This past year the US Supreme Court ruled that same gender weddings were a constitutional right. In the industry of weddings, this opened up a whole new vein of possible business. All of a sudden there are a slew of new seminars, courses and certifications that would help you put more gay wedding business on the books. Let me speak openly and frankly about this topic with the understanding that if you are sensitive, politically correct, or otherwise, try to keep your head on. This is a business discussion, not a moral or political one.
There are 2.3-2.4 million weddings per year (depending upon the year). The population of the U.S. is closing in on 320 million. This means 1.5 % of the population are getting married (4.6-4.8 million people). It is estimated by the Wall Street Journal that with the Supreme Court’s decision, the number should rise from 390,000 to 500,000. This represents just under 10% of the total LGBT population getting married.
A 25% increase in Gay weddings is a very good jump, but……110,000 weddings represents a bump in the total amount of weddings performed every year. In the overall picture it represents a 5% increase. Thus the gay wedding business is looking up, but focusing on the whole of business, it still represents a small bump.
I have seen many fads in the wedding industry in over 24 years of being deeply immersed. Gay weddings are not a fad, but something that has been coming for many years. The fact is you need to at the very least prepare your business for the eventuality of gay weddings coming your way, but to think that you will be able to simply jump on some band wagon and get them to roll through your doors simply because you hang up an extra sign is pretty far fetched.
Fact is, there have been Gay Unions for years now and those who were involved when it was not “trendy” are much deeper immersed in the community. These are the folks who understand what is necessary, wanted and required. Like someone who just went out and bought some wonderful gear, it takes more to go out and perform than just the necessary equipment (camera, sound equipment, etc…)
If you are interested in providing your services for the gay community, wonderful, but beware of coming off as a carpet bagger if you are not prepared. Similarly, would you be qualified to perform at an Indian wedding, a Bar/Bat- Mitzvah, or a Filipino wedding just because you have the “stuff”. It has been and remains my stance that everyone deserves the wedding that they desire. This is one day that is to be celebrated and honor their nuptials, which means you- the professional, needs to be prepared to deliver how they want.
It is my strong suggestion that rather than hope for a “magic pill” solution of hoping to fix a lack of weddings or wanting to get to the next level, you focus on the more than enough weddings that are out there. Focus on these weddings by first tune up your marketing then tune up your persuasion.
If you are interested in the Gay Wedding business, my suggestion is you visit with Bernadette Smith of the Gay Wedding Institute as she and her team have been at this since 2009, long before the case hit the Supreme Court. They have a feel and a grasp on what the LGBT community wants and are happy to help you understand.
This article is about the business of weddings and similar to cheeseburgers, if you don’t like them, you don’t have to eat them, but don’t for a second think it’s any of your business what I do. I am a business coach and I teach people how to do things that will get them more business. If it is legal (they are) it is my suggestion that you set forward with your business to be best prepared to provide as best as you can which is our job as professional. On the other hand, if you choose not to provide for Gay weddings, you like wise need to prepare your business as there are legal ramifications which I do not speak on- connect with your best legal representative. Either way, be nice. Don’t shame either way and be professional.