Economic bump expected for wedding industry following same-sex marriage postal survey

Bright: Fiori Arte Florist owner Anna Harmes holds a rainbow bouquet in honor of the 'Yes' vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey. She hopes she will be able to create bouquets for same-sex weddings soon.

Bright: Fiori Arte Florist owner Anna Harmes holds a rainbow bouquet in honor of the 'Yes' vote in the same-sex marriage postal survey. She hopes she will be able to create bouquets for same-sex weddings soon.

Local wedding businesses have expressed their personal and professional delight following the same-sex marriage postal survey result. 

Ballarat celebrant Shona Shorten said she already had a booking from a same-sex couple organised for March next year. 

Although the couple were prepared to celebrate their union regardless of the legislation, they were hopeful it could become official. 

“They’re a female couple who have both have children from previous relationships and have made a family together,” Ms Shorten said. 

“They want to take that next step in their relationship, and we’ve talked about the hope that maybe they will be able to make it legal when the ceremony arrives in March. 

“I’m really hoping now that the government have seen the public has voted yes, they don’t linger and argue about it. They need to put the wheels into motion.”

"Love is love and I want everyone to be able to have that same right and be able to publicly celebrate their commitment regardless of who they are.

Ballarat marriage celebrant Shona Shorten

Changes to marriage legislation are slated to have a significant economic impact alongside the social one.

ANZ statisticians Cherelle Murphy and Mandeep Kaura estimated if half the population of same sex couples chose to marry within one year of legislation, the benefits to the economy would be over $1 billion.

This economic boost would primarily impact service industries such as retail, hospitality and tourism, according to the 2015 report. 

Fiori Arte Florist owner Anna Harmes said she was excited by the prospect of creating bouquets and boutonnieres for LGBTIQ people on their special day. 

“Same-sex marriage is a wonderful thing, we’re very supportive of in all facets and anything that could possibly support a small business is great too,” she said. 

Samantha Jones from She Bakes Cakes said she hadn’t made a cake for a same-sex couple before, but expected she would soon have an opportunity.

“When I’m taking a cake order for a couple, whether they’re straight or gay is not something I’m thinking about,” she said. 

“Hopefully when it’s legalised, more same-sex couples will be able to celebrate their happy days like everybody else.”