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Studies Find Same-Sex Marriage Could Generate Millions for Wedding Industry, Local Economies

Wedding arch aThe recent landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage made waves not only in America but around the world as well, and could mean big business for the wedding industry.

So how will the cost of same-sex nuptials compare to that of heterosexual couples? While that is yet to be determined, many states are already anticipating an uptick thanks to the legalization of same-sex marriage, according to a recent U.S. News and World report.

“The wedding industry already is just huge. As soon as you say you’re buying it for a wedding it costs 10 times more. There are so many related businesses that stand to benefit from having more weddings, gay, straight or whatever,” said Marlene Morris Towns, a marketing professor at Georgetown University, during an interview with U.S. News in October 2014.

According to a study from the Williams Institute, allowing the 9,000 unmarried same-sex couples residing in North Carolina to marry has the potential to generate a whopping $64 million in statewide spending over the next three years. Furthermore, same-sex marriage may add as much as $4.4 million in sales tax revenue and create between 215 and 646 jobs for the state.

The average budget for the typical heterosexual wedding ceremony and reception in the U.S. is roughly $30,000, coming in at $28,385. However, The Christian Science Monitor reported that the average same-sex wedding costs $9,039. According to the 2012 New York study outlined in the publication, same-sex couples weren’t necessarily tighter with their money; they simply invited fewer guests.

California and New York state are common destinations for same-sex wedding ceremonies. According to the Williams Institute study, same-sex marriage has the potential to generate as much as $492 million for the state of California in as little as three years.

According to a 2014 study published by personal finance website NerdWallet, if every state approved same-sex marriage, it would create “a $2.5 billion flow into local economies.” Thanks to the Supreme Court decision, we’re on track to see if it happens.