New York’s first same-sex weddings took place across the city yesterday as a new gay marriage law took effect.

As soon as 12am struck and 24 July officially began, couples began tying the knot across the city as New York became the sixth state in the US to recognise same-sex marriage.

Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, have been together for 23 years and married yesterday in Lower Manhattan.

Siegel said: “It was just so amazing. It’s the only way I can describe it. I lost my breath and a few tears. This is the first day of the rest of our lives.”

Despite some protests, the majority of New Yorkers support the Marriage Equality Act, which allows couples of the same sex to marry.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg presided over the wedding of two of his top aides, John Feinblatt and Jonathan Mintz.The couple have been together for 14 years and have two daughters.

Bloomberg said: “Two people who loved each other dearly came together and pledged their loves to each other. I’m really glad that I was asked to be a part of it.”