By Andy Ebon, “Wedding Marketing Expert”
LGBTQ Wedding Windfall has been a story looking for a reality in the last couple of years. Print, electronic, and social media have a predisposition to shout about the present and coming infusion of business, resulting from the passage marriage equality legislation, state by state, and now, the SCOTUS decision to unify marriage law, nationwide.
Do The Math
The LGBTQ population is less than 10% of the entire United States population. Published posts and articles often site Average Wedding Costs, attempting to project the immediate and future revenue from this new niche market. It’s a classic case of editors with a preconceived conclusion, looking for facts to support such a notion.
Professional wedding businesses understand about 1% of the general population is involved in a wedding, at any time. Simplistic logic would suggest a logjam of LGBTQ couples rushing down the aisle now, as legalization knows no borders.
For the LGBTQ community, the 1% weddings, computes down to one-tenth of one percent of the entire population. Not exactly overwhelming.
It Ain’t Necessarily So
As law changes occurred, state-by-state, there was anticipation of court appeals. In numerous cases decisions were reversed, temporarily. In those situations, many couples headed for the local courthouse to have a simple ceremony, before a court appeal was filed.
The reality, in the long term, is age and length-of-relationship both matter. A same-sex couple in their 40’s-50’s, with relationship of 20+ years is not likely to suddenly have a wedding for 125 – 150+ guests. It is more reasonable to believe such a couple has hosted a commitment ceremony, some time ago, and now, a wedding and reception are more likely to a smaller, intimate group than full-scale.
A couple in their late 20’s to early 30’s is more likely to proceed on a traditional time frame (12-18 months) for their wedding and reception.
What this means to your company
The massive publicity about marriage equality, over the last three years, has been key in evolution of opinions and moving the country forward. However, the change in business flow is more likely to be a bump in demand, rather than a spike; then steady demand into the future.
Your mileage may vary
Exceptions will occur for companies which have been working with LGBTQ clients over years, prior to the SCOTUS decision. It is unrealistic for a business which is not LGBTQ-literate or experienced to simply access these newly available clients, quickly and easily.
“The complexities of educating your staff about the range of LGBTQ tastes, concerns, and preferences should not be underestimated. This is not an overnight process.”
Be conservative with your business projections. If you choose to focus on LGBTQ weddings, it can make a measured difference to the bottom line… just don’t let financial optimism overtake real-world sales projections.