Some 80 percent of U.S. wedding planners polled this week by Special Events in the wake of Donald Trump's surprise presidential win say they have seen no change in bookings for same-sex weddings. Most respondents say that it is simply too early to see how a Trump presidency will play out.
Several planners say they have been concerned that Trump might toe the line on the GOP platform, which says that marriage is reserved for unions between a man and a woman.
Trump allayed some fears with an interview that aired on the TV program "60 Minutes" Sunday night, when he said that he was "fine" with the Supreme Court's opinion legalizing same-sex marriage. He called the issue "settled."
Of perhaps more concern to the wedding industry is the stance of vice president-elect Mike Pence. Pence has opposed same-sex marriage, and last year as governor of Indiana signed into law a bill that allows businesses to cite religious freedom when refusing service to gay and transgender people. As an example, an Indiana bakery can now legally refuse to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding.
TOO SOON TO SAY?
"I haven’t seen any changes yet; I think it is way too soon," says Gwen Semenero Helbush, CWC, president of Where to Start Wedding Management of Newark, Calif. "Whatever is going to happen will take a little time to trickle to us."
She adds, "It feels the same to me as after 9/11 we had a panic flux of couples rushing weddings because of military deployment, then it slowly got back to 'normal.' In 2008 things slowed way down, then worked their way back again to 'normal.' My guess this will be the same; a few will rush, most will wait to see what happens."
Janice Blackmon, head of Atlanta-based Janice Blackmon Events, says she hopes Trump will stand by his statement that the same-sex marriage issue is "settled."
"I am hopeful that will be the case, as it's taken too long to come this far," Blackmon says. "I would not be surprised to see an increase in the number of same-sex weddings in the next couple of months, though, with the current speculation."
'FEISTY SPIRIT' ON THE RISE
But Kerry Lee Doehr, founder and CEO of Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Santa Barbara Wine Country Weddings and Events, says she has seen a spike in same-sex wedding bookings.
"What I've witnessed now is a resurgence of power and a feisty spirit determined to continue with what is right, and accelerate it at that," Doehr says. "It is a statement of love, but it is also a statement to the president-elect, in my opinion. And in addition to same-sex weddings is the tribe of people who helped earn them this right and support them, who are determined not to let this right be taken away."
As Helbush sums it up: "I think we are in for a strange 2017."