Same-sex marriage may increase local business
December 27, 2013
Since the ban on same-sex marriage in Utah was lifted on Friday, Dec. 20, 38 same-sex couples have married in Summit County. Local vendors, especially jewelers, are now anticipating an increase in business.
Shauna Whipple, co-owner of Park City Jewelers, said two male clients entered the shop to order custom, matching wedding bands, and the only regret they felt was that they had already planned an out-of-state wedding when the ban on same-sex marriage in Utah was lifted.
"They said, ‘Darn, we’ve already got everything planned over there!’" she said. As long as 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Robert Shelby’s decision stands, other same-sex couples in Utah will no longer need to plan out-of-state weddings.
Local same-sex couples can now get married in their home state and can visit jewelers in town to create wedding rings for themselves and their loved ones.
While jewelers on Main Street have not yet seen an increase in same-sex couple engagement ring or wedding band requests, they are optimistic and looking forward to an increase in clientele.
Tony Hernandez, owner of Baranof Jewelers, said they have created many custom orders for same-sex couples that were also traveling to another state to get married.
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"We do a lot of special orders for them within two to three days, because they would have a week or two to plan their weddings and go out-of-state," Hernandez said. "We are looking forward to seeing more local same-sex couples that are going to be getting married here now that the law has changed."
The feeling was the same for Debbie and Jordan Woodbury, owners of Woodbury Jewelry. Debbie said it may be a little premature to see an increase in same-sex couples ordering wedding rings, but she is hoping that will change soon.
"There have been a couple of times where they have come in and felt a little uneasy, but we make them feel as comfortable as any other couple," she said. "Park City is a pretty open-minded community."
Jordan said they have created wedding bands over the 10 plus years he and his wife have owned Woodbury Jewelry, and they have seen people come to town from Salt Lake City and Provo. "Maybe they come up here for a little more acceptance," he said.
Either way, the Woodburys said they are looking forward to creating more custom orders for any and every couple that walks in the door. "We just don’t treat anybody differently, and that’s the big deal," Debbie said.
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