A Wonderful Night of Love and Marriage in Portland

The night began small. A little less than a dozen people gathered on the steps of Portland City Hall around 10:30pm on December 28th. Some carried signs with the word “love" written largely in colored letters, others walked from one huddle of people to the next handing out free wedding favors. Despite the below 30 degree weather, people smiled wide, anticipating the chance to be a part of a historic night for marriage in Maine.

People handed out homemade boutonnieres and bouquets to those joining in the celebration.

Smiles really grew when people showed up with free cupcakes.

The company who donated the cupcakes was appropriately named, Love Cupcakes.

In the main entrance of City Hall, a three-man band graciously volunteered to perform at the ceremonies.

At the top of stairs were even more handmade boutonnieres being handed out by two cheerful ladies.

As couples waited in line at the clerk's office, they took a few moments to reflect on their upcoming nuptials.

Some of them donned elaborate headdresses.

Some could hardly contain their excitement.

Others came with friends and family in-tow.

And this absolutely fantastic woman brought truffles.

Which we may or may not have tried ourselves... yum.

The first couple to enter the clerk's office was Steven Bridges (right) and Michael Snell (left).

They posed for the cameras wearing matching t-shirts and violet flowers.

The officiant, Christine Horne, walked them through the paperwork.

A lot of paperwork.

Like, a lot of it.

At one point it seemed like they were done...

But no! More paperwork. This went on for about twenty minutes.

Meanwhile, the crowd outside the office grew as friends, family and more couples arrived.

All waited patiently as Michael and Steven scribbled away.

A moment later, Michael and Steven walked out as newlyweds.

Giving us these absolutely fabulous poses.

Friends and relatives of the couples peered through the crowd to get a glimpse.

The band waited patiently for the first couple at the bottom of the stairs...

... as did the press.

Finally, Michael and Steven walked down as the band played "My Romance."

Outside, the modest crowd of a couple dozen had grown to a couple hundred...

They began to get restless (in a good way).

Some literally jumped with excitement .

As Michael and Steven exited City Hall, they were greeted with a chorus of cheers--nothing like they expected when they first made the appointment to get married.

They posed with loved ones...

and walked down the steps to a still roaring crowd. A brass band struck up "All You Need Is Love," and everyone sang along.

Tailed by photographers and shouts of congratulations, they left City Hall hand in hand into their new life as husband and husband.

There was a lot of love squeezed in and outside City Hall that night, and we'll never forget nor take for granted having been there.

Check out our exclusive clip of the crowd's heartwarming rendition of "All You Need Is Love" here.

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