Same-sex couples will marry in Germany for the first time on Sunday, when some civil registry offices will open specially to celebrate the coming into force of a marriage law that parliament passed in June.
Around a dozen same-sex couples are expected to marry in Berlin on Sunday, with a similar number due in Hamburg, gay rights organisations said, taking advantage of the decision of some registries to open on a day when they are normally closed.
Among them are Karl Kreile, 59, and Bodo Mende, 60, who will become Germany's first married gay couple when they say "yes" in the town hall of the Berlin borough of Schoeneberg after 38 years together.
"We have finally achieved legal equality," Mr Mende told a news conference on Friday. "It's been 25 years of hard struggle to secure this."
Germany's parliament approved marriage equality in June after Chancellor Angela Merkel chose to make the vote a matter of conscience, freeing many of her Social Democrat coalition partners and many of her conservative lawmakers to vote for it.
Rights organisations say more needs to be done to achieve full equality. It is still impossible for children born into a lesbian couple to have both parents as a legal mother.