Now that same sex marriage has been legalized in Illinois, companies in the wedding business all over the state have seen a dramatic upswing in their business traffic as couples plan weddings that have long been denied to them.
One officiant, a Universal Life minister, expects a big rush in business for the traditionally busy wedding season of summer. Other vendors are seeing the same flurry of activity as couples order wedding cakes and buy and rent bridesmaid's dresses and tuxedos for their pending nuptials.
Many Illinois businesses are actively courting the business of the gay and lesbian community, which often translates into a kind of cottage industry tourism that lures same-sex couples in from other states with more restrictive marriage laws.
While a wedding can be a festive event, the marriage itself is quite serious. Illinois attorneys are working hard to assist same-sex couples with drafting prenuptial agreements, merging their assets on paper and arranging adoptions of their children from other unions by their soon to be legal spouses.
Since this is the first time gay Illinois couples can legally marry, many are marrying later in life. These couples may have already established a cushion of wealth and have complex retirement packages and financial assets that family law attorneys can help them sort through.
As with all marriages, a certain number will wind up one day hashing out who owns what in divorce courts all over Illinois. Just as heterosexual couples need to consider custody plans when divorce is imminent, so do gay couples who can work closely with their family law attorneys to reach a workable plan that is in the best interests of the children.
Same-sex Illinois couples who years ago entered into civil unions will now be eligible to convert those documents into marriage licenses. An attorney can be helpful in those situations as well, documenting any change in circumstances throughout the marriage.
Source: Chicago Tribune, "At dawn of same-sex marriage, wedding business is booming" Lolly Bowean and Cheryl V. Jackson, May. 29, 2014