Local wedding industry bracing for boom from same-sex marriage decision

By Heather Sawaski, Local 5 News

Published 06/11 2014 04:47PM

Updated 06/11 2014 07:18PM

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) - Rev. Roger Bertchausen has already performed four same-sex wedding ceremonies this week.

"They're so excited," explained Rev. Bertchausen. "Sort of disbelieving and just so joyous about it."

The senior minister at Fox Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship already has nine more scheduled for Monday.

"As long as the licenses keep getting issued, we're definitely a place where people can go to get a spiritual ceremony and also a legal stamp of approval," he said.

The news has local wedding vendors bracing for a big boom in business.

"Shortly I'd imagine the phone calls to come in," said Susan Soczka, owner of Charles the Florist. "I think it's going to be a lot of fun."

Summer is a busy season at Charles The Florist. While same-sex couples haven't been calling just yet, Soczka is ready for a rush.

"We anticipate it and we're ready for it and we're definitely looking forward to the increase in wedding business," she said.

It's a similar story at Wedding Perfect, a wedding planning and decorating business serving the Fox Valley.

"I think it's wonderful," commented owner Carla Bagstad. "We're ready for them whenever they want to come in."

Bagstad has worked on a handful of same-sex commitment ceremonies in the past and already got one call from a same-sex couple in need of help planning a wedding.

She said she's looking forward to hearing from more.

"This is our business," she added. "We want to make everyone happy. That's why it's called Wedding Perfect."

Vendors said they're expecting things to pick up once there's more certainty in the state marriage laws.

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