Today is the first official day for same-sex weddings in Australia, and couples have wasted no time getting to the aisle.

Because of the 30-day waiting period required after lodging an official intention to marry, today is the first day most weddings can take place following the introduction of marriage equality.

A handful of weddings took place earlier after the couples received special permission to fast-track their nuptials.

With so many couples having waited years for the right to marry, early 2018 is expected to see a rush of weddings.

Melbourne couple Diana and Deanna Ribeiro said ‘I do’ at one minute past midnight this morning, in the same place where they had a commitment ceremony five years ago, SBS News has reported.

“It was just magical,” said Diana.

“To be able to come back here and redo our vows and actually make it legal and finally have equality in Australia is amazing.”

Athletes Craig Burns and Luke Sullivan also wed just after midnight, in a ceremony in Tweed Heads in northern New South Wales.

Melbourne marriage equality activists Antony McManus and Ron Van Houwelingen are to marry this afternoon, tying the knot at the Prahran theatre where they first met more than 30 years ago as acting students.

“I suppose it’s been a wedding planned for 30 years but we’ve really had a month to get things together,” said Van Houwelingen.

The Equality Campaign has welcomed the first same-sex marriages and congratulated the couples who are marrying.

“Across Australia, people are celebrating the love and commitment of same-sex couples and the role we all played in shaping Australia as a fairer and more equal place for all,” said co-chair Alex Greenwich.

“The happiness and joy we will see throughout this year and beyond is thanks to the tireless work of so many Australians who campaigned long hard to ensure parliament delivered marriage equality,” said co-chair Anna Brown.

“There is still more work to do support LGBTIQ Australians and we look forward to seeing the positive momentum of the Yes campaign continue.”

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