Same-Sex Marriage Expected To Bring Big Business To Local Companies
Local businesses are expecting a big payday from weddings now that same-sex marriage has been legalized in New York. NY1’s Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.
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Same-sex couples may be hearing wedding bells, but business owners will be hearing “ka-ching!”
Bernadette Smith of 14 Stories has been planning same-sex nuptials in Massachusetts for seven years and recently opened a second office in New York, where she expects business to boom.
“All of those couples from states where gay marriage is not legal, they're gonna travel here with their friends and their family, and they’re going to bring all those tourism dollars to the city and the state,” says Smith.
While the benefits of the bill will be felt across the state, Anja Winikka of theknot.com suspects a bulk of the business will be in the Big Apple.
“I really do think New York City is the next Las Vegas, if not bigger,” says Winikka. “We've heard the expectations are somewhere like $184 million pumped into the New York City economy over the next three years. That $184 million is going into local businesses — we're talking photographers, florists, wedding planners.”
And, of course, cake decorators.
While they did about 60 wedding cakes last year, owner Benny Rivera of City Cakes expects same-sex weddings to add a whole new tier to his growing business. In fact, they got their first order while a delivering a birthday cake to a client the day after the legislation passed.
“They told us as soon as they received the cake that they were booking their wedding cake with us there and then,” says Jaspreet “Jazz” Sahota, an assistant manager at City Cakes. “We've had countless numbers of calls since then. We've already booked several same-sex weddings.”
Businesses owners, no matter the size of their enterprise, can take steps to take advantage of these new opportunities, and should start by revising their marketing materials.
Smith says this can be as simple as neutralizing the language on your website.
“So if the context was, ‘we help the bride and groom prepare for their big day,’ they can say, ‘we help the couple prepare for their big day,’” says Smith. “A simple switch like that is not going to alienate the straight couple, but it’s something the gay couple is going to notice and appreciate.”
While couples will no doubt flock to City Hall in the first few weeks, the real economic impact won't be seen for another year or two as fiancées take their time planning the wedding of their dreams.