SAN JOSE -- Just before 9 a.m. Monday, Trish and Eve Kedar's years-long dream finally came true when Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager married the two women -- the first such nuptials celebrated at the county building after an appellate court ruling Friday lifted the ban on same-sex marriages in the state.
"We wanted to do it here in San Jose because it's our home turf," said Trish, 49, who met 50-something Eve on a website five years ago. Ever since their first date at San Jose's Alum Rock Park, "it's been magic," Trish said.
Similar scenes played out around the South Bay on Monday at county clerk and recorder's offices after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling on Friday. Within hours of that ruling, two of the plaintiffs in the landmark case -- Sandy Stier and Kris Perry of Berkeley -- were married at San Francisco City Hall, which opened on the weekend for dozens of other same-sex ceremonies.
The weddings followed the U.S. Supreme Court's decisions last Wednesday that not only overturned Proposition 8 and made same-sex marriages legal in California, but also struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
In San Mateo County, Theresa Rabe of the Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder's Office said Monday afternoon that about 15 same-sex couples obtained marriage licenses, and one wedding took place in the chapel.
The chapel schedule was starting to fill up for later this week, Rabe said, but several same-sex couples told her they're not rushing to the altar in reaction to last week's legal decision.
"They feel this is for sure and permanent," Rabe said, "and they can take their time to plan."
In Santa Clara County, same-sex couples exchanged vows in a more scenic venue: Yeager's 10th floor corner office, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering vistas of the county.
Yeager -- the county's first openly gay supervisor -- had already donned a formal black robe to wear as an official deputy commissioner of marriage.
"It is gratifying to be here today," Yeager told the Kedars before asking them to recite their vows. "All Californians have the right to establish a family with the person they love. We have waited for too long, but the day is finally here," as he congratulated the women as "wife and wife."
With the county's wedding chapel undergoing renovation and unavailable for weddings, same-sex couples could get married in a first-floor conference room, at one of the windows at the clerk-recorder's office, or in Yeager's office.
By 5 p.m., the preference was clear: He'd officiated nine such weddings, and one for a heterosexual couple.
But the Kedars were the first -- as much a surprise to them as their primary place in a very short line outside the county building early Monday morning.
"We didn't expect all this attention. We thought there was going to be a big line," said Eve, who works at a Cupertino startup and had risen with Trish, a marketing manager, at 4:30 a.m. in their Morgan Hill home to be ready for the 8 a.m. opening of the clerk-recorder's office.
"I wanted to get here early to ensure nothing happened and no other rulings came down that would stop us," said Trish of their plans Monday. She also worried that traffic from the BART strike might impede their efforts. When they arrived at 5:45 a.m., they were the only couple in the courtyard.
At 7 a.m., San Jose residents Glen Cantrell and his partner Michael Mulhern joined them in line, and offered to be witnesses for the Kedars' marriage.
"It's another step in a long road, but it's a happy time," said Cantrell of the culmination of his and Mulhern's own relationship after meeting by chance four years ago after a performance at the San Jose Repertory Theatre.
The two men planned to obtain their marriage license Monday, but said they would celebrate with family and friends in a civil ceremony later this month.
After the brief ceremony in Yeager's office, during which Trish wiped away tears of joy, Eve looked at her beloved and exclaimed, "We did it!"
The two women already had marked their domestic partnership in a formal ceremony in 2011 in Monterey and were married at their synagogue in Saratoga the same year. After Monday's ceremony, each planned to return to work, but planned to celebrate that night with friends and relatives.
This occasion, said Trish, was important for many historic reasons, including no longer being barred from federal and other benefits, such as married tax recognition.
In the Kedars' case, Trish noted, it was medical benefits that her employer had not been allowed to offer Eve, a breast cancer survivor.
"We feel we are equal citizens," said Eve after the ceremony. "It's civil rights, man!"
Staff writer Aaron Kinney contributed to this report. Contact Tracy Seipel at 408 275-0140.