Gay rights advocates up and down the country are celebrating as marriage laws have finally changed to allow same-sex couples to marry.

As of 00:01 today, 29 March, the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into effect, allowing same-sex couples in England and Wales to tie the knot.

Various couples had announced plans to wed immediately after midnight, while others have opted for weddings taking place from Saturday morning.

Check back on PinkNews for updates throughout the day. Our wedding channel already includes words from the party leaders, religious organisations and charities, and will be updated throughout the day.

Since the Act was given Royal Assent last July, same-sex couples in England and Wales have been waiting for the big day to arrive. Some who married abroad were already recognised, as well as couples with one member in the armed forces being posted abroad, or with a terminal illness.

Those in Civil Partnerships have been told that they will be able to convert to marriage by the end of 2014.

Scotland’s equivalent bill was given Royal Assent earlier this month, and will become law in the autumn. Northern Ireland currently has no planned introduction of same-sex marriage.

Congratulations to everyone who made it happen, and to those tying the knot today, and in the coming year.

Shortly after midnight, an image of one of the first gay couples to marry in England appeared on Twitter.

Islingon2

Sinclair and Sean married in Camden Town Hall

Sheffield

The first gay couple marry in Sheffield

Islington

David and Peter married in Islington