Funerals have been restricted to 10 people and weddings to just five under the isolation rules designed to protect the community from COVID-19, but already they are having a human impact.
Kate Ritchie is a Ballarat-based marriage and funeral celebrant, who was planning her own wedding for next month.
She said many weddings had been cancelled or postponed - including her own - and funeral directors were turning to livestreaming to include family, but the emotional effect could not be understated.
"It's a really hard thing for families who are losing family members at the moment, but unfortunately we've all got our restrictions," she said.
"As a funeral professional, I'm in an industry that's pretty recession-proof, so it's quite surreal to be in a situation where we're actually not, this is going to impact a lot.
"A lot of families are going to opt to not have any service for their loved one at the moment, as difficult as that decision is - instead, let's have a service when this passes so we can have the whole family together, it'll be a memorial service."
She added it was good to have a livestreaming option for remote attendance, but for some families that "won't feel right".
"For people that are grieving, it's at the forefront of their minds at that point - when you lose someone you love, the emotional strain and upheaval is incredibly difficult for families - I think we need to provide options," she said.
Many religious ceremonies have also been strictly limited, and graveside services outdoors have been encouraged.
Ballarat Cemeteries chief executive Annie de Jong said she was focused on making sure recommendations were communicated to families and high-quality care continued to be provided to the community.
"Our daily operations will adapt to reflect the most appropriate course of action for the safety and well-being of everyone," she said in a statement.
"We currently have recording facilities within the chapel and are establishing live-streaming."
For weddings, Ms Ritchie said a postponement, even without a date, would help suppliers and others who are also facing a difficult time.
"That's been my general guide to a lot of couples - postpone, don't cancel, the wedding industry in Ballarat is a tight-knit group of people - videographers, photographers, florists, hair and makeup, musicians, they're a great bunch of people who go above and beyond, so it's great if couples have the ability," she said.
"I know some people don't and they'll need their deposit back, but if it's in their scope, postpone, change the date, set it forward and ask your suppliers if they might reallocate their deposit.
"It gives people who have pretty much got no income for the foreseeable future a bit of light at the tunnel.
"We did the same thing with ours, we'd paid different suppliers deposits and things, and I did exactly that."
Ms Ritchie said the current restrictions reduced ceremonies to a celebrant, the couple, and the two legally required witnesses - she said some couples were choosing to have a limited ceremony now, and would plan a reception with their families and guests later.
She added she has begun a new business, the Ballarat Private Marriage Registry, for people seeking to do that.
"We can still have small ceremonies with five people, but we want to be able to offer an affordable option - we understand people are losing their livelihoods," she said.
"We want to be able to offer something stylish, memorable, with opportunities for photos, and it's affordable while people are on tight budgets.
"There are strict rules on numbers attending, there's a balance between earning money, or having some income, and the health and wellbeing of the community - there won't be any bending of rules for anybody."
Her own wedding postponement hurt, but she said she would "prefer to get married on a date that won't be overshadowed by what's going on".
"The health and wellbeing of family and friends, our wedding suppliers, was of utmost importance," she said.
"Just because we can't get married on the day we set doesn't mean we can't get married.
"We felt people wouldn't be able to let their hair down, and we only had a small party."
Despite the chaos in the industry, Ms Ritchie was positive about its future.
"We've just lost our entire incomes basically, but it's pleasing to see the general consensus that it will come back," she said.
"We will find that whilst we're going to be on tight budgets for this year, once things settle down, the next few years will be the most booming we've ever had."
For more information visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/novelcoronavirus or phone the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 for advice if you are displaying symptoms.
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