- Associated Press - Thursday, October 16, 2014

CHARLOLTTE, N.C. (AP) - Those who provide wedding services are excited about the legalization of same-sex marriage in North Carolina.

The businesses are expecting a sharp increase in customers now that the state’s ban on gay marriage has been overturned by federal courts, The Charlotte Observer (https://bit.ly/1F2AL4v) reported.

Watty Newsome at the Concord Wedding Center says he expects a big increase in customers over the next year or so.

“All of them that couldn’t (marry) and had to wait, here’s their opportunity, and they’re going to jump on it,” Newsome.

Some bakers, photographers and venue owners say it’s too soon to predict a share increase.

But former City Councilman Billy Maddalon owns The Morehead Inn near uptown Charlotte and the VanLandingham Estate says he is expecting a big increase. The VanLandingham Estate hosts between 50 to 60 weddings and receptions each year.

Maddalon says some couples will skip the “traditional trappings of weddings” and just go to a judge to save money, or to avoid venues where gay couples have not been welcomed.

“It’s going to take years for a lot of the traditional venues to reinvent themselves to where LGBT people feel comfortable,” he said.

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Information from: The Charlotte Observer, https://www.charlotteobserver.com


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