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Wedding Season for Small Businesses: 3 Legal Tips

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 07, 2017 3:57 PM

The summer wedding season is here, and whether you're a photographer, musician, florist, or chef, it's time to cash in. Weddings and wedding services can be a unique business opportunity, and at the same time they can provide some unique legal challenges to vendors.

So here are three tips on keeping it fun, profitable, and legal this wedding season.

1. Wedding Discrimination After the Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

One of the running subplots to the gay marriage debate was whether businesses could withhold wedding services from same-sex couples based on their religious beliefs. Now that the matter has been settled nationwide by the Supreme Court, where does the law stand on denying wedding services to same-sex couples?

While federal law does not specifically prohibit businesses from refusing to serve same-sex couples on the basis of their sexual orientation, many states have enacted their own civil rights laws that may prohibit business owners from discriminating against gay couples, and the social media stigma for refusing service may be worse than the civil penalties.

2. Gay Marriage a Boon for Small Business

Regardless of your religious beliefs, gay marriage can be great for the bottom line. With more people getting married, and getting married in all 50 states now, that just means more clients and more opportunities to shine. Marriage in America is an $80 billion industry, and it's only getting bigger.

3. Working a Wedding? How to Avoid Getting Sued

From photographers to dressmakers and planners to venue owners, one wedding can use a variety of vendors, with a multitude of service contracts in play. You should not only be aware of your own legal requirements, but those of the other wedding service providers as well. For instance, does a late closing at the venue mean the photographer has to stick around until last call? Know before you go.

If you have any legal questions heading into wedding season, get answers from an experienced commercial attorney today.

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