Wedding Trade Expects Boost from Gay-Marriage Laws

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Other states that have legalized gay marriage have benefited economically as a result. Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Vermont and Massachusetts now include sections on their state tourism websites that include information about gay marriage. Even honeymoon capital, Niagara Falls has gotten a lift from same-sex weddings and honeymoons.

In Maine, Pam Remy of South Portland and her partner of 13 years, Karen Weiss, have just begun to plan for a late summer or early fall wedding. They're looking into pastoral settings in southern Maine to host the wedding and are hoping to have up to 200 guests.

The to-do list is the same that many couples face when planning a wedding: find a venue, print invitations, hire a photographer and arrange for food and entertainment. Remy, 44, says they have to find a place soon because venues are being booked quickly.

"I imagine this wedding will be the whole shebang," Remy said.

Cindy Sproul co-owns North Carolina-based Rainbow Wedding Network, which produces gay and lesbian wedding expos in Seattle and other cities. Just since the election, she's seen a 30 to 40 percent increase in companies wanting to advertise with the company in Washington state.

Thousands of in-state residents, as well as those from nearby states that haven't legalized gay marriage, are expected to exchange vows in Washington in the coming years.

"There are a lot of couples that will cross state lines to get married. Maybe they want to make a long weekend of it," Sproul said. "I imagine there will be couples from Oregon who will come up."

In Maine, a Portland man has launched what he's calling the first online wedding directory,, connecting same-sex couples with gay-friendly businesses. Sid Tripp, who owns a marketing company and is president of the DownEast Pride Alliance gay business networking group, said Maine's new law should benefit such companies as tuxedo rental shops, caterers, florists, photographers, jewelers, limousine services, musicians and DJs.

"Maine has positioned itself as a progressive, forward-looking state that is welcoming to everybody," Tripp said. "The gays will see this as a sign of solidarity with them, and they'll be coming here in droves wanting to get married."

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