Gay Marriage

July 24, 2013: Gay Marriage

The wedding industry is already huge ($51 billion annually), but it’s getting bigger. Much bigger. As more states pass laws allowing gay marriage, revenues and opportunities in the wedding business are sure to grow exponentially.

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that established businesses, such as Marriott Hotels, clothing retailer Banana Republic and media company, are already jumping on the trend, broadening their marketing to include couples planning same-sex weddings.

The boom is underway for entrepreneurs as well. The magazine interviewed several small business owners who are already profiting from the increase in gay marriages. In fact, the owner of Seattle-based Cupcake Royale (who has long supported gay marriage) told the magazine that federal legalization of gay marriage has “inadvertently been a great business strategy.”

Since gay marriage is not legal in most states, those that do allow it will see an influx of people coming to get married in their states, increasing the number of destination weddings within the United States and offering even more entrepreneurial opportunities. The 2012 annual wedding survey from showed that while gay couples have smaller weddings, they spend more money on their weddings (and more per guest) and have higher household incomes than heterosexual couples.

The list of businesses that can benefit from a wedding boom is long, and includes retailers (clothing, stationery, invitations, gift stores, florists, and jewelry stores), restaurants, caterers, bakeries and wedding venues, wedding planners, travel agencies (i.e., honeymoon planners), directory publishers, videographers and photographers.