NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The number of post-pandemic weddings has soared. 2.5 million couples are planning to get married this year, hitting an all-time high since 1984.

With record numbers come supply chain delays and inflation.

“If you can, start doing it as early as you can,” said Michelle Amarillo.

Amarillo has planned weddings in Hampton Roads for more than a decade.

“Whether it’s one or two years out, everything’s booking so quickly and people are just starting sooner than later,” Amarillo explained.

Amarillo credits COVID backlog in causing the rush to the aisle. Couples are catching up after pushing back their dates and new couples, like Steve Hendricks and Mor Rosenberg, are getting engaged.

“We sent off a bunch of different emails and there have been only two people that have actually responded to our emails. We had a few people say hey congratulations on your wedding but I’m booked out until 2024,” said Mor Rosenberg.

Hendricks popped the question in July and says planning a wedding has been anything but easy. The couple has looked at venues from Virginia to New York and even Greece. Some quoted them $150,000 just for the venue as prices have increased with demand.

“Unfortunately, what COVID’s done to our industry and everybody’s industry whether that’s wedding planning or even homeownership like for wood and all those things is so expensive now,” Amarillo stated.

Amarillo advises couples to start planning soon even if they’re more than a year out.

“Simple things like lighting gobos that need to be shipped from a third party vendor, sometimes that shipped on time that at some point there’s a delay in that, also with my florist friends I know that there’s a lot of demand with flowers and the expense that there is,” Amarillo said.

If the process feels overwhelming, Amarillo suggests hiring a wedding planner.

“Who’s in your corner and who knows the industry, that can have your back the entire time,” Amarillo stated.

She also reminds couples to stick to what’s important.

“Don’t ever lose sight of what’s important which is why everybody’s gathered for the day, for your wedding.”