by Charis Chang
TWO Melbourne women will likely be the first same-sex couple to marry with a ceremony planned for next Thursday.
It was expected the first sex-same couples would start getting married from January 9 because all couples need to give celebrants one month's notice of their intention to wed.
But Stephanie Dyball, 30 and Megan Stapleton, 32, set the date for their wedding more than a year ago, even though it was unclear whether it would be legal.
"We locked in the venue and the date and everything last year and we really didn't think they were ever going to pass the law to be honest," Stapleton told BuzzFeed News.
"We weren't too worried, because we knew the day would be special to us regardless. But it's been a nice surprise to have it done in time."
All couples are legally required to lodge a Notice of Intended Marriage with a celebrant at least one month before the ceremony but are able to apply for a waiver, especially if they have evidence that their ceremonies have already been booked.
Ms Dyball and Ms Stapleton were granted to waiver because their plans were already locked in and relatives were travelling from the UK for the event.
Same-sex marriage was made legal in Australia last week with the laws taking effect on Saturday, December 9.