Same-sex marriages could increase local wedding business

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COLUMBIA - When the wedding bells ring and the couples walk down the aisle, Katie Barnes and her husband Max Bittle are there to capture the moment. 

Wildflower Wedding Photography has worked with couples in New Hampshire and Missouri for years. New Hampshire legalized gay marriage in 2010. 

"We started to see a lot more inquires for gay weddings after the ruling in New Hampshire," Barnes said. 

Barnes said she thinks we will see the same sort of influx in Missouri. 

"We hope that it opens new avenues of business for us, and we are looking forward to it," Barnes said. 

Barnes said she's not only happy about the new business but about the ruling in general. 

"I think it's something that will help us expand our business," Barnes said. "We could reach a whole new demographic of people, but more than that it's something that my husband and I really believe in so we're just really proud to be in Missouri at this point." 

The topic hits home for Barnes. 

"I have friends and family that are gay," Barnes said. 

Barnes said she's had conversations with them about possibly photographing gay marriage ceremonies for them. 

But photography isn't the only thing that goes into wedding planning. 

"I think the recent ruling in Missouri is going to be good for lots of businesses," Barnes said. "We know we're just one, but we're really excited about it."  

Some other businesses in Missouri haven't seen a large increase in business since the ruling but are hopeful.

David's Bridal in Columbia said it hasn't noticed any more business than usual but thinks it will soon. 

One event planning company in Columbia said it hasn't received any inquires for ceremonies yet either.