The Business of Marriage: $74 Million Boost Expected

The Business of Marriage: $74 Million Boost Expected

- in Top News, Politics, National
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Photo: David Gordillo
Photo: David Gordillo

Gay marriage not only benefits gay couples, but small businesses, large businesses, and entire cities!

According to the Sun Times, last year five same-sex couples asked about wedding ceremonies at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The day after the Illinois General Assembly approved gay marriage, the venue received five inquiries in just one day.

“It’s really impacting us, very quickly,” Mary Biller, a sales manager said. “We do about 30 weddings per year, so that would be a good chunk of business.”

The Botanic Gardens aren’t the only ones benefitting from same-sex marriages.

A study from the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute expects Illinois’ wedding businesses to see a $74 million increase and $29 million increase in tourism for out-of-town guests in the first three years of legalization and would create 281 new jobs in Illinois.

Owner of Sparkles Fine Jerlry in Andersonville, Rachel Meyering, who sells LGBT engagement rings, expects to see an increase in business, too.

“There are a lot of couples that have come in and really enjoy this line,” Meyering said.  “And I have a gay couple that purchased engagement rings and are super excited about the news.”

Bittersweet Pastry Shop in Lakeview has already had a large LGBT customer base but expects it to get even bigger when weddings start.

“We’ve always had a lot of business with the gay community,” said Nancy Fetsch, who does wedding cake consultations at the bakery. “I’ve always had people who come in and say, ‘I will do something when it becomes legal. I’ll be back,’ and hopefully they will be back here.”

The state is “sprucing up its website to highlight a trip planner for same-sex couples planning to get married,” according to Jen Hoelze, Illinois Office of Tourism director.

Same-sex marriage in Illinois will begin June 1, 2014.

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