said getting through the venue's first wedding back without a hitch was a confidence boost.
"From this point forward we have 100 per cent confidence people can still go out and have a good night and enjoy themselves at a wedding and so we'll be looking forward to the next one," he said.
"Hopefully there are many more to come over the next couple of months."
He said catering an event like a wedding was a cherished moment for staff, too.
"All the staff love a good celebration as much as the guests themselves, so it was really great and they were really excited to get back into the swing of things," Mr Cooper said.
"A little more singing and dancing would have been welcome, but we can do what we can do in the moment."
The wedding was photographed by Tamworth business Poppy and Finch. Founder Jakki Tanner hadn't snapped a wedding since February, and was thrilled to be back doing what she loved.
Tangaratta Vineyards owner Liz Pike said the popular venue outside Tamworth had hosted just two weddings during August and September, but said she understood why people were hesitant to go ahead with their special day, despite relaxed restrictions.
"Brides have had to make some very tough choices," she told the Leader.
"Some brides plan their day for years, so to not be able to have what they envisaged is very disappointing."
Ms Pike said she'd been trying to diversify her business to "survive" the coronavirus crisis, and is hosting an intimate country music concert in the coming days.