place branding

NYC I DO: Big Apple Woos Gay Wedding Business

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 27, 2011 02:30 PM

When you’re talking about almost $400 million, everybody wants a piece of the pie. That’s how much a “report last month from New York's Senate Independent Democratic Conference estimated the state would earn” in the next three years if it legalized same-sex marriages, according to USA Today.

Now that the bill has passed and same-sex couples can start tying the knot in the Empire State on July 24, New York City is planning an “I Do” marketing campaign to help draw wedding-bound couples to the Big Apple.

“The report estimated that 21,309 resident gay and lesbian couples would get married over the three years, as well as another 45,000 who would come to New York from surrounding states or other places for destination weddings,” USA Today reports.

Hotels in New York City are already marketing wedding packages aimed at gay couples, such as Le Parker Meridien’s $25,000 "Love Has No Boundaries/Born This Way" (a nod to NYC's unofficial LGBT-positive ambassador, Lady Gaga) package for 100 people, the paper notes.

“We'd love to have you come here," Bloomberg said Monday to all the same-sex couples out there looking for a place to wed, the New York Daily News reports. "Stay in a hotel. Buy flowers, clothes, meals or whatever. It's good for the economy."

Bloomberg has been an ardent supporter of governor Andrew Cuomo's campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in New York state, commented on the bill's passage: "Together, we have taken the next big step on our national journey toward a more perfect union."

NYC & Company, the city’s tourism agency, is going to pull out all the stops with its I Do campaign: “NYC & Company is working to create a multi-channel, global communications and marketing campaign - NYC I DO - to promote the vibrancy and attractiveness of the five boroughs as a gay weddings destination," said Kimberly Spell, the agency's chief communications officer, the Daily News reports.

The agency’s website, which detailed NYC Pride activities, already features info on the new marriage rules and where couples can stay.

“Wedding planners are also expecting to see an increase in business thanks to the new same-sex marriage law and one wedding planner from Boston is even moving to New York City because gay marriage is now legal,” CBS New York reports. More in AP's video, at top.

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