First numbers in for same sex marriages in Hawaii
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - While the battle to legalize same sex marriage in Hawaii was long, couples have been quick to tie the knot.
The State's issued licenses to nearly 6-hundred gay couples since December 2nd and planners are preparing for a wave of wedding business this year.
Since the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, it's been a race to the altar. On the first legal day to wed, the State processed 179 same sex marriage licenses.
As of January 5th, 703 applications have been filed and that equals big business. According to the Department of Health, since December 2nd, there have been 526 registered same sex marriages in the State. That's out of 2144 total. That's about a quarter of the wedding pie.
Cake Works owner Abigail Langlas donated a cake for Hawaii's first same sex weddings and says, "I was very happy to have played a part in that. I think it's been a long time coming."
On December 17, 1990, gay couples were denied marriage licenses at the State Health Department, igniting a battle over marriage.
When Hawaii became the 15th state to legalize same sex marriages, University of Hawaii economists predicted a potential tourism boost of 217 million in 3 years.
Wedding vendors hope to cash in by catering to this new marriage market.
Langlas expects a boost in business. She says, "We do advertise in the Pride Guides. Because we're one of the few states that have legal weddings, I think we'll have a lot of destination couples coming here as well."
When you consider many people take time to plan their big day, a big first month may not be the icing on the cake.
As Langlas pointed out, "The law just got passed and our wedding season is probably May to September so we'll see what happens over the next few months."
We also talked with three wedding planners and they say they're getting a lot of calls from engaged same sex couples.
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