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Wedding Venues, Services Seeing Rise In Bookings For This Fall

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – According to a study out of UCLA, 5,000 same-sex Minnesota couples are expected to get married in the next three years.

And that’s translating into a bit of a boom on the business side of the industry.

At Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis, they have four weddings booked for August and September.

Same sex weddings in Minnesota are expected to bring in $42 million, and increased tax revenues of $3 million.

“This isn’t going just something that’s going to be a quick, ‘Let’s jump on the bandwagon and do this’ thing,” said Eliesa Johnson of Photogen Inc. “It really is going to affect the industry for the long-term.”

In talking with a number of wedding vendors, it doesn’t appear there will be a huge rush of August or September weddings, but it’s clear the vendors are planning for the future.

“It’s just been doing gangbusters for our business,” Stephen Rocheford said.

The sales force at Lavender magazine has been getting 10 calls or emails an hour. They expect their next Pride issue to break advertising records.

They say vendors want the business of a readership whose income averages $90,000 a year.

“It’s a practical thing for businesses,” Rocheford said. “They need to stake out a claim in the gay market.”

There is still some confusion within each county about when same sex couples will be able to apply for their marriage licenses — before Aug. 1 or not.

County departments are meeting this week and next to figure out the logistics.

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