New Zealand’s first same-sex weddings are taking place, eight months after the country ended the ban on gay couples marrying.

31 couples are believed to be marrying today according to figures released by the Department of Internal Affairs.

The first to marry were Tash Vitali and Melissa Ray (pictured), who won an all expenses paid ceremony in a radio competition.

Officiating at their wedding, Reverend Matt Tittle said their marriage “changed the social fabric of communities” not only in their home country of New Zealand, but also around the world. England and Wales is due to hold its first same-sex marriages next year.

“The world is still a dangerous and even deadly place for gay, bisexual and transgender people,” Rev Tittle said.

“We thank God that’s not true in New Zealand.

“All love is holy.”
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Another couple, Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau won a competition to be married in the air. The couple were married in front of Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson on board an Air New Zealand jet.

“To be married at 30,000 feet beneath strings of fairy lights with our children, friends and family as witnesses makes an already memorable day that much more special. It was surreal to have Jesse play a part in the ceremony too were big fans of Modern Family!,” Ms Bendall said.

When the New Zealand Parliament passed same-sex marriage into law, politicians and those in the public gallery burst into song.