Marriage business booming In East Texas

Reported By Bob Hallmark

While many areas of our economy are struggling right now, at least one element is experiencing a boom. Marriage!

It's a huge industry of vendors that employs thousands each year to make tying the knot memorable.

Hundreds turned out to the Belcher center this weekend for a wedding expo, looking at the latest in tuxes , gowns,  flowers,  music and food,  for an institution that's booming.

"Oh my gosh we're having a wedding that was it for a few weeks and then it was like oh we've got to do some planning,"said newly married Stacy Smith.

"We didn't really have the financial station to do it right away we both decided that this would be something mutually beneficial to us," said husband Adam Smith.

Those who earn their living making the marriage ceremony memorable  are seeing lots of business.

"They're looking for vendors that can give them what they need to create the wedding that they want," said wedding specialist Katherine McCommon.

"I'm looking at the foods the different types of catering the photography the different types of wedding dresses getting ideas," said Abigail Jones who is engaged to be married.

But for some it's more than just business.

"This new 'I Do 2009' bridal showcase is not just about the wedding day, its all of these vendors coming together to stress to brides and grooms that their marriage and having a healthy marriage is important to the east Texas community," said Tanya Waite of the VOW healthy marriage program.

And the wedding business is going so well right now, that one Longview business is getting ready to take advantage, Brides Chapel on highway 80.

"It is a chapel it will seat up to 295 we'll have availability for weddings" says owner Pamela Howell.

The Brides Chapel is already booking weddings for march and April,  before they've even opened their doors.