It was a proud day for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and gay and lesbian couples across New York as same-sex marriage became legal there on Sunday.
Hundreds chose the first day of recognition to take their vows, seizing the earliest opportunity to get their own all-important marriage certificate.
The first to be wed in New York City were Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85. The pair have been together for 23 years.
“It was just so amazing. It is the only way I can describe it. I lost my breath and a few tears and it is indescribable,” Siegel said after the ceremony.
New York has become the sixth and largest US state to allow gay marriage.
For supporters, it is a triumph for human rights. For opponents, it is an outrage. But protest rallies on the day did not spoil the celebrations for those whose American dream was finally coming true.