Same-sex marriage is not only good news for many couples in New Jersey, it is also proving good for the wedding planning industry.
Friday’s announcement from same sex couples in the state will be free to marry beginning Monday morning has many New Jersey couples scrambling this weekend to locate wedding planners, event coordinators, flowers, and more. One of the most difficult things has been attempting to find a judge who will waive the mandatory waiting period for same-sex couples who wish to exchange their vows on Monday.
The Director of Garden State Equality, Troy Stevenson, is saying that efforts to get same-sex couples married minus the waiting period on Monday is considered a work in progress. New Jersey state law dictates that couples must wait 72 hours from the time they apply for a marriage license before actually getting hitched.
All this red tape, while a hassle, is not what is really important here. Of course, the fact that New Jersey will finally be recognizing same-sex couples is an incredible achievement. But what has really got many wedding planners and florists in the Garden State are the actual ceremonies themselves.
Anyone who has ever dreamed of their wedding day can tell you that there is a lot of planning and prep work involved. So many decisions to be made. Spring or Fall wedding. Day or evening ceremony. Should you serve chicken or fish? And what about the vegetarians? Many couples spend months, some event years, planning their wedding. Television shows such as Bridezillas and Say Yes To the Dress show us that no expense is spared on the road to the big day. In fact, it would appear that everyone is trying to outdo one another. Gone are the days of simple, tasteful ceremonies with 150 of your closest friends and relatives. These days it seems that there are no less than 20 attendants per side, and no less that 300 invited guests. And that is when they are cutting back.
Some New Jersey businesses have had their phones ringing off the hook since Friday’s announcement. Couples are trying to plan for the ceremonies to take place around the holidays, when many families usually get together. The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas looks to bolster the already enormous wedding industry.
While there has always been a large market in the industry for same-sex couples who choose to hold commitment ceremonies, the fact that New Jersey is recognizing these unions as official weddings has made it a much bigger deal. These couples have waited a long time for this acknowledgement and cannot wait to have to recite their vows among their closest family and friends.
And while there seems to be a definite upswing in business for some caterers and event planners, many same-sex couples are choosing to start small and are merely planning on heading to the courthouse on Monday for a quick, yet official, ceremony.
With the announcement that New Jersey same-sex couples will finally be able to officially marry, the wedding industry lets out a resounding cheer. And a huge sigh of relief.
By: Mary Kay Love