When the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office opened on Dec. 23, reports gave estimates of 300 or 400 same-sex couples standing in line to get their marriage licenses. The building opened its doors at 7 a.m., but many people were there as early as 5 a.m to get a spot.

The energy in the building was palpable. Despite the Utah County Clerk’s office remaining closed, the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office welcomed hundreds of couples, families and friends, the 30 or so officiants and a number of press with free coffee and donuts.

Shortly after the 8 a.m. opening, there were cheers throughout the building every three or four minutes as officiants wed newly minted couples. Behind the cheers though, a slight nervousness continued as those in line eagerly awaited news from a 9 a.m. hearing to determine whether Judge Shelby would issue a stay on his decision after the 10th Circuit Court denied the state’s three requests over the weekend.

When the announcement came around 9:30 a.m. that the stay request was denied, crowds cheered loudly and turned their focus to getting through the line. “We waited 10 years. What’s another two hours?” Bryan Nash said. He and his partner, Nathan Judd, happened to be in town from Las Vegas visiting family for the holidays and had planned on flying out this morning until they heard Judge Shelby’s decision on Friday.

The duo is featured in the current issue of Utah Bride & Groom magazine (due out on the newsstands Jan. 6). Bryan and Nathan’s summer ceremony at the Natural History Museum of Utah is featured as one of six Real Wedding six-page features.

It took Bryan and Nathan six hours to get through the line, but it was well worth the wait.

Special delivery: Bryan and Nathan get a sneak peek of their wedding in Utah Bride & Groom's new issue...

 ...hitting newstands Jan. 6 (magazine images by David Newkirk Photography).

The issue's cover shot by Jessica Kettle Photography and Heather Nan Photography.

One of the first couples to be married at the Salt Lake County Clerk's office. Photographer David Newkirk in the foreground (see David's photos of the day here).

Reverend Anita Gordon scored a bright nook in the corner of the Salt Lake County Clerk's building atrium to marry this couple. 

A handful of couples married with their little ones in tow. 

The only wedding gown and updo in the whole building.

All officiants—some with iPads in hand to perform the ceremony—were available on-site for no charge.

Another Anita Gordon couple happy to have a marriage cerificate.

These gents have been together for 30 years.

District Attorney Sim Gill was a busy man today.

Loved seeing familiar faces from my past getting married.


Notice there is only space on the marriage certicates for a bride and groom. I witnessed the marriage...

...of this happy couple. 

This post was originally published on utahbrideandgroom.com.