MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It has been five years since Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage, and this weekend celebrates that wave of change and achievement.
Businesses and organizations spent Friday putting up tents and making final arrangements for the annual Pride festival in Loring Park.
Organizers say as many as 400,000 people will celebrate in some capacity this weekend. Looking back to five years ago, same-sex couples were still waiting to get married since the law did not take effect until August of 2013.
There was a lot of talk about how that would affect wedding businesses — so WCCO looked into that.
It was a busy Friday at Your Enchanted Florist, Lynne Tischler’s flower shop on Dale Street in St Paul.
“Business has been good,” Tischler said.
Your Enchanted Florist has seen significant growth since 2013. About 50 percent of their customers are now same-sex couples.
“Not only have we been lucky enough to do a lot of same-sex marriages, but those same-sex unions create anniversary arrangements and funeral arrangements, and then being invited into their office to do plants,” Tischler said.
At Sweet Retreat in Edina, they have not seen as much of a change in revenue, but they do notice a difference in couple’s budgets.
“We thought initially there would be a little bit of influx of people who maybe had been waiting to do a marriage,” said Sweet Retreat co-owner Stephanie Kissner. “Most of the same-sex wedding cakes that we’ve done have been a little more extravagant. Probably my favorite one that we just did was last fall. It was a Halloween wedding and it was an amazing cake.”
The impact of Pride itself has grown. With 300,000 visitors in 2013, to projection of an extra 100,000 this weekend.
“They’re getting hotel rooms, they’re going to restaurants, they’re going to bars, they’re going to all of the events that you see,” said Darcie Baumann, Twin Cities Pride board chair.
That earned the city $12 million in 2013, and will be re-measured after this year’s Pride. So while the cake toppers may be different, the love is all the same.
“To me it’s all the same,” Kissner said. “To me it’s a celebration, whether it’s a wedding, or a commitment, or an anniversary, or a birthday or anything, it doesn’t matter who it’s for.”
WCCO also spoke with the owner of a bakery in Duluth who said they also have had a significant uptick in business.
The Twin Cities Pride Festival will run Saturday and Sunday in Minneapolis’ Loring Park.