A city official married the first couple in New York City to wed under the state's new law allowing same-sex marriage Sunday.
Phyllis Siegal, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, were married in a chapel at the city clerk's office as a crowd of onlookers cheered.
Hundreds of same-sex couples heard the news Friday that they made the cut in the marriage lottery that New York state instituted for Sunday when the state's Marriage Equality Act took effect.
The New York City clerk's office has been flooded with more than 2,600 requests for marriage licenses since the wording on the online application was changed from "Groom and Bride" to "Spouse A and Spouse B." The office could handle less than a third of those requests - gay or straight - on Sunday, according to a press statement the city released earlier in the week. The lottery was set up to allocate 764 slots for couples who want to obtain marriage licenses and/or be married at city clerk's offices on Sunday. If all 764 weddings actually take place on Sunday, it will set a one-day record for the city.
Marcos Chaljub and Freddy Zambrano were married after Siegal and Kopelov. The two tearfully said their vows as friends hovered and snapped pictures. "You're married!" one declared as celebratory hugs were exchanged afterward. Chaljub and Zambrano conducted last-minute preparations Saturday for their wedding, picking up bouquets of wildflowers for their bridesmaids and champagne for a family brunch afterward. The couple has been together for five years.
"I have certain people in my life, they're not totally OK with it, but they accept it, and just the fact they respect us because of that, it's really the most that I can ask for," Chaljub told CNN's Susan Candiotti.
The two have been wearing rings for five years, and said they don't plan to exchange new ones. "We're just going to polish them up and exchange them again," Chaljub said.
New York legalized same-sex marriage in June. The Marriage Equality Act was a priority for Gov. Andrew Cuomo after winning election in November. The law was passed under a Republican-led Senate after days of delays and negotiations between the two parties. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, herself openly gay, told CNN New York is the place where the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) movement was born, and a place the world looks to.
"All eyes are upon it, and I believe it is going to help propel this movement forward faster than any of the other states have," Quinn said.
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont and New Hampshire also allow same-sex marriage, as does the District of Columbia.