Cindy Rodriguez is the Urban Policy reporter for New York Public Radio.
Wedding planners, hotels and restaurants have started appealing to the gay community — offering discounts on wedding packages to same-sex couples in anticipation of the uptick in nuptials after the gay marriage bill goes into effect July 24.
Italian eatery Del Posto, owned by restaurateur Joe Bastianich and celebrity chef Mario Batali, is offering a $30,000 package that includes everything from chairs for the ceremony, to a jazz band and a four-course dinner. The offer is between $15,000 and $20,000 less than a typical wedding package.
"Being in this neighborhood and knowing how long a lot of people have waited — I have a lot of personal friends and I know Mario and Joe do as well — and we're just excited that it went through, and we hope that our offer is exciting to them as we think it is," said restaurant general manager, Jeffrey Katz.
The Ritz-Carlton in Battery Park recently announced its "Celebrate Equality - More Love for Everyone" wedding package, which includes a suite upgrade and 25 percent off spa services until September 10.
Tatiana Byron, a wedding planner and the founder of luxury bridal trade show The Wedding Salon, said her bridal show will include for the first time ever a special section for gay couples on July 20.
"We're doing a dual canopy where on one side you have a bride and groom with a white runner and on the opposite side you have a groom and a groom and also a bride and a bride and we have a rainbow colored runner," said Byron, who noted vendors taking part in the bridal show will be asked to offer special discounts and promotions to help bring costs down.