Reacting to the U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that on Friday lifted the stay on same-sex marriages in California, couples in Sacramento began showing up for their nuptials.
The first couple to show up at the Sacramento County Clerk's office Friday were Sacramentans Nicola Simmersbach and Diana Luiz, who have been together seven years.
"I didn't think this would happen today," said Simmersbach, 50, a licensed marriage family therapist. "This isn't really what we planned on wearing but we're here."
"(We've been) fighting on the Capitol steps for this moment," said Luiz, 52, a homemaker.
The couple said they'd been planning to get married as soon as it was legal again in California, but that they will likely have another ceremony after today's.
The women weren't ready to tie the knot in 2008, after being together for two years, but "after seven years, I think we're there," Simmersbach said. "She knows me better than anyone else."
Nicola's mother, Rita Simmersbach, scrambled to get to the clerk's office to watch her daughter get married.
"We came right away, as fast as we could," she said.
After the wedding, Nicola said, "I'll tell you something: That is nothing like a domestic partnership. It's a marriage."
The second couple to arrive was Kim Kearsing and Abby Maurer, who had a "wedding" ceremony at Temple B'nai Israel in 2010 but had to wait until Friday to actually get married.
"I ran inside the house screaming happy," Kearsing, 43, said upon hearing the news of the Ninth Circuit lifting its stay.
Maurer's mother also showed up, carrying a cake from Freeport Bakery.
As she showed up at the Sacramento clerk's office to marry her girlfriend, Alyssa Beatty, 23, who works at the Sacramento Children's Home, said: "This doesn't define a relationship, but it's very validating at the same time."
She was marrying her partner of 6 1/2 years, Emily Gaines, a 22-year-old studying anthropology at Mills College in Oakland.
Sacramento County Clerk/Recorder Craig A. Kramer said any couples who arrive at his office before 7 p.m. Friday would go through the administrative process to get married. His office will not be open over the weekend to marry couples.
He urged couples who want to get married Monday or later to register online first to speed up the process. The online applications are at http://www.ccr.saccounty.net/Pages/MarriageLicensesAndCeremonies.aspx.