A change in the law has given gay and lesbian couples the right to marry for the first time in history, but a campaigner in the North East of England said there was a long way to go to combat social prejudice.
Mark Nichols, the Chair of Northern Pride, said he still would not be comfortable holding hands with his partner in the centre of Newcastle:
A wedding planner is now arranging her own big day, thanks to a change in the law, which came into effect at midnight.
Shadia Thannon (right) manages a hotel in Newcastle, which hosts weddings. She will marry her partner Catherine Martin there in July, becoming one of the first same-sex couples in the North East to marry.
They had been planning a civil partnership, until the change in the law in England and Wales last summer made marriage legal for same-sex couples:
"For us it's really important, it means our relationship is seen equally in the eyes of the law. That's something neither of us really ever expected to happen," Catherine said.
Congratulations to the gay couples who have already been married - and my best wishes to those about to be on this historic day.
Sean Adl-Tabatabai and Sinclair Gray Treadway have become one of the first same-sex couples to marry in the UK.
Mr Treadway commented: "Hopefully one day we'll look back in the future and we won't still be fighting for rights but we'll all be accepted."
Video of the marriage courtesy of Sean James Cameron:
The ceremony took place at Camden Town Hall at one minute past midnight. Mayor of Camden Councillor Jonathan Simpson conducted the historic service.
The rainbow flag is flying Birmingham city centre as the first same-sex couples are getting married across England and Wales.
Thousands of people have taken to Twitter to show their support for same sex marriage under the hashtag #equalmarriage
David Cameron hailed the first same-sex marriages in England and Wales as sending a "powerful message" about equality in Britain.
It's great to wake up in a country where, if I ever want to re-marry, I can marry whomever I fall in love with next. #equalmarriage
One of the first same-sex couples to be married as soon as the law allowed has said "I do" in front of a packed room of guests shortly after the stroke of midnight.
Peter McGraith and David Cabreza were another couple to take advantage of the new legislation as soon as they possibly could.
Actor Andrew Wale, 49, and guesthouse owner Neil Allard, 48, wed at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton just after midnight.
The Mayor of Camden Councillor Jonathan Simpson has hailed Britain as a "beacon" for countries worldwide and as an example for equal rights. Mr Simpson added that "tolerance and love will rule".
Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell attended one of the first same-sex marriages in Britain, hailing the "historic occasion". Peter McGraith and David Cabreza was among the first to get married in Islington.
Mr Tatchell said during the wedding ceremony that "there should be one system for everyone".
Warning: This footage contains flashing imagery.
Gay rights activists Esther Nakimwero and Idris Bogerie have hailed Britain's first same-sex marriages, demanding the same rights come to Uganda.