The first same-sex weddings have taken place in Australia on Saturday after the country’s same-sex marriage law came into effect.
Royal Assent was given to the same-sex marriage law on 8 December following on from a historic postal vote earlier this year which saw more than 61 percent of Australians vote Yes for same-sex marriage.
Despite a 30-day waiting period after couples registered to marry, two weddings took place Saturday.
Some couples had sought an exemption from the waiting period given their circumstances.
It is expected that the next same-sex weddings will take place on 9 January following the waiting period.
Lauren Price, 31 and Amy Laker, 29, were the first to marry in Sydney this morning.
Writing on Facebook, Equal Marriage Rights Australia said: “Australia’s first legal same-sex marriage has just taken place. Congratulations Amy and Lauren.”
A photo accompanying the post showed the couple holding hands in traditional white wedding dresses as they tied the knot.
Amy And Elise McDonald, 36 and 28, who happened to have the same surname, are understood to have married a couple of hours later in Melbourne.
It is understood that both couples were granted exemptions on financial grounds.
Price and Laker had previously planned to hold a commitment ceremony today at the British consulate because Laker is Welsh.
The McDonalds were also given a similar exemption because their families had travelled from overseas.
Another couple has been granted an exemption as one of them has terminal cancer.
Because the country has a month-long notice period for couples waiting to marry, the first wave of same-sex unions will not be able to begin until January 9 – one month from the date of the law coming into effect.
Australia’s parliament earlier this month legalised same-sex marriage, passing a bill to allow two people, regardless of sex, to marry.
The motion was approved almost unanimously by the House of Representatives, after passing the upper chamber the previous week.