The newly introduced law in the US state of Minnesota could mean millions of dollars for the wedding industry in the state.

The law for Minnesota came into effect yesterday allowing weddings to begin just after midnight, and 42 couples were expected to be married at Minneapolis City Hall in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Budget officials of Minnesota estimated that about 5,000 gay couples would marry in the first year. Its enactment comes as a fast turnaround after voters rejected a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage last year.

Companies catering specifically for same-sex couples have begun to emerge in the state, and some have suggested that the legal recognition of same-sex marriages in the state could prove lucrative for businesses who market their services in the right way.

Speaking to the Merced Sun Star, Amy Zaroff of Amy Zaroff Events and Design said: “We are very excited to increase the number of weddings expected to take place in the Twin Cities by 5,000 in the next three years… That could mean as much as $130 million (£85 million) to the local wedding industry.”

In May, the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis was lit up with rainbows in order to celebrate of the passing of equal marriage in Minnesota.

As well as Minnesota, equal marriage also came into effect in the state of Rhode Island.

The national gay rights group Freedom to Marry estimates that from Thursday morning, about 30 percent of the US population now lives in places where same-sex marriage is legal.

Earlier this week, police in Minneapolis, Minnesota said they were looking for a man in a wheelchair who was caught on CCTV throwing eggs at a church, which authorities believe stems from its support of equal marriage.