Here's How Much Money Gay Marriage Will Make the Wedding Industry

June 26th 2015

Alex Mierjeski

Friday's historic Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states will no doubt have important implications for same-sex couples' legal and financial rights in the eyes of the law. It will also help to relieve years of discriminatory restrictions on symbolic rights afforded to heterosexual couples. 

But same-sex marriage's legalization stands to have a massive impact on existing industries, as well, funneling millions of couples into the already booming $51 billion wedding industry. On Friday, NerdWallet estimated that same-sex marriage, excluding federal tax revenue or transfer payment increases, could boost that number by $2.5 billion annually. 

In the wake of Friday's decision, we can expect to see increased numbers of quickly-planned courthouse weddings, similar to those reported by states with legalized same-sex marriage soon after laws went into effect. But NerdWallet's estimate accounted for things like average consumer spending on weddings and average marriage rates by state, and how many self-identifying gays and lesbians stand to be considered in those statistics in the near future. According to that analysis and the assumption that with more time to plan, couples will spend more on intricate ceremonies, state economies such as California's can expect to gain as much as $414 million annually. 

The site notes that legalized same-sex marriage is expected to slightly increase federal tax revenue and subsequent spending, but those factors were not accounted for in the analysis. 

The numbers are not, of course, 100 percent accurate: Gallup polls of states' LGBT populations do not necessarily account for actual populations, nor do the cost of weddings per state based on county averages reflect perfectly accurate prices. 

Even so, based on the estimates––not to mention anecdotal evidence––we can expect a wedding boom in the near future.

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Posted by ATTN: on Friday, June 26, 2015