Gay marriages create wedding industry bliss

This new -- and growing -- clientele is a boon for planners, photographers, hotels, caterers and more. 'It's a big business.'

By Bruce Kennedy Mar 25, 2013 7:03AM

Gay men toasting one another at their wedding reception ( Hill Street Studios/Blend Images/Getty Images)The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing arguments this week on two different cases, one federal and one involving California law, regarding the legality of same-sex marriage. The court's rulings on these cases -- California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act -- could have long-term impacts on how Americans deal legally, financially and culturally with gay marriage.

Supporters of same-sex marriage say now is the time to bring this issue up for scrutiny. A number of polls show public support of gay marriage has risen significantly in recent years. Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage. And last week, Colorado joined eight other U.S. states with civil union laws or similar statues for same-sex couples.

But don't overlook the economic impact from all these changes. The gay wedding market has grown nationally, creating, as The Denver Post notes, new business opportunities for wedding planners, photographers, vendors, hotels, resorts and caterers -- as well as financial planners and attorneys.

"It's a big business," Bernadette Coveney Smith with the Gay Wedding Institute told the Post. "There is definitely room for all of us to benefit financially from gay weddings."

The Institute offers advice on planning legal same-sex weddings. It also has training workshops and a gay wedding certification program for people and organizations in related industries. Hundreds of wedding professionals have received that certification.

Lindsay Alesio, manager of a Marriott (MAR) in Denver, says her hotel received certification though the Gay Wedding Institute last year. That Marriott has so far hosted two same-sex weddings. It has three more scheduled and is getting inquiries for more.

Alesio says sensitivity, tolerance and respect for same-sex marriages can make an economic difference in her industry. She told the Post about a $175,000 gay wedding she booked several years ago at a mountain resort. She said she asked the man calling about the wedding, "What's the name of your significant other?"

"He said: 'You are the only one who has asked me that way,'" she remembered. "And he booked with us."

A casual look around the Web reveals dozens of sites offering advice and services for gay-friendly weddings.

Of course, not all marriages last. A 2011 study by the Williams Institute at UCLA's School of Law found "dissolution rates" for legally married same-sex couples were only slightly lower than divorce rates for different-sex couples. But ending a same-sex marriage or civil union can present some unique legal challenges.

"Civil unions are legal in Colorado now, but nothing has changed at the federal level," said certified financial planner Lauren Sigman in an interview with the Post, "so the complexity of that difference is very real." It seems even when a gay marriage goes bad, someone will be making a profit.

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Why does a gay wedding have to be called a gay wedding. Why not just a wedding.I am an olive grower. I sell Gay olive oil?  For a specific Gay event  why call it a gay event. If  the people getting married would like a rainbow sticker on the bottle no problem. But to cash in on an event with gay flavor hummm. Isn't it the people who make the event gay. If the people fighting gay marriages would cool down. This country will be a better place to live.People would be happy and Gay.
Mar 28, 2013 3:52PM

We must not forget were we all come from.  That is from a man and a women procreating. Being gay or "homo" is not a choice.  A man and a woman creates the sold called "homo".  So should men and women stop procreating?  Gay's do not create gays.  If two people are in love then let them enjoy their lives together. It is not hurting anyone and what goes on behind closed doors is no ones business, but between the two individuals.  Why are so many heterosexuals fixated on what two men or what two women do?  That is what bothers me.  Hence it is not a choice to be black, white, Hispanic or a homosexual. It is what a man and a woman bring into this world and that is a beautiful human being.  Doesn't anyone get this? 

Mar 28, 2013 4:29AM
I am not the least bit offended by the idea of same sex relationships.  At the same time, I feel it is inappropriate to call it a marriage.  Regardless of how much these couples want to be viewed as just like heterosexual relationships, they just can't.  They are different.  I feel like they should have legal status as a committed couple as far as the law is concerned including tax breaks.  I just think it would be more appropriate to call it something other than a marriage.  Marrying is what a man and a woman do.  The word marriage does not adequately describe the bonds in a same sex relationship.It simply should be expressed differently than calling it a marriage
Mar 27, 2013 6:42PM
I agree gil263, The thing that confuses me is this. Gay couples want to be together and want us to accept it. But when they want to bring a child in their relationship, they adopt. Why not try to have a child of your own, You cant, because its not suppose to be that way. There is a reason why god wants a union between a man and a woman. Same sex relationship won't achieve that goal.
Mar 25, 2013 7:53AM
Nobody wants to see gay marriage legalized more than divorce lawyers - they stand to make a killing!
Mar 25, 2013 8:41AM
Since they already have a TV show about ladies shopping for wedding dresses called "Say Yes to the Dress"  will they have a similar show called "Say Yucks to the Tux"?
Mar 26, 2013 6:42PM
The purpose of marriage according to god is one, to become one flesh and two, to procreate. God created a man and a woman with different brains. A man has qualities that a woman does not have and a woman has qualities that a man does not have and by a marriage they become one where both qualities are enhanced, like the old adage likes repel and opposites attract. Procreation can only occur between a man and a woman, can we imagine if god created two adams or two eves, i guess i would not be here.
Mar 26, 2013 6:50PM
Mar 26, 2013 6:28PM
How sickening, just to see two men and two women kissing just turns my stomach. Again i like to ask any homo out there to answer one simple question  if being homo is alright then if heterosexuals did not exist then how would homo ever exist since procreation could not happen. Answer this and i would accept homos.
Mar 25, 2013 5:58PM

This shouldn't be up to the 9 black robes.  Each state can put it to a popular vote if we really think government needs to be in control of every aspect of our lives.


In my opinion, the federal, state, and local governments should be opinion neutral on this and leave it up to individual ministers who they want to marry.  That would put the debate to rest.  We can all still believe what we believe and it wouldn't be an issue. 

Mar 25, 2013 9:27PM
Homosexual marriage is a myth, two men can't consummate a marriage, two women can't consummate a marriage, if your a man one night and the other the bride, what do you become when you reverse that?  Women don't have the equipment to consummate a marriage in any way, have to use plastic or rubber since they don't have what it takes.  Neither can become one flesh as a man and women do, so it is un-natural and immoral by its own nature.
Mar 26, 2013 2:14PM
How can 1-2 percent of the population (depending on the study one cites) be a "big business"? Not all gays and lesbians care to marry. And the ones that do, break up just as frequently as heterosexual couples, so that's money pissed away. It seems that gays consider themselves equal to a heterosexual union that created them in the first place. And that just cannot be.
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