PHOTOS: Families in Minnesota celebrate the first minutes of the freedom to marry

This morning, as the clock struck midnight and the calendar switched over to August 1, 2013, the freedom to marry took effect in Minnesota (in addition to Rhode Island and the South American country of Uruguay) - and dozens of families across the state of Minnesota came together to celebrate. 

The Mayor of Minneapolis, R.T. Rybak, officiated over several hours of ceremonies this morning, including the first couple to marry in the city - Margaret Miles and Cathy ten Broeke. (Photo by AP Photo/Star Tribune, Brian Peterson)

These men also tied the knot. (Via HM Photography LLC)

As did Tim and James... (Via HM Photography LLC)

...and Janice and Mary, who met 38 years ago at the University of Wisconsin and went on to fall madly in love, become teachers, and adopt three children together. (Via Matt Stopera)

These women said their vows in front of these very sleep children - who were troopers and stayed awak until 2:55 a.m. to cheer on the ceremony. (Via Matt Stopera)

And the last wedding in Minneapolis, at 6:37 a.m., was between Dorothy and Jackie, who have been together for 33 years. (Via Matt Stopera

The icing on the cake of the amazing, historic day in Minnesota is that today, August 1, is officially Freedom to Marry Day - which Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced in a proclamation.

The proclamation reads: "Throughout its history, some of our country's most important progress has been to extend equal rights and protections to everyone. And while that progress has often been difficult and initially divisive, it has always been the next step forward to fulfilling our country's promise to every American." (Via MN United)

Congratulations, Minnesota!