WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 31, 2013, 09:40 PM

A Moorhead reception in honor of same sex couples getting married

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV)-- In just two hours the first same sex couples in Minnesota will be making their way to Clay County to be married.

Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV)-- In just two hours the first same sex couples in Minnesota will be making their way to Clay County to be married.

18 couples will be tying the knot at the courthouse shortly after midnight. Part of a special ceremony marking the first day same sex couples can legally marry in Minnesota.

One couple, Justin Metz and his partner Richie DePaolas say it's a day they never imagined would be possible.

They say they decided to be part of the group's midnight ceremony because it is making history.

Usually the reception comes after the vows, but today that's not the case.

Same sex marriage supporters and couples getting married tonight are celebrating before history takes place.

The F-M Pride organization held this reception to honor those tying the knot tonight.

There is more than 100 people here. The night will be complete

It's like any other wedding reception, complete with balloons, champagne, and of course cake.

Kristen Benson- Organizer: "Usually the wedding doesn't happen at midnight so it made sense to do the reception before the wedding."

This party is just one out of hundreds going on around the state, And tonight some of these couples will be the first in Minnesota to legally say I do. Kristin Benson organized this reception. She said the F-M area had to join in on the fun.

Benson: "This is a wonderful opportunity for those couples to celebrate together, really be in unity and solidarity the legalization of their relationships."

Benson and her partner have extra reason to be celebrating. They're tying the knot when the clock strikes midnight at a special ceremony at the Clay County Court House.

Benson: "We had a wedding two years ago at our church in Moorhead and in our faith community it has been recognized as a valid marriage but not by the state and the community in that larger sense."

Benson is happy to celebrate her love, but is also happy others and their families can celebrate in the moment too.

Kris Carlson- Daughter Getting Married: "It's exciting, there's a lot of love, were going to have the in laws here too and were celebrating a wonderful family event."

Most of theses celebrators will be heading to the courthouse in about an hour.

For tonight's ceremony doors to the courthouse will open back up at 11:30 and security will be tight.

Only the couples, a few approved guests, and media are allowed inside.

Everyone else must wait outside the building behind barricades.

The Sheriff's office says it's not expecting huge crowds, or rowdy protesters.