Two lesbians from Sydney became the first same-sex couple to marry in Australia Saturday after receiving special permission to wed three weeks before marriage equality takes effect in the rest of the country.
Lauren Price and Amy Laker, who have been engaged for two years, had set December 16 as the date for their civil ceremony more than a year ago. After the Australian Parliament voted in favor of marriage equality last week, the couple appealed to their local marriage registrar to be allowed to marry on that day, as they had relatives coming in from Wales and it would be an undue financial burden to reschedule.
Normally, couples in Australia must wait 30 days after requesting a marriage license before any ceremony can take place. The official date same-sex couples can begin tying the knot is January 8, 2018.
“We went in there and made our case, and the officials left the room to make their decision,” Laker told Daily Mail Australia. “It was the longest ten minutes of our lives—our hands were so sweaty. When she came back in and said she had good news, I just started crying.”
“For us being legally married is more about automatically being next of kin,” adds Price, “and also because we want children so it makes that clearer, ’This is my child’s other mother, my wife.’”
See more photos from the sunny Sydney ceremony below.