(SEATTLE, Wash.) — As the clock struck midnight Sunday, wedding bells began to ring in Washington.
Same-sex couples tied the knot in midnight ceremonies as a new state law went into effect recognizing their marriages.
Marriage licenses became available to the couples on Thursday, however according to state law, they had to wait three days before they could legally wed, meaning the first weddings could not take place until today.
“We weren’t going to wait one second longer,” groom Matthew Wiltse, 29, told ABC News affiliate KOMO, after his midnight wedding.
Wiltse and his partner of 10 years, Jonathon Bashford, 31, were one of five couples wed at the Thurston County Courthouse overnight.
The celebratory mood continued into the day, as 140 couples were married in the grand lobby at Seattle City Hall, which is usually closed on Sundays.
Sixteen judges volunteered to officiate the marriages, according to a City of Seattle live blog of the day’s festivities.
Two-thirds of the couples married at city hall today were women, and one-third men, according to the blog.
After saying “I do,” couples were able to meet Mayor Michael McGinn as they picked up signed, embossed certificates recognizing their marriage.
A room at city hall was turned into a large joint wedding reception, where newly married couples, family and friends celebrated with colorful cupcakes and pictures.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Carole Mikita, KSL.com
Steve Almasy and Nick Valencia, CNN
Matt McFarland, CNN
Robert Jimison, CNN