Same-sex marriage could impact wedding business

Published 01/06 2013 07:18PM

Updated 01/06 2013 10:37PM

CHAMPAIGN -- Same-sex marriage isn't on the books in Illinois yet. But some people are already buzzing about the possibilities. Wedding-based businesses could see a boom if a law is passed. And many same-gender couples said they're ready to tie the not as soon as they can.

"My brother actually told me, we need to go to this," said Lindsey Pruitt, who is from Monticello. "So I'm glad he did."

Lindsey came with her mother, big brother, Matthew, and Matthew's boyfriend to a bridal expo. Same-sex couples are hoping they'll have a new option soon as Illinois lawmakers talk about legalizing gay marriage.

"I'm hoping. I'm hoping. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that," said Matthew Pruitt.

Nine states already allow same-sex marriage. Matthew said the issue has always been on his mind. People who work in the wedding business already see gay and lesbian couples at their stores. Aside from needing two tuxes or two dresses -- instead of one of each -- managers said it's the same as any other wedding.

"It's about love," said James Tucker, who works at Seno Formal Wear. "To us it doesn't make any difference. It's a union, man or woman, it doesn't matter to us. It's just a celebration."

And it could also mean a boost for his business. Matthew said if a law passes, he hopes tolerance and love will be able to come together, just like the same-sex couples would.

"It's always been, do you really care about that person? Do you want to spend the rest of your life with that person?" said Matthew. "And I think everyone deserves that chance to have that commitment in their life."

Tucker said more people get married in odd years than even ones. So this year could be even more busy with couples swapping rings than in 2012.

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