Australia’s first same-sex wedding has taken place following the country’s vote to legalise gay marriage.
Welsh-born Lauren Price, 31, and Amy Laker, 29, tied the knot in Sydney where they were pronounced “wife and wife” in front of 65 guests.
It had been thought that the first possible date for same-sex weddings would be 9 January because of a four-week waiting period after the ground-breaking legislation was passed earlier this month.
But the brides had special permission to marry without giving a month’s notice to the New South Wales registry of births, deaths and marriages under a special exemption on financial grounds.
Ms Price’s family had already making the trip down under from Wales as the couple had planned to marry at the British consulate under UK law before the Australian legislation was passed.
The pair, who met at a Sydney bar three years ago, said they were now hoping to start a family.
“For us being legally married is more about automatically being next of kin… this is my child’s other mother, my wife,” Ms Laker said.
The couple plan to celebrate their honeymoon in Wales and have another ceremony there for friends and other relatives.
Thousands of same-sex couples are expected to exchange vows next year in Australia.
Amy Laker’s father Steve said his daughter did not want their historical union to be seen as “political”.
“The girls really didn’t want the focus to be on the fact that they are the first… they just wanted it to be seen as a wedding,” Australia’s Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying.
“That’s what true acceptance is all about. For them it’s just about love.”
Another same-sex couple, Amy and Elise McDonald, tied the knot in Melbourne the same day after being given permission because their relatives had also already flown in from abroad.
On Sunday, 85-year-old Lyn Hawkins, who is in the final stages of her fight against ovarian cancer, will marry Anne Sedgwick – her partner of 40 years.
And Cas Willow, who is receiving treatment for breast cancer which has spread to her brain, will marry Heather Richards in Melbourne on Monday.
The couple, who have been together for 17 years, say marriage will make their last precious few weeks or days together “complete”.