MARYLAND

Couples start planning after Maryland voters approve marriage equality

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There is already buzz in the wedding community when it comes to the effects of Maryland’s recently approved gay marriage law.

Even though the planning can start now, marriages can’t take place until after Jan. 1 when the law takes effect.

Because New Year’s Day is a holiday, Maryland won’t start taking applications until Jan. 2 and because of a 48-hour grace period, couples won’t be able to wed until Jan. 4.

"We'll see a little pop I think in January as folks want to be the first to marry, but I think we'll also see an uptick over the course of 2013,” said Kathryn Hamm, president of Gayweddings.com, a website which helps gay couples find information and resources when it comes to planning the big day.

Her site lists 4000 vendors who are going after possible new customers when it comes to weddings.

Because Maryland is not the first state to allow gay marriage, gay couples may have already taken advantage of places like Washington, D.C. to hold their wedding, she said.

Hamm will be watching numbers when it comes to applications in counties around the state to keep track of the trends.

Her website has already seen tremendous growth – an 184% uptick in traffic compared to this time last year.

There is no doubt people are looking, she said.

"There was a lot of interest in folks coming to the site to say, let's take a look what's going on here. Let's find some resources, let's learn more,” Hamm said.

Nationally, close to 60 businesses have taken noticed of the recent election results and have asked to be added to the list of vendors.

“The growth that we’ve seen in terms of vendors who want to be out there have embraced same sex couples…it’s tremendous,” Hamm said.

AC Warden, a minister who performs ceremonies in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. already got a call from a couple who married two years ago, but know wants to hold a ceremony in Maryland.

She doesn’t doubt there will other who will be looking to do the same.

Cites like Baltimore are hoping to take advantage by luring couples to say ‘I do’ in their city, hence bringing business and tax revenue.

They created a micro site within Baltimore.org to help same-sex couples find destinations for their weddings.

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