MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Depending on your views, same sex marriage may — or may not — change the face of Minnesota. But based what has happened in other states, same sex marriage could have an important economic impact.

Already, there’s some indication that gay marriage is good business.

In fact, one national study estimates legal same sex marriage will have a $42 million impact on Minnesota’s economy in the next 3 years — mostly in the wedding and tourism industries.

Here’s a breakdown: $28 million on weddings (hotels, ballrooms, photographers, cake bakers, ring makers, flower shops, caterers), $14 million in tourism by out of town wedding guests and $3 million in state and local taxes — much of it from marriage licenses.

You could call it a pent up demand: Half of Minnesota’s 10,000 (10,207) gay couples (4,946) will get married in the next 3 years. Most of them (64 percent) in the first year it’s legal.

So, how much will they spend?

A lot.

A survey of 18,000 couples by TheKnot.com puts the average wedding cost in 2012 at $28,427.

The number of couples getting married has remained fairly constant over the years. The addition of same sex weddings represents the first real increase for the wedding industry, and a potential of billions of new dollars nationwide.

Reality Check Resources
Below are some of the sources used for Wednesday’s Reality Check:
Williams Institute/UCLA Study
Marketing Study of LGBT Consumers
Average Cost of Wedding 2013
Wedding Industry Statistics
Same Sex Marriage History/MN

Pat Kessler