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Gay & Lesbian Weddings: It’s Not The Market You Think It Is

Jody Holman PhotographyHave you ever noticed that, any time a state legalizes same-sex marriage, numerous articles are published, featuring testimonials that there will be a huge gold rush and money falling from the skies as same-sex couples rush to the altar, Chuppah or City Hall to tie the knot or jump the broom?

In fact, I think I just heard a distinct rumbling coming from our Pacific Northwest…

Let’s be honest: there will be economic gain and tax base advantages for those states that legalize same-sex marriage — especially those states that are amongst the first to do so. And, businesses, like Microsoft, which have recently advocated for marriage equality, and places like New York, which legalized marriage and launched an impressive tourism campaign in 2011, or Washington state, which is poised to legalize marriage in 2012, understand that supporting marriage equality can make a difference in the overall bottom line.

The market is expanding thanks to same-sex weddings and its related services, like financial planning and legal advice. There are opportunities for thoughtful vendors and well-positioned jurisdictions to increase revenues. You will see local long-term couples choose to tie the legal knot relatively quickly when marriage equality legislation passes. And, you will, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, see couples travel to get married legally, even if they can’t do so in their home states.

But one should not expect proof of a life-changing windfall within the week of marriage licenses being offered, or a sudden eye-popping, recording breaking number of new engagements happening within a few days of the legalization of marriage equality.

Unless you are of the ilk of Kim Kardashian or Britney Spears in Las Vegas, marriage is a serious commitment, cultivated over time; and — and this is important — once the gay nuptial backlog has been satisfied, the windfall storyline will be rendered moot and same-sex couples will be just another run-of-the-mill, engaged couple listed in the Crate and Barrel registry. Ready to spend money, yes; but ready to single-handedly save the economy, no.

Say What? Read the rest of the column via The Huffington Post

Photo credit: Jody Holman Photography

Wedding innovator Kathryn Hamm (@madebykathryn) is co-author of The New Art of Capturing Love: The Essential Guide to Lesbian & Gay Wedding Photography (Amphoto Books, 2014), an Education Expert for WeddingWire and Publisher of GayWeddings.com