Atlanta could become gay marriage mecca

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MORE | Anti-gay bill may cost Ga. $15 million in business

Smart gays know it. Probate judges are preparing for it. And now, businesses in Georgia want a piece of it. They’re lining up to cash in on gay marriage and make Atlanta an LGBT wedding destination.

Gay marriage could be legal in Georgia as early as June and everyone is getting on board. So businesses that cater to weddings are changing their brochures, readying their cakes, gay-proofing their language and same-sexing up their marketing.

After all, gay marriage could be a $78 million boost to the state’s economy.

Via the AJC:

They are changing sales brochure language from “bride and groom” to “couples” to cover all the bases. They are advertising their services in gay and lesbian magazines and websites and using word of mouth at gay-oriented community events and meetings that they want metro Atlanta to be the Southeast destination for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) weddings.

Who is leading the way? 

The Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta:

“From our point of view this is already our customer and our partner and they already have this new need,” said Walter Woods, a spokesman for downtown’s Hyatt Regency, which annually hosts the dinner for the gay organization Human Rights Campaign and whose workers have represented the hotel in Atlanta Gay Pride parades.

The Atlanta Botanical Garden:

“We decided to step up our marketing efforts last summer after getting a call from two women asking if we did rentals for ceremonies,” said Danny Flanders, a spokesman for Atlanta Botanical Garden. “When we told them we did they became very emotional. They said they had been turned away by so many places that they were at their rope’s end for finding a location.”

Also, the Four Seasons:

The Four Seasons Atlanta recently updated its website to prominently display the nuptials of two men on its wedding page and has created a wedding cake whose traditional white frosting hides the colors of the gay rainbow flag within, said Claudia Aguas, the Midtown hotel’s director of catering.

And the Marriott in Stone Mountain:

The Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort in Stone Mountain is expanding its definition of “bride” and “groom” packages while caterer Kate Holway of Three Sisters Catering is getting the word out that Atlanta has great gay-friendly wedding venues such as the Fox Theater and Callanwolde Fine Arts Center.

Even wedding planners:

And Erica Prewett of wedding planning firm A Big To Do Event has been conducting workshops with vendors on language to use with gay customers, rewriting contracts that list “bride and groom” to say “client 1” and “client 2” and the importance of hiring servers sensitive to gay events.

“It’s our job to be advocates for our clients so they don’t have to be,” she said.

Photo by Sher Pruitt

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