Spending on Weddings of Same-Sex Couples in the United States

By Craig J. Konnoth, M.V. Lee Badgett, Brad Sears
July 2011

The extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples in various jurisdictions will generate economic gains for the businesses in those jurisdictions due to increased spending on weddings. A 2004 Forbes magazine article projected that if same-sex marriage rights were granted nation-wide, same-sex weddings would generate $16.8 billion dollars in expenditures, adding significantly to America’s annual $70 billion wedding industry. For over twenty years, various other commentators have argued or found that the first state or states to offer marriage equality would experience a wave of increased tourism from out-of-state couples that would bring millions of additional dollars in revenue to state businesses. This memorandum estimates the total spending by resident and out-of-state couples on their weddings in states that recognize marriage equality for same-sex couples, in the first year after equal marriage rights were introduced.

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