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Gay couples begin booking weddings in Maine

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 3, 2013 at 12:54 pm •  Published: March 3, 2013

Amanda Hollander and Katy McCormack of Portland are getting married over Memorial Day weekend. They wanted to wait so they could invite friends and relatives and make all the arrangements that come with a wedding in which 224 people are being invited.

Hollander said they've sent invitations to people as far away as Washington state, England, New Zealand and Costa Rica. The wedding will be held at a lakeside children's summer camp in Ellsworth, where guests can sleep in camp cabins and have access to kayaks and canoes. A catered dinner will be served in the camp's dining hall.

Hollander and McCormack, who've been together for 3½ years, will be married in an outdoor chapel.

"The marriage license is of course super important, but so is making vows in front of family and friends, and we weren't willing to give that up," said Hollander, 31. "So we decided to wait to get our license to allow our family and friends to hear somebody say, 'By the power vested in me by the state of Maine.' That's a really important moment for me and Katy to experience, and we wanted our families to experience it as well."

Businesses are beginning to reap the benefits of the new law.

The Camden Harbour Inn typically hosts about 15 weddings a year, in May, June, September and October. The weddings are elaborate affairs and can cost $50,000 to $60,000, including lodging and food. With three gay weddings booked, the available wedding dates this year have filled up faster than usual, said co-owner Raymond Brunyanszki.

"And we've already booked two gay weddings for the spring of 2014," said Brunyanszki, who is gay.

Some businesses that host weddings have yet to book any for gay couples. The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport has gotten several inquiries, but hasn't scheduled a same-sex wedding yet, said Timothy Ames, director of sales. The law has barely been in effect for two months, and it will take time to feel the full benefits, he said.

"I've talked with other people in the business, and they're saying the same thing, that it's not that all of the sudden the gates have opened," he said.