Chicago prepares for same-sex wedding boom - FOX 32 News Chicago

Chicago prepares for same-sex wedding boom

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Wedding season is around the corner and Chicago is preparing to welcome a new community of same-sex couples preparing to get married.

The Gay Wedding Institute said same-sex couples spend nearly three times the amount on weddings compared to those celebrating a civil union or domestic partnership.

"Paying around $1,200 just for the banquet hall on 39th and Kedzie, Tres Regalos, that's what the place is called," said Jonathan Alverio in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

Alverio and his fiancé are getting married this weekend.

"It's been stressful but we're doing all right," said Alverio.

Part of the couple's stress was finding a venue that would welcome their same-sex marriage.

"Difficult to find one," said Alverio.

Chicago History Museum hopes to make that process easier.

On Thursday night it transformed for its One Love Wedding Event inviting 300 same sex-couples and 18 of the city's top wedding vendors, including Fragrant Design floral and event decor.

"We're really excited that a whole new community of people are able to participate," said Tori Terzakis, Lead Designer at Fragrant Design.

In November, Illinois became the 15th state to pass same sex marriage. The law is scheduled to go into effect on June 1st, even though a federal ruling opened the door for couples to get their marriage licenses beforehand.

Chicago's wedding vendors are now gearing up for a busy wedding season.

"We have a minimum of $3,000 for the high season from May to September - that's a good healthy budget," said Terzakis.

And that's per wedding.

The Chicago History Museum cost at least $8,000 to book and is ready to host its first same sex wedding since the law passed.

"I think it's just a great new market to reach out to. The museum has always been an LGBT friendly venue," said Barbara Siska, Director of Corporate Events at the Chicago History Museum. "We just want these couples to know they are welcome here and to us, a wedding is a wedding."

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