Wedding-related businesses see small surge in orders as first day for same-sex marriage approachesLayla Olson creates flower arrangements for weddings and says she’s seen a marked increase in orders for the month of August.
By: Mike Creger, Duluth News Tribune
Layla Olson creates flower arrangements for weddings and says she’s seen a marked increase in orders for the month of August. That’s because a whole new segment of the population, same-sex couples, will be allowed to legally marry as of Thursday under a new state law passed this spring.
But it’s not full-blown marriage events behind the boom.
“There’s been an influx of quickie-style ceremonies,” she said from the Saffron & Grey floral design shop she owns with her sister, Abby, on Woodland Avenue in Duluth.
Because couples didn’t know until a few months ago that they would be allowed to marry, they weren’t able to secure the regular venues for weddings, Olson said.
Saffron & Grey is taking part in the ultimate ad-hoc ceremony: the mass wedding event Wednesday night at Tycoon’s Alehouse & Eatery. They are donating some table decorations for the public event started by John Goldfine. The plan is to marry couples who sign up for a 12:01 Thursday morning ceremony.
Eileen Brown from the downtown Duluth cake shop How Sweet It Is Cakes will be at Tycoons as well, offering up a special rainbow cake.
She also said there’s been a steady increase in business but it isn’t just on the first day that same-sex couples will be allowed to marry. It’s more spread out, she said.
“I expect more full weddings in the future,” she said.
Couples who are ready to get married probably already had union ceremonies, said Bethany Stauber, publisher of Lake Superior Wedding & Events magazine and owner of Bethany’s Closet, a wedding gown shop in West Duluth.
“They’ve been doing them anyway,” she said of commitment ceremonies or weddings in other states that allowed them before Minnesota. “We’ll see a lot of people redoing their vows.”
Stauber also said there is a lot of competition for open dates since the law comes into effect in the heart of the wedding and event season in the Northland summer.
“I don’t think it’ll be — boom — on that day,” she said. “But I do expect to see an increase.”
Churches that held events for the Duluth United For All Families group that pushed for passage of the same-sex marriage bill are seeing a few weddings booked. Peace United Church of Christ, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church and Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth each have at least one ceremony planned in August.
The wedding cakes that have been ordered at How Sweet It Is show just how historic Aug. 1, 2013, will be.
“They are more grandiose and bigger cakes,” Brown said. “It’s people saying 'We can finally get married. Let’s make it big.' "