Reporting John Lauritsen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Sixty-three same sex couples will legally marry at Minneapolis City Hall beginning at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.
Volunteers have spent Wednesday decorating the rotunda in preparation for the night.
And like a student studying for a test, Mayor R.T. Rybak is getting to know the couples he’ll be marrying.
“I never want to have a day where it feels like a conveyor belt of love,” Rybak said.
Rybak was ordained six years ago, and he’s officiated about a dozen weddings. He’ll more than triple that total between midnight and 6:00 a.m. as personally officiates 42 weddings in all. By the time Thursday morning’s fesitivities wrapped up, Rybak actually ended up officiating 46 weddings.
“I’m used to doing 42 different things in a day. I’m just not used to them all being weddings,” he said. “But I think we’ll manage though. It’s a pretty important piece of history.”
From the music to the flowers everything at City Hall was all made possible because of donations.
“It’s a wonderful feeling to be so included,” said Phil Oxman.
Oxman and Harvey Zuckman have been together for nearly 38 years. In front of Rybak, they’ll finally make it official at City Hall.
“I never thought it would happen in our lifetime. Never, ever,” Zuckman said.
“We just thought it’s been 13 years, we can wait three days,” said Tom DeGree.
DeGree and Dean Schlaak are waiting to get married on Saturday. But as the owners of Wilde Roast Café, they are hosting a reception for more than 400 people Wednesday night.
Seven years ago they had a commitment ceremony. Now, Tom and Dean are ready for a wedding.
“Our first ceremony, our pastor started out the service with, ‘Some people might think what we are doing here today is radical, but love is radical.’ And that’s what we are excited to see,” Schlaak said.
In addition to the 46 weddings Rybak presided over, judges performed another 21 weddings at City Hall.
There was also a reception at Hotel Minneapolis that will go until 6 a.m. Thursday.