There is perhaps no better illustration of the sea change in California marriages than the mundane Saturday plans of newlyweds Carol Mayhew and Toni Roldan. | MORE PHOTOS: Lesbian couple weds in Long Beach
Mayhew and Roldan, of Sunland, the first same-sex couple married in Long Beach since this week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Proposition 8 -- and Friday's surprise decision by the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to end the stay on gay marriages -- were enjoying lunch before scouting out a possible wedding reception venue.
Mayhew, 48, said it's a task she has seen heterosexual friends do for years.
"I've always helped out, but I've never been the person it's for," she said. "I'm really jazzed."
The couple had almost-matured plans three years ago to marry after a federal judge declared Proposition 8 unconstitutional and authorized same-sex marriages. They bought rings, picked outfits, arranged the ceremony date and invited family and friends for the occasion.
Then, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stopped new gay marriages pending appeal.
Mayhew wanted to return the rings, saying she "saw no hope whatsoever" that she could ever marry Roldan, her partner of 16 years.
But Roldan, 42, convinced Mayhew to save the rings, and, on Friday, the Ninth Circuit Court affirmed her faith in a one-line ruling overturning its own injunction.
"The stay in the above matter is dissolved effective immediately," the ruling read.
Mayhew found out about the action on Facebook and the couple quickly contacted Great Officiants on Ocean Boulevard and wedding officiant Alan Katz, who was going to preside over their abandoned nuptials three years ago.
The couple wed at Great Officiants' Our Cute Little Wedding Chappel at 9 p.m. Friday. Mayhew wore a pink, purple and blue plaid, short-sleeved button-up shirt, and Roldan wore a white sleeveless shirt as they exchange vows and completed paperwork to make their union legal.
The two high-fived Katz after swearing to the accuracy of their wedding certificate.
Roldan reflected on the event, saying she was obviously happy.
"I think at the same time, in retrospect, it's a little overwhelming with all the attention," Roldan said. "I guess it hasn't sunk in yet."
Katz said he has six marriage licenses he can give out this weekend to other gay couples.
He had several scheduled Saturday, and noted there was also a "regular" ceremony before catching himself.
"They're all regular now," Katz said, smiling.
Great Officiants is one of the busiest wedding services in Southern California, conducting more than 4,000 weddings. Katz said he has overseen about 700 same-sex marriages, civil unions and commitment ceremonies.
Before he left his office for another wedding, Katz noted a difference between this weekend's atmosphere and the brief periods when gay marriages have been allowed in the past.
"They know it's not being taken away, so they're planning now, taking a bit more time," said Katz.
Los Angeles County officials are taking steps to accommodate the growing number of marriage requests as a result of the legal events this week.
The Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's Office has authorized the Long Beach City Clerk's Office to be deputy civil marriage commissioners for 60 days.
The Long Beach office will be authorized to perform civil marriages, according to the City Clerk's Office. Appointments will be made through the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/Clerk's Office.
Mayor Bob Foster is also authorized to conduct civil ceremonies, though his office said Saturday that he had not conducted any marriages yet.
On Sunday, the United Church of Christ plans to host a wedding for the pastor of a church in Torrance and his partner during General Synod 2013 in Long Beach.
The Rev. Dave Sigmund of Seaside Community United Church of Christ and his partner, Jay Greaves, are to be married at 5 p.m. at the Long Beach Convention Center.
The Rev. Susannah Davis, pastor of the men's home church in Atlanta, is due to co-officiate the service with the Rev. Mel White of Long Beach.
Eric Bradley can be reached at 562-499-1254.
Wire services contributed and Staff Photographer Steve McCrank contributed.