\u201cEveryone is just coming out of the woodwork,\u201d said Anna Maisner, sales director at Serafina at the IC in Stamford. With outdoor restrictions lifted and Gov. Ned Lamont expected to relax more restrictions on large-scale gatherings on May 19, Connecticut wedding experts are seeing their datebooks fill up for the late spring and summer months. \u201cIt is definitely a different kind of May,\u201d said Joanna Sherriff, vice president of Sales & Marketing at Waterview Catering, which handles hundreds of big days at venues across Connecticut, including The Waterview in Monroe. In addition to couples who decided to tie the knot during 2020, the company is helping many of the 80 percent of its 2020 customers who decided to postpone weddings last year, said Sherriff. \u201cLast year was heartbreaking,\u201d Sherriff said, \u201cbut now there are going to be 200 events in this building alone.\u201d Many in the industry wondering how restriction loosening on May 19 will affect dance floor rules, which have required masks and encouraged guests to boogie at a social distance for the last year. Some said Connecticut couples had it easier than those in New York, where venues had to mark off safe dancing blocks for each table for a time, Sherriff said.\u00a0 \u201cIt was very \u2018Footloose,\u2019\u201d she said with a laugh. Photographers, florists, DJs, wedding planners and venue managers across the state are treading into new territory this spring as couples who\u2019ve put off their nuptials for months are chomping at the bit to make it official. All are balancing everyone\u2019s desire to be together and celebrate with finding a comfort zone that addresses loosening restrictions with safety and caution. But all agree couples and their loved ones are becoming more and more comfortable to return to pre-COVID traditions. \u201cMy phone has been ringing off the hook,\u201d said Leslie Scotto, a Fairfield-based wedding planner. \u201cPeople are ready to party, see friends. These celebrations are going to be really special.\u201d Here are some of the trends for weddings in Connecticut this year.\u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 Maisner said she has seen rubber bracelets that use a color-coded system to show how close the wearer would like to be to others \u2013 yellow for \u201celbows only,\u201d for instance. Some couples are making COVID testing available for guests the night before the ceremony, while others incorporate mini hand sanitizer bottles marked with the couple\u2019s names and the wedding date as party favors. Take-home masks are sometimes available, too. \u201cEverybody is taking safety seriously,\u201d Scotto said. When seating, planners and venue managers have to consider the vaccination status of guests as well as out-of-state guests who have traveled for the wedding, said Scotto. Many take family units and pandemic pods into account as well when finalizing seating arrangements. Wedding venues have re-thought seating arrangements as well, positioning eight or fewer guests around the typical 60-inch round table that would seat 10 in previous years, Scotto said.\u00a0 A big pandemic wedding trend that continues is holding weddings completely outdoors. Serafina has a grand ballroom that seats hundreds, but the big draw in 2021 is their al fresco pavilion for 550. Set on 10 acres under a big white tent, the pavillion offers well-spaced seating, as well as hand sanitizer stations and other safety amenities.\u00a0\u201cThere is a comfort level with being outdoors,\u201d Maisner said.\u00a0 Guest lists that include everyone from Mom and Dad to Great-Uncle Stu the groom hasn\u2019t seen since his Bar Mitzvah are out the window, said Scotto. A cast of hundreds has been trimmed to a slim 100 and, in many cases, fewer than that, she said.\u00a0 But smaller weddings have been trending even regardless of the pandemic, said Scotto, as couples are opting for an intimate event and spend money on higher-quality menus and other features. \u201cPeople care a little more about their guest experience,\u201d she added.