Two female couples have tied the knot in Australia’s first same-sex weddings under new legislation allowing gay marriages.

January 9 had been expected to be the first possible date for same-sex weddings due to a four-week waiting period. But the two couples were married in Sydney and Melbourne on Saturday after being granted permission to waive the notice period.

Lauren Price and Amy Laker exchanged vows in Sydney because their families had to travel from Wales to attend what was to have been their commitment ceremony.

Amy and Elise McDonald also were given an exemption to marry in Melbourne since their relatives had also flown in from overseas.

Lyn Hawkins, 85, who is in the final stages of her battle against ovarian cancer, is due to marry Anne Sedgwick on Sunday after being together for 40 years.

Countries where same-sex marriage is legal(PA Graphics)

After receiving dispensation, the 85-year-old told website Perth Now: “Anne has been very supportive through all this and marrying her, it’s Anne’s way of saying ‘let’s finally do this’.”

On Monday, Cas Willow, 53, who is receiving treatment for breast cancer, which has spread to her brain, and Heather Richards, 56, will marry in Melbourne.

The couple, who have been together for 17 years, say marriage will make their last precious few weeks or days together “complete”.