Oklahoma’s wedding industry hoping to cash in on same-sex weddings

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It was an emotional day for thousands of same-sex couples who wanted to get married.

“This morning, the Supreme Court recognized that the Constitution guarantees marriage equality," President Obama announced at a press conference on June 26.

The ruling was announced less than a month ago, and is still difficult for some people to believe.

"I didn't think it would ever happen,” Mark Peterson said about the SCOTUS ruling.

“I still can't believe it. I'm numb,” Mark Van Dorn said.

In just two months, Peterson and Van Dorn will be legally married at a local church with their two children and two grandchildren by their side.

“We're going to have a pretty big wedding, 300 people or so,” Van Dorn said.

With same-sex marriage now legal in the United States, the wedding industry is expected to grow.

A study by UCLA estimates gay marriage could see an economic impact of $2.6 billion through out-of-town guests and local vendors.

The same study projects there will be more than 3,000 same-sex marriages in three years, equaling out to an economic impact of more than $20 million.

For the first time ever in Oklahoma, wedding planner Kindt Steven Myers is hosting a same-sex wedding show.

"That highlighted wedding professionals who do want to work with the LGBT QI community and not only who are willing to work with them, but who want to,” Myers said.

He and local florist Tony Foss came up with the idea after being surprised by vendors not willing to work with the LGBT community.

"Where you might think they work for all the green dollars and not just some of the green dollars,” Myers said.

So far, 20 vendors are signed up to welcome couples looking to get married.

“We've been together 30 years and so, for us to finally be able to get married freely and without hindrance, we want to do it the whole way and that includes the wedding show,” Van Dorn said.

The Wedding Show is Sunday, July 26 at IAO Gallery.

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