Yesterday saw the first batch of gay weddings in Iowa, just over three weeks after the state’s Supreme Court made them legal.

State officials began processing marriage applications for gay couples yesterday, with the official date for weddings to begin on Thursday due to the official three-day waiting period.

However, those who were granted a special licence were able to say their vows yesterday.

Among the happy couples were Melisa Keeton and Shelley Wolfe, who were permitted to marry early after Keeton, who is pregnant, claimed the wait was stressful.

They were wed by Rev. Peg Esperanza of the Church of the Holy Spirit who later married at least two other couples.

AP reports that the Polk County recorder’s office had received 82 marriage applications from gay couples by 4pm yesterday.

However, some cite Proposition 8, the initiative which banned gay marriage in California, as a reason to get hitched as soon as possible.

Alicia Zacher, 24, and Jessica Roach, 22, said they hoped to wed on Thursday, telling reporters: “You just never know when they’ll try to take it away.”

Iowa’s Supreme Court voted to allow gay marriage in the state on April 3rd.

In a summary of the unanimous decision, the judges said: “The Iowa statute limiting civil marriage to a union between a man and a woman violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.”

It is the third US state to allow gay marriage, although Vermont has now followed suit.