As COVID restrictions are eased, more people are comfortable attending large gatherings. With that comes a backlog of two years of events that were put on hold, including weddings.

Experts estimate 2.5 million couples will get married in 2022. That’s the most since 1984. A survey by the Wedding Report shows there were about 1.3 million weddings in 2020 and 1.9 million in 2021.

The report also says 20% of weddings from 2021 were rescheduled for 2022.

The wedding boom has translated to big business for local vendors, who say they are essentially working with three years of engaged couples.

“I’ve been booked out for a lot of dates almost two years in advance. We’re pretty much done with the COVID reschedules, but I feel like a lot of people waited until 2022, 2023 to book their weddings just to play it safe,” says Natalie Dekermendjian, a makeup artist with Deked Out Makeup.

Dekermendjian says there are several weekends this year when she and many other makeup artists are booked for three weddings.

It’s not just makeup artists that are feeling it. Katie Calak, the owner of stationery company Foiled and Pressed, says this wedding season is a big change from two years ago, when weddings were cancelled due to the growing pandemic.

“[In] 2020, I tried to stay as calm as possible and just believe like, ‘OK, it’s going to bounce back,’ so take the time to work on my website and do things like that,” says Calak.

But the bounce back has made it difficult at times for vendors to take everyone on. Some vendors, like Calak, have had to turn people away.

“If I have to say no to people, like it’s always sad to do it – I want to help as many people as possible – but I need to make sure I have enough time with each couple,” says Calak.

Professionals recommend brides start working early, starting with vendors that are most important. For example, if a couple’s priority is documenting the big day, they should start with photographers.

“Kind of have a plan. Reach out to all of your favorite vendors first, and if you don’t know anyone who is a vendor of choice, then ask your vendors who you do want to book, who they recommend,” says Dekermendjian.

After 2022’s surge, the Wedding Report estimates there will be about 2.24 million weddings in 2023.