AUSTRALIA has had its say today, and returned a result of 61.6 per cent in favour of legalising same-sex marriage.

The final count saw 7.8 million responses in favour of same-sex marriage, and 4.9 million against.

Those in the wedding industry believe that Australia can now become a hotspot wedding destination for same-sex couples looking to tie the knot in Australia's idyllic locations.

According to the Queensland Department of Tourism, the legalisation of same-sex marriage will result in several key economic benefits.

"We could see increased spending relating to honeymoon expenditure, inducing travel and accommodation, wedding planning, increased catering services and out-of-state wedding guests," says a Department spokesperson.

Legislative change could inject $1 billion into the Australian economy according to ANZ economists Cherelle Murphy and Mandeep Kaura in their report on the economics of same-sex marriage in 2015.

"If half the population of same-sex couples chose to marry within one year, the benefits to the economy in the first year of the legislation would be over $1 billion,"

Cherelle Murphy & Mandeep Kaura, co-head of Australian Economics & Economic statistician, ANZ.

The resounding 'Yes' response means something extra special for Tara Baker and Arlia Hassell, founders of Dancing With Her. 

Dancing With Her, founded in 2016 by engaged couple Baker and Hassell, is a wedding resource for LGBTQ+ women in love. They are an online blog, directory and magazine.

Baker and Hassell, who were finalists in the 2017 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards in the Arts & Culture category, have been shaking up the wedding industry with their company.

Today means something extra special for the couple who finally will be able to see their relationship granted equal footing under the eyes of the law in Australia.

"It means we can go ahead and keep planning our wedding and we can have our marriage recognised legally," says Baker.

Dancing With Her have been instrumental in pushing for the recognition of same-sex relationships under the law.

They pride themselves on educating vendors about what it actually means to be inclusive, and consistently shout out that wedding media needs to be more inclusive of all types of relationships.

Since 2016, the couple's social media following has grown to exceed 10,000. Their mini magazine was downloaded in over 25 countries around the world, and the couple have begun to compile an online directory of preferred vendors in Australia and the US.

As Australia's sole magazine dedicated to celebrating same-sex female relationships and weddings the two have pushed down barriers in a wedding industry that is overwhelmingly focused on heterosexual couples.

Today's Yes vote surely will mean Dancing With Her will continue to grow and become a bastion and symbol of acceptance in Australia. "It means we'll start seeing some more Australian weddings which is exciting," says Baker.

"We already were getting a lot of them anyway that were going to happen regardless of what the law told us could be recognised or not. We're pretty exciting, and hopefully we can keep sharing more and more Australian weddings."

The five immediate economic benefits of marriage equality according to the ANZ:

  • Expenditure on weddings. This could benefit a range of industries including retail trade, hospitality, arts and recreation, professional services (pre-nuptial agreements and divorce).
  • Increased service exports due to offshore visitors marrying and honeymooning in Australia.
  • The diversion of Australian same sex couples back home that would otherwise have married overseas. This may further boost the industries listed above.
  • Increased state government revenue from same-sex marriage license fees and from conducting on-site ceremonies in state run registries of births, deaths and marriages.
  • There may also be a small boost to consumer confidence, given the change to marriage equality is a policy supported by the majority of Australians.

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