50 years ago, same-sex marriage wasn’t legal in the U.S—now the LGBTQ+ wedding industry is booming.
The Stonewall riots occurred 50 years ago in June 1969. They are largely credited with moving the LGBTQ+ rights movement forward in the U.S. after the movement gained increased media attention. It eventually led to federal legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015.
Weddings in the U.S. are a $76 billion a year industry, and the number of people involved has continued to grow. Some vendors reported that LGBTQ+ couples now account for 1-6% of their annual revenue.
“Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, we’ve seen the number of LGBTQ couples choosing to marry grow consistently,” The Knot and Weddingwire’s Julie Mead stated. “Not only that, but they’re spending more every year since legalization. In fact, they spend more per guest than non-LGBTQ couples do at about $285 per person.”
In 2018, approximately 74% of LGBTQ+ couples paid for weddings on their own and had approximately 92 guests on average. The industry has become so large that The Knot started hosting workshops for vendors on LGBTQ+ weddings.
Despite more industry inclusion of LGBTQ+ couples since 2015, there’s still a lot of progress to be made. In 2018, approximately 20% of LGBTQ+ couples said they experienced rejection of negativity from wedding vendors based on their sexual preferences.