Maribyrnong couple Amy and Elise McDonald have made history as the first same-sex couple to marry in Victoria.

The newlyweds were married at Melbourne’s Carlton Gardens on Saturday.

Celebrant Maria Aguilera said permission to marry the couple, aged 36 and 28 respectively, was only granted at 11am on Friday.

While the brides’ families knew, the rest of the guests had no idea.

“The wedding was going to be spoken by the elder sister of one of the brides,” Ms Aguilera said.

“She started off and I think she did it for five minutes before she introduced me and that was a big surprise for everybody.

“It was a very emotional moment when I got to say the words, ‘Marriage is the union of two people to the exclusion of all others’, and I’m very happy that we were able to make it legal.”

Equal Marriage Australia spokesperson Ben Cooper said it was the dawn of a new age.

“Today is the first of many same-sex weddings in Australia,” he said.

“It’s a remarkable day not only for the LGBTI community but for our whole nation.

“Today marks the dawn of a new age of equality for couples in Australia.”

Both couples received special permission to marry without giving a month’s notice to Births, Deaths and Marriages because their families had travelled to be at what were originally intended to be civil ceremonies.

Other couples not granted an exemption must wait until January 9.

Williamstown couple, Cas Willow and Heather Richards, are due to be married on Monday.

They were granted an exemption because Ms Willow is receiving palliative care for breast cancer.

They were holding out hope that the new marriage equality legislation will enable them to marry before one of them “leaves this lifetime”.