Local wedding planners expect boost in business if same sex marriage is legalized

Published: Nov. 17, 2014 at 10:42 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2014 at 11:37 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - This week, same sex couples in South Carolina may be allowed to legally get married. If the ruling is granted, the already booming wedding industry in the Lowcountry could be getting busier.

According to the Wedding Report, in 2013 there were more than 4,200 weddings in Charleston. In total, it raked in over $100 million for the economy.

"Our company does between 20 and 30 weddings a year," said Cindy Zingerella, owner of Engaging Events.

Zingerella expects to be doing more weddings if and when same sex marriage is legalized.

"We have not yet been contacted by couples wanting to be married, but we have been contacted by different publications and blogs wanting us to advertise with them in anticipation of it becoming legal in South Carolina," said Zingerella.

Zingerella said the national publications are eyeing Charleston as the new destination wedding hot spot for same sex couples.

"Our city is one of the most popular places in the country, and in the world, for a destination wedding and the reason that is - is because it has something for everyone," said Zingerella.

Zingerella believes these couples could mean big bucks for her business and the local wedding industry, as a whole.

"I think it will have a fabulous economic impact for the city," said Zingerella.

However, with a higher demand, those looking to marry could face steeper prices, especially for venues.

"I'm sure that pricing will go up if demand increases even more than it is," said Zingerella.

This could mean more people booking weddings on less popular days. Zingerella said the most popular day of the week to get married is Saturday, but here in the Lowcountry couples are already forced to chose alternate dates.

Beyond picking less popular days, Zingerella said she hopes some couples will start to come during the off seasons, as well.

For her, it may be a new wave of customers, but she says she'll feel the same happiness planning for them.

"I'm used to experiencing couples who are in love, who want to make this one day really special for themselves and for me to be apart of that," said Zingerella. "No matter what sex you are, or what your gender preferences are, it's just a wonderful celebration of your life."

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