LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Some wedding venues are seeing a welcome boom in business as the country gets back to normal.
"It's been phenomenal from a business standpoint," Uche Onyeyiri said.
Onyeyiri, the owner of Angelo's Garden in Mayflower, is booked nearly every weekend for the rest of this year. He is already starting to fill up in 2022.
"We're back to pre-pandemic levels in terms of the number of weddings we have," he said,
This is a big relief for Uche, who in 2020 lost 10s of thousands of dollars. He was unsure how things would turn out this year.
"You got to understand, at some point, I really thought I was going to lose my business," he said.
But the moment restrictions started getting lifted and cases remained low, Uche was back in business.
"As soon as the world opened back up or the United States opened back up, our phones started ringing again and people weren't asking those pandemic questions. People were just like 'I'm ready to book, I want to come look at the place. I'm ready to start planning my wedding,'" Uche said.
He said many of the couples he is now booking have been engaged for more than a year.
"So, you know they were waiting and just sitting to see what the outcome was going to be. They saw that green light and just started to book their venues," he said.
Others have also rescheduled from 2020, so Uche said Saturday dates are becoming harder to come by. He recommends planning out your wedding at least 12 months in advance to make sure you get everything you want.
"Make sure you're getting your top vendors. The venue you like, the photographer you, the DJ you like, and things like that," Uche said.