Westchester Wedding Vendors on the Financial Effect of Recently Legalized Gay and LGBT Weddings on Their Profits
Will gay weddings be a cash cow for Westchester?
In June, New York passed a landmark bill that legalized same-sex marriage, sending waves of joy throughout the LGBT community—and the business community. Companies involved in the wedding industry saw this as their chance to get a much-needed economic boost, after years of struggling through the Great Recession. But, while such an uptick was observed fairly quickly in the New York City, early indicators say it has yet to be realized in Westchester. “I definitely expected an increase in business,” says Dan Fried, owner of H&H Photographers in Irvington. But to date, Fried has met with only one same-sex couple. Still, he remains hopeful that business will increase with the new law.
Catering halls also are hoping for a boost in business. “We were absolutely expecting an increase for all businesses: catering halls, flowers, everything,” says Michael Pasqualini, proprietor of Mansion on Broadway in White Plains. But, again, that increase has been a no-show, for the most part. Initially, he had only three same-sex wedding receptions, but at press time it was up to seven. “We’re looking forward to taking on more and more weddings,” Pasqualini says. “It’s a big part of our population that can now come our way.” He expects that once word gets out that Mansion on Broadway is hosting same-sex weddings, more and more couples will host their weddings there.
Not everyone, though, expected an immediate boost. “We typically work with clients six months to a year in advance,” says Dorothy Mourouzis, owner of Westchester Event Planning Services, Inc., in Thornwood. She predicts that there won’t be an increase for another year—and maybe not until 2013.
“We can always hope,” Mourouzis says.