Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expo in Mpls. Draws Hundreds

Updated: 07/22/2013 6:34 AM By: Tim Sherno

The Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expo was held in Minneapolis Sunday.

The event assembled vendors seeking to provide wedding services to gay and lesbian couples who will be able to be legally married in Minnesota starting Aug. 1.

Event organizer Marianne Puechl from the Rainbow Wedding Network called the event a success, "It's awesome, we've got so much enthusiasm here in Minneapolis, and throughout the Twin Cities, not only from the couples who are getting married but also from the wedding professionals. We've had an outstanding turnout from the businesses who want to support our gay and lesbian couples."

Katrina Monroe and Crystal Saete say they'll get married in October of 2014, and attended the expo to begin planning.

Saete says the change in Minnesota law was one of the reasons the couple decided to move forward with plans, "I grew up here. I was born and raised here. I didn't plan on getting married anywhere else but here in Minnesota."

Edessa Kerkinni works for Princess Jewelers. She said she gay and lesbian couples will be a boost to business, "I hope to see a huge increase, just because it is a newer market."

One vendor at the expo said 2013 has seen a slower year for the wedding industry because some couples are superstitious about the number 13, but expects that all to change on Aug. 1 when the new law takes effect.

Marriage licenses for same-sex couples are available in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties. They are $115, or $40 if a couple goes through pre-marital counseling.

St. Louis County will start taking marriage license applications from same-sex couples on Friday. It allows couples to fulfill the mandatory 5-day waiting period so they can get married Aug. 1.