Wedding industry hopeful of pink pound windfall

Wedding suppliers and hoteliers are set to reap a multi-million euro annual bonanza from the pink pound if marriage equality is passed in the referendum.

With successive polls showing overwhelming support for the yes campaign, major players in the wedding industry are preparing for what they say will be their biggest boost in years.

Industry sources have predicted that up to 600 same-sex weddings will take place in Ireland in the first post-referendum year if voters opt to change the Constitution on May 22.

Marian Purcell, who runs Limerick-based information site Gay Weddings Ireland, said her service has never been more in-demand, with business up by over 50% since she started in 2012.

However, she believes the rewards for the industry could be even greater.

“The potential is massive,” said Ms Purcell. “There are already lots of weddings booked and ready to go after the referendum. There are many other gay couples making preparations now for summer weddings.

“I’ve already had inquiries from gay couples in New York about getting married here and if we’re seen internationally as a country that’s accepting of gay marriage, that could be worth millions more to the economy. There’s no doubt that this is going to give a huge boost to the economy and tourism.”

Since civil partnership first became publicly available in April 2011, hoteliers and traders in the industry have been increasingly targeting the pink pound. The demand for celebrants has also exploded.

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