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Same-sex marriages good for local economy

May 16, 2008 7:01:40 PM PDT
The state Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage will be good for the wedding planning business. That's especially true for those that cater to gay couples as they now begin to plan ceremonies.

The perfect gay wedding is one on board a chartered yacht, at least that's what Compass Rose wants couples to know.

"From the officiating, to the cake, to the champagne, to the food, to everything, and all you have to do is write us a check and it's a done deal," says Lori Rogers with Compass Rose Yacht Charters.

In less than 30 days, gay and lesbian couples will be allowed to marry anywhere in the state. However, Lori Rogers is betting San Francisco will be a prime location.

"We have the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay. You can't get this anywhere," says Rogers.

Mitch Landy of El Sobrante would like couples to spend a few hours with Lola, his 80-pound harp. Landy is advertising on gay-friendly sites, hoping to get more work.

"It may not be so good for get-down and boogie parties, but for weddings it's just the right kind of feel," says Landy.

Photographer Charlotte Fiorito began shooting weddings in 2004 when couples were getting married at City Hall. When they were halted, business slowed down.

"I've been waiting for this day to come in hopes that this market will really come to fruition," says Fiorito.

The San Francisco Convention and Travelers Bureau predicts the court's decision will encourage more gay couples to come to the city. So it won't be easy to get a hotel room in San Francisco. The occupancy rate has gone up two summers in a row -- nearly 87 percent last July.

"Especially because we're close to City Hall at Citizen Cake, tons of people coming in and having cakes and receptions in the afternoon, cupcake weddings. Cupcake weddings are pretty hot," says Elizabeth Falkner who owns Citizen Cake, a San Francisco restaurant.

Now Faulkner has opened Orson which has several private dining rooms.

"I think a lot of gay people like to have a nice party, so we're kind of known for that. It's kind of an exciting time. People can really do the kind of wedding they always wanted to have," says Faulkner.

Blissful words for businesses in the Bay Area.


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