Valley wedding economy could boom with 'yes' vote
THE CLARENCE Valley, particularly Yamba, is known to be full of beautiful wedding locations, but will a 'yes' vote for marriage equality impact our wedding economy.
According to Angourie Resort Event Coordinator Jess Mitchell it's definitely going to have an impact.
"There are a lot of people who don't realise they can have a ceremony or celebration of their love already," she said.
"At the beginning of the year we already had a same-sex marriage at the resort... they still have a ceremony as you would call it down at Green Point and then had the reception back here.... It was no different to any other wedding."
Ms Mitchell said she wasn't sure exactly how much more business the vote for marriage equality would bring, but it might open up more opportunity for same-sex couples.
"I don't know if there would be an influx straight away, maybe in the city but not so much in our area," she said.
"I've been doing wedding there for a little over three years and this was the first ceremony I'd done.
"I guess it would be the same as every wedding, we get a few enquires every week, maybe one of them will be a same-sex one?"
Michelle Renshaw, a marriage celebrant who regularly works in the Clarence Valley, said she believes everyone should have the right to choose.
"It would capture another market... I don't think it would double but it would absolutely increase the wedding industry."
Leah Stevenson from Grafton's Lasting Impressions Bridal and Formal Wear had similar feelings about the yes vote.
"I imagine there would probably be an increase in wedding sin the short term following the legalisation," she said. "But long term, I don't think it would have a huge impact."
Celebrant Meg Dougherty from Married by Meg said a yes vote will have an extremely positive impact on the Clarence Valley's wedding economy.
"More people will be able to make that legal commitment to each other," she said.
"Personally I'm really looking forward to offering my services to same-sex couples as part of their happily ever after.
"I know there is a lot of interest for even commitment ceremonies... if same-sex marriage is legalised, I believe more same-sex couples will want to make that commitment."
With Yamba already becoming a hot-spot for weddings, Mrs Dougherty said the interest is likely to continue to grow.
"Yamba is already getting so much business for people looking for a destination wedding because we're so close to places like Byron Bay, we're only going to get busier."