The $2.6 Billion LGBT Wedding Boom

Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-​sex marriage, the wedding industry is poised to get even larger. The Knot found that LGBT weddings tend to be intimate celebrations, with 90% involving fewer than 150 guests.åÊWith Witeck Communications estimating that the LGBT group had a purchasing power of $884 billion in 2014, there's potential for the wedding industry to grow, Michelle Castillo wrote in "How the business of same-​sex weddings may change."

"The newly expanded marriage rights provide a tremendous economic opportunity for the $51 billion wedding industry, which currently employs over 800,000 people nationwide,"åÊ wrote in NerdWallet's Gay Marriage Could Boost Wedding Industry by $2.5 Billion. "Excluding increases in federal tax revenue or transfer payments, gay marriage in all 50 states has the potential to add $2.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy, according to a NerdWallet analysis."

"By calculating consumer spending on weddings, average marriage rates, as well as the self-​identified gay and lesbian population, NerdWallet determined the potential revenue from gay marriage inåÊeach state. For example, our study found that California‰Ûªs economy stands to gain as much as $414 million. Click here for the full data."

"States in the Southeast that had banned gay marriage prior to last week‰Ûªs Supreme Court decision legalizing it stand to gain the most from the ruling financially, according to a report compiled at the end of last year by the Williams Institute at UCLA and Credit Suisse," Beth Braverman wrote in The Fiscal Times' The $2.6 Billion Gay Wedding Boom.

"The study found that states in the Southeast could see a total economic benefit of $733 million in the first three years after legalization of gay marriage, thanks to pent up demand and increased spending on weddings and tourism."

"Researchers estimated that gay marriage spending nationwide could reach $2.6 billion over the next three years. Gay couples tend to have smaller weddings, with an average of less than 80 guests, according to TheKnot."

The Knot LGBTQ Wedding Study has revealed that 95% of couples surveyed refer to this occasion as a wedding, as opposed to a commitment ceremony or civil union, up from 82% in 2014. Additionally, 96% of couples do not think of their wedding as a ‰ÛÏsame-​sex wedding‰Û but a wedding. Of the people surveyed, 70% said they are walking down the aisle; men are nearly three times more likely to walk down the aisle together, whereas women prefer a friend or family member escort. Half of couples have a friend or family member officiate their wedding ceremony, and the most popular reception venue choices are restaurants, friends‰Ûª or family members‰Ûª homes, and historic buildings.

Key Findings from The Knot 2015 LGBTQ Weddings Study:


  • Of the LGBTQ couples surveyed, 96% don‰Ûªt consider their marriage a ‰ÛÏsame-​sex marriage‰Û‰ÛÓthey consider it a marriage
  • 95% of couples refer to this occasion as a wedding, as opposed to a commitment ceremony or civil union, up from 82% in 2014
  • 60% of couples agree that guests could use advice and services when navigating LGBTQ wedding etiquette
  • 95% of couples agree that vendors need a way to communicate that they‰Ûªre LGBTQ friendly, and 81% of couples look to vendor reviews when seeking LGBTQ-​friendly wedding vendors
  • The most popular reception venues include restaurants (13% for men, 16% for women), family or friends‰Ûª homes (13% for men, 12% for women), and historic buildings or homes (11% for men, 8% for women)åÊTraditions:
  • 57% of men and 69% of women had a formal proposal, and for 71% of those couples, it was a surprise
  • 56% of men and 76% of women exchanged rings with their engagement; 36% of men and 56% of women at the time of their proposal, while 20% of couples purchased them after the proposal
  • 97% of couples exchange wedding bands at the ceremony
  • 70% of couples walk down the aisle; men are nearly three times as likely to walk down the aisle together, while women prefer a family or friend escortåÊSpending Habits:
  • LGBTQ weddings are small, intimate affairs‰ÛÓmen have an average of 77 guests and women have an average of 71 guests; 9 in 10 LGBTQ weddings have less than 150 guests
  • Men spend an average of $15,992 on their weddings, compared with $13,055 for women; 23% of men and 21% of women spend more than $20,000
  • 85% of men and 79% of women pay for the majority of the wedding themselvesåÊSupreme Court of the United States:
  • 100% of couples were excited that the issue of marriage equality had been brought to the Supreme Court
  • 97% of couples believed that the Supreme Court vote would pass and marriage equality would be nationally recognized once and for all

AudienceSCAN gives you even more knowledge about the LGBTQ community. For instance, this group is 68% more likely than average adults to be non-​drivers. 49.8% are renters. 42% own cats. 33% attend arts festivals and 36% purchased something online on Cyber Monday (Monday after Thanksgiving). In the past month, 30% visited local store/​business websites to research a product or service before buying. This community is 52% more likely than average to share a photo of a product they're considering with others. The furniture industry should be excited about the gay wedding boom as well ‰ÛÒ couples will be filling new homes with new furniture! 25% are looking for living room furniture and 22% need new bedroom furniture this year.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports inåÊAdMall.

Courtney Huckabay
Courtney is the Editor for SalesFuel Today. She analyzes secondary customer research and our primary AudienceSCAN research. Courtney is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University.