Chelsea residents Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, got hitched at the marriage bureau on Worth Street in Lower Manhattan at 9:02 a.m., setting off wedding bells across Gotham.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, witnessed the ceremony that was officiated by City Clerk Michael McSweeney.
‘‘It was just so amazing,’’ said Siegel, who has been with her love for 23 years. ‘‘It’s the only way I can describe it. I lost my breath and a few tears.’’
* In Brooklyn, retired nurse Michael Faurey, 63, and Bobby Amagna, 65, celebrated their nearly two-decade-old relationship in matrimony.
‘‘It’s [been] an 18- year struggle,’’ said Faurey. While the two grooms nonchalantly exchanged vows, judge Ellen Spodek, who officiated their ceremony, broke down in tears.
* Meanwhile at Queens Borough Hall, Greg Levine, 32, and Shane Serkiz, 33, were the first ones to show up to tie the knot, and they celebrated their 11-year relationship.
Serkiz said he hopes today’s weddings bring hope to future generations of gay Americans: "I hope this makes it a lot easier for gay and lesbian youth to understand that who they are is OK . And it definitely gets better."
* Up in The Bronx, youth pastor Carmen Hernandez, 48, and dental assistant Doris DeArmas, 50, tied the knot. When they sealed the borough’s first same-sex marriage, DeArmas told her love: ‘‘I’ve got you.’’
* Then down in Staten Island, a pair of Long Branch, NJ, lovebirds — Bedelia Sanchez, 47, and Lavern Rivera, 50 — got hitched even though their state won’t recognize the nuptials.
‘‘We have six grandchildren together,’’ Sanchez said. ‘‘We want them to understand that even though we’re homosexuals, we love each other and are very serious about our family.’’
The Big Apple weddings followed dozens of other same-sex ceremonies, conducted in the wee-early morning hours when the state’s historic Marriage Equality Act officially took effect.
Under a steamy half-moon at the stroke of midnight, Dee Smith, 25, and Kate Wrede, 21, signed their license at the North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset.
Kate -- in a traditional white wedding gown -- and Dee, who donned a tux, then walked across the street to a romantic park gazebo to tie the knot.
The Patchogue duo were exchanging vows by the stroke of twelve -- and then rode off for their honeymoon night in a white Rolls Royce.
Smith said she and her bride were overwhelmed by all the attention leading up to the happy event.
"We're humble people," she laughed.
They got engaged in May and thought they'd get hitched out of state next year. But when New York legalized gay marriage a month ago, Smith and Wrede set out to make history with their "I do's."
They rushed their way through selecting a gown, a tuxedo, and a limo, planned an elaborate Jewish ceremony at the Viana Hotel, and even got a cake from TLC's "Cake Boss" Buddy Valastro. But up until late Friday afternoon, Smith and Wrede didn't know if they would have the necessary paperwork in place to officially wed.
At the last minute, they learned that North Hempstead town clerk Leslie Gross was going to open Town Hall at midnight to issue a marriage license to two dear friends.
Smith and Wrede contacted Gross to ask for help, and she agreed to give them a midnight marriage license as well.
But the couple had to produce their own Supreme Court Justice to be present to waive a state law that mandates a 24-hour waiting period after a license is issued.
"They found a Queens justice willing to come out here at midnight. I don't know how they did it, but they did," said Gross.
Other couples around the state were also eager to claim first-married status.
In Albany, 10 couples exchanged vows at City Hall at 12 a.m.
In Niagara Falls, longtime partners Kitty Lambert, 54, and Cheryle Rudd, 53, made a splash with a midnight wedding on Luna Island, at the feet of the gushing Horseshoe Waterfalls.
"We're so proud of everybody who crawled up this hill with us," Lambert, her eyes filled with tears, told the Buffalo News.
"This wasn't done with just the two of us. Every single person here played a part in getting this law passed."
Earlier, Lambert noted "Our wedding invitations said, 'It was well worth the fight.' "
She wore a sparkly azure dress she made herself. Rudd was decked out in a white, tailed tuxedo, and their grandkids carried the flowers and rings for them.
"When I was a little girl I dreamed one day of being married at Niagara Falls," said Lambert. "The feelings you get while you stand there, it's just instantly romantic."