Same-sex couples start planning weddings at Curtis Hotel event

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DENVER — The invitations, the venue, the photographer, there’s so much to do when planning a wedding.

For Issac and Dan, who wanted a legal civil union, they never thought this would be an option for them here in Colorado.

“We talked about doing a destination wedding,” said Issac Lopez-Rail, who is planning his wedding with his partner Dan. But that’s all changed now that civil unions will be legal in the state on May 1.

“You always think about it, you know, it’s always been a dream, but it’s kind of coming true, so it’s pretty cool,” said Dan Harris, who is planning his wedding.

Like Dan and Issac, many couples are now even more excited to plan their big day.

“We’re setting the date for either April of September of next year, but we haven’t decided quite yet,” said Issac.

Which is why many attended the Gay and Lesbian Wedding Expo at the Curtis Hotel in Denver on Sunday. Couples had a chance to meet wedding planners, check out venues, even play in a photo booth that they could rent and of course there was wedding cake to taste.  All of this happening in a friendly atmosphere.

“When you go out to different vendors, you’re not always welcome and I make sure that I make them feel welcome,” said Jay Villa, owner of Superior Events LLC.

Local wedding planners like Villa are noticing a boom in business.

“I mean, now the gay couples are going to come out, they’re going to boost the economy in Colorado. Spend the money and go local and be able to do their events in this state,” said Villa.

Jay booked twice as many couples this year at the expo than he did last year and he believes this is just the beginning.

“I think Colorado is going to get a flow of that and they’re going to be able to get more people to come in and get married here,” Villa said.

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