A FEDAMORE couple are trying to tap into the booming market of civil partnerships and gay weddings by launching a new website offering a â€œone-stopâ€ service for couples.
Marian Purcell and Shane Costello, from Fedamore, recently set up Gay Weddings Ireland after realising there was no such service available.
Marian, originally from Raheen and who formerly worked in human resources, had the idea when Shane, a videographer, wanted to advertise his services to gay couples on their wedding day.
â€œShane was starting a wedding videography business and he was looking to do a â€˜pink packageâ€™ for his business,â€ explained Marian.
â€œHe couldnâ€™t find anywhere to advertise to the gay community. We did a bit of research to see if there was an online resource and we couldnâ€™t find anything, so we decided to create a website,â€ she said.
â€œWe talked to a lot of vendors and they said the same thing, they didnâ€™t know where to go to advertise to the gay community and also gay couples, they had to actually call up places and ask if they were gay-friendly,â€ she added.
The duo have had a big response to their endeavour and currently have 15 businesses advertising on their website. They hope to push that to 300 in the new year and are currently hosting a wedding competition on their site.
The sector has undergone a big increase since legislation allowing civil partnerships was brought in January.
Sean Lally, general manager of the Strand Hotel, who advertise on the website, told the Limerick Leader recently that civil partnerships and gay weddings were a â€œhuge growth industryâ€ for the hospitality industry.
â€œLoads of businesses are telling us that it is a massive growth area - the Strand were one of the first to get on board and advertise with us and were very keen, they thought it was fantastic,â€ explained Marian.
â€œA lot of the hotels are telling us gay couples tend to have large weddings, 100 plus, so it is a big deal for the industry potentially.â€