'At the end of the day, we got married': Shar and Tanya McKinlay. Photo: Rohan Thompson
They wore white dresses, their fathers walked them down the aisle and last Saturday in Canberra, Tanya and Shar McKinlay said "I do".
But after being married for less than a week the High Court ruled that the ACT's same-sex marriage laws were inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act and were constitutionally invalid.
"We're both very disappointed but we still feel married and we still have our framed marriage certificate to prove it," Tanya McKinlay said.
Australia's first same sex weddings
Samantha Harmes and Haley Wilson hug after getting married. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
All 31 couples who were married last week will have their unions forcibly annulled because according to the judgement, 'marriage can be solemnised in Australia only between a man and a woman'.
"I feel sad for all the other couples who didn't marry sooner. We had friends who were going to get married in April on the date which marked their 10 year anniversary but these plans have gone," she said.
Australian Marriage Equality National Director Rodney Croome says the news was devastating for the newly-wed couples and their families however believes this is only a temporary defeat.
"It's a mistake to assume the High Court's decision brings an end to the push for state and territory laws on same-sex marriage.
"The High Court ruled that state and territory laws like the defunct ACT Act cannot draw on the federal definition of marriage, but it pointedly refrained from commenting directly on laws that create a new, distinct status of 'same-sex marriage' like the bills in NSW, Victoria, WA, SA and Tasmania," Mr Croome said.
Mr Croome encourages supporters of marriage equality in these states to keep moving forward with their bills and urges the ACT Government to seriously consider re-legislating using the model adopted in the other states.
Tanya McKinlay says the new definition needs to be established soon but in the meantime the gay community, her friends and family will still consider the couple officially married.
"I'm hoping that the past weekend will put more pressure on the government because at the end of the day, we got married, our family saw us get married, nothing changed in Canberra minus a few celebrations and we're happy," she said.