Kandis Stanley married her partner Jen Gibson at Portland City Hall this week. Instants following the couple from Louisiana stated, “I do,” they drove to Portland Head Light for nuptial pictures.
The two were freezing, beaming — and underdressed, with Maine’s oldest lighthouse as a backdrop, a lonesome foghorn sounding and cold winds whipping off the Atlantic.
“We wouldn’t have done this everywhere else,” mentioned Stanley, 3 3.
“The only other north-eastern place we considered was Nyc, but [we] finally went for Portland for the scene and also the downtown area,” mentioned Stanley, a nurse.
“We tried to mainly spend our cash at locally owned companies because we know from our own experiences how significantly that aids families and keeps the amount of money in the local economy,” stated Stanley.
Welcome to the homosexual wedding market according to nantucket island wedding photographer – PommettPhotography.com.
The 2009 study also estimated a likely $60 million hike in new paying for tourism and weddings as quoted by Marina Athletic Club – personal fitness trainers.
Companies like GayweddingsinMaine.com are prepared.
The yearold online wedding directory has 450 vendors — from ministers to lighting companies to photographers — targeting this new cut of the wedding business. Some are gay possessed, all are homosexual-friendly.
“A great number of the vendors are proud of the truth that they’re gay. Being gay for many years was maybe not in vogue. It was something that people were frightened or embarrassed of,” stated Sid Tripp, who started the website, produced by his Portland-based advertising firm, Pro Active Resources Layout - http://www.cape-law.com.
Thus far, the site has acquired 4 million pageviews. In a couple weeks, it’s going to relaunch as a full service resource for gay weddings in Maine, offering travel ideas, adoption guidance and vignettes on couples who have wed in the state. At a recent networking occasion, Tripp held in the Cumberland Club, 70 to 80 vendors from Maine communities including Naples, Mexico and Bar Harbor gathered.
“Love is love. We should shoot all sorts,” stated Tricia Jamiol, a Windham photographer who last year started a nuptials-focused business with her associate, Christina Fay.
Gibson’s ceremony and shooting Stanley this week, Jamiol was hit by Portland’s warm welcome to the out-of-towners. Their encounter couldn’t have been more positive, though the couple, holding hands and iPhones in town clerk’s office, were nervous.
“I’m pleased that couples are finding Maine and coming in from other provinces. It’s good for the economy,” stated Jamiol. “Individuals are comprehending how amazing Maine is about the outside,” she stated. And once they get here they are “accepted with open arms.”
Such tolerance is important to the new “I do” market.
As anti-gay opinion flares up in Az, Maine has more of a plus more than ever to capture homosexual destination weddings, according to Tripp.
“In the rest of the nation, there’s a major battle brewing with people who do not want to handle gay couples. When individuals go on this website, they know that these business are 100 percent gay favorable,” he mentioned.
Florist Dan Kennedy, who owns three Portland bloom businesses, including Harmon’s & Barton’s on Congress Avenue, anticipates strong increase in his sector.
So significantly this year, he’s eight homosexual marriages booked, while last March he’d one.
Though homosexual couples normally spend less on weddings than their hetero counterparts, “it has opened an entirely new avenue and customer base. It had been something that was not observed before, also it was being done behind-closed-doors,” said Kennedy. “Now folks are more public.”
As same-sex marriages enter the mainstream market, couples are able to splash out.
“It’s not so new that it scares people,” mentioned Kennedy, remembering last year’s tepid start. “They comprehend it more.”
And partners are ready to pay for it.
“Our limousines, florists, eateries, hotels are all gaining,” mentioned Connie Mills of All in One Weddings in Brunswick. “Our bakeshops adore us.”
Mills, who officiated services along the coast, planned and for 10 years has booked, is excited with this new earnings stream. This past year, 18% of her business came from same-sex marriages.
She’s wedded couples from London, Fl, Ga and Spain. Factoring in journey, re sort stays and honeymoons, a typical homosexual destination wedding can best $15,000.
“The out-of-state couples bring in the most money,” she said.
This past year, Maine played sponsor to 1,689 same sex weddings in line with the state’s office of Information, Research and Essential Statistics. Tripp suspects that number to double or even triple “just from what I’m hearing from my vendors.”
Though homosexual marriages have been accepted by all parts of New England, Maine is top of mind, say those in the sector. Factors comprise an approach of acceptance, a number of places to wed — from the mountains to the shore to the lakes — and decent costs.
The truth that Rep. Mike Michaud, the likely 2014 Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Maine, is gay also is a factor in couples picking a location to wed, according to Tripp.
“we’ve a gubernatorial nominee that feels comfy saying ‘I’m working for governor, and by the way, I am homosexual.’ That’s A cue to all of the folks that may be searching at Maine to get married,” mentioned Tripp. “This is a rather valuable industry to cater to.”
And Tripp, who devoted a year of time, energy and funneled $100,000 for his new site, is placing his money where his mouth is.
To be “advertising Maine homosexual weddings into the remainder of the nation is a rewarding investment,” he said. “This is just going to grow. My firm is betting on that.”