For Wedding Planners, Same-Sex Marriage Could Be a Boon to Business

As politicians in Albany wrangle over same-sex marriage, those in the business of nuptials are bracing a boom.

Wedding planners and events coordinators are keeping close watch on the closed-door Senate proceedings since legalizing same-sex marriage could add $210 million to New York state's economy, according to a 2007 report from New York City Comptroller William Thompson.

"We're really kind of on edge just hoping that this thing will pass through," said Jose Rolon, media events coordinator at The Foundry, a popular wedding venue in Long Island City. He said business would double if same-sex marriage were legal.

"I think once this becomes legal, I think the community will just jump on (the venue) because it's such a unique, interesting space," said Rolan, who had his own ceremony at the Foundry last year after his legal marriage to his husband in Boston.

Bernadette Coveney Smith, founder of gay wedding planning company 14 Stories, opened shop in 2004, when Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, and now, contingent on the bill passing in New York, she said she would open a New York office.

"The wedding industry is so straight and has been for years,” she said. "And so really, this is an emerging market. ... The first emerging market that's opening in the wedding industry for decades."

"I mean I think it’s just really going to blow up," Smith said. "Couples are really looking for someone who will be their advocate and hold their hand."